Zoar Village a great place to visit
An easy drive from Lancaster,Ohio Zoar Village is located 2.5 miles east of I-77 at State Route 212, between Canton and New Philadelphia.
Zoar was founded by German religious dissenters called the Society of Separatists of Zoar in 1817. It was a communal society, with many German-style structures that have been restored and are part of the Zoar Village State Memorial. There are presently ten restored buildings. According to the Ohio Historical Society, Zoar is an island of Old-World charm in east-central Ohio. READ MORE
Toooo… much to see for just one post. For today we will visit the Town Hall which was one of the last buildings constructed by the “Society”. The Town Hall now serves as two museums—The Ohio & Erie Canal Museum and The Museum of Zoarite Artifacts.
The “Society” barber shop was once housed in this building as was the jail.
At one time this building housed the fire department and the post office..
Several separatists traveled to Ohio in the fall of 1817 to establish the settlement, while the remaining immigrants following in the spring of 1818. During this time, the settlement was named Zoar, after the biblical town that Lot fled to after leaving Sodom.
Women were equal participants in the Society, with a vote and the ability to hold office (although no woman ever held an office). In reality this meant the women worked in the fields as much as the men.
In 1821 the State of Ohio purchased a right-of-way through the Zoarite land, and, a few years later, paid the Zoarites $21,000 to dig the canal. This stroke of fortune allowed the Zoarites to not only repay their loans, but also establish a local industry capable of providing agricultural and industrial goods for the world outside the Society.
“The Society of Separatists of Zoar, Ohio, was one of the more successful of the many cooperative communities which appeared in this country during the last century. Zoar was founded by German peasants and artisans who emigrated from Wurtemburg in 1817 to escape the civil and ecclesiastical persecution to which they had been subjected as members of the Separatist faith. The Separatists were dissentients from the German Lutheran Church, pietists and mystics, whose uncompromising pacifism and abhorrence of ritual, formalism and the regular clergy had made them unwelcome in their own land.” THE ZOAR SOCIETY by Edgar B. Nixon