- Amish Country
Not far from Steubenville is the small town of Mount Pleasant where visitors can see almost exactly what a 19th Century Quaker village looked like almost 200 years ago. Many of the homes and buildings located here are exactly as they were in 1800 Ohio except for being updated with running water and electricity. The Quaker Meeting House, which is now under management by the Mount Pleasant Historical Society has been preserved as closely as possible to the way it was when it was built in 1814. The large building was the first Quaker Meeting House constructed west of the Alleghenies and was used regularly until 1909.
In 1950 the building was deeded to the state of Ohio and the Ohio Historical Society restored the building to its original state making necessary repairs to the roof and structure. The Ohio Historical Society opened the building to the public in 1963.
The large brick structure was designed for the yearly meeting of Quakers and seats 2,000 people. The building included two doors, one for the women and the other for the men. The interior was also separated for the sexes which could be divided into identical galleries. The large balcony was reserved for the children.
By 1816, Mount Pleasant had earned a reputation among fugitive slaves as a town where they would be welcomed. The Quakers who lived in the village helped Mount Pleasant become a center of antislavery activity. Many of the residents here used their homes as Underground Railroad safe houses.
In 1821, Benjamin Lundy, the "Father of Abolitionism" began to publish his newspaper, the Genius of Universal Emancipation, in Mt. Pleasant. Lundy would eventually move east where he felt there were more people that could become involved in the Abolition movement.
The Quaker Meeting house is a 3-story brick building which was erected in Mount Pleasant in 1814 and was the first yearly Quaker meeting house west of the Alleghenies. The Quakers that first moved into the area, thought that Mount Pleasant would become a large city and the headquarters for their faith. For a time it looked like this might be the case, but when the National Road was constructed to the south, thus by-passing the growing town, the fate of the community was sealed.
Quakers have no established creed, they do follow a set of guiding principles known as the testimonies. Concepts such as equality, peace, simplicity and integrity form the basis of these testimonies. George Fox is credited with founding the Religious Society of Friends in England in 1648.