Harmonist Cemetery, Old Economy Village

Father Pitt has a number of pictures of Old Economy Village on his main site, but the cemetery is relevant here, so we reprint the picture and the text of the article.

The Harmony Society was founded by George Rapp, a German peasant who declared himself a prophet. The Harmonists were persecuted by Lutherans in Württemberg as threats to social order, so Rapp led his followers to America, where they soon proved that they were actually quite good at social order. They settled first in Harmony, and then moved for ten years to New Harmony in Indiana. In 1824, they ended up in Economy, now the western end of Ambridge. In each settlement, they lived comfortable and virtuous lives, and—perhaps more admirable in American citizens—they made good money in business. They prized celibacy as a superior state, however, and the community eventually withered away.

Old Economy Village is something like the Williamsburg of Western Pennsylvania. The streets are full of simple and well-built brick houses, the smell of boxwood is in the air, and there is a notable absence of ugly overhead wires.

There are no gravestones in a Harmonist graveyard; such ostentation is unnecessary, since Christ will know his own.

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