Garden Temple at Old Economy Village

Sharing the Common Wealth showcases objects, artifacts, documents, structures and buildings from the collections of PHMC.

One of the earliest gardens in the United States, the garden at Old Economy Village in Ambridge, Beaver County, symbolized the Garden of Eden for the Harmony Society, which occupied the complex from 1824 until it was dissolved in 1905. The nineteenth-century Christian community, best known for its piety and industrial prosperity, was founded by George Rapp (1757-1847) who believed that the Second Coming was imminent and that Jesus Christ would walk the garden paths. His son Frederick Rapp (1775-1834) is credited with designing a Garden Pavilion, in 1831, which houses a carved figure entitled Harmonie. Old Economy Village features more than a dozen historic buildings and nearly twenty thousand objects and artifacts used by the Harmonists.