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Funds sought to restore iconic Zoar cabin

| May 28, 2024
The Zoar Community Association is trying to raise around $75,000 to restore this cabin that was the original home of Zoar Separatist founder Joseph Bimeler. (Historic Zoar Village)

ZOAR (WJER) (May 28, 2024) – The Zoar Community Association is seeking donations to rehabilitate what’s believed to be the oldest building in town.

President Jon Elsasser says they recently acquired the iconic Bimeler Cabin from the family that owned and maintained it for nearly a century. 

“We’re lucky. We had five individuals who stepped up to buy the structure, and there was a little bit of money left over from buying it to start work on it, but we still need to raise probably about $75,000.”

The 900-square-foot cabin was the original home of Zoar Separatist leader Joseph Bimeler and is said to have been built in 1817, the year the village was founded. Elsasser says it’s in decent shape for its age but needs some love to bring it back to its former glory.

“Some of the logs need replaced. The chinking needs some work and probably replaced with a different kind of chinking than is there today. The roof is one of the original Zoar tile roofs and that needs some work, so that’s probably the first thing we’ll do.”

The plan once the building is restored is to open it up to the public to help tell the village’s story.

“That was 1817, and then fast forward to about 1835 and you walk across the garden and you see the Number 1 House. And so, in a course of basically 18 years, they went from a little log cabin to a large Georgian-style brick structure, so it just shows you how hard they worked and kind of how skilled they were. 

Checks made out to the association can be mailed to PO Box 621 in Zoar. Donations can also be made online at and through the 1817 Bimeler Cabin Restoration GoFundMe page.

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