Introducing New Harmony

Molly Grimm wrote a beautiful song to commemorate the Bicentennial of New Harmony. When I hear this song or try to sing it, I get a little catch in my throat. It is about “home’, a word that congers up a feeling so profoundly different in each of us. Yet it is a word that puts most of us, for a moment, on equal footing.

Even though I wasn’t born in New Harmony and am a relative “newby” to this “brigadoonish” place, whenever I leave Interstate 64 and wind my way into New Harmony going by the Millmart (great fried chicken), the Wilson Auction facility and Thrall’s Opera House or glancing at the only flashing red light at the distant intersection, I feel a sense of peace, of being home. I suppose it is partly due to the size of New Harmony, approximately 900 strong, where there is virtually no traffic gridlock, no big box store at the edge of town and many friendly locals and visitors alike.

The people of New Harmony are just plain nice. They make a point to get to know you and to make your stay in town a good experience. Eli, at the front desk of the New Harmony Inn, will greet you with a big smile and ask how your day is. David at the Red Geranium Restaurant reminds you of a funny event five years earlier while writing down your drink order without him having to ask.

Some really good businesses are gone and they are missed, but new establishments have opened like Sara’s Harmony Way. There the coffee “clatchers” meet around beautifully crafted oak tables built by one of our local woodworkers, Curt Schmitt. Of course, by evening those same people are now sampling from the extensive wine and beer selection including the soon to be locally brewed dark lager Harmonie Bier.

The juxtaposition of all of this seemingly “down-hominess” is the Richard Meier Atheneum, the quite contemporary visitors center on the banks of the Wabash River, and the Philip Johnson Roofless Church with Jacques Lipchitz’s centerpiece bronze sculpture and massive entry gate. Throw in a few DeStabler outdoor sculptures for good measure. Stay tuned……the list goes on!

So, rev up the motorcycle, fill up the tank in the old station-wagon (what’s that?) and wander to New Harmony. You won’t be disappointed.
October events:
3rd – craft show (Harmonie State Park)
9th – art exhibit (Women’s Institute)
16th-17th – dulcimer festival/concerts
17th – art exhibits (Hoosier Salon)
17th – Arbor Day
30th-31st – Haunted Harmonie (Harmonie State Park)
31st – art exhibit (Contemporary Gallery)