Category: Zoar

Zoar Bicentennial

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  To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of Zoar, numerous events will culminate in recognition of Zoar’s founders October 6-8, 2017. My play, “Forever We Stand,” opens Friday night, October 6, and Tree of Heaven, my third Singular Village Mystery, will be released on Sunday, October 8, in Zoar  

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Life in 1832 Zoar

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In the preface to my next Zoar mystery, Tree of Heaven (fall, 2017), Ludwig writes to his brother in Germany, urging him to bring his family and come to America. Here’s what he tells him about their life in Zoar: “When we finally made our way from Philadelphia to the land in Northeast Ohio that Josef had […]

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The Case of Goesele v. Bimeler

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In the Society of Separatists, the tavern keeper, Johannes Goesele, repeatedly flouts the Separatists’ rules. Finally, in 1844 he and his wife are evicted from their home and banned from the town of Zoar. In revenge, he files a lawsuit against Joseph Bimeler, Zoar’s leader, demanding a share of the Society’s property. If he prevails, […]

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Sex and the Separatists: The Expanded Version

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The Separatists couldn’t make up their minds about sex. Was it good? Or bad? Well, that’s not exactly accurate–they never thought it was good. More like accepting sex as a necessary evil? Or totally opposed. Remember, their goal was to get to heaven–be saved. That’s what made this life on earth palatable. If they sacrificed pleasures now, […]

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Sex and the Separatists

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The Separatists couldn’t make up their minds about sex. Was it good? Or bad? Well, that’s not exactly accurate–they never thought it was good. More like accepting sex as a necessary evil? Or totally opposed. Remember, their goal was to get to heaven–be saved. That’s what made this life on earth palatable. if they sacrificed pleasures […]

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Writing a Play: How Hard Could It Be?

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Having authored more than a dozen nonfiction books and five mystery novels, I agreed to write a play to celebrate Zoar, Ohio’s Bicentennial.  A perfect situation had presented itself: Zoar’s founder, Joseph Bimeler, had been sued by a man he’d thrown out of the community in 1844. I had access to transcripts of testimonies as well as an […]

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Irish Travellers Invade Zoar, Ohio: Fact or Fiction?

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Much is believed to be known about Irish Travellers. And some of it is true! Origins      Often confused with Romany Gypsies whose origins began in northern India, Irish Travellers originated in Ireland more than 1,000 years ago, separating from their settled brethen to establish distinct communities, language, and mores. (For verisimilitude, I’ve used the Irish […]

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Do Ghosts Roam Zoar Today?

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Walk with me now as I explore the streets of historic Zoar. Leaves scutter ahead of me as wind whips them into an eery frenzy that portends ill for daring observers. Nonetheless I persevere. I have only limited time to explore the village. Rumor has it ghosts roam the village. Let’s see if we can spy […]

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Historic Zoar Threatened

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Levees protecting historic Zoar have been breached by recent flooding, and the US Army Corps of Engineers is considering how to handle future threats, according to Jon Elsasser, Zoar Community Association president. Options include relocating or razing buildings in the lower part of the town to allow flood water to envelop the property or repairing […]

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