Early in the 19th century, New Harmony, Indiana was an area established by settlers in attempt to create a Utopian society. From 1814-1815, then named Harmonie, the town was led by Johann Georg Rapp, a German Separatist. Under Rapp’s guidance, Harmonie experienced economic success and became well know as “the wonder of the west.” When Rapp sold the cultivated land after 10 years, Robert Owen, an industrialist and philosopher acquired Harmonie to use as a communitarian experiment. It became known as New Harmony.
It was Robert Owen’s vision to create a perfect society with free education and eradication of social classes. Today, New Harmony is a historic town located on the Wabash River. The population is 915.
New Harmony remains a treasured jewel of southern Indiana. The quaint and quirky town is reminiscent of the original, with more than 30 structures remaining from the first Utopian town. Preservationists have worked to keep original town structures and architecture restored and in tact. In fact, the New Harmony Historic District is registered as a National Historic Landmark.
On the town square, residents and tourists alike experience antique and thrift shopping, a number of art galleries, boutique, and locally owned restaurants. A utopian feel still lingers about the town and the slow paced lifestyle. New Harmony is known as a tranquil town, with beautiful greenery and gardens and public spaces designed for spiritual reflection and stopping to enjoy life.
New Harmony has a rustic aura about the town blending its history with modern culture and artistic accomplishments. Anyone considering moving to New Harmony can look forward to a leisure style of living, reminiscent of the early settler’s utopian legacy.
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