NEW PHILADELPHIA — Schoenbrunn Village, founded in 1772 as a Moravian mission among the Delaware Indians, was the first Christian settlement in Ohio.
The village is the site of several Ohio firsts — settlement, church, schoolhouse and code of laws.
Although the village established by Dave Zeisberger 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.
Five Indian families and Zeisberger had come to the Tuscarawas River area to find a suitable site for a mission following an invitation by 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.
Today, Schoenbrunn Village is managed by the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum.
Restored to appear as it did more than two centuries ago, Schoenbrunn Village 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.
The village is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday with at-risk hours requiring a mask from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., and Sundays from 12 to 5 p.m. Masks are strongly encouraged throughout general visitation hours.
The price of admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for children (age 7-17). Children 6 and under are admitted free of charge.