New Harmony, Indiana, (Population 915) is a small historic town located on the Wabash River in southwestern Indiana. During the early part of the 19th century, New Harmony was the site of two attempts to establish Utopian communities. The first, Harmonie (1814-1825), was founded by the Harmonie Society, a group of Separatists from the German Lutheran Church. Led by their charismatic leader Johann Georg Rapp, they left their first American home in Harmonie, Pennsylvania, and established a second community on the western frontier of Indiana, where they acquired a much larger tract of land.
Today, residents and tourists alike enjoy the slower pace of the town’s opportunities for dining, shopping for antiques, visiting art galleries, and admiring the quaint surroundings where even the architecture pays tribute to a blend of the past and future. New Harmony has become known for its many gardens, sculptures, restored historic buildings and public spaces designed for quiet contemplation and spiritual renewal.
Visitors from all over the world come to experience the town’s legacy of creative endeavor which has spanned nearly 200 years. They discover a distinctive rural village, where the simple wooden structures of the Harmonists, blend with modern architectural masterpieces on quiet tree-lined streets. Local preservationists and town officials acted early on to secure control in the public interest over substantial parts of the town’s central Historic District, thus creating a village museum and preservation project that has been a center for culture and learning.
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