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Using History to Create Engagement

Old Economy Village is using history to generate community engagement.

Photo courtesy of Old Economy Village

Each Monday, Curio412 will be highlighting good news of service and innovation in our communities both near and far!

Today we are highlighting the innovation of Old Economy Village, a National Historic Landmark and part of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Old Economy Village is using their historic research to generate community engagement!

When Covid first hit, the curator and museum educator went to work learning more about the rich history of the Harmony Society, one of the oldest and most successful religious communal groups of the nineteenth century. Each day social media posts "From the Curator" and "From the Museum Educator" provide fascinating pieces of local history sparking questions and conversation.

This has not only allowed the site to update their programming and fill in the gaps, but virtually connect people to local history. In reinterpreting the history their museum educator has learned some interesting facts.

For example, in 1832, one third of the Harmony Society decided to leave the Harmony Society and follow Count Leon to Philippsburgh (now Monaca). Their museum educator had been telling visitors that he thought that the majority of these former Harmonists saw Count Leon as an exit strategy to get out of the Harmony Society, but learned from his reading that Count Leon claimed that he had the Philosopher's Stone needed for success in Alchemy and that he could turn base metal into gold. The Harmonists who followed Leon actually were faithful to Leon until they made him try to produce gold.

Even though the site is currently closed, there has been much activity from their capital project to preserve and update buildings, exteriors, and accessibility features.

Give Back

Follow Old Economy Village on Facebook to #LearnInPlacePA and check out their upcoming opportunities online.

Curio412 is a consultancy for nonprofits and businesses who want to make a BIG impact, reap the benefits of a tight-knit team, and attract recognition to their organizations by developing systems that reflect your values and goals. We believe what you do makes a difference. Which is why we started our e-zine - to tell your story so you can be known for the good that you do.

Have a story of service and innovation from your organization that you would like to share? Email me at to be featured.

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