Home Forum Gallery Members Todays Posts

Old Economy Village Rating: None

Pennsylvania Attractions / Landmarks / Places > Ambridge Email This Bookmark Print
The only remaining of three settlements established by a religious sect the Harmony Society in the United States, the Old Economy Village was named after the spiritual notion the Divine Economy which also means Economy of Salvation which is part of the bible?s divine revelation that deals with God?s creation and management of the world.

The Old Economy Village was managed by Frederick Rapp and became Pennsylvania?s most prosperous community that it dominated the trade and markets of Pittsburgh down to the Ohio River. The settlement perfected the technology of silk manufacturing for garments and produced goods by building shops for blacksmiths, tanners, hatters, wagon makers, cabinetmakers and turners, linen weavers, potters, and tin smiths. Furthermore, they developed a centralized steam laundry and a centralized dairy for the Village. The Harmony Society or the Harmonites also provided assistance in the construction of the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, founded the Economy Savings Institution and the Economy Brick Works, and ran the Economy Oil Company, Economy Planning Mill, Economy Lumber Company and donated a part of their land property in Beaver Falls to be Geneva College?s site. Despite all these accomplishments the Society was accused of monopolizing the commerce in the city and was campaigned to be dissolved from the State of Pennsylvania. This incident, however, did not stop the Economy to influence the economic development of Western Pennsylvania.

However, in 1832, 250 out of 750 members of the Harmony Society left the Economy to follow Count de Leon (a self-proclaimed prophet). Most of those who separated were members who did not want to uphold the practice of celibacy, one of the Society?s policies. This eventually led to the decline of the Economy Village and the Society was dissolved in 1905. Due to this incident, most of their real estate properties were sold to the American Bridge Company whereas six acres of it, together with seventeen buildings, were obtained by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1916. These, today, stand as a National Historic Landmark.
Edit Article

Old Economy Village Pictures Add Picture

Old Economy Village Videos Add Video