Friday, September 1, 2017

Zoar Village, OH (9/1/2017)

Friday, September 1, 2017
Brynne was filling our house with friends this Labor Day weekend, so Kent and I took off, heading south on I-271 to I-77, to explore southeast Ohio.
First stop: Fort Laurens, the only Revolutionary War fort in Ohio. Built in 1778, it was named for the President of the Continental Congress, Henry Laurens. There were attacks by the British and Loyalists, and their Native American allies, from November 1778 to August 1779. The fort no longer exists, and the visitor center was closed.
The Tomb of the Unknown Patriot of the American Revolution (KSS)
Native American bark dwelling (KSS)
Stone footbridge that once crossed the Ohio & Erie Canal (1832);
the canal cut across the southern side of the fort
Now the canal is full of Impatiens capensis/Jewelweed
and Phytolacca americana/Pokeweed (KSS)
Farther along OH-212 is Zoar Village, founded in 1817 by Separatists who faced persecution in the German state of Württemberg, where the official religion was Lutheran. Seeking refuge in America, they purchased land and settled here. After two years, they determined they would not be able to pay off their loans unless they worked together. Signing a contract for Eine Gute Gemainschaft/
Community of Goods, the Separatists or Zoarites, men and women, shared equally in all the tasks of the community. They also sent the children to live separately, and practiced celibacy. In the 1820s, the Zoarites were given the opportunity to build seven miles of the Ohio & Erie Canal that passed through their land. With the money earned, they were able to pay off the loans by 1830, allowing them to relax the rule of celibacy. In 1898, the village voted to disband the communal society and the property was divided among the remaining residents.
Zoar Hotel (1833 in Greek Revival/German Baroque style) with a
cupola where staff could keep a lookout for boats coming along the canal
We stopped in the Zoar Store to purchase an Ohio History Connection Pass for $30, giving us free admission to Ohio state historic sites for one year.
City Hall (1887) was chock full of artifacts from the 19th century (KSS)
Number 1 House (1835 in Georgian style) was built for the elderly
of the community; since they preferred staying in their own homes,
the house was inhabited by the leading families
The lower floor of the Number 1 House gave the history of the Zoarites, and the upper floors contained furniture of the period.
Birdcage (1895, by Charles Groetzinger)
Several beds and cradles, including a trundle bed
Hand-made organ (1892, by Peter Bimeler)
was installed in the mill and used the water
turbine to power the organ (KSS)
Peter Bimeler was the village miller, and a great-grandson of Joseph Bimeler/Bäumeler, the charismatic founding leader of the Zoarites.
Close-up of the organ pipes (KSS)
Kitchen and communal laundry of the Number 1 House;
all kitchens were built separately from the houses to avoid house fires
Bimeler House (1868) is now the Art Gallery
Zeebs Cabin by Joseph Jicha,
supposedly in Art Deco style
Number 9 House/Zeebs Cabin (1817) is the
second oldest building in Zoar
The houses were numbered, so that the residents could just give a number when picking up their share of: bread at the bakery, sugar, flour, and other basics from the "magazine" at Number 1 House, soap from the laundry, etc.
The front yard of a private home
Zoar Garden, based on Revelation 21, represents the new Jerusalem
Heaven is in the center of the garden with a spruce representing Christ/Tree of Life surrounded by 12 junipers/the Apostles. Many paths lead to the center, as there are many paths one can follow to reach heaven, but all require looking toward Christ. The perimeter of the garden is Earth, and the paths intersect in a way that one could wander and perhaps return to earthly ways if they do not look to Christ.
Each of the garden plots is under the care of a local group. (This garden was never meant to be a truck/produce garden.)
Number 11 House/Gardener's Home (1835) and conservatory
The garden house conservatory had been turned into a multi-family residence and the garden into tennis courts, but fortunately all has been restored.
Tamiko with Hydrangea paniculata (KSS)
The oldest house in Zoar, the Bimeler Cabin (1817)
Zoar Meeting House (1853, designed by Joseph Bimeler)
Zoar School House (1868)
Spring Lot Park; apparently a covered well (KSS)
Unusual door knocker for this village?
Gourds on the door, bittersweet berries on the gate
Close-up of the door
Another front porch (KSS)
We backtracked on OH-212 to Bolivar for lunch at the Lockport Brewery.
Lockport Brewery interior

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