Breaking News about the Levee Situation:

Posted 2013

Zoar is currently threatened by a local failing levee. Learn more about the potential solutions to this problem, and how YOU can help us preserve our history.

The Village of Zoar

The village of Zoar was founded in 1817 by German religious dissenters as a communal society and represents “an exceptional historic way of life.” Few such settlements in the U.S. are as well preserved as Zoar and have such distinctive architectural and historic features. It is of exceptional value in illustrating the heritage of our nation. Zoar is a national treasure enjoyed by thousands of Americans every year.

Historic Village of Zoar Placed on Endangered Historic Site List... read more about this important development click here.

Federal Study Threatens Historic Village Support and Action is Needed

The Historic Village of Zoar sits at the base of a levee constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) nearly 75 years ago to hold back potential floodwaters. The levee is in need of major repairs and the Corps has given it a “Dam Safety Action Classification I” rating — its lowest safety rating, meaning the need to address the issue is “urgent and compelling.” By law, the Corps must consider all options to fix the problem. Basically, there are three alternatives:

  • Repair the levee
  • Tear down the village and let the area flood
  • Relocate the Historic Village of Zoar to higher ground

The Zoar Village Government and the Zoar Community Association believe the only acceptable option is to “preserve Historic Zoar intact where it is.”

"Save Historic Zoar" Campaign Now Part of National 'This Place Matters' Program

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is conducting a campaign called 'This Place Matters.' The goal of the campaign is to draw attention to historic sites across the country that need to be preserved. The Historic Village of Zoar is proud to be included in the campaign. View photos of the Zoar campaign. To learn more about the NTHP campaign, you can visit

The “Save Historic Zoar” Movement…

…is led by Zoar Village government, the Zoar Community Association (a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization) and leading preservation, historical, business and community groups and elected officials in the area. The goal is to protect and preserve the Historic Village of Zoar. You can get more information and join the effort by writing to:

Save Historic Zoar P.O. Box 544 Zoar, OH 44697-0544

Or call, (330) 874-3011 (800) 262-6195

What you can do…

We want to hear from you and so does the Corps. As part of its Environmental Impact Study (EIS), the Corps “invites full public participation.” The EIS includes “potential impacts to the natural, physical and human environment.” Please contact the Corps at the address below and say why Zoar should be preserved.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Huntington District
502 Eighth St.
Huntington, WV 25701-2070

(please send a copy of your letter to us using the address in the section above)

Or via email at: (write “Zoar Comments” on the subject line and CC

Or by phone at: (304) 399-5720

Letters of Support…

To read what others are saying about the importance of the Historic Village of Zoar, both from an historical perspective and its current value to the community and to the state of Ohio, click here.

What others are saying…

What follows are news articles and editorials, including a New York Times report from 40 years ago, stories about President McKinley's visits in 1901, and opinion pieces explaining why preserving Zoar is so important:

For a copy of the presentation by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about the Zoar project click here.