Harmony

Front Cover
Arcadia Publishing, 2009 - History - 128 pages
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The remarkable architecture in the Harmony National Historic Landmark District reflects the town's German roots. In the early 1800s, German Lutheran separatists, led by Johann Georg Rapp, purchased depreciation lands from a German nobleman and founded Harmony. They organized as the communal Harmony Society in 1805, pledging to live as a family until Christ's return. The industrious Harmonists prospered, traveled to Washington to confer with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, and gained international fame for their lifestyle and economic success. By 1811, they owned 9,000 acres and had constructed 130 buildings. Their main street was on the direct route from Pittsburgh to Erie during the War of 1812. Harmony's colorful past includes the Mennonite, oil boom, and electric interurban train eras. Maj. George Washington slept near here in 1753 and narrowly escaped being shot by a native guide. Among notable residents were songwriter Stephen Foster, professional baseball pitcher George "Rube" Waddell, and gunsmith Charles Flowers.
  

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Contents

Acknowledgments
6
Introduction
7
Native American Settlements and Washingtons Trail
11
The Harmony Society
13
The Mennonites
27
Religion and Education
39
Transportation
51
Commerce
63
Civic and Social Life
79
Disasters and War
101
Traditions and Milestones
109
About Historic Harmony
127
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Freelance writer Shelby Miller Ruch is a former wire service and newspaper reporter. A member of Historic Harmony, she authored this project in conjunction with the historical society. Images have come from the Harmony Museum and Butler Eagle archives, photographer Ray Thompson, and community residents.

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