Posey County is where the Wabash River merges with the Ohio. It is Indiana’s most distinctive feature on the map. It is the Point.
The geographic reality of two great rivers meeting has shaped our history, economy, and culture, as well as our borders.
Way back into pre-history, our prime location on two major rivers made us a trade center for several Native American cultures for nearly two thousand years.
Native American artifacts from Posey County have been found as far was as Florida and Central Mexico. A unique panther pipe from the Mann Site just east of Mount Vernon is prominently displayed in the Brooklyn Museum. The Smithsonian houses a variety of fascinating pots from the Bonebank site on the Wabash, including a frog shaped pot that is considered one of the finest in their collection.
Moving into recorded history, Posey County was an important center for the fur trade. A French fort at the Point protected fur traders, merchants and explorers for an extended area.
Then came the American pioneers that carved Mount Vernon from the wilderness, and the German immigrants and their charismatic leader George Rapp, who established the first Utopian community in New Harmony.
Back then, Posey County was part of the western frontier, a wild place where Native Americans still lived and the waters ran clear. In the early 1800’s, New Harmony was an internationally famous center for learning and social progress. Some of the finest minds of the era lived and worked there and made important advances in their fields of scientific inquiry. For many years, our little county was the nation’s center for geography.
Beginning in the 1960’s, New Harmony began transforming into an art and spiritual center, with well-known artists and sculptures completing major projects all over town.
Today, it is like an open air museum the size of a small town, with world class art, food, lodging and entertainment, and a popular destination for those who love art, culture, spirituality and history.
Meanwhile, the city of Mount Vernon, with its ideal location on the Ohio River, grew into an industrial and transportation powerhouse, with large corporations providing good paying jobs for thousands and one of the largest inland ports in the country providing a hub for agricultural, industrial and energy transport. In the early days it was a wild west river town, much like its more famous cousins like Deadwood or Tombstone. Today it is undergoing a renaissance, with an impressive new riverfront park and new businesses moving in.
Outside of New Harmony and Mount Vernon, the county is made up of farms, small towns and fascinating wilderness areas, including Harmonie State Park, Hovey Lake, and a variety of other reserved areas.
So no matter who you are, whether you like history, fine dining, fine art, hunting and fishing, hiking, biking, or all of the above; we’re confident you’ll enjoy a visit to Posey County.