LIVING A DREAM IN NEW HARMONY
Do you have a goal or dream that you plan to accomplish by the time you retire? New Harmony residents Jeff and Cindy Smotherman did. They had a dream of one day moving to a small historic town, owning a historic building on Main Street and owning their own antique business and living above it. What they did not know was that they would accomplish this dream in their early forties and be able to share it with their two daughters, Sarah and Andrea and their dog, Lucky.
A year before the Smothermans came to New Harmony, the New Harmony Business Associates created the Golden Raintree Antique Show and knew it would be a great way to bring people to town. Having an established antique business in Tennessee, the Smothermans had no idea that signing up to do this show would change their entire lives.
Jeff attended the antique show while Cindy tended to their children and their business in Tennessee. Upon arriving, he could not believe what he found. A small town historically preserved like no other he had seen on his many travels in the United States. He was immediately in love with the people and the charm of New Harmony. Even more enticing was the old firehouse, built in 1899, and it was for sale! After several calls to Cindy, she could not believe that he was serious about buying this building and moving to Indiana.
The next weekend, they set up a time to see the building. As they drove into town, Cindy knew she could call New Harmony home. Tears welled up in her eyes when she saw the old firehouse on Main Street. Fourteen years later, the Smotherman’s feel the same way. “There is no place like New Harmony. We have never felt so welcome in our lives.” Cindy recalls.
The Smothermans opened Firehouse antiques a month after they arrived and started renovations of the upstairs for their residence. Since completion of their remodeling, the Smothermans received the first “Jane B. Owen Award for Historic Preservation” in 2005. Their home also appeared on Home and Garden Television’s (HGTV) show, “ReZoned: The show is about people who have restored buildings, rezoned them and created a living space.
Cindy enjoys greeting customers and sharing her enthusiasm for New Harmony. She often encourages visitors to move here and start a business. “There are still a couple buildings available on Main Street,” she says. Jeff and Cindy are now involved in the event that brought them here, the Golden Raintree Antiques Show. Who knows? You may visit New Harmony and end up calling it home, too!
Jeff and Cindy’s home was the subject of a photo layout & article that appeared in Evansville Living and Cindy and her Estate Sale business was highlighted in an article in 2015 called seeing the value of collectibles. Cindy also did the appraisals on SpikeTV’s American Diggers show in 2014. A recommended place to dig by the late actor Bill Paxton who was a friend of New Harmony.
Also watch for the Independent film, “Bullitt County,” by Mr. Pictures films. Firehouse Antiques was used as an antique store and many of its antiques were used as props in the film.