Utopian Communal Legacy
Over two hundred years ago, New Harmony, Indiana was a spiritual experiment that later became a social laboratory for international scientists, scholars, and educators who sought equality in communal living. Today, Historic New Harmony Indiana is one of the most significant utopian communities in America, a place where three centuries of architecture, history and innovation interact.
Once called the "Athens of the West," New Harmony was established in 1814 by Lutheran Separatists from Germany known as the Harmonie Society. These extremely industrial people erected 150 stable structures in their first year in the area. The economic success of New Harmony was due largely to the skilled craftsmen and good farming practices associated with their communal lifestyle. The Harmonists were the first of two groups to populate the area and are responsible for the general layout and many structures of the town.
The second group to populate the area was a group of secular utopians led by Robert Owen, who contributed much of the cultural and intellectual legacy of New Harmony. The town was not significantly affected by growth and development from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century and, as a result, many of its buildings remain intact and are open to visitors.
In recent years, New Harmony has become known for its unique structures, elaborate gardens, antique shops and peaceful, spiritual surroundings. You can see the many attractions of the town as part of a formal or self-guided tour.
Visit New Harmony, and discover why it has been a favorite place to rejuvenate the spirit for nearly 200 years.