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Tin Shop

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1825; 1970 reconstruction, Ohio Historical Society. 385 Main St.
  • (Photograph by Steven Avdakov)

The Village of Zoar was home to the Society of Separatists of Zoar from 1817 to 1898. In the village, this religious utopian society created a comprehensive built environment to support their communal lifestyle and reflect their German cultural traditions.

Constructed in 1825, the Tin Shop was a small-scale manufacturing site in which Zoarites produced all manner of typical tinware needed for the community, including buckets and smaller containers. The tinware produced in the shop was distributed to Zoarite members for use in the communal enterprises. The shop is a small rectangular brick building with brick nogging. It has a symmetrical facade defined by a central doorway and two six-over-six windows on each side of it. The gabled roof is covered with wood shakes.

The Tin Shop’s brick nogging, reflects a medieval system of timber-framing that German immigrants called fachwerk. The nogging materials were brick in-fill between exposed heavy timber framework. The nogging provided additional strength to the framing, as well as insulation. Elsewhere in Zoar, fachwerk is still evident in the Blacksmith Shop, Cider Mill, and the Zoar Store.

In 1970 what is now the Ohio History Connection began restoring the Tin Shop using historical documentation. The shop was in a significant state of deterioration and was largely rebuilt using the original foundation. The Tin Shop is included in the Zoar Historic District, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2016.


Avdakov, Steven, Debbie Griffin, and Nathalie Wright, “Zoar Historic District,” Tuscarawas County, Ohio. National Historic Landmark Nomination, 2016. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.

Fernandez, Kathleen M. A Singular People: Images of Zoar. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 2003.

Hinds, William Alfred. American Communities. Rev. ed. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr and Company, 1902.

Morhart, Hilda Dischinger. The Zoar Story. Dover, OH: Seibert Printing Company, 1967.

Nixon, Edgar Burkhardt. “The Society of Separatists of Zoar.” Ph.D. dissertation, The Ohio State University, 1933.

Nordhoff, Charles. Communistic Societies of the United States. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1875.

Robison, Elwin C. “Heavenly Aspirations and Earthly Realities: Four Northeast Ohio Religious Utopias.” Timeline17, no. 6 (November/December) 2000: 2-25.

Writing Credits

Nathalie Wright
Barbara Powers



  • 1825

  • 1970


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Nathalie Wright, "Tin Shop", [Zoar, Ohio], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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