Small Towns with Big Stories

Welcome to Tuscarawas County and its small towns with big stories!

The county’s history begins as the Ohio frontier, with the early residents arriving in the springtime of 1772. Upon experiencing the lush beauty and recognizing the fertile soil surrounding the Tuscarawas River, they established Schoenbrunn Village, its name meaning “Beautiful Spring.” Today, historic Schoenbrunn Village welcomes you to walk in the same footprints those first Ohio settlers trod and to visit the reconstructed first church and schoolhouse on that early Ohio frontier. The original cemetery honors the lives of the six hundred-plus residents that lived there, including Delaware peoples who became Christianized through the teachings of Moravian missionary David Zeisberger, the village leader.

Following a daytime tour of historic Schoenbrunn Village, plan to attend the live outdoor drama Trumpet in the Land, Ohio’s official state play and longest-running outdoor drama, in the evening. The 2024 season opens on June 21st. The epic outdoor production uses song, dance, comedy, and dramatic interpretations to tell the inspiring story of the founding of Schoenbrunn, Ohio’s first settlement during the tumultuous Revolutionary War.

Tuscarawas County is in the middle of the lush, rolling hills of Appalachian, Ohio. Its treed terrain reminded early Swiss immigrants of their homeland in Switzerland, and soon, they established dairy farms for their Swiss Cheese operations, many of which were in the Sugarcreek area. Current Amish residents farm those same fields, creating a confluence of culture and heritage for travelers to experience. Spend time in downtown Sugarcreek, strolling past the murals decorating the facades of many buildings that depict life in Switzerland. Be delighted by the music performed by the Hilltoppers, the Oompah-pah band of the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock, at the top and bottom of each hour. Afterward, take in the cultural heritage exhibits on display at the Alpine Hills Museum; later, marvel at the artistry of the Brick Wall Sculpture mural, which illustrates the tales of life in this scenic Swiss heritage village.

Bolivar’s stories go back to the construction of Fort Laurens, Ohio’s only Revolutionary War Fort. Learn the drastic measures the brave soldiers took to serve on the Ohio frontier at this volatile time. After taking in the history, enjoy browsing the antique shops in downtown Bolivar and feed your appetite at one of the local restaurants. If you are ready for a cold brew, stop by Lockport Brewery and enjoy a handcrafted beer.

National Historic Landmark District, Historic Zoar Village, has a big story to share! Known as America’s most successful Communal Society, residents began to call Zoar home in 1817 as they arrived seeking religious freedom. Enjoy the architecture of the original brick and timber structures, the museums, the bakery, and the large garden. Featuring unique events throughout the year, you may even want to time your visit to take in Maifest, the harvest, antique festival, or fall season ghost tours to hear from one of the original residents!

Dover has a downtown filled with friendly merchants and locally owned cafes, diners, and restaurants- not to mention a hand-crafted candy store, a cupcake shop, a floral shop, and several offering new and vintage decor for your home! When you are ready to explore the outdoors, stop by Riverfront Park to enjoy the artistically created swing beckoning you to hop on for a riverside ride! The Dover museum offerings include the original Victorian Home, J. E. Reeves Victorian Home and Carriage House Museum; a museum sharing the life story of master carver, Ernest “Mooney” Warther, at the Ernest Warther Museum and Gardens; and a museum mentioned in Ripley’s Believe It or Not – Famous Endings Museum- that tells of stories of those who have passed on. Dover has more than enough to do for a day or a few!

Travelers looking to add to their wardrobe will enjoy the shops in downtown New Philadelphia, whose merchants offer styles for the whole family. With cafes, restaurants, bookstores, art galleries, and a maker’s market, you will enjoy this city and its many brightly colored murals.

Have you traveled to Dreamsville lately? Discover Dennison and tour the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum to learn about the famous song’s tie to this Tuscarawas County community and the importance of this iconic American railroad depot. While you are there, enjoy a meal at the onsite restaurant. Your entire family will enjoy the magic of the Polar Express train ride offered each Christmas season.

Newcomerstown is proud to share the stories of former residents Cy Young and Woody Hayes! Visit the Olde Main Street Museum and take a step back in time to see the collections of these favorite sons on display in the exhibits.

Interspersed with the small towns are grand arts adventures, farm markets, trails, rock climbing, dog parks, a drive-in movie theater, and the best homemade ice cream! Tuscarawas County is in the heart of Appalachian Ohio and warmly called “The Other Side of Amish Country.” You will be welcomed with friendly smiles throughout your visit, regardless of where your adventure takes you! With many lodging options, you will sleep comfortably in one of our many clean, comfortable hotels!

Visit, call 800-527-3387, or stop by the Welcome Center at 124 East High Ave, New Philadelphia, for more information about the small towns with big stories.

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