Collection of Ora Labora Letters Discovered in Ohio

Trace Magazine

Archives of Michigan is now in possession of a collection of Ora Labora letters written in English and Old German by Emil and Bertha Baur and other family members. They were found in Cincinnati in 1974 and sent to the Historical Society of Michigan in 2018. They are in process of being prepared for availability online

The Ora Labora Experiment by Florence McKinnon Gwinn

Ora Labora Group Picture

The Ora Labora Experiment is an excerpt from a common historical document that has been scanned and re-published numerous times on the Internet from the “Pioneer History of Huron County” – 1922 by Florence McKinnon Gwinn, Caseville, Michigan. Some researchers consider this work the starting point for further research of the colony. The author and … Read more

Ora Labora 1863 – A Lost Colony in Michigan’s North – Part Two

Ora Labora Part II

Part II of the Ora Labora story outlines the summer of 1863. Building is rapid and progress exciting in Michigan’s north. But the looming effect of the Civil War is about to impact this fledgling German religious colony’s effort to bring their culture and traditions to the Great Lakes wilderness.

Ora Labora Colony – A Lost Community in Michigan’s North – Part Three

Ora Labora Part Three

Part III of the Ora Labora story brings us to 1864. The rapid growth of the colony was costly and the society needs funds to grow. It was time for drastic measures. The raging war in the south was turning in the North’s favor and the colony was on borrowed time until the draft took effect.

Ora Labora – A Lost Colony in Michigan’s North – Part Four

Ora Labora Part Four

Part IV of the Ora Labora starts during Christmas 1864. The Colonies funds and provisions are low and its leader Emil Baur is begging his benefactors for loans to make it through the winter. With the war in its closing days the colonist are hopeful that a risky new venture will be profitable.