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Thursday, May 24, 2018


My youngest sister and her husband came in from Tacoma Washington, and we had so many activities planned for the two weeks they would be here.  I will write about them later, but I want to write first about the most interesting day which was when we went to Zoar Village about fifty miles south west of my sister Elaine’s house where the guests were staying until the last several days when they came to my house. The five of us squeezed into one car and off we went.

Zoar Village is a very historic village where the Separatists who emigrated from Wittenberg, Germany came because they were seeking religious freedom. While in Germany they were beaten or put in jail because of their beliefs which were different than the church of Germany.
They bought a lot of land in the valley with the calm Tuscarawas River going through it where they settled. Elaine paid for us to go through the town and stop at the historical houses that dated back to the early 1800s.
The Zoar Hotel 

Each house we visited had guides, mostly women, dressed in the outfit of the time. The first one was the Zore store, which didn’t have a guide, but two young women who worked there and lived in the town now. The store had a lot of things to buy connected with the town. I bought a small booklet on the history of this town.

Across from the store was a beautiful old hotel, The Zoar Hotel.

From there we passed a charming old home now a bed and breakfast to go to the Town Hall, where a guide dressed as an early settler played a video telling about the early settlers to the town. It didn’t last long, but the building was filled with pictures from those early years as well as furniture and tools used. We wandered through the downstairs and upstairs, too.

The  large bell to call the setlers.

The next stop was #1 house, another old house from those days that was full of pictures, furniture, tools and other things that made it a very interesting museum. Another woman guide was there. There was a large bell, too. We learned it was to call all the settlers together each morning where each was assigned a different job for the day. They had many cows that needed milked, gardens to be cared for and horses to be cared for and bread to be baked and so forth.

There was another guide there to answer questions and tell us interesting stories. For instance, husbands and wives were usually separated, and if they had children, after they were three years old, they were put into a home which was also a school building with boys on the second floor and girls on the first and they weren’t returned to their family until they were in their early teens. The reason was that they didn’t have a lot of money to feed a lot of children and that’s why the husband and wife were separated. 

Many  of the pictures were by this artist.

Next we went to the house of art, which was an art gallery, with pictures painted by settlers a little later than the earlier ones. There were interesting pictures especially those by one woman who had painted so many of them. She was from the later 1800s.Again we had a guide, who was a woman

My Sister Suzanne who broke her leg walking there.

From there we crossed the road and went through a garden as big as a block with a large greenhouse at the other end. It was a lovely well cared for garden.

We learned a lot in here from the woman guide.

From there we went to the bakery where another woman dressed in the outfit of the early 1800s showed us two ovens half way up a brick wall where fires were started and after the brick ovens were hot, the fire was extinguished and the ashes were raked into a hole, the baker felt the bricks on the bottom to see how hot they were and if it was hot enough the bread loaves were put in round baskets that made them look like outsized muffins to bake while a door was put on the outside of the opening. Every family got one loaf of bread a day. They didn’t have yeast then so they boiled hops and when the water was cooled it was a form of yeast that was used to raise the bread.

He was the only male guide there that day.

From there we went to the dairy where a man was dressed in the outfit of the day. He told us about the young girls or women who brought in buckets of the milk they’d milked from cows, and then he showed us the huge bucket that the milk brought in would be dumped into and then put over a fire to heat it and when it was hot.

Later the milk that got thicker was used to make cheese while the other milk was put back into the buckets brought – each tin bucket had a lid with the house number of who brought it on it, and those buckets were taken down into the very cold basement to be kept cold until someone came to claim them. You could tell those were really old buckets from the early 1800s.

One of many old houses there.

There were other houses we could have visited, but because it was Sunday they weren’t open, like the tin house where the man who portrayed the early settler made tin items, and a cobbler shop, and a cider mill.

The day after my sister Catherine and her husband Bill arrived in the evening, my sister Elaine. where they were staying until the last few days when they will come to my house, had a welcome dinner party for them with the three local sisters, which includes me, and our brother. We had early snacks and then a nice dinner.
The next day, May 17th, we went for a hike on the Greenway Trail in Lisbon. Ohio, and then to a vegetarian restaurant in an old brick building. Where all four sisters and our brother and my youngest sister’s husband had another delicious meal.

 The next day, except for my brother who couldn’t take off work, they came to my house, and we drove to Cuyahoga National Park not too far from where I live and hiked The Overlook Trail in the Virginia Kendal portion of the park. It was a great trail filled with large rocks and caves and beautiful views out over the valley. There were a lot of teenage school children there enjoying their last field trip of the year. Then we had lunch at The Winking Lizard. More delicious food.

The following day we had a send-off at my brother’s house because he was heading to Las Vegas the next day for a conference he was attending. Lots of good food some he cooked and some we all brought including his two sons, their wives and their children, too.

There were other events, too, like going to Moraine Park in Pennsylvania to hike and a wonderful day at the Akron Zoo, and a day my sister-in-law, Joanne picked for our yearly Sister’s Day. There were several other days I didn’t attend because I needed to get things done here before they came for several days.

The last Day will be Memorial Day and that will be at my son’s house next door with everyone bringing something to eat and not only my siblings and brother-in-law, but my son, my daughter, three grandchildren, step-grandsons and their families which includes great-grandchildren who will be there and maybe some nieces and nephews, too. And the next day my youngest sister, Catherine and her husband Bill will take off for North Carolina to see his daughter and their family.

My brother-in-law took lots of pictures of the other events when I forgot my camera, but I forgot to ask him to send them to me.

Have you visited historic villages?


Annette said...

Gloria, the mention of Zoar flooded me with memories. I've never been there, but my parents used to take trips to Zoar to golf. I remember my mom talking about Zoar Village. I may have to take the trip to check it out for myself.

We have Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village just a few miles from here. I've toured the place more times than I can count and still love going over there for an afternoon. And then there's Colonial Williamsburg! I'd live there if I could!

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Fascinating, Gloria! I've visited many historic villages, but Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown remain my favorites.

Gloria Alden said...

Annette, I've been to Colonial Williamsburg only once and we had to leave early because my mother had heart problems and the heat was getting to her. I'd love to go back there, too. I'll have to check our Meadowcraft Rockshelter and Historic Village, too. It wouldn't be that far from me. We do a lot of camping trips in Pennsylvania.

Margaret, I was to Jamestown, too, but it's been a long time ago.

Grace Topping said...

I've visited a few, including Williamsburg, Old Bedford Village in Pennsylvania, etc. Every time my brother-in-law visits from England, we take him to Williamsburg. He loves it there. The best thing--our daughter just moved to Williamsburg, so we have a good excuse to visit there more often.

KM Rockwood said...

I love historic sites, especially the restored ones that give some idea of how people used to live.

My daughter is an archeologist with a certificate in historic buildings, and it's fun to go places with her. She often knows more than the docents.

Our last trip was to the Daniel Boone birthplace at Christmas time.

Warren Bull said...

Like others I've been to Williamsburg. I also enjoyed trips to working 1800s farms in Indianan and Missouri.

Shari Randall said...

Zoar looks so beautiful! Is the hotel open for guests? What a building!
Like the others, I've been to Williamsburg many times and love it there. I also have visited Old Sturbridge Village and Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts. I have to say Williamsburg is my favorite but it does get so hot in the summer.

Annette said...

I've learned from experience, the best time to go to Williamsburg is in April.

Gloria Alden said...

Grace, I'd love to go to Old Williamsburg again and I've not heard of Old Bedford Village in PA.
I'd like to see that, too.

Warren, I have farms around me, but I'm not familiar with old working farms except I imagine they'd be close to Amish farms in our area where they use horses to pull their mowers or other farm equipment.

Shari, the hotel is open to visitors. I think it's closed in the winter months, though. I've visited those places in Massachussetts, too, that you mentioned.

Annette, I'll have to try that. I'm sure that later in the spring the place is full uf teachers and students before the school year ends. In the summer it's full of tourists and rather hot weather, too.

Annette said...

Gloria, I like April because it's usually still chilly here, but down there, spring has sprung. There are flowers and the trees are in leaf. March is too cold yet. And we always seem to hit torrential rains when we go in May.

Gloria Alden said...

Annette, I know my sisters who live about 46 miles south of me always have flowers blooming sooner as well as trees getting their leaves. Right now, though, things are blooming here and all the trees have their leaves.