Zoar (zôr, zōˈər) [key], village, Tuscarawas co., E central Ohio, on the Tuscarawas River; founded 1817, inc. 1884. It was founded by a group of Separatists from S Germany who fled religious persecution and, under the leadership of Joseph Michael Bimeler, emigrated to America. The Quakers received them in Philadelphia and assisted them in obtaining land in Ohio. The village of Zoar was laid out, a communistic system was adopted, and a strict moral and religious life was maintained. Flour and textile mills and other small industries were established, and the commune flourished. The Zoarites aided in the building of the Ohio and Erie Canal. After Bimeler's death (1853), the society declined; in 1898 the communistic mode of life was abandoned.
See Ohio Historical Society, Zoar (1970); E. O. Randall, History of the Zoar Society (3d ed. 1904, repr. 1972).
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