The Kabinet Monastery
Encouraged to visit to help with his chronic lung problems, Trafik Kabinet fell in love with Florida immediately and bought land south of Fort Brooke in the small settlement of Abdera.
Kabinet was raised in Lithuania and Berlin and traveled throughout Europe when he was young. Inspired by the monasteries he visited in his youth he decided to build a retreat for those with similar lung problems who might seek a place to recuperate in contemplative quiet. Kabinet also developed a philosophy of “miscellaneous spirituality” through his discussions with the guests. By 1846 Kabinet’s monastery had become a quite popular retreat and the attendees styled themselves as Kabinet Monks.
The monastery flourished briefly until Kabinet’s untimely demise in 1851. Within a year the only monk remaining was a man who referred to himself simply as Ismail from Tortosa.
For twenty years after the death of Trafik Kabinet his last remaining disciple, Ismail from Tortosa, dug himself a grave every morning and filled it in every night. Otherwise he was noted for his beekeeping, and most knew him by the name Honey.
On October 31, 1871 Ismail’s neighbors used his own grave to bury him. Death records read simply: “Kicked by horse. Deceased.”
Not long afterwards the monastery was bought, remodeled and opened as the Tarloff Sanatorium.
(“Abdera Miscellany” is a collection of half-baked ideas about Abdera, Florida.)
(100 Days of Blogging: Post 020 of 100)