Unity Library and Archives Unity Farm Records, 1919-2008
In 1919 Unity School of Christianity purchased 58 acres of rural property near Kansas City, Missouri as a place of recreation for its workers. By 1927, the property had expanded to more than 1,000 acres, and Unity Farm was growing an abundance of produce. Unity Farm workers maintained orchards with more than 7,500 apple trees and large patches of blackberries, grapes, strawberries, and raspberries. Vegetables included potatoes, peas, cucumbers, onions, asparagus and mushrooms. Fields grew wheat, oats, corn, soybeans, and sorghum cane. The farm also boasted dairy cattle, horses, thousands of chickens and beehives. The Unity Inn (now Unity Banquet and Dining) utilized Unity Farm eggs, milk, vegetables, fruit and honey to create meals based on the community’s foundation in vegetarianism.
Unity Farm became the incorporated town of Unity Village in 1953. Unity World Headquarters, a religious nonprofit, remains the sole landowner. While some farming operations continued into the 1980s, the organization converted much of the 1,200 acres to grain crops and wildlife habitat. Utilizing the abundance of this Missouri land also endures. Today the volunteer group, Unity Village Gardens, grows and sells fresh produce at the community’s former apple barn.
Items in the Unity Farm Records collection are located in various departmental record groups held by the Unity Library & Archives. These items include:
Photographs of Farm Operations and Facilities (1919–2008): Aerial images and photographs of animals, dairy farm, fruit stand, greenhouses, grounds, hen house, orchards, trees, and farm workers.
Farm Map or Plan (1934): A map of the Unity Farm grounds includes the Unity Tower, Silent Unity Building, stables, chicken houses, cow barns, berries, grapes, nursery, orchards, gas and oil wells, a quarry, and residences.
Unity Farm Visitor Guides (1931–1951): Welcome to Unity Farm (1931, 1933, 1937); Unity Farm and Training School Guide (1940); and a Unity Farm Directory (1950, 1951). Each booklet contains a map, explanation, and directory of the farm for visitors.
The Story of Unity’s Fifty Golden Years: A History of the Unity Movement (1939): The unique account of the early development of Unity. It includes a chapter titled “Unity Farm: Unity Community Center” summarizing the work and plans for Unity Farm.
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