With Zoar Listed on National Trust’s List of Most Endangered Historic Places, Brown Calls for Preservation of Historic Village

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Village of Zoar has been newly listed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of “most endangered historic places.” U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released the following statement today to stand with Ohioans in Tuscarawas County in calling for the village to be saved.

“The Zoar levee was built to help one of Ohio’s historic communities thrive along the Tuscarawas River, but the aging dam is in urgent need of repair or replacement,” Brown said. “In my visits to Tuscarawas County, I have heard from dozens of Ohioans that want Zoar to be preserved, and I am committed to working on a solution—either legislatively or with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers—to ensure that this extraordinary historic village remains intact.”

According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the historic Village of Zoar, home to nearly 200 residents, is protected from flooding by a levee built in the 1930s. Record floods in 2005, however, raised concern about the levee’s integrity. Now, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has started a three-year study to assess the levee’s future. One of many alternatives under consideration is removing it entirely, which could require the relocation or demolition of 80% of this remarkable historic village.

The Village of Zoar was founded in 1817 by a group of separatists who fled Germany in search of religious freedom. Not only does Zoar help to tell the story of immigration to the United States, it illustrates the history of settlement throughout this region. As part of a multi-year study of alternatives for solving the Zoar levee problem, the Army Corps is following a review process that requires federal agencies to consider the effects of their activities on historic properties.

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