New Lanark World Heritage Site

Welcome to the New Lanark World Heritage Site Blog

New Lanark World Heritage Site - Welcome to the New Lanark World Heritage Site Blog

Final Day in New Harmony

Our final day in New Harmony began the way all days should- with pancakes and maple syrup for breakfast! We then had an hour to have a walk in the glorious sunshine and visit Church Park. Thie park is situated on the site of two Harmonist Churches and is laid out in the shape of the old brick church, making it the perfect spot to enjoy the tranquility of New Harmony.

We were then treated to a tour of the Working Men’s Institute by Library Director Stephen Cochran. The working Men’s Institute is Indiana’s oldest public library but far from being a regular public library, it also contains a large archive collection and a museum and art gallery! The archive contains manuscripts from the Harmonist and Owen Communal societies as well as an extensive rare book collection. The museum is a fascinating space with a variety of collections gathered by early members of the Institute including natural history and Harmonist artefacts. Most of the collections are in their original display cabinets and it is intriguing to see how museum displays looked before ‘interpretation’ came about! The crocodile that had been taxidermied to stand on it’s rear legs was a highlight!

Our afternoon was spent in the company of local residents George and Peggy Rapp who took us for a drive around New Harmony in their golf cart- the best way of getting around New Harmony! We drove down to the banks of the Wabash River and saw some of the beautiful woodlands that surround New Harmony. We also visited the marble labyrinth and the Roofless Church- a Phillip Johnson designed landmark and interdenominational church. The Roofless Church is currently having its old wooden shingles replaced and the pictures show the beautiful contrast between the old and the new. George and Peggy were also kind enough to give us a tour of their house in New Harmony- one of the traditional houses that has been beautifully extended and modernised internally- and introduce us to two other local residents- Larry and Patricia Gosh. Their premises on Main Street are home to the New Harmony Antique Doll Shoppe and tea room, run by Pat. As well as hundreds of dolls and costumes, Pat has a huge and beautifully kept collection of Petersons magazine (a historic ladies fashion magazine with patterns) annuals dating from around 1830. However the biggest surprise was the rear of the premises where Larry keeps his 4 mint condition classic cars!

After another busy day we met with all the staff from Historic New Harmony for a final meal. Our day ended with an extra special evening visit to the roof of the Atheneum to see the stars! Our sincerest thanks go to all of those who made our trip to New Harmony so special and we hope to be able to return one day! Jane & Aynsley

Day 3 in New Harmony

Another sunny autumn morning greeted us on Day 3 of our New Harmony trip. This morning we were warmly welcomed at New Harmony School. We met Principal Douglas Mills and also some of the fantastic pupils there. The eighth grade class were even willing to have a picture taken! We were impressed that the pupils knew of the connection between New Harmony and New Lanark and we hope that we can work with the School in future to foster links between the young people of New Harmony and Scotland!

 

By late morning we were back at the University of Southern Indiana. We had the opportunity to meet with International Programs & Services. They have a very important role at the University in terms of widening horizons for students, by providing support to those wishing to study abroad and also those students from abroad studying at the Campus in Evansville. We also met with many academic staff at a lovely lunch on Campus. Highlights included discussions on research projects; the Americans’ use of the word Scotch for whisky and the stickiest, most delicious dessert!

 

It was our day to tell everyone about New Lanark. We delivered 2 presentations, one to USI staff in the afternoon and the other to Historic New Harmony staff at a wonderful Reception in the evening. We were pleasantly surprised to be greeted with sizeable and appreciative audiences! We hope that everyone learned something of interest and that we didn’t speak too quickly as Scots are known to do!

 

We spent the rest of the evening in the company of some Robert Owen descendants! We met with Owen and Rose, proprietors of the Design Bank 505 and also Clem and Bish at the Artists Guild. We had a wonderful evening talking about New Harmony and its history, and the worthwhile textile projects Owen and his mother, Docey are involved in. Thanks to all for being so hospitable!

Roof Garden Diary October 2011

New Lanark Roof Garden in Autumn

New Lanark Roof Garden in Autumn

The lovely Japanese anemones have stood up well to the weather and shimmer white against an autumnal background of reds, purples and gold. Red Grass (Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’) glows ruby in the sunshine and clumps of purple anemones are dotted around.

New Lanark Roof Garden is now bursting with an amazing variety of seed pods. Waving like hair in the wind are the white seedheads of Feather Grass (Stipa tenuissima). Geranium seed cases look like tiny stork’s bills, while Clematis produces fluffy white seeds that disperse into the air like dandelion clocks.

In flower in October – Japanese anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’, penstemon ‘Amelia Jane’, liatris spicata, rudbeckia ‘Herbstonne’, purple anemones, astilbe, great burnet, heather ‘Silver Knight’.

Back to school in Utopia

Day 2 and a visit to the University of Southern Indiana. We started the day with a productive meeting with the University Senior Management team. It was wonderful to meet Dr Bennett and Mark Rozewski on their home soil after their visit to New Lanark earlier in the year. We were then given a tour of the campus by Missy Parkison, HNH Community Engagement Manager and Cady Tabeling, a wonderful student ambassador and intern at New Harmony. We were impressed by the modern campus and the amazing facilities on offer for students. It almost made us want to go back to our student days! We ventured into the student bookstore (to buy a USI Eagles hoodie for one unnamed but sports mad husband) and came across an amazing range of USI memorabilia, including a USI garden gnome!!!! Every home should have one!
During the afternoon we were treated to a tour of the Rice Library and archives by Jennifer Green, Reference and Archives Librarian. The archive contains the largest collection of communal studies material in the USA and some fantastic artefacts from the tri-state area. The library was purpose built in 2006 and offers students a wonderful setting in which to study (it even has its own Starbucks!)
This evening we were honoured to be invited to a reception hosted by the former Director of Historic New Harmony, James Sanders and his sister Doris at Hidden Acres Farm. This lovely evening provided us with the opportunity to meet some of New Harmony’s and USI’s staff, friends and benefactors. On a lighter note, they had the best chocolate brownies we have ever tasted and we are eating the leftovers as we are typing this post! We have had another amazing day and extend our sincerest thanks to all those who have helped make us feel so welcome. (We apologise for bringing the rain over with us!)

Welcome to Utopia!

Weeks of planning, 3 airports to pass through, 18 hours of flying and we have made it to New Harmony, Indiana! After spending Monday evening getting settled into our beautiful guest house, today, Tuesday, was our first full day in utopia. We began the day with a visit to the Richard Meier visitor centre, the Atheneum. This beautiful modernist building is a perfect example of how the future meets the past in New Harmony. We were then taken on a tour of the town by our fantastic guides Melissa and Marlene. Our tour included the Double Log Cabins, pre-Harmonist dwellings; the Lenz House, a typical Harmonist dwelling and the Granary, formerly the grain store for the town, then Richard Owen’s laboratory and now a beautifully restored function space. Look more closely at the photos of the Granary- all of the beams are held together with wooden pegs- no nails whatsoever were used. The Granary also contains seismic monitoring equipment stored below ground which is linked to a computer in the building. Scientific exploration now as in Owen’s time! We then visited Thrall’s Opera House. This was originally built as a dormitory, then converted into a theatre and was also a garage for many years. It has now been restored to its former Victorian Concert Hall grandeur.
Our afternoon was spent with Collections Manager Amanda and Collections Assistant Heather who gave us a tour of the amazing collections housed in New Harmony. We were lucky enough to see a huge mixture of artefacts, documents and photographs that track the rich history of the town. From thousands of print letters used in the towns print shop to ‘Dutch Biscuits’, a form of insulation brought by the Harmonists and consisting of wooden bars wrapped in straw and clay, the items are as diverse as the history of the town. We visited the collections store, the archives store, the 1830 Owen House where we saw amazing silhouettes and also Community House 2. Community House 2 was formerly a dormitory and is now undergoing a major redevelopment to become a visitor centre interpreting the history of the town.
The evening was spent with the New Harmony Interpreters Association, firstly at their meeting and then in the traditional post meeting venue of the Yellow Tavern! We have had a fantastic first day and everyone has been so welcoming. Another busy day tomorrow- stay posted! Jane & Aynsley

New Lanark Blog goes live!

New Lanark aerial photo

New Lanark from the sky

New Lanark Blog goes live!

New Lanark World Heritage Site is a beautifully restored 18th century cotton mill village in Scotland. Situated close to the famous Falls of Clyde the village is surrounded by stunning natural scenery. The village of New Lanark was first founded in 1785 and earned renown as a model industrial community based on the enlightened principals of Robert Owen. He provided decent homes, fair wages, free health care, a new education system for villagers and the first workplace nursery school in the world!

Today, after many years of extensive restoration, conservation and development, the village is established as a living community and a complete visitor attraction. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, New Lanark welcomes many visitors each year from all over the world.

There’s always a lot going on at New Lanark and on this Blog we’ll keep you posted with everything that’s New Lanark!