New Harmony Through the Ages:
1814—The community of New Harmony was established by the Harmonists, a group of Lutheran
Separatists from Germany. These industrious settlers were known as dreamers, scholars, skilled
farmers and craftspeople. They established progressive new schools and erected 8 structures within
10 years of founding their new community.
1824—The Harmonists moved to Beaver County, near Pittsburgh, leaving behind their legacy in the
unique architecture of New Harmony. They sold the land to Robert Owen. Owen was a Welsh-born
scholar and businessman from Scotland who wanted to establish a new social system in America.
Upon his arrival, Owen lectured to an audience that included Presidents James Monroe and John
Quincy Adams, their Cabinets, both Houses of Congress and the Supreme Court. In New Harmony,
Owen drafted a constitution for his new society, which was passed unanimously. He later left to
launch similar societies across America.
1826—Owen returned to New Harmony and announced that William Maclure, a distinguished
Philadelphia scientist and arts patron, would be joining the New Harmony social experiment, along
with a group of renowned scientists, reformers and scholars. This group’s work established New
Harmony, as the intellectual center of the West.
After Maclure moved from New Harmony to Mexico, he obtained the seeds of the Golden Rain Tree,
also known as “Pride of China.” Unable to cultivate the tree in Mexico, Maclure sent the seeds back to
New Harmony where the Golden Rain Tree prospered.
New Harmony was largely preserved from growth and development through the mid-20th century and,
as a result, many of its historic structures remain intact today.
1937—The state of Indiana created the first New Harmony Memorial Commission to help the
community preserve and protect New Harmony’s history on the banks of the Wabash River.
Today—New Harmony stands a world apart and offers visitors a serene, unspoiled sanctuary for
intellectual stimulation and physical relaxation. Once called the “Athens of the West,” New Harmony is
now known for its unique architecture, tranquil gardens and quaint shops, as well as the historic New
Harmony Inn and fine dining at the Red Geranium Restaurant.
A refreshing getaway and respite from the complexities of modern life, New Harmony is truly a place
that must be experienced to be understood.
Changes at the New Harmony Inn
Robert Dale Owen purchased New Harmony, Indiana from Harmonist Father George Rapp in 1825 in
order to create a communitarian society and new social order, emphasizing educational and social
equality. In 2005, Owen’s descendants, who still handle the business and character of New Harmony,
hired veteran hotel executive Manfred Gerling as general manager to conceptualize and execute a
plan to reposition the New Harmony Inn to increase tourism for the town of New Harmony and the Inn.
Gerling’s multifaceted vision for revitalizing the New Harmony Inn to draw more visitors – all while
preserving the simplicity the inn and the town have long been known for – includes guest room
renovations, the addition of a wine bar to the Red Geranium Restaurant, and aesthetic updates
throughout the property.
New Harmony Inn
The New Harmony Inn’s guest rooms have been completely renovated to include modern amenities
while preserving Harmonist simplicity. Renovations included new bathrooms and furniture, such as full
working desks. Other new features include cordless telephones, complimentary wireless Internet
access, 300-thread-count bedding, and new premium pillow-top mattresses.
Red Geranium Restaurant
The Red Geranium Restaurant’s offerings will include the freshest possible local ingredients and
many regional organic products, including Indiana goat cheese, yogurt and produce, as available. The
menu, which features heart-friendly items, will change with the seasons. A four-course menu with
wine pairings will change daily.
Patrons of the Red Geranium Restaurant will also enjoy a new 30-seat wine bar. The Grapevine Bar
will feature 15 to 20 wines by the glass, a varied collection of draft beers, and fine liquors, including
specialty bourbons and single-malt scotches. Reconstruction was completed April 8; the Red
Geranium Restaurant and Grapevine Bar are open for business.
April 10, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, please contact:
Hirons & Company Communications
Michelle Sinning, (812) 331-7500, ext. 172
Changes Underway at the New Harmony Inn
NEW HARMONY, Ind.—Visitors to the New Harmony Inn’s Red Geranium Restaurant this spring will
not only notice menu transformations, but interior renovations as well.
The Grapevine Bar, a new addition to the Red Geranium, seats 30 guests in a romantically lit nest
with rustic wood wainscoting, hand-painted walls of lush foliage and a vaulted ceiling. Fine liquors—
including specialty bourbons and single-malt scotches, a selection of draft beers, and 15 to 20 wines
by the glass are available. Red Geranium patrons can even enjoy viewing special events on the
Grapevine Bar’s 42-inch flat screen TV.
The main dining room captures the romance of the 19th century through its European ambience and
historic flavor. But while improved lighting and a new sound system have been added, the integrity of
the room’s artistic fixtures, such as the Tillich Room’s russet, hand-carved doors, remains preserved.
“New amenities, such as a completely new kitchen, will improve the dining experience, but our long-
time patrons will find the charm of the restaurant unchanged,” said General Manager Manfred Gerling.
The restaurant emerged from humble beginnings in 1960, when the current owner of the New
Harmony Inn started offering freshly baked bread, tea and lemonade to the town’s visitors. It has
since evolved into a cornerstone of the community, visited by restaurant connoisseurs from across the
country and receiving wide recognition for its cuisine. It was recently voted the most romantic
restaurant in the region.
The daily Chef’s Menu features a four-course dinner, including wine pairings and interesting,
appetizing dishes, such as the portobello mushroom pesto stuffed pork loin
chop over apple cider-braised root vegetables with French green beans, crispy parsnips and a wild
mushroom infused demi-glace.
“It is great to have our talented staff working in new surroundings,” Gerling said. “The Red Geranium’s
new, state-of-the-art kitchen in a place with such history, gives our restaurant staff a lot of inspiration
to create unique and delicious meals.”
The Red Geranium Restaurant
The Red Geranium Restaurant features world-class, Seasonal American Cuisine. The restaurant’s
offerings include the freshest possible local ingredients and many regional organic products, including
Indiana goat cheese, yogurt and produce, as available. The menu, which features heart-friendly items,
will change with the seasons. A four-course menu with wine pairings changes daily. As one of the
area’s most popular establishments, the Red Geranium offers a warm, intimate atmosphere and was
voted to be the Most Romantic Restaurant in the region.
The main dining room captures the romance of the 19th century. The second dining room at the Red
Geranium Restaurant is the Tillich Room. Handsomely hand-carved doors grace the entrance to the
Tillich Room, and its windows offer a broad pastoral view of a serene lake. At night, the warmth of a
large fireplace adds to the room’s romantic setting.
History of the Red Geranium
In the summer of 1960, Mrs. Jane Owen employed Ms. Celia Turner to serve her freshly baked bread,
hot tea and lemonade to guests arriving in New Harmony, Indiana. The location of the Barrett Gate
House (located on the west side of the Red Geranium Restaurant), became a popular destination for
locals and travelers.
In the spring of 1962 the operation moved to the Green Gothic (located at the entrance to the Red
Geranium Restaurant) with business continuing to grow as guests wanted to refresh themselves after
touring Historic New Harmony.
On July 16, 1963, the Red Geranium Restaurant officially opened for lunch and dinner serving 135
guests on opening day. Its popularity and reputation grew over the years, leading to the opening of
the mural ceiling room of what is today the Grapevine Bar.
New Harmony Inn
The New Harmony Inn was built in 1974 and is designed to represent the Harmonist spirit. The inn
features 90 guest rooms, including 18 with fireplaces, three with kitchenettes and four with sleeping
lofts. The guest rooms are spacious, with Shaker-style furnishings. It is the perfect location for a
conference, retreat, small meeting or weekend getaway.
Guests of the inn can enjoy amenities that include complimentary wireless Internet, deluxe bedding, a
glass-enclosed and heated pool, Jacuzzi and sauna, walking trails, workout facilities, tennis courts,
complimentary weekend carriage rides, golf carts, newsstand, fax and copy service, laundry facilities,
child care, and 24-hour front desk.
The New Harmony Inn offers several guesthouses that are available to rent on a nightly basis. These
historic and unique homes are located in convenient locations throughout the town and allow guests
access to the many amenities of the inn, including tennis courts, walking trails, art and sculptures,
fitness center and shopping. Rentals range from $175 to $600 per night.
The Orchard House
Built in 1860, the Orchard House is considered to be the gem of the New Harmony Inn guesthouses.
This two-story, wood-frame home features a fully stocked kitchen, four bedrooms with private baths, a
parlor with a fireplace, study, dining room and private outdoor patio. It is located within convenient
walking distance from the Roofless Church, Historic New Harmony and Cathedral Labyrinth.
The Duclos House
The Duclos House was built in 1840 by some of the founding members of New Harmony. Its central
location and amenities, including a front porch, back porch and fireplace, make it a popular place for
visitors to stay. The Duclos House features a living room, study, dining room, two bedrooms, two full
baths and walk-in closets.
The 1840 Garden House
Situated in one of the inn’s beautiful gardens, the 1840s Garden House is located within close
proximity to the Roofless Church, Carol’s Garden, Cathedral Labyrinth, Historic New Harmony and
Athenaeum Visitors Center. It offers a queen bed, full bath, full kitchen, a parlor with a fireplace and a
screened-in back porch. The serene and private surroundings make it the perfect place for a relaxing
getaway or romantic Honeymoon.
The Studio House
This home has a double bed, trundle beds, full bath and living room. The kitchen, two fireplaces and
garden surroundings make the Studio House a luxurious getaway. Located in the historic district of
New Harmony, it is just steps from several antique shops and art galleries.
The Barn Abbey
The Barn Abbey is available for retreats of private groups and corporations only, and can be used for
overnight accommodations or as a meeting facility. The Barn Abbey sleeps up to 30 and has meeting space
for 50, a large kitchen, several fireplaces and a large dining room.
Places of Interest
New Harmony, Indiana is the perfect place to relax and escape the outside world. Its luxurious guest
accommodations, historic sites and fine dining attract visitors from all over the country.
This nondenominational church is a unique spiritual retreat. Designed by Philip Johnson and built in
1960, the Roofless Church is known for its rare architectural design. It attracts visitors from all over
the country, as well as from Japan, India and other countries where other Robert Owen societies
Art and Sculpture
Throughout the many gardens, labyrinths and other rejuvenating areas of New Harmony, visitors can
see and appreciate different genres of art that speak to what New Harmony stands for. New Harmony
has a long history of fostering creative talent for budding artists, including internationally acclaimed
Tobi Kahn. Kahn’s nine-panel work, “Ohra” (2003) – part of his famous “Sky & Water” collection,
shown at the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, New York – will be featured in the New Harmony
Inn’s spa, which is currently under construction. In 1993, Kahn created “Shalev,” a sculpture inspired
by Stonehenge, for display at the New Harmony Inn.
Reconstructed between 1939 and 1941, the Harmonist Labyrinth, located just outside New Harmony,
symbolized the difficult path of life to reach true harmony and perfection for the town’s original settlers.
The hedges of this maze allow only one correct path combination to reach the labyrinth’s center stone
building, called the grotto. Inside the concentric circular design with assorted paths, walkers can take
their time finding their way to the heart of the maze to achieve peace and meditate.
Inspired by the 11-circuit, medieval Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth in France, the Cathedral Labyrinth
lies in one of New Harmony’s most sacred areas. Its rose granite, unicursal path is surrounded by the
walls of the Harmonist Cemetery and Native American Burial Mounds. Using the geometry from the
French Cathedral, this labyrinth welcomes visitors to clean their feet in the Orpheus Fountain nearby
and walk barefoot along its path.
The Earthcare Bookstore offers information about New Harmony’s past, present and future through
the written word and photographs. Many of the books provide a pictorial account of people and places
in the town’s history. The elaborate selection of children’s books serves to honor the memory of
founding member Robert Owen, who cared deeply about the education of young people.
The Working Men’s Institute
As the oldest continuously operating library in Indiana, The Working Men’s Institute boasts an
impressive library and archive collection, a 19th century museum and one of the state’s oldest natural
history collections, spread throughout an impressive art gallery. Established in 1838 and open
throughout the year, this facility is an educationally indulging stop when visiting New Harmony.
The Harmonists built Rapp Granary in 1818. The five-story building made of sandstone, brick and
wood featured a rare tile-covered German-style hip roof, that added unique architecture to the town.
The structure has housed various projects over the years, including serving as a laboratory for David
Dale Owen from 1843 to 1859. Though the structure was almost completely destroyed in 1878 by a
fire, it was reconverted to a granary in 1893. The National Register of Historic Places sighted the
Rapp Granary in 1965; today it serves as an event facility and historical landmark in New Harmony.
New Harmony Events
New Harmony Paint Out
Dates: April 13 – 15
The Indiana Plein Air Painters Association (IPAPA) comes to New Harmony April 13 – 15 for the
eighth annual First Brush of Spring 2006, better known as the New Harmony Paint Out.
This annual arts event includes art workshops for New Harmony visitors taught by visiting artists and
a weeklong art fair. Artists come from all over to paint different areas of New Harmony, which has a
strong historical foundation in architecture, art and history. After the painters spend a week scattered
throughout the town with their easels and brushes, the final day features judging, and an art show is
held for the week’s pieces to be purchased. Approximately 250-300 people are registered to paint in
New Harmony Project
Dates: May 19 – June 4
For the past 20 years, actors, directors, playwrights and stage crews have come to New Harmony,
Indiana, for The New Harmony Project. This new play development organization, started by a group of
Evansville University alumni, began as a forum to help young playwrights develop their talent and
scripts, but has grown into a living, breathing entity, involving some of the best talents in the
At the start of the year, authors submit plays, musicals and screenplays to The New Harmony Project.
A panel of professionals read through all of the submitted works, and approximately four authors are
chosen to come to New Harmony to participate. For two weeks, industry professionals work to
improve the scripts through round table rehearsals. This year’s New Harmony Project will feature
three straight plays. As a nonprofit, The New Harmony Project holds a dinner and fund-raiser on the
final night of the event, in which readings of the plays are performed.
Indiana Peonies Festival
Fragrant Farms rests on 24 acres of New Harmony land and offers the perfect weather for growing
organic peonies. In fact, it is one of the largest peony suppliers in the United States. This weeklong
event offers tours of Fragrant Farms, complimentary peony plants for visitors, seasonally themed
meals, and gardening classes that teach the secret to growing the perfect organic peony.
Kunst Fest, New Harmony's traditional fall festival, celebrates the German heritage of New Harmony's
founders through demonstrations of 19th century, ethnic German crafts, music and food. September
is a great time to visit New Harmony, with weekend package deals and traditional New Harmony
highlights. This fall season event offers everything from hayrides, musical entertainment and pumpkin
painting for New Harmony visitors, young and old.
April 10, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, please contact:
Hirons & Company Communications
Michelle Sinning, (812) 331-7500, ext. 172
New Harmony Project Sets the Stage for Upcoming Talent
NEW HARMONY, Ind.— For the past 20 years, actors, directors, playwrights and stage crews have
come to New Harmony, Ind., once a year for The New Harmony Project. This new play development
organization began as a forum to help young playwrights develop their talent and scripts, but has
grown into a living, breathing entity—involving some of the best talents in the entertainment industry.
Actor Michael Gross, “The Cosby Show” and “Home Improvement” television producer Matt Williams,
Heartland Film Festival President Jeffrey L. Sparks, and Angelo Pizzo, author of the screenplays for
the films “Rudy” and “Hoosiers,” are just a few of the notable names that have played a role in this
unique project. Matt Williams was one of The New Harmony Project’s founders.
The New Harmony Project process begins early each year with a call for entries; plays, musicals and
screenplays are accepted for judging. Then approximately four authors are chosen to come to New
Harmony to participate in The New Harmony Project.
“The foundation of the event is that we bring the playwrights into New Harmony two days before the
talent and crews arrive, to relax and have some time alone,” said Project Director Joel Grynheim.
“Then we facilitate the development of the piece through a series of round table rehearsals that allow
different people from the industry to talk about and improve the piece. Then, on the last day of the
Project, we hold a fund-raiser and a reading of the plays.”
This year’s New Harmony Project is from May 19 to June 4 and will feature three straight plays.
“New Harmony is an amazing place that you have to see to believe,” Grynheim said. “In fact, in 2004,
a reporter from American Theater came to write a feature story about the project and ended up being
so taken with the town that the article’s focus changed.”
This year Grynheim expects approximately 50 people to participate in The New Harmony Project. The
New Harmony Project adds a sense of creativity to the already unique and rejuvenating atmosphere
of the town.
“The New Harmony Project provides a place for people to create and finish something they started,”
said New Harmony Inn Sales and Marketing Director Judy Stallings. “We look forward to these two
weeks every year and are honored that The New Harmony Project has found a home here.”
General Manager, New Harmony Inn
Veteran hotel executive Manfred Gerling oversees all operations for the Red Geranium Restaurant
and New Harmony Inn.
With more than 40 years of hospitality industry experience, Gerling looks at the bigger picture. He has
developed a five-year plan for the New Harmony Inn that includes making sweeping changes at the
property to increase revenue.
His experience at Doubletree Hotels involved opening eight new franchises in just two years. In an
even shorter amount of time, Gerling expanded Park Plaza’s franchise program, increasing the
company’s hotels and inns from 30 to 40, while establishing and monitoring corporate brand
Gerling also previously served as vice president of development for such corporations as Hilton
Hotels and Radisson Hospitality Worldwide. As vice president and general manager of Princess
Hotels International, he opened the 650-room Scottsdale Princess Golf and Tennis Resort. With
100,000 square feet of meeting space, the Scottsdale Princess was one of the largest conference
resorts in the Southwest, earning a 4-Star, 5-Diamond rating in its second year of operation.
St. Francis statue with Exterior View of Gate View of Back Patio of Aerial View of Historic New Cabin on Historical New Front Porch of Duclos
New Harmony Inn House the Red Geranium Harmony and Church Dome Harmony Property Guest House
Fence Row Lining Historic Shalev by Tobi Kahn, The Orchard Guest House Shalev by Tobi Kahn, Renovated Lake View
New Harmony Located near Barn Abbey at New Harmony Inn Located near Barn Abbey Bathroom
Carol Owen Coleman’s Downtown New Harmony Downtown New Harmony Historic New Harmony Lake View
Fountain of Life
Entrance to Rooﬂess Church Red Geranium Restaurant Walkway of Rooﬂess Church Renovated Room in New Renovated Room in New
Harmony Inn Harmony Inn
We have enclosed a CD with a wide variety of images from New Harmony and the New Harmony Inn. If you need an image in another size, or
if you would like to see additional options, please contact:
Hirons & Company Communications
Amy Tobias Michelle Sinning
(317) 977-2206, ext. 159 (812) 331-7500, ext. 172