Religion In America – Zoar Village Ohio

ISOA Banner    I will start off this series of religion in America with the latest place I visited and that is Zoar Village in central Ohio.  I visited here last summer on one of my frequent micro-RV trips.  As is common in many historical religious settlements it is on the National Register of Historic Places.

2017-05-21_09-41-38.pngMost of the info for this post was obtained from the book shown to the right which contains hundreds of pictures of the village throughout its history.  The book was purchased at the village but is also available from Amazon.

Zoar village was settled by Lutheran separatists escaping persecution in Germany in the early 1800s. In Germany at that time the state and church were one and the same. It ran the schools and most civic ceremonies. A group of “Zoarites” or “Separatists” as they were called refused to attend the mandated church, or to send their kids to church run schools and because of their non-violence beliefs refused to serve in the army. As a result many were flogged, imprisoned, had their children and land stripped from them and turned over to the state.

With the help of English Quakers they emigrated to America.  The American Quakers also helped them initially settle near Philadelphia.  But Joseph Bimeler, who became their leader during their three month journey to America had no patience for the well-meaning Quakers and found land in “far-off” Ohio for his group to settle and thus the village of Zoar Ohio was formed.

Separatists had an abiding faith in the Bible and thought that each person should have a “direct” relationship with God.  They also believed in the imminent return of Christ so each individual had to purge himself or herself of evil and become a living example of virtue.  In rebellion to the church they left their worship services were stripped of all ceremony.  Because of the imminent return they also believed in celibacy which demanded that households be divided by sex. That practice ended after about ten years.

By about 1850 the population of Zoar had reached about 500 and land values of the town exceeded $1 million.  However a year later Bimeler died and no one was able to successfully take his place,  and as a result that started years of decline of the town. In March of 1898 to society of Zoar formally decided to disband and everything was basically sold at auction soon thereafter. The remaining 200 or so members were given $200 and a piece of real estate.

As we will learn in future posts on this subject the final fate of the village was similar to many other religious settlements. Today the village of Zoar is struggling to find the resources to maintain the town.  It has lost much of its attraction as a tourist site which kept it going for some time.

Click on any pic below to see a larger slideshow view..

 

Rendevuous..

5star-bannerOne of my most recent 5Star memory is the rendezvous reenactments  I managed to get to last year.  The pictures below are from the one in Vincennes Indiana. It was an amazing experience.

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Pennsylvania State Museum

In 2014 we went to the State Museum of Pennsylvania on our way back from NYC. It was one of the best of all the state museums we have been in.  It celebrates all aspects of its history.  Here is a small gallery of the art from that visit.

As usual click on any picture to see a larger slideshow view

Vincennes Rendezvous

I have been remiss to put out a gallery post of my visit to the Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous this past May. Since I am a Hoosier I know I am supposed to see George Rogers Clark as a hero but I just can’t get over his brutal slaughter of so many Native Americans in to clear out the State for others to take over.  He, like Andrew Jackson, are just not heroes of mine.   But that doesn’t take away from the historical significance of the rendezvous.

As usual click on any picture to see a larger slideshow view

Bent’s Old Fort…

5star-banner  On this 5Star Wednesday I want to celebrate Bent’s old Fort in southern Colorado. It is one of those mystical places where I almost feel the people that were there a hundred  and fifty years ago.  One of the things that make it special is that it was not a military fort but a commercial trading post.

They say it was the source of the TV mini-series “Centennial”that I much admired years ago. 5Star Wednesdays is about one picture or one thought so I will leave you here with my favorite picture of the place.

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Pleasant Hill — Revisited (again_

Just outside of Lexington Kentucky is my favorite historical village called “Pleasant Hill Shaker Village”.  I simply can’t get enough of that place. Whenever I start feeling tension for whatever reason I think of escaping there for a few days. I think I have been there about a half a dozen times now but have really lost count. Staying in the actual rooms where Shakers lived is a fantastic feeling. I almost sense their presence there.

Shaker Hill brings out my creative juices. I have probably taken 500 pictures there but every time I go I find another undiscovered place that inspires me.  The last time I was there was in 2011 and took these pictures. I will have to go again some time soon.

Click on any of the pictures above to see a larger slideshow view…