Harmony Historic District

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Harmony Historic District
Harmony Society building in Harmony, Pennsylvania, built in 1809.
Harmony Historic District is located in Pennsylvania
Harmony Historic District
Harmony Historic District is located in the US
Harmony Historic District
Location PA 68, Harmony, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 40°48′11″N 80°7′42″W / 40.80306°N 80.12833°W / 40.80306; -80.12833Coordinates: 40°48′11″N 80°7′42″W / 40.80306°N 80.12833°W / 40.80306; -80.12833
Area 17 acres (6.9 ha)
Built 1804 (1804)
Architect George Rapp and Frederick Reichert Rapp
Architectural style 19th Century German-American
NRHP Reference # 73002139
Significant dates
Added to NRHP March 21, 1973[1]
Designated NHLD May 30, 1974[2]

The Harmony Historic District encompasses the first early 19th century settlement of the Harmony Society, in what is now Harmony, Butler County, Pennsylvania, USA. It covers an area two blocks wide, extending north from German Road to Conoquenessing Creek between Libery and Wood Streets. The area retains a number of buildings dating to the original settlement period, and was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1974.[1]

Description and history[edit]

The Harmony Society was founded in what is now Germany in 1785 by Johann Georg Rapp. Meeting with opposition from the dominant Lutheran Church, Rapp and his followers emigrated to North America, and purchased the land in Butler County where the community of 200 families founded Harmony in 1805. The utopian community was run as a communist theocracy, with Rapp and later is son as its leading figure. The Harmonist community was successful, growing to about 700 by 1814, when Rapp's son Frederick established a new settlement in the Indiana Territory, now New Harmony, Indiana. The eventually moved back to Pennsylvania, settling Economy in 1825, and died out as an organization in 1905.[3]

The surviving elements of the early Harmonist settlement include a grid of streets in the heart of the modern town of Harmony, and a number of primarily brick buildings in that area. The district includes 10 contributing buildings and 1 contributing site. Principal among these are the Great House or Bentle Building (c. 1811), Langenbacher House (c. 1805), Harmonist Church (1808), The "Stohr," Beam Hotel, Frederick Rapp House, Schmitt House, Schreiber House, Wagner House, and Mueller House. The original Harmonist Cemetery contains the unmarked graves of 100 early Harmonists.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Harmony Historic District". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  3. ^ a b Carol Ann Poh (December 5, 1973). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Harmony" (pdf). National Park Service.  and Accompanying 17 photos, from 1973 (32 KB)

External links[edit]