Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Monday, March 25, 2013

Flat Six Visits New Harmony

Last Saturday, "Flat" Cauli VI (Flat Six for short) and two of my minions visited historic New Harmony, Indiana.  The University of Southern Indiana's official New Harmony website does a wonderful job handling the historical details, so I won't re-invent the wheel by repeating them here.  My minions took some photos, however, which we can include.  Click the pictures to bigify.

 (Part of) Modern Downtown New Harmony, Indiana

Historic New Harmony Atheneum
(Shaped like an early 19th century Wabash River barge)

 Plaque Identifying David Dale Owen's House

David Dale Owen's Home
Carp Weather Vane

(Converted to one of David Dale Owen's geological laboratories)

Typical Harmonite Home

An Original Harmonite Home

Replicas of Early Harmonite Log Cabins

Communal kitchen (left) & one of four communal boarding houses (right)

 Model of George Rapp's Second (i.e., Brick) Church

Click Image to Bigify

 Diorama of the Rappites' Harmony (i.e., Harmonie or New Harmony) Settlement
(subsequently purchased by Robert Owen)


Flat Six & Scowl-Face next to a replica of the
Harmony map when the town was sold
from George Rapp to Robert Owen

Town Plat showing original and subsequent structures

Another Town Plat map

Of particular interest to my minions was the New Harmony Workingmen's Institute Library, which is the last such public library existing in Indiana. My Library was started as a Workingmen's Institute lending library in 1855.

New Harmony Workingmen's Institute Library & Museum

Flat Six was fascinated by the old steel bridge, now closed, that once connected Indiana to Illinois (or vice versa) across the Wabash River.

Flat Six & the Lady With the Red Hair
(Hopefully above flood stage)

One historical tidbit that captured Flat Six's full attention was the fact that the Rappites, who were internationally-renowned craftspeople who sold their goods to 22 American states and several foreign countries, used many different animals to make leather, including--brace yourselves--slobberdogs!  We were shocked, to be sure, but not as much as had they used felines.  That would have been absolutely outrageous!

There was a tremendous amount of interesting history to be found at New Harmony.  We highly recommend that you visit.  You will be amazed at how German immigrants (and, subsequently, intellectuals of various nationalities) could become so fully self-sufficient living in what was a truly untamed wilderness that was Indiana 200 years ago.

If that paragraph didn't persuade you, try these videos.

Your Roving Reporter On The Go,

Cauli Le Chat

P.S.  At the risk of offending more sensitive readers, here's "Rappite Fever"(2012), by the New Harmonies.  Listen to the rap lyrics; they're pretty historically accurate. This type of parody is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to important segments of our history.  They want viewers to have fun while learning actual historical details.  Who says history is boring?

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