Marian “Sandy” Worley lives, works and entertains surrounded by her many collections of antiques.
Her mantra? “You name it, I collect it.”
Worley and her late husband moved to House #22 in Zoar in 1976. Built in 1828 as the German society’s cobbler shop, the house was where shoes and boots were made for the entire community. It also had enough space to house as many as three families.
And it provides the perfect canvas for Worley to display an array of pristine pieces from as early as 1790.
Worley uses the majority of the home as a thriving bed-and-breakfast. The former cobbler shop area on the left side of the house is her antiques store. She keeps a small and private upstairs suite for herself.
Historic Zoar was the ideal place for Worley, who grew up in New England and enjoys authentic old homes. Before moving to Zoar, she and her husband restored a historical Victorian home in Indiana that had been built around and over a log cabin.
Her Zoar home is listed on the National Registry as part of the historic district of Zoar Village — and she works hard to keep everything as original as possible throughout the home.
“We’re so fussy, that’s even the original drains,” she said, pointing at the giant ceramic bowls that catch the water from the gutters.
The nearly 4,000-square-foot white oak home is painted a pale rustic red with cream trim surrounding each of its 35 windows. She has it painted every five to six years to help keep the immaculate look of the home.
Her current garage and storage area is in the space formerly occupied by the community’s original wash house. The two separate front doors on the home lead to the main hall and living space on the right, and the antiques store on the left.
“One thing we have done is maintained the original walls, and we didn’t add closets,” Worley said, pointing to hooks on the wall inside the front door used for hanging coats. She chuckles when she tells how those particular hooks are original to the house, but she just got them back last year.
“We bought the house from direct descendants (of settlers). After we bought it, they had a yard sale,” she said.
A homeowner down the street introduced herself later and said she bought the hooks. Worley bought them back about 35 years later.
The floors throughout are original random-width white oak that have an uneven, sometimes hilly feel.
“When I scrub the floor, I can start up here and it rolls down. Makes it easier,” she said jokingly.
In the main hall, the steep and narrow stairs feature unique stenciling. They were painted by David Wiggins, an itinerant artist from New Hampshire who stayed at the bed-and-breakfast while helping Worley’s daughter restore her New Philadelphia home.
Worley took the visit as an opportunity to learn the art of stenciling herself and now is considered a master of the art and even created and painted her own pattern for one of the bedrooms.
The furnishings throughout the home are antique, with very few exceptions. Many of the wardrobes and dressers were made in Zoar in the 1800s. Others were made in Pennsylvania and New England.
“My feeling is, when you come to Zoar, you want to stay in an authentic home. If you are looking for chrome and hot tubs, this is the wrong place,” Worley said.
Among her antique collections are stone fruit from the 1880s that look amazingly real, chalkware, Gaudy plate collections, toys and spatterware.
The only signs of 2012 are found in the kitchen. A center island holds a sink, and a small flat-screen television sits on an antique desk. Worley can peer out at her idyllic backyard from the window.
A first-floor bedroom has a private bathroom for bed-and-breakfast guests, while upstairs, three more meticulous rooms await.
“We use these things. They’re not just antiques,” said Worley of the 1850 blanket box and 1820 Field bed with an original canopy.
Zoar village was established in 1817 by a group of German farmers who had separated from the State Church in Germany because of the excessive taxation by the church. They came here with assistance from the Quakers, who helped them purchase 5,500 acres from Joseph Haga, who had received the Zoar land as a land grant. Life was difficult individually for families, since many of the adult males had been jailed in Germany for nonpayment of the taxes. In 1819, they joined together as a communal society and worked and lived together to survive.