"HARMONIST BEGINNINGS IN THE NEW WORLD" Harmony by mtncorg
Harmony Travel Guide: 28 reviews and 72 photos
Founded in 1804, Harmony was established by George Rapp - “Father Rapp” - as a new home for his followers who came with him from Wurttemburg, Germany. Rapp was a self-proclaimed prophet who had organized the Harmony Society - a Christian pietistic society combining elements of mysticism with millenarianism - in Iptigen, Germany in 1785. The society grew to some 12,000 members before the local government in Wurttemburg arrested Rapp in 1803. Upon his release, Rapp came to the New World, setting the table for several other hundred followers to rejoin him here in the wilds of western Pennsylvania. The Society was formally reorganized in the United States in 1805 on a communal basis. All material goods a person brought into the Society were placed into a common pool as the Harmonists readied themselves for the imminent return of Jesus Christ. The Society would last for 100 years though their time in Harmony would last only until 1814. By 1812, there were some 850 Harmonists living here and the Society prospered. It was here in Harmony that Rapp adopted celibacy for the community in order for members to purify themselves for the Millennium that was fast approaching. The Harmonists were non-violent pacifists who declined to serve militarily. This had gotten them into trouble in Germany and now with the War of 1812, it became one of several reasons that would lead the Society to venture further west to the banks of the Wabash River in southwestern Indiana in 1814. The lands and buildings in harmony were sold to Mennonites who were venturing west in search of new lands for themselves. The Mennonite community lasted until 1902 though many descendants still live in the area. Today, the town remembers its past through the Historic Harmony organization which operates the Harmony Museum and several other Harmonist and Mennonite sites in and about the town.
The Harmonists believed in equality in death as in life. When they died, they were buried in unmarked graves. Graves... more travel advice
Frederick Riechert was one of George Rapp’s more important and devoted followers. He was instrumental in arranging for... more travel advice
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