In 1814, the Harmony Society, a German religious group led by the charismatic George Rapp, left its first
American home, Harmonie, Pennsylvania, to settle a much larger tract of land in the lower Wabash
The Harmonists prepared for the imminent second coming of Christ by devoting themselves to self-
sacrifice and hard work. By 1824, their accomplishments in manufacturing and trade had brought them
great wealth. In that same year, Rapp sold the community and led his group back to Pennsylvania where
they established their final community called Economy.
Robert Owen, the famous British industrialist and social theorist, bought the community and the
surrounding lands and renamed it New Harmony. Owen's ambition was to create a more perfect society
through free education and the abolition of social classes and personal wealth. World-renowned
scientists and educators settled in New Harmony. With the help of William Maclure, the Scottish
geologist and businessman, they introduced vocational education, kindergarten and other educational
The individual properties of the New Harmony State Historic Site preserve and interpret this unique
history. Dormitory #2, a three-story brick building, was the largest of four Harmonist dormitories which housed a
boarding school during the Owen/Maclure community. Thrall's Opera House, formerly Dormitory #4,
was converted to a theater in 1856 and is still home to live performances. The Scholle House, the
home of Harmonist shoemaker Mattias Scholle, houses changing exhibits of art and history. The
Fauntleroy Home was built in 1815 by the Harmony Society and was later the home of Robert Fauntleroy
and his wife, Jane, the daughter of Robert Owen.
The Harmonist Cemetery has no markers, in keeping with Harmonist practice and is the site of
approximately 230 burials. It includes two Woodland Indiana burial mounds. The Labyrinth is a circular
maze of shrubbery with a small stone temple at its center. To the Harmonists it symbolized the difficult
path to "true harmony."