The Ancient and Esoteric Order of the Jackalope

Rapp’s Seat

The Harmonist Cemetery isn’ t the only Harmony Society site left in Harmony, PA. There’s also Rapp’s Seat, the “throne” which George Rapp used to keep watch over the entire settlement.

The seat is at the top of a steep, thickly forested cliff. Fortunately, in 1999 Christopher Van Arsdale blazed a trail to the top as part of his Eagle Scout project. (Way to go, Chris.) Getting there is still a bit of a problem. It’s off a country road with no shoulder or parking. You’ll probably have to do what I did, park in historic downtown Harmony and hoof or bike it over to the trail.

Rapp's Seat stairs

How the trail looks from the street. It’s easy to miss if you’re not looking for it.

Again, the trail is pretty dang steep and not always the best-maintained. If it’s raining or damp, you’ll probably want to wear something better than the nearly-bald Chucks I had on at the time. I also had to crawl under that downed tree that’s blocking the trail. (Which is only about a third of the way up, by the way.)

The seat itself. It’s hardly a palatial throne, and you can see there’s been plenty of graffiti left over the years. Some of those carvings even date back to the early 19th century.

And yes, of course I sat in it. I did not feel prophetic or tyrannical at all. Mostly I felt uncomfortable. And winded from the steep climb.

And finally, here’s the view. In Rapp’s day, the hillside would have been treeless and planted with grape vines, allowing him to get a clear view of all of Harmony. Today, the overgrowth means you can barely see the Connoquennessing through the foliage.


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