Zoar, OH (Zoar Village) – (1817 – present farming town with less residents than in the past)
Classification: historic town
Location: Lawrence Township, Tuscarawas County – On SR 212 at the intersection of Dover Zoar Rd
Zoar was founded by German immigrants who left Germany due to religious persecution from the Lutheran Church. Joseph Bimeler (1778 – 1853) was a pipemaker, teacher, the leader of the group, & founded Zoar along with 300 other settlers in 1817. The group was called The Society of Separatists of Zoar. They purchased 5,500 acres of land & paid for much of it by helping construct the Ohio & Erie Canal in the 1820s. The town name Zoar means a sanctuary from evil.
In 1898 the villagers voted to disband the Society of Separatists & the town’s land was divided up between the remaining residents. Today, Zoar has 10 restored buildings from the original village including the general store, the number one house, garden & greenhouse, bakery, tin shop, wagon shop, blacksmith shop, dairy, & the kitchen & laundry. There are also several other historical buildings & residences in town. The Zoar Village State Memorial site is managed by the Ohio Historical Society & The Zoar Community Association. The general store & visitors center is at 198 Main Street (SR 212) Zoar, OH 44697. Joseph Bimeler was buried in the Zoar Cemetery at the end of 7th Street with many other early pioneers.