Results for: zoar
862 OH-416
New Philadelphia

, OH

Seeking an alternative transportation route to distant markets, many farmers and manufacturers in Ohio wanted to connect the Ohio River to Lake Erie with a canal. Beginning in Cleveland the Ohio-Erie Canal ran south, the length of the state, to Portsmouth. The canal was a total of 308 miles long, 40 feet wide at the surface, and 4 feet deep. The Ohio-Erie Canal opened for traffic along its entire length in 1832 and consequently effected great change. Population along the canal increased, and commercial, political, and industrial growth in Ohio boomed. Products grown and manufactured in this previously isolated region now had access to world markets. Profits for farmers and merchants increased, and the entire state economy was bolstered. With the rise of railroads in the 1860s, however, canals were destined to become obsolete because the railroad was a faster and more dependable means of transportation. The canal system ceased to operate altogether after a disastrous flood in 1913.

256-258 W Front Street
Dover

, OH

The section of the Ohio-Erie Canal that ran through Tuscarawas County began at Summit Lake near Barbarton. This was a drop in elevation of 238 feet in less than 109 miles. The canal crossed the Tuscarawas River and the Tuscarawas County line on an aqueduct north of Zoar, and ran from Lock 7 in Zoar to Newcomerstown, where it leaves the county below Lock 21. A total of 15 locks were in Tuscarawas County. You are standing in front of Lock 13.

250 Main Street
Zoar

, OH

The Society of Separatists of Zoar built the Zoar Town Hall in 1887 when the village was formally incorporated. Established in 1817 by German religious dissidents, Zoar became one of the most successful experiments in communal living during the 19th century. Early hardships encouraged the Zoarites, in 1819, to establish a communal system to ensure economic and social security. The Society disbanded in 1898. The Zoar Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.

Zoar

, OH

Construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal, beginning in Cleveland and running south to Portsmouth, began in 1825. As a means to pay for debts on the community’s 5,500 acres of Tuscarawas County land, members of the Society of Separatists of Zoar contracted to construct this portion of the canal. They received $21,000 for this work, which was completed in 1827. Surplus goods were transported on Society owned and operated canal boats to outside markets via the Ohio and Erie Canal, which also brought manufactured items into Zoar. (continued on other side)

West End of 7th Street
Zoar

, OH

Here, in what has been described as “God’s Acre,” is the final resting place of members of the Society of Separatists of Zoar (1817-1898) as well as today’s descendants and residents. The early Zoarites’ simple religion forbade headstones, believing all were equal in death. These early burials, including fifty who perished in an 1834 cholera epidemic, are to your left. The headstone of Zoar leader Joseph Bimeler was erected later. (continued on other side)

Main Street
Zoar

, OH

The Zoar Garden was the Separatist’s most public manifestation of their faith, its religious symbolism masked by its lush beauty. It provided both residents and visitors with a place to relax and reflect. This “lustgarden,” or pleasure garden and the accompanying greenhouse were mentioned by travelers as early as 1829. Although some vegetables and fruits were grown here, the garden was filled mainly with flowers. [continued on other side]

142 E Fifth St
Zoar

, OH

Designed by their leader, Joseph M. Bimeler, the Meeting House is the second house of worship used by the Society of Separatists of Zoar. Men and women entered through separate front doors: men used the right door and women the left. Bimeler and his successors gave “discourses” (not sermons) from a table located between the doors. The Meeting House has been in continuous use since it was built in 1853 and as of 2011 houses the Zoar United Church of Christ.

162 Main Street
Zoar

, OH

Zoar Separatists built the hotel in 1833 to accommodate overflow travelers from their original Ohio & Erie Canal inn. The hotel proved an economic boon to the Zoar community, but, by bringing the outside world into Zoar, ultimately became a source of discontent for members. During its heyday, the Zoar Hotel catered to curiosity-seekers, visiting artists, and families escaping the summer heat of nearby cities. Notable guests included Marcus Hanna and President William McKinley. The original structure was enlarged several times, including the now demolished 1892 Queen Anne addition which doubled the accommodations. By the mid-twentieth century, the hotel remained open as a popular restaurant with Rathskeller bar until closing to the public in July 1983. The exterior was restored by the Ohio History Connection in 2001-2002.