Friday, September 3, 2010

Schoenbrunn Village, New Philadelphia, OH

We took the first field trip of the year on Wednesday. We went down to Schoenbrunn Village. It is part of the Ohio Historical Sites, so we got in free with our membership. Otherwise it is $7 for adults and $5 for children. The weather was really hot, over 90 degrees, which is VERY unusual in Ohio, especially in September. The Village goes to Weekend only hours after Labor Day. We had the place to ourselves. They had a nice introductory video that gave the history, and then we took a self-guided walking tour.

The village was completely destroyed and was rebuilt after some archaeological digs were done. There are about 15 buildings that have been reconstructed as well as fences and gardens.

The houses are built where they found the stone foundations. The Village was a Moravian settlement of Christian American Natives. They left the tribal religion and reached out to those around them. There were several Moravian missionaries that lived here also.

The houses were small and the doors were short. During the summer and on weekends they have guides who do the re-enactments and demonstrations.

The Moravians were big into educating the Indians. They wrote textbooks and translated the Bible into the tribal language. The second biggest building in the village was the above school. At one point they had 100 children attending.

They had benches in the middle and desk tables attached to the outside walls.
The settlement ate a lot of corn and grew beans and melons.

This is 'Heaven's Acre'.
The burial ground for the town. Only baptized individuals could be buried here. They did bury both white and Indian side by side. The stones on the ground are the headstones.

The original church in the village held over 300 people. They held services here every morning and evening to teach the people.
In late 1776 they left the settlement and burned the church down so that it wouldn't be desecrated. They left the area because they were pacifists and they were caught in the fighting of the Revolutionary War between the British coming down from Fort Detroit and the Colonists coming up from Fort Pitt. Neither side appreciated the 'Christian' Indians.

Here is T-Bob wearing a Moravian Preacher hat.
We had a nice time and spent about 1.5 hours here. If the presenters had been demonstrating the candle making, and all the other colonial arts we could have spent more. There is a nice small museum at the entrance that gives more history and holds many of the artifacts they found while excavating their archaeological dig.

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