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How 'harmony' came about in Harmony, CA | Bartell's Backroads

The coastal town with a happy name and a dark past, Harmony makes for a quick pit stop on your next Central Coast road trip.

HARMONY, Calif. — The Central Coast town of Harmony has a happy name and a dark past. 

The farming community was founded in 1869 in San Luis Obispo County. The residents were mostly made up of Swiss immigrants who worked on dairy ranches and at a creamery.

Local lore has it the town got its name in the early 1900s after a fight between several farmers ended in death. The townsfolk eventually put their differences aside and, as a symbol of their truce, they called the town Harmony.

The dairy business dried up in the 1950s and today the town is privately owned. Food trucks, glass blowing, pottery shops and clean public restrooms attract tourists driving along Highway 1. Colorful art and several painted cow statues welcome you as you walk down the one-street town.

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Harmony is a popular wedding venue and you can even rent out the whole town for your event. The historic buildings look the same as they did during the dairy business heyday. 

The town's charm even attracted the attention of singer Jehry Miller who sang about it in his 1979 hit song “Harmonizing in Harmony, Population 18.”

Harmony is open daily and welcomes all tourists looking to stretch their legs and enjoy the sights.

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