NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (May 2, 2022) – The city’s oldest landmark is celebrating a big milestone this week.
Historic Schoenbrunn Village turns 250 tomorrow, having been founded by Moravian Missionary David Zeisberger and his followers on May 3rd, 1772. The site is operated today by the Dennison Depot, which has two days of festivities planned to mark the occasion. Director of Museums Jacob Masters says it begins tomorrow at 10 am with a ceremony to unveil some new additions to the site including museum exhibits and the rebuilt Schebosh Cabin.
“There was a fire in the 70s that burned it down so it has been gone for quite some time but it was the very first one that was rebuilt in the 1920s.”
Moravian church representatives and members of the Delaware Nation are in town for the celebration, which extends into Wednesday with a special installment of the village’s spring Children’s Day.
“What’s very interesting about that day is that this is the first time we’ve ever really been able to get the Delaware people to talk about Schoenbrunn at Schoenbrunn Village, so it’s a very unique opportunity where kids can learn about the Delaware people from the actual Delaware.”
Masters says Schoenbrunn’s story is one of two very different groups of people living together harmoniously for five years until tensions from the American Revolution forced them to abandon the settlement.
“There was a lot of turmoil on the Western frontier because Ohio was the Western frontier, and they were able to make it work. They lived peacefully. I’m sure they had their hardships, but they were able to do it. That is something that is not even heard of today let alone back then.”
The village opens for the season the Tuesday after Memorial Day. Masters says visitors will be greeted by a sculpture of a turkey, turtle, and wolf that was an anniversary gift from the Delaware Nation.