NEW HARMONY, Ind. (WEHT)-It’s a busy week in New Harmony as the historic town celebrates the birthday of a pioneer, whose legacy is still left.
The 250 Birthday of Robert Owen is Friday, the man who led the town’s second try at utopia.
Eyewitness News Gretchen Ross had a chance to find out what New Harmony has planned for the community.
Claire Eagle/Historic New Harmony Community Engagement Manager
Historic New Harmony Community Engagement Manager Claire Eagle said. “Everyone in this town is excited about being able come together.”
CREWS IN NEW HARMONY ARE HARD AT WORK IN OWEN SQUARE.
THEY ARE PREPARING FOR A BIRTHDAY PARTY 250 YEARS IN THE MAKING.
“Games..music..and we’re going to have Robert Owen cookies for our visitors as well as crafts for kids.”
THIS WEEKEND THE TOWN OF NEW HARMONY PLANS ON CELEBRATING ROBERT OWEN AND HIS LEGACY.
“Robert Owen was the leader of the second attempt at utopia that occurred here in New Harmony. Him and his business partner William Maclure bought it from the town from the Harmonists.”
FOR A FEW YEARS IN THE EARLY 1820’S OWEN AND MACLURE WORKED AT CREATING THEIR SOCIETY.
“They believed that education is what made a person. and what made them a better person. And you know at this time you know in the early 1800’s education was not made available to everyone. So they really worked to make sure education was for the working man.”
THE EXPERIMENT ENDED AFTER ONLY 2 YEARS..BUT THE IMPACT OF THAT TIME CAN STILL BE FELT IN NEW HARMONY.
“Today we’re known not only for our history but we’re a place for educators..for artists…and we have that legacy and that’s what we continue to share with the world.”
FRIDAY MARKS ROBERT OWEN’S 250TH BIRTHDAY.
“We worked with our town council to get an official proclamation so we will be publishing a reading of that publication.”
SATURDAY FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE DECEMBER OF 2019..HISTORIC NEW HARMONY AND THE PUBLIC WILL COME TOGETHER..FOR A CELEBRATION OF OWEN.
“We are encouraging our visitors to bring picnics. We will have a picnic tent up and hopefully they will enjoy the beautiful weather.”
As part of the birthday celebration here in New Harmony events are scheduled throughout the year. But during the month of May, a scavenger hunt of a different kind and you really need to use your head on this one, because you just never know where Robert Owen’s face may appear.
“Hidden in plain sight. Not super hard but you might have to peek around some bushes or trees to find him,” Claire Eagle Said.
OWEN WILL BE CELEBRATED FOR 250 DAYS..WITH EDUCATION TAKING THE SPOTLIGHT.
“We are working to publish lesson plans for area schools on all subjects and all grade levels having to do with Robert Owen. We’re going to do more community days. We’ve already done a community garden day with the New Harmony Garden Club. Community movie nights.”
THE GOAL IS TO MOVE NEW HARMONY FORWARD WHILE HONORING ITS PAST.
“So this was really a community of equality, “Claire Eagle Said.
The birthday party is on May 15 from 10 a.m.- 2p.m.
A scavenger hunt is happening now until May 22.
Here’s a link for more information: https://usi.edu/owen250
(This story was originally published May 14, 2021)