The online news magazine of Atlas® World Group.
November 15, 2016

New Harmony, New Home

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Movers unloading items off back of moving truck
Sometimes special furniture requires extra special transportation. That’s what the University of Southern Indiana’s Historic New Harmony program needed to relocate five pieces of pre-Victorian furniture made by the Harmony Society – an industrious group of Bavarians that built an entire town in Indiana in ten short years, from 1814 to 1824.

The acquisition of the five original pieces came after a decade’s-long relationship between Connie Weinfapfel, Director of Historic New Harmony, and the collectors. Connie placed her trust in Atlas to complete the move.   

“One of the stories we tell in our educational programming is about the very refined lifestyle of the Harmony Society,” says Connie. “Unfortunately, we have very few actual artifacts with which to illustrate this story.”

But that all changed thanks to a generous gift from one of Historic New Harmony’s donors. From Patterson, Pennsylvania, the Weleski Transfer & Storage (2151) team delivered the pieces back to their original home in New Harmony, Indiana. Connie was pleased with the professionalism displayed by everyone involved with the process.  

“While the aggregate price of these five pieces doesn’t seem like a lot, their preciousness is inestimable,” says Connie. “Like many museums around the country, we all strive to improve how we keep our history alive and one of the most important ways is by displaying authentic artifacts.”

Over the centuries, the pieces have stayed in remarkably good condition, with minimal updates to the original parts. Each piece showcases the high quality craftsmanship of the Harmonists and tells a story about life within the historic society.

As a member of the Historic New Harmony Advisory Board, Bob Sonntag, Senior IT Developer, Atlas Van Lines, reserves a soft spot for the historic utopian town. From the time he was kid growing up in Southern Indiana to now, Bob has always been captivated by the uniqueness of the town and its connections to places all over the world.  

“With all of the things that seem to be lost to time or an every busier world, it’s pretty amazing that these pieces of simple furniture have been appreciated and maintained for 200 years,” says Bob. “Having them on display in New Harmony puts them where they can be appreciated by a larger audience and enhances the Lenz House exhibit.”

The pieces will display in the Lenz House – a single-family model home in New Harmony depicting daily life of the historic Harmonists.