I quickly realized that Zoar was likely the highlight of the trip and I had almost missed it. The settlement was started in 1817 by a group of German Separatists lead by Joseph Baumeler. After only a couple of years struggling as individual farmers, the group decided that socialism was the only way to survive and a commune was formed in 1819 that accomplished its goal and continued until 1898. Today the town is a mixture of privately owned residences and businesses and a number of buildings maintained by the Ohio Historical Society. Part of the mission of the Zoar Community Association is "to ensure the preservation of the historical characteristics and heritage of the Village of Zoar..." Maps are available to facilitate a self guided tour and two guided tours are available for reasonable fees. I took advantage of both tours. One concentrates on the home life of the Zoarites and was conducted, on this day, by Sally. Lisa was our guide for the second tour, which showed more of the community's working side. Before heading out on the tours, you can get a good overview of the Zoar story from a short video.

There were no single family dwellings in Zoar nor were they multi-family in the way we might think of today. The houses were not divided into distinct "apartments" - all residents of a house lived as a group. Almost every item surrounding Sally in the photo came from a home in Zoar and all but a few were also made there. That statement holds true for just about every building on the tours. Lisa is seen in the cheese room where milk was cooked down to curds in the big kettle. The curved "door" closes to cover the fire making it quite efficient and safe. The pictured log cabin is the very first structure built in 1817. It is in private hands and, although not occupied full time, is still used as a residence when the owners are in town. The wall of windows marks the next building as a greenhouse and the picture was taken across a corner of the large community garden. The greenhouse was heated by an under floor furnace and lemons, kumquats, and other tropical fruits were grown there.

The first picture is the cooking stove of the Number 1 House (houses were identified by number) and the second is the laundry room. Note that the fire areas are enclosed on both; A common characteristic of working fires in Zoar. A fellow named Steve was tending the Number 1 House when I was there and had bread pudding cooking on the stove. The side of the room across from the iron wash & rinse bowls is open and lines for drying run along it. The wagon and furnace illustrate the type of items the Zoarites were capable of making and offer a real hint at just how self sufficient they were. Even the piano was made in Zoar.

From Zoar, I followed the last few miles of the CanalWay Ohio Scenic Byway which passes by Dover Dam. The court house is in New Philadelphia, Tuscarawas County.

I bypassed Schoenbrunn Village yesterday but finally made it today. Schoenbrunn was actually established by the Moravians before Gnadenhutten but was abandoned along with the other settlements and never reestablished. That is what makes Gnadenhutten "Ohio's Oldest Existing Settlement". Everything here is, of course, reconstructed but the cabins and "streets" are located where the originals were. The museum offers an orientation video and a self paced "guided" tour via audio cassette player.

I followed no particular course from Schoenbrunn but eventually settled on SR-16 near Coshocton. I was vaguely aware of the fuel situation and, having ignored numerous gas stations, I wasn't entirely surprised when the "RESERVE FUEL" message appeared. Even though I was on an unusually (for me) civilized stretch of highway, it was an unfamiliar stretch and one where there was no visible evidence of a gas station. As miles went by and no station appeared, my concern increased. And then, in the distance, to the left of the road, I saw a large block shape with a hollow semi-circle rising from it. Perhaps trained by a couple of days of exposure to old stuff, my mind thought it looked like a Conestoga wagon coming head-on with the canvas off of the bows. Had my growing panic over fuel led to hallucinations? I wasn't entirely reassured when it turned into an equally incongruous 100 foot high picnic basket but the sight of a Shell station at the next corner triggered a huge sigh of relief. A full tank did not make the basket disappear so I approached closer to take this picture. Turns out this is the home office of the Longaberger Baskets. I'm not all that familiar with some of life's "finer things" and only later found out that the whimsical building is actually less bizarre than the prices obtained for the company's products.

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