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Nov 15

A Visit to Harmony, PA

A couple weeks ago we traveled to Harmony, Pennsylvania, where we stayed a couple days with my cousin Linda and had the chance to visit my Aunt Ruth, who turns 100 next month. Harmony is located in Butler County, about ½ hour north of Pittsburgh.

View of Harmony, from the Harmonist Cemetery (2019 photo by Karen)

Harmony, PA (2019 photo by Karen)

The weather was very nice when we arrived and Linda was our guide on a walking tour around historic Harmony. It is a beautiful town with many nice historic buildings and homes. For years Linda and Ruth have been involved in the Harmony Historical Society and Museum, which preserves the history of the Harmonites.

Harmony Museum (2019 photo by Karen)

We hadn’t been to Harmony for about 40 years and we enjoyed seeing the town again.

Harmony Banners, with George Rapp insignia. (2019 photo by Karen)

Today, some photos I took while in Harmony, Pennsylvania, a couple weeks ago.

Harmony, PA (2019 photo by Karen)

Knauf’s Mill, Harmony, PA (2019 photo by Karen)

 

Historical Sign, Harmony Museum (2019 photo by Karen)

The historical sign by the Harmony Museum gives a brief history of the town:

Harmony. First home of Harmony Society, founded 1804, by George Rapp and German followers. In 1814 moved to New Harmony, Indiana, and settled at Economy in present Ambridge, Beaver County, in 1825.

George Rapp came to America from Wuerttemberg seeking religious freedom for himself and his followers, called Harmonists. The Harmony Society was a communal society, a group of German Lutheran Separatists. One source says Rapp combined the philosophy and writing of the early Christians and Karl Marx. [1]

In 1814 the Harmonists sold the town to Mennonite Abraham Ziegler and moved to Indiana Territory. There they founded town of New Harmony, along the Wabash River. They moved back to Pennsylvania in 1824, founded the town of Economy, but they eventually died out because of their celibate lifestyle. The Mennonite community lasted in Harmony until 1904.

The Harmonists did not use tombstones, but the Mennonites did. The Mennonites erected the one lone tombstone in the Harmonist Cemetery, that of Johannes Rapp, the son of the Society’s founder George Rapp. [2]

Harmonist Cemetery, Harmony, PA. (2019 photo by Karen)

There were several log homes in Harmony:

Ziegler’s log home, now part of the Harmony Museum. (2019 photo by Karen)

Weavers Cabin, Harmony, PA (2019 photo by Karen)

Log home, now a residence, Harmony, PA (2019 photo by Karen)

Kodel House, new log structure, Harmony, PA (2019 photo by Karen)

Kodel House historic sign, Harmony, PA (2019 photo by Karen)

Many of the historic buildings and homes had an historic sign with the Harmonist logo.

A home built by the Harmonists:

Harmonite home, Harmony, PA, once owned by Aunt Ruth. (2019 photo by Karen)

Historic sign on Harmonite home, Harmony, PA (2019 photo by Karen)

The Harmony Inn, where we had a delicious dinner, local craft beer, and live entertainment:

Harmony Inn, Harmony, PA (2019 photo by Karen)

Note the blunt edge on the building below, so traffic could easily make turn:

Mueller-Weaver building, Harmony, PA (2019 photo by Karen)

Mueller-Weaver historic sign, Harmony, PA (2019 photo by Karen)

Zeigler log cabin next to brick Harmonist home that Aunt Ruth once owned. Harmony, PA (2019 photo by Karen)

What a nice place to visit! We are looking forward to going back, before another 40 years passes!

[1] “Early American History in Harmony, Pennsylvania,” World Footprints.com, https://worldfootprints.com/early-american-history-in-harmony-pennsylvania/ .

[2] [To read more about our visit to the Harmonist Cemetery]:Tombstone Tuesday—Johannes Rapp,” Karen’s Chatt, 12 Nov 2019.

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