11 Most Endangered Historic Places

The Village of Zoar

Year Listed: 2012
Location: Zoar, Ohio
Threat: Natural Forces

Partners: Zoar Community Association, Ohio Historical Society, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


Photo by Tom Bower

The historic Village of Zoar, home to nearly 200 residents, is protected from flooding by a levee built in the 1930s. Record floods in 2005, however, raised concern about the levee’s integrity. Now, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has started a three-year study to assess the levee’s future. One of many alternatives under consideration is removing it entirely, which could require the relocation or demolition of 80% of this remarkable historic village.

The Village of Zoar was founded in 1817 by a group of separatists who fled Germany in search of religious freedom. Not only does Zoar help to tell the story of immigration to the United States, it illustrates the history of settlement throughout this region. As part of a multi-year study of alternatives for solving the Zoar levee problem, the Army Corps is following a review process that requires federal agencies to consider the effects of their activities on historic properties. Through the process, the Army Corps should seek alternatives that will protect Zoar.


Work with local organizations and government agencies to ensure the preservation of a 195-year-old village.

Campaign Goals

      • Save the Village of Zoar from catastrophic flooding, relocation, or demolition.
      • Raise public awareness about Zoar’s historic significance.

How You Can Help