The first thing people notice about the city of Harmony is its pleasant name. Local legend says that the settlers decided to make their community an incorporated “village” and met to choose a name. Each group wanted the town named for its leader, and the bickering became louder. Finally the chairman banged his gavel on the table and said, “Let’s have Harmony here!”
Today, visitors to Harmony can take an Amish tour, visit the magnificent Niagara Cave, and ride or walk on the Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail, which connects Harmony to the Root River Trail System.
Like many small towns a hundred years ago, Harmony developed near the railroad, and was peopled by immigrants from Norway, Germany, and Ireland. That pioneer spirit has survived in the descendants of those hardy settlers as Harmony continues to serve the farming and business communities.
The symbolism of the town’s name took on new meaning with the arrival of Amish families to the area in 1974. Today the Amish community consists of over 100 families and is concentrated in the areas around Harmony and Canton. With their old-world farming methods, the Amish offer a stark contrast to the modern machinery and tall silos of their neighbors, while reminding tourists and residents alike of the lifestyle of our ancestors.
Visit the homes and farms of the Amish families living around Harmony. A local business offers car and group tours of the Amish settlement. View fine Amish craftsmanship and purchase Amish goods, such as baked goods, baskets, wood crafts, candy, quilts, and more. While traveling through the beautiful farm country, learn about the history and beliefs of the Amish community and how their lifestyle differs from modern ways, while giving us all a glimpse of how our own ancestors lived and farmed in bygone days.
The area is blessed with rolling hills and valleys, fertile soil for growing crops, and plenty of water in springs and brooks. Niagara Cave, a natural result of the area’s karst geology, is an underground wonderland, millions of years in the making. It was discovered under a sinkhole and was explored and developed over the years as local residents turned the cave into a well-known tourist attraction. Niagara Cave has been in continous development and operation for 80 years and is now fully run by solar energy. One-hour guided tours offer a chance to thrill at nature’s beauty, including a 60-foot waterfall, the crystal “wedding chapel,” huge stalactites and rock formations that took millions of years to form, all far below the earth’s surface. The cave stays a constant 48 degrees year round and offers a 10-acre picnic ground and a miniature golf course.
The Harmony Area Historical Society has developed a karst geological interpretive site as an educational tool for both local residents and visitors to the area. An observation deck with interpretive signage allows visitors to view a sinkhole, learn about how it was formed, and why it is important to our environment.
The area has some of the finest trout streams in the state, river canoeing with rentals available, snowmobile and cross-country trails, and outsanding hunting for wild turkey, upland game birds, deer, and small game.
The Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail connects Harmony to the Root River Trail System, and encompasses over 60 miles of recreational trail. The trail leaves Harmony and passes a variety of wooded areas and large panoramic views of rolling hills, spring-fed creeks and farm sites. The Harmony Trailhead features a park area complete with picnic shelter, playground, a disc golf course, and visitor information center. Bike rental is available in the area.
Interpretive signage has been provided by the Harmony Area Historical Society throughout the business district. Also, enjoy the carved musicians now dotting the Harmony business district.
Harmony also has a nine-hole golf course, one of a dozen in the area which offer an almost endless variety of terrain as well as reasonable fees and uncrowded courses.
Overnight visitors can choose from guesthouses or a 24-room motel with a meeting room. A variety of dining options can be found in Harmony, as well.
Campers may find a comfortable place in Harmony’s municipal campground or one of several private campgrounds in the area.
Harmony offers the shopper many unique and interesting alternatives. For fine hand-crafted Amish quilts, furniture and other items, country crafts, period antiques, and gifts for the spirit, you need go no further than Harmony’s business district. On Harmony’s north edge you will find an antique mall with over 100 vendors, an Amish furniture store, and a floral and greenhouse business.
Another claim to fame for Harmony is that it is home to Fillmore County’s only movie theater, which shows current movies and serves delicious popcorn with real butter.
Specializing in custom built cabinetry. FREE trash pull-out with qualifying order. FREE estimates. Stop out and see Leroy and Joe Gingerich, 6 miles west of Harmony on Hwy 44, then right on Cty. 15, 1st driveway on the right and south side of the road. Open Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm.