Zoar, Ohio. They moved to the USA seeking religious freedom and avoiding the religious persecution in their own Country. They set up as a community that many today would consider a commune. Houses were numbered and each family was assigned to a house. Each day the men would gather and were assigned jobs and any income earned was pooled by the community, not in their own pocket. At one point these Germans got a contract to work on the Erie Canal. In order to get the contract done early and earn a bonus they wanted the women to work on it as well. As a result their children were put in a dormitory during the week and didn't live at home. Sex was "banned" in marriage so that no new babies would be born while they needed the women to work on the Erie Canal. For 80 years this group of Separatists lived in this commune-like setting. The tour of this village is quite fascinating. You will visit the dairy, the blacksmith, the bakery, the greenhouse, and more. There are restaurants in town so you can make a day or afternoon of your visit. They open for the season on April 5, 2014. They are even open on Sunday afternoon which makes a great follow up to your weekend getaway in Holmes County, Amish Country.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608 www.garden-gate.com