Schoenbrunn Village is the site of several Ohio firsts—settlement, church, schoolhouse and code of laws. The village, restored to appear as it did more than two centuries ago, includes the original cemetery and 16 reconstructed log structures, as well as the church and gardens. A visitor center with museum and introductory video will help orient you so that you can experience the village as if you were in the past. Average visit time: Allow 1+ hours
Schoenbrunn Village, founded in 1772 as a Moravian mission among the Delaware Indians, was the first Christian settlement in Ohio. Although the village prospered for several years, pressures from encroaching settlers and British-aligned Indians forced the abandonment of Schoenbrunn in 1777, shortly after the start of the Revolutionary War.
The village was established by David Zeisberger, who in 1772 found a rare pocket of neutrality in a region that was tense as the American Revolution approached. Five Indian families and Zeisberger came to the Tuscarawas River area to find a suitable site for a mission, upon an invitation of the Delaware Indian leader Netawatwes to establish a mission in the Ohio country. The village established the state’s first civil code and built the first schoolhouse. Toward the end of its short, five-year history, the villagers were harassed from both sides: the American Indians, who were under the influence of the British, and the American frontiersmen, who were pushing their way farther into the Ohio country. By 1777, pressured by the opposing forces, the villagers chose to abandon Schoenbrunn. Upon leaving, they destroyed the meetinghouse so it could not be used again.
Schoenbrunn Village is managed by the Ohio History Connection.