New Harmony celebrating 200th birthday

The historic southwestern Indiana town of New Harmony turns 200 years old this year.
 
New Harmony was built in August 1814 by a group of German Lutherans who called themselves Harmonists.
 
In 1825, the town was sold to Robert Owen, a social reformer who hoped to create a new utopian community.
 
Although the social experiment failed financially after only two year, the town lived on, and spawned a number of influential Hoosiers, including Richard Owen, the first president of Purdue University, and his brother Robert Dale Owen, a former Indiana congressman.
 
Historian and tour guide Jan Kahle says New Harmony has a unique design because the Harmonists were a communal society and built their town to accomplish effective communal living. When they first arrived, the group of about 800 built every family a one room log cabin around the edge of the town. They laid out streets in a grid, then built churches, stables, shops and other buildings.
 
The town has designed and built a "Bicentennial Home." If its modern conveniences are taken away, the home's footprint is almost identical to the homes the original settlers lived in.
As of 2010, New Harmony had a population of 789 people.
 
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