New Harmony, Indiana

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New Harmony is a historic town on the Wabash River in Harmony Township, Posey County, Indiana, United States. It lies 15 miles (24 km) north of Mount Vernon, the county seat. The town's population has remained relatively constant over the years at around 1,000 residents; the population was 916 as of the 2000 census. It is part of the Evansville metropolitan area. Many of the old Harmonist buildings still stand and have been restored. The New Harmony State Memorial is located here. Just to the south of town on State Road 69 is Harmonie State Park.

Contents

History

New Harmony, formerly named Harmony, was founded by the Harmony Society, headed by German immigrant George Rapp (actually Johann Georg Rapp) in 1814. This was the second of three towns built by the pietist, communal German religious group, known as Harmonists, Harmonites or Rappites; they settled in Indiana after leaving Harmony, Pennsylvania, and after leaving Indiana, they founded the community of Economy, Pennsylvania, now called Ambridge. When the society decided to move back to Pennsylvania around 1824, they sold the 30,000 acres (121 kmĀ²) of land and buildings to Robert Owen, the Welsh utopian thinker and social reformer, and to William Maclure for $150,000, who then changed the name from "Harmony" to "New Harmony." Owen recruited residents to his model community, but a number of factors led to an early breakup of the socialist community.

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