Historic
Shiloh House
Dowie House in Zion - Foyer and Stairway
Welcome to Historic Shiloh House

Shiloh House is a 25 room mansion built in 1901 as the residence of Zion’s founder, Dr. John Alexander Dowie. Dr. Dowie is credited with establishing the Christian Catholic Church and the City of Zion, one of the most representative religious utopias and planned industrial communities of the 20th Century. Dr. Dowie lived in the house until his death on March 9, 1907.

Paul Burkhardt, the architect, was
born and educated in Switzerland.
The Swiss Chalet design, evident in
the house’s upper stories, was his personal signature. It is constructed
of red brick and Indiana limestone.
The upper structured panels are of plaster and wood. Originally, the house had a tile roof laid in a distinct design depicting the triangular pattern of the Trinity or lightning signifying the power of God. The roof has been replaced with shingles, however, the design has been maintained. The house originally had only one porch. The two upper porches were added by a later owner. Remarkably unique, Shiloh House was built by the combined efforts of the town’s craftsmen. The brick masonry, the sandstone construction, the wainscoting and flooring were all contributions of these tradesmen.


The house floor plan includes a magnificent foyer and stairwell, family parlor, business parlor, a dining room, kitchen, the Dowie bedroom, two bathrooms, Dr. Dowie’s study, Esther Dowie’s bedroom, Gladstone Dowie’s bedroom, the Stern’s apartment, and several guest rooms, one which is used to display Zion lace and related lace artifacts. The servants quarters, built one half story below the main house, have been renovated into a caretaker’s quarters. Shiloh House has two interior stairways, as was customary in the better homes in Europe; one for the Master and the other for the servants.

Dowie House in Zion - Dining Room
Inside the house, no expense was spared to make it unique. Both electricity and gas were installed for illumination. Light fixtures and bathroom fixtures were brought from Europe. The bathroom walls were decorated with white tile. Bathtub fixtures were fashioned from silver and shaped like swans. A cedar closet was built on the second floor in the servants’ quarters.
On the second floor is the room that was to be Esther’s, Dr. Dowie’s daughter. She asked her father for a pink fireplace and he granted her wish. However, due to a tragic accident that took her life, she never lived in Shiloh House.


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