Experiencing Life In The 1800’s At New Harmony Heritage Artisans Days

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Historic New Harmony’s 34th annual Heritage Artisans Days will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 18 through 20, in New Harmony, Indiana. The tri-state tradition celebrates 19th-century arts, crafts, and industry through demonstrations and activities. Groups of third and fourth graders from Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky will experience what life was like in the 1800’s through the eyes of a variety of period artisans.

“The program teaches students how over 200 years ago, a town like New Harmony was sustainable and relied on members of its community to provide vital resources to them as well as sell their goods with others in the region,” said Erin McCracken Morris, community engagement manager.

This year, there are several new artisans demonstrating crafts at Heritage Artisan Days:

  • blacksmith will demonstrate metal working using a coal forge, anvil and various hand tools commonly used in a blacksmith shop 200 years ago.
  • The soapmaker and beekeeper will demonstrate soap making and beekeeping alongside some of their goats.
  • The woodworker will carve a chain out of a single piece of wood, showing step-by-step how the chain is made.

New Harmony welcomes an average of 3,000 visitors for Heritage Artisan Days each year. While the event aligns with grade-school curriculum, it is also open to the public each day. The afternoons provide a wonderful opportunity for families and homeschool classes to learn about some of Indiana’s first communities.

“We’ve had college students and adults visit New Harmony and remember coming here as a child for this program,” said Leslie Townsend, community engagement director. “This will be our 34th year for hosting this event and we’ve impacted a lot of people over those years.”

School groups must register online in advance. Early ticket prices are $5 for adults and $4 for students, ages 7 through 17 if purchased by April 4. Educators also may obtain suggested lesson plans online.

School groups with any questions should contact Claire Eagle at ceagle@usi.edu or 812-682-4488. For more information on Heritage Artisan Days, visit USI.edu/heritage.

Historic New Harmony is a unified program of the University of Southern Indiana and the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites. By preserving its utopian legacy, Historic New Harmony will inspire renewal and fellowship between people and communities through its programs and collections. Its office is a part of USI’s Outre

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