Garage sale supports Zoar Wetland

Garage sale supports Zoar Wetland
Lori Feeney

The 82-acre Zoar Wetland Arboretum includes a shallow lake open to the public for fishing and is a favorite local spot for birdwatching.


The Zoar Wetland Arboretum garage sale will take place Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26. The sale normally takes place at the same time as the village-wide garage sale in Zoar, but this year the village changed their date.

Hours for the sale are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days in the wetland pavilion at 434 W. Fifth St. in Zoar. For those who have never visited, it’s an easy find by taking Route 212 into Zoar and turning west on Fifth Street, following it over the Zoar Levee.

Sherrie Baughman, the secretary/treasurer for the all-volunteer nonprofit, said due to the pandemic causing the cancellation of last year’s sale, there will be two years’ worth of treasures to browse and buy.

“We have lots of Christmas decorations including a 9-foot prelit tree,” Baughman said. A Bowflex fitness machine, tools and a large array of other items also will be on hand, all of which have been donated for the sale.

“This pavilion will be filled,” said Denny Lewton, executive director. “All the picnic tables and benches will be filled. And all the money raised goes to support the wetland.”

This year the organization will raffle off a Pelican Mustang 100X kayak to one winner. Tickets can be purchased at the sale and are $10 each or three for $25. The winner does not need to be present for the drawing on June 26 at the end of the sale.

Why support is important

The health benefits of spending time outdoors have been widely acknowledged. “It’s important to preserve this area for wildlife and for humans. We need our green spaces,” Baughman said.

Lewton said, “It’s a place for nature, for education and for people to enjoy time outdoors. I think it’s important for parents to get their kids outside and learning about nature.”

The 82-acre nature preserve is currently ranked number two in the county on, according to Lewton. “There are times we’ve been number one. We have eagles that fish out of the lake, otters, beaver and other wildlife here.”

The natural wetland ecosystem includes 30 acres of shallow marsh, more than 50 acres of woodland and 2 miles of maintained trails to explore. The wetland is supported entirely through grants and donations.

The shallow lake is the original Zoar Lake formed as overflow flood storage for the Tuscarawas River. The lake is open to the public for fishing, walking, hiking or simply sitting in the pavilion enjoying the sights and sounds of nature.

“Members are permitted to kayak or canoe on the lake,” Baughman said.

Memberships run $30 a year for families and $100 for corporations, and lifetime memberships are $250. Forms can be downloaded from the website at

A storied history

The picnic shelter rests on the sandstone foundation of the original Zoar Brewery, built by the original settlers known as the Society of Separatists of Zoar. The brewery was in operation from 1830 to around 1878, and the entry gates to the original brewery can be seen at the wetland.

In the 1920s the site became the location for the Zoar Dance Hall. Traveling bands played a variety of music including mountain favorites, polkas and Big Band swing tunes. People flocked to the social hall from 1924 until it burned down in 1959, after which the property was privately owned until 1998 when it was turned into a nature preserve.

The picnic shelter can be rented for special events. “We’ve had weddings, graduation parties and family reunions here,” Baughman said.

The rental fee is $50 for the day, plus a $50 refundable deposit.

“We have water and electric here, so you can plug in Crock Pots, lights or anything else you want for your event,” Baughman said.

The pavilion is suitable for up to 50 people.

The wetland closes at dusk, and no night fishing or camping are allowed. For more information or to inquire about renting the pavilion, call 330-495-3613 or visit Zoar Wetland on Facebook.

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