The Oneida Community Mansion House will feature a temporary exhibit from Oct. 15, 2017, through Jan. 7, 2018, commemorating the 200th anniversary of Historic Zoar Village, Ohio. Like many utopian communities of the 19th century, Zoar was founded by religious separatists fleeing persecution in their home countries throughout Europe.
The German Separatists who founded Zoar fled their homeland of Württemberg and, in 1817, arrived on the banks of the Tuscarawas River in northeast Ohio to build a communal settlement that would last until 1898. The Separatists thrived on agriculture but also applied their work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit to other endeavors, such as helping to construct a portion of the Ohio and Erie Canal, creating a “Zoar-style” of furniture for export, and building a popular tourist destination for weekenders in the mid-1800s.
In addition to highlighting these and other aspects of Zoar life, the exhibit includes a three-dimensional replica of the Zoar Garden – a 2.4-acre, scripture-inspired meditative space that remains the centerpiece of the village today. Zoar artifacts including furniture, tools, pottery and art will also be on display.
The exhibit will travel to many other major communal settlements, spending time in the Harmony Society sites of Old Economy Village and Harmony, Penn., as well as the Amana Colonies in Iowa.
The Oneida Community Mansion House was once home to the 19th century utopian Oneida Community (1848 – 1880). Today, the Mansion House is a National Historic Landmark and history museum chartered by the state Department of Education.
The House is open for visitors Monday through Saturday from 9 am until 5 pm, and Sunday from noon until 5:00 pm. Guided tours are provided Wednesday through Saturday at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm, and Sunday at 2:00 pm.