The Fort Harmony Historical Society
 
The Restoration in Progress
In May of 2006 a group of BYU Archeologists under the direction of Richard Talbert mapped and recorded the dimensions of the fort's foundation.
In Oct of 2007 a crew of BYU archeologist started the excavation process.
Richard Talbert
supervisied the work.
Watch a video of his comments here

 

Early in 2006 marked the beginning of the Fort's restoration project. For the first time in 150 years the original foundation of the fort was exposed. A ditch was dug down to the foundation and around the circumference of the Fort. This controversial project by the land owner started a chain reaction process that quickened a great interest in the protection of the Fort.

This is an aerial view of the fort after the foundation was exposed. An 8 foot chain-link fence around the perimeter currently protects the project. At the top of the photo is the canal (running South to North) that runs by the West side of the Fort. This canal was expanded to eliminate possible flooding.

This shows the N.W. cornerstone of the Fort. These corner structures are not part of the original Fort but were added in 1936 to mark the four corners of the Fort's foundation.

Note that there is considerable vertical distance between the corner stone and the foundation which is at the bottom of the photo. The West side of the original Fort were two stories of adobe brick. When the Fort 'melted' due to heavy rains it left a considerable deposit of mud and brick. Also more mud deposits were made by occasional flooding of the adjacent canal.

This is the East Wall (looking South). Here the foundation is right at ground level.

 

BYU Archeologist point out sections where the original adobe brick can still be seen on the West wall.
This is looking at a section of the West Wall where the original adobe brick is still intact. The brick dimensions are 12 x 6 x 4 inches. . The bricks were made without an appropriate binder and this led to the disintegration of the wall during the 40 day rain period in 1862.
At the base of the foundation the ends of the wooden floor support beams can be seen.

Here on the North wall are the support pillars that remain intact in the rock foundation

To prevent deterioration of the foundation, wood structures, and the exposed adobe brick, the excavated ditch was filled in with sand. It will remain covered until Brigham Young University can proceed with their archeology dig.

Here the BYU archeologists are mapping exact coordinates of the interior rooms. This is a view of the S.W. corner looking North. In the piles of excavated dirt, numerous pottery shards were found on the surface. There were 12 rooms along each of the North, East and West walls.
Click here for a preliminary sketch of the Fort.

Click here for a detailed description of the original Fort

A guided walking tour of Fort Harmony was given by Lyman Platt in 2006 just a few months after the foundation was exposed and before the fence was installed. A DVD video of the tour is available for check-out at the New Harmony Library. Dr. Platt (author of the book "Grafton") goes into detail about the Fort's residents as well as the construction project. He also tours the old "Lee Cemetery" where he and Bart Anderson relate stories of the residents of the 'old' New Harmony town. This dvd is available
at our Media Store


Click HERE
to check out the latest archeological dig at the Fort

Brigham Young University started a archeological dig of the Fort in Oct of 2007. They consider this Fort to be a major archaelogical site relating to the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

If you have information about the Fort or any of its inhabitants, and you would be willing to share this with the Fort Harmony Historical Society, we would welcome your comments and information.

Contact the Society Here

Photographs by Paul Jordan & Roger Simister - Aerial photography assisted by Russ Roberts
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