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New Harmony Trailblazer: David Dale Owen

New Harmony’s early utopian communities were so unique and eventful they often draw the majority of historical interest toward the beginning of the 19th century, leaving in the shadows the important role this small town played in promoting critical scientific inquires in mid-century. The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites has recently recognized one noteworthy New Harmony trailblazer by including a buckskin blanket which belonged to David Dale Owen in its Indiana in 200 Objects: A Bicentennial Celebration. The third of Robert Owen’s children, David was a presence in New Harmony from 1833-1859 as he steadily strengthened New Harmony’s legacy of scientific discovery.

The Owenite utopian community brought eminent scientists into the Midwest heartland with a resulting ripple effect. Gerald Troost, the first president of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, carried out his research in New Harmony and in the process inspired David Dale Owen, who accompanied Troost on a geological survey of Tennessee in 1836. Owen passionately followed in Troost’s footsteps to become the State of Indiana’s first contracted geologist in 1837. Based in New Harmony, David Dale Owen proceeded to conduct groundbreaking geological surveys.

Owen recorded meeting Plains Indians in territories surveyed like Arkansas and Minnesota. On one such frontier expedition, a Plains tribe gifted Owen with the buckskin tunic, blanket, and leggings. These beautiful pieces of craftsmanship, featuring a variety of colorful beads, feathers, quillwork, and tassels – reminders of the respect and friendship that could exist between diverse communities of people – long were displayed in New Harmony’s Old Fauntleroy Home.  Jane Owen Fauntleroy, David Dale Owen’s sister, and her scientist husband, Robert Henry Fauntleroy, were residents of the Fauntleroy Home for a number of years. Within sight of the Fauntleroy Home stands the Granary, David Dale Owen’s lecture hall and third research laboratory from 1843-1859.

Thus, the beautifully restored Granary of today is not merely a reminder of the hard work and economic accomplishments of the early Harmonists, nor a simple memory of the unique Owenite utopian community. Instead, its nearly two million pounds of local Wabash sandstone serve as a witness to the area’s beauty and natural resources, while David Dale Owen’s buckskin tunic, blanket, and leggings testify to the intellectual importance and long-term impact of New Harmony’s later thinkers. As the pace of science accelerates exponentially in our current, computerized period, a set of finely crafted frontier buckskins and a remarkably versatile historical building can remind us that the spirit of discovery must continue to be cultivated in light of rare natural and manmade beauty seldom combined so well as in New Harmony.

Indiana in 200 Objects: A Bicentennial Celebration will be on display at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis until January 29, 2017.  See 200 Objects and its sister exhibit 200 Years of Indiana Art, which will run through October 2, 2016.

For more information about New Harmony and our town’s happenings check out visitnewharmony.com!

Written by Stanley Schwartz, New Harmony State Historic Site intern.

New Harmony Architecture Tour: A Walk into History

Do you love architecture? Are you interested in the stories old buildings have to tell? New Harmony has the perfect tour for you! Historic New Harmony offers a free, easy-to-access cell or smart phone tour of our town’s architecture: as you walk the town you can hear the histories of buildings marked by green, numbered plaques.

One building I suggest stopping by is Community House No. 2. This beautiful three-floor dormitory was built in 1822, using heavy timber and a nog—or peg—system in its construction. During the Harmonist period, Community House No. 2 was home to both single men and women. This community house has always been front and center in the rich and complex history of New Harmony. The structure has survived New Harmony’s changing times: it went from a peaceful living space to a center of science and education during the Owen/Maclure period. After the conclusion of the Owenite community, the building was repurposed for many endeavors, including businesses, accommodations, and even a meeting hall.

To access the tour, once you reach a building with a green plaque, simply call the number (812)817-3010. Cell phones will reach an audio menu in which the codes for individual buildings’ information can be reached, while smart phones will receive not only an audio tour, but also a text message with a link to the tour’s website which includes the list of buildings and a street map. The tour has no set end or beginning, so you can access the historical buildings in any order you wish.  Some controls for the audio tour include press 1 to rewind, press 2 to pause or play, press 3 to fast forward, or press # to skip a stop.

We hope you enjoy New Harmony’s rich architectural history! Want to see inside some of the historic structures on the tour?  Take Historic New Harmony’s daily guided tour.  Tours start at 1 p.m. each day at the Atheneum which is located at 401 Arthur Street in New Harmony.  Adult admission to the tour is $18 dollars.  For more information about New Harmony happenings check out the website visitnewharmony.com!

 

Written by Stephanie Yurks, New Harmony State Historic Site intern.

 

Insider’s Guide to Christmas in New Harmony

You know New Harmony, Indiana as the home of world-renowned art and music, and there’s no better time of the year to witness it than during Christmas in New Harmony! To help get you ready, we’ve asked the locals what they love. We’ve come up with the perfect guide to the festivities!

VIEW A FULL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS HERE.

Christmas Tree Lighting

Friday evening, the annual Christmas Tree Lighting is an important event for residents and business owners of New Harmony. Nearly everyone takes part! It signifies the true start of the winter season, and it kicks off the holiday festival. If you want to get a firsthand experience and see what the locals love about New Harmony, join us on Friday night for the tree lighting.

While you wait for the lighting, be sure to make a reservation at The Red Geranium (“The Red” as we call it!) for a warm meal, or head over to Yellow Tavern for cold beer and delicious pizza. Be sure to try one of our favorites — the breaded tenderloin or German bologna sandwich…Yum!

Wine Tasting

Enjoy one of our many restaurants during the festival! Sara’s Harmony Way offers a wide selection of wine and craft beer all at a great price. Sara’s will feature wine tasting for adults ($25 per person) on Saturday. If wine isn’t for you, enjoy a freshly brewed coffee and choose from an assortment of tasty, light snacks that we guarantee you’ll love. Sara also told us she’s planning to have a musician performing Saturday evening – even more reason to stop by.

What to Eat

There will be several vendors and restaurants serving hot, delicious snacks.

At the Griffin Ruritan Trailer Tavern, you’ll find:

  • Barbeque and Pork Loin Sandwiches
  • Cheese Fries
  • Funnel Cakes

Vendors at Rapp Granary will be serving:

  • Hot dogs and hamburgers
  • Chile
  • Ice cream and apple dumplings
  • Hot chocolate and soft drinks

Merchants across town will also be offering special treats during their holiday open houses! While you’re exploring town for our magnificent shopping, enjoy the free goodies.

Hoosier Salon’s Make & Take Decorations

On Saturday, children will be able to create their own Christmas decoration and take them home for their family to enjoy together. Something simple that kids and parents love! This event will take place from 11:00am to 1:00pm.

Breakfast with Santa

How much would your child love having breakfast with Santa? Be sure to stop by the Catholic Community Center between 8:00am and 10:00am Saturday morning to enjoy a sizzling breakfast of pancakes and sausage. Many New Harmony families make Christmas with Santa a tradition. Make sure to get your picture taken with Santa on Saturday or Sunday, too. You’ll see the jolly fellow strolling around the streets spreading Christmas joy to all.

Antiques, Crafts and Fine Art

If you’re looking for any of these three things, you’re in luck! The Ribeyre Gymnasium and The White House will be where you’ll head for the arts and crafts fair and antiques. For fine art (oil paintings, ceramic pottery and much more) head over to Rapp-Owen Granary. You’ll get a chance to see some amazing artists all in one spot in the heart of New Harmony on Saturday and Sunday.

Be sure to stop by all three locations; you never know what might catch your eye! Jaime Haney is just one of the outstanding artists. Jaime loves Christmas in New Harmony, and so will you! Check out her blog to hear about some of her favorite things about the weekend.

Musical Performance

What would the festival be without some enchanting music? This weekend, experience the magic of the Christmas in Appalachia: Celtic Roots & Mountain Rhythms concert. Performers will include world-renowned musicians, such as Nic Gareiss, Brittany Haas, and Sting side-man Christopher Layer. The music will tap into its Celtic roots and recreate forgotten rhythms while making use of the fiddle, dulcimer, flute, and many more. Christmas in Appalachia costs $10 for the matinee show and $25 for the evening. Whether you’re bringing the kids to the matinee or making the evening a special date night, be sure you don’t miss this wonderful opportunity. Tickets are on sale now at newharmonymusicfest.com.

Enjoy terrific free performances by the Bend in the River Brass Band at Thrall’s Opera House at 5:30pm on Saturday, and The Shade Tree Player who will play throughout the day in Ribeyre Gymnasium.

We hope you’re as excited for Christmas in New Harmony as we are! You will enjoy great conversation with the locals, visitors, artists and musicians who share a love of art, music, tradition and beautiful New Harmony, Indiana. Bring your friends and family, and remember to come early and stay late!

VIEW A FULL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS HERE.

Holiday Open Houses in New Harmony

Historic New Harmony, Indiana has so much great shopping to offer. We encourage you to support local businesses and SHOP LOCAL this holiday season! And, we’re giving you the perfect opportunity during our annual Christmas in New Harmony Festival.

Open houses with special holiday discounts and goodies + treats [and much more] are happening all across town during Christmas in New Harmony, Friday to Sunday, December 4 – 6, 2015.

Here’s your list of traditional holiday open houses about town during Christmas in New Harmony:

American Legion Post 370 (516 Church St.)

Stop in for Christmas Cheer!

Friday 11:00am — 12:00am

Saturday 12:00pm — 12:00am & Sunday 12:00pm — 7:00pm

Antique Emporium (525 Church St.)

Large selection of Handquilted Quilts, Hot Chocolate & Cookies, Quilt Raffle Tickets available.

Friday 10:00am — 5:00pm

Saturday 9:00am — 6:00pm & Sunday 9:00am — 5:00pm

Antique Showrooms in the Mews (531 Church St.)

Yummy Bits & Bites

Friday, Saturday, & Sunday 10:00am — 5:00pm

Saturday Wine Tasting 10:30am — 3:30pm

Antique Doll Shop (507 Main St.)

Featuring the Wool Crafts of Rita Davis. Hot Cider & Cookies, Candy Canes for Kids.

Saturday & Sunday 10:00am — 5:00pm

Cookie Jar Antiques (514 Main St.)

Holiday Refreshments

Saturday 9:00am — 7:00pm & Sunday 9:00am — 4:00pm

Creation Station (606B Main St.)

Hot Wassal & Cookies, Dulcimer Music

Saturday 10:00am — 5:00pm & Sunday 10:00am — 4:00pm

Firehouse Antiques (608 Main St.)

Antique & Vintage Christmas Decorations, Costume Jewelry & Handcrafted Jewelry.

Friday 10:00am — 7:00pm

Saturday & Sunday 9:00am — 5:00pm

Golden Rose Flower Shop (612 S. Main St.)

Hot Spiced Cider/Wind & Willow Samples

Saturday 8:00am — 5:00pm & Sunday 10:00 — 4:00pm

Hoosier Salon Gallery (507 Church St.)

Friday 1:00pm — 4:00pm

Saturday 11:00am — 4:00pm & Sunday 1:00pm — 4:00pm

Lowery Hollow (801 North St.)

Stop in for Christmas Cheer

Friday & Saturday 10:00am — 5:00pm

Sunday 11:00 — 5:00pm

New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art (506 Main St.)

Handmade Christmas ornaments and gifts

Saturday 10:00am — 5:00pm & Sunday 12:00pm — 4:00pm

New Harmony Soap Co. (512 S. Main)

Stop in for Christmas Cheer

Saturday 10:00am — 7:00pm & Sunday 10:00am — 4:00pm

Women’s Institute & Gallery (916 E. Granary St.)

Unique Holiday Ornaments 10% disc, Apple Cider, Tea & Cookies

Saturday 10:00am — 6:00pm & Sunday 12:00pm — 5:00pm

View the Christmas in New Harmony full CALENDAR OF EVENTS.

View our list of local merchant Holiday Open Houses. 

Christmas in New Harmony Festival

As Christmas approaches, Holiday shopping traffic and packed shopping centers have quickly become a reality. Historic New Harmony Indiana offers an opportunity step away from the “big box” shopping experience and into an old world Christmas.

christmas paradeThe New Harmony Business Associates invite you to our annual Christmas in New Harmony festival Friday to Sunday, December 4th through 6th – an Old World Christmas and a spectacular, small town shopping experience you’ll never forget!

VIEW A FULL CALENDAR OF EVENTS.

Children’s Christmas traditions include a Christmas tree lighting, Main Street Parade, breakfast with Santa (and photos all day), make and take decorations, cocoa and festival foods.

Experience the romance of the town as you walk the red ribbon, holly and ivy adorned streets, indulge at Sara’s Harmony Coffee Shop & Bar special wine tasting, appreciate new experiences at the Christmas in Appalachia concert and step back in time with a photo-op beside an old world Santa strolling about town. Bring yourself back to childhood as the Children’s Center for Dance Education presents the Nutcracker Ballet at Thrall’s Opera House on Sunday.

New Harmony offers the ultimate holiday craft show, featuring vendor booths with an extensive selection of crafts, antiques and fine art and all day music from the Shade Tree Players.

Shop local with New Harmony merchants at their holiday open houses throughout town! Antique Emporium, The Mews, New Harmony Soap Co., Lowry Hollow and Creation
 Station are just few of our local participating merchants!

Check out our full list of Holiday Open Houses.

To me, it’s like this:

“Christmas in New Harmony is like stepping into a Norman Rockwell painting. It’s the anti-mall experience. You still enjoy great prices, but you’re supporting local businesses, like mine, and getting handmade crafts and arts. And, almost all of our events during the weekend are free.”

Nic Gareiss, christ layer, christmas in appalachiaChristmas in Appalachia: Celtic Roots & Mountain Rhythms is brought to us by the New Harmony Music Festival. The talented, world-renowned performers include Nic Garreiss, Brittany Haas, Simon Chrisman, and Sting sideman Christopher Layer. The shows will be co-hosted by award-winning voice of Cass Herrington, formerly of WNIN Public Radio, and Greg Kostraba of WBAA Public Radio. The evening performance will be broadcast live on WNIN Public Radio. Reserve your tickets at newharmonymusicfest.com for the 1pm or 7:30pm show on Saturday, December 5 at Thrall’s Opera House.

Just a short drive brings you to all this Christmas cheer! There’s no better time to visit beautiful, historic New Harmony, Indiana than at Christmas in New Harmony, December 4-6th, 2015!

View a full calendar of events from Visit New Harmony, and find our “Christmas in New Harmony Festival” event on Facebook.

Peaceable Kingdom

The Antique Showrooms in the Mews will celebrate the start to their Christmas season beginning November 14th. This is their 25th year for a themed decor opening. This year’s theme is ‘Peaceable Kingdom’ with decor focusing on animals. There will be many beautifully decorated trees to enjoy!

Holiday Brunch will be served from 11:00-1:00 with Cook’s on Brewery catering. You won’t want to miss their yummy offerings!  Wine tasting will be offered from 10:30 -3:30 for those old enough to imbibe.

The Traditional Open House at the Mews will take place during Christmas in New Harmony, Saturday December 5 and Sunday December 6th.

Visit New Harmony , relax and enjoy kicking off your holiday season!

Kunstfest Entertainment

Here is the entertainment schedule for the 33rd Kunstfest celebration in New Harmony September 19th and 20th. Entertainment is spread throughout the town, so as you walk around enjoying the shopping, food and fall air, you can also take in a some music and fun!

Saturday:

Alp Horns (Charlie Haas): 11:00 and 1:00 on top of the Atheneum

Red Hill Dulcimer Players: Saturday 11:00-12:30 and 1:30-3:00 at the RappOwen Granary on Granary Street

Saturday and Sunday:

Magical Entertainment: Saturday 11:00-11:45 and Sunday 12:00-12:30 at the family stage at McClure Square

Helen Kiesel and Her Electric Accordian: Saturday and Sunday 12:30-3:30 at The corner of Main and Granary Streets

Rhine Valley Brass Band: Saturday and Sunday 1:00-4:00 at the corner of Main and Church

Shade Tree Players: Saturday and Sunday 12:00-4:00 on the patio of The Golden Rose shop on Main Street

Red Bank Reunion Band: Saturday from 1:00-4:00 and Sunday 1:30-3:30 at Red Bud Park on Church Street

Southern Hollow Dulcimers: Saturday 1:00-4:00 and Sunday 12:30-3:30 at the White House corner of Church and Brewery

We’ll see you when you visit New Harmony

Kunstfest: The “Don’t Miss” Fall Festival

Mark your calendar for September 19th/20th and come help New Harmony celebrate their German heritage by attending Kunstfest. Kunst means ‘art’ in German and this is the 33rd year for the celebration that seems to grow bigger each year.

You will find something for everyone at Kunstfest. Musical entertainment is scheduled at various venues throughout both days. You can take a carriage ride, go to the Sleeping Beauty production, attend the Big Liar’s contest or shop at over 190 vendor booths or local shops throughout town. Interested in history? Historical craft demonstrations will range from blacksmithing to rope making. If you get hungry, try the various foods available from kraut balls to chicken & dumplings to homemade ice cream to name a few. There will be children’s activities at the family stage at Maclure Square and Wilson’s Auctions http://www.wilsonauctions.com will be having their annual Kunstfest auction where you will find lots of great items up for bid.

Parking can be found at the school or the Atheneum, with shuttles running from both spots. Kunstfest map and activity guide can be found at http://visitnewharmony.com We look forward to celebrating with you!

Dulcimer Heaven in New Harmony

Elliptical dulcimers by Bill Berg of Brown County, Indiana
Elliptical dulcimers by Bill Berg of Brown County, Indiana

Just about any sunny afternoon you can stroll down Main street and hear the strains of a dulcimer lightly playing. Creation Station‘s proprietor, Rick Huffman, enjoys sitting on the bench outside his store and strumming away.  A devoted artist and musician, Rick sells his own art and that of others in the store, but the spotlight is on the gorgeous dulcimers lining the walls.

detail, NH Woodworks
detail of the crescent moon on a dulcimer of ambrosia maple and Patagonian rosewood, made by New Harmony Woodworks

Handmade in New Harmony

Creation Station  offers handmade dulcimers from three esteemed makers in the classic variety of styles. Right here in New Harmony, across the street from Creation Station, Rick Gooden of New Harmony Woodworks produces exquisitely crafted, teardrop shaped dulcimers with exotic hardwoods and hand rubbed oil finishes. Bill Berg of Brown County IN has been making dulcimers for 40 years, and is represented by a handsome row of elliptical dulcimers along the north wall.  T.K. O’Brien, of North Carolina, makes  hourglass shaped dulcimers with intricate tone holes on the faces.  Prices range from $195-$1095.

Learning how to play a dulcimer

Loving those instruments, but no idea how to begin to play one?  Creation Station offers lessons for beginners, in 4 week long courses.  Tuesday nights, 6:30-8 pm at Creation Station, 606B S. Main St.  For information, call 812-205-6781.

And the best is yet to come!

Creation Station is helping to host the 16th annual Dulcimer Chautauqua on the Wabash, October 15-18, 2015, in New Harmony. Workshops for students by day; concerts at night, open to the public and featuring renowned musicians, at Murphy Auditorium on Friday, October 16th, & Saturday, October 17th. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. with music by festival workshop participants.

Rick Huffman showing off a dulcimer of African red ribbon mahogany, by New Harmony Woodworks
Rick Huffman showing off a dulcimer of African golden ribbon mahogany, by New Harmony Woodworks