Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Day at Sauder Village

We stayed at the Heritage Inn on the site of Sauder Village near Archbold, Ohio, so when we got up Tuesday morning, we just had a short walk to enter the Village... along with 1200 school children! It was a big crowd but extremely enjoyable. These people can handle a crowd!

The Sauder Village Mission:
As a destination of choice, Sauder Village offers guests experiences rich in history, hospitality, creativity, & fun.

They lived up to their mission statement!

What is Sauder Village?
In 1934, local farm boy Erie J. Sauder (1904-1997) with plenty of vision, determination and God-given mechanical ability, founded the Sauder Woodworking Company, today a world leader in ready-to-assemble furniture.

Although he was always a forward thinker, Erie was well aware that the past had paved the way. He was particularly partial to the stories of his ancestors who had been among those who settled NW Ohio's Great Black Swamp in the mid 1830s.

That's why, in the 1970s, he had dozens of structures, built by hand a century earlier, moved from locations throughout NW Ohio to create the Sauder Village.

The Village consists of the Historic Community and Craftsmen, the Natives and Newcomers, and the Pioneer Settlement. There is also a welcome center, a gift shop, a cafe, a museum, and a very nice QUILT SHOP! There were craftspeople working everywhere and every building/area had a guide to explain and answer questions.

We saw The Basket Shop, The Cabinet Shop, The Barber Shop, The Tinsmith's Shop, and The Cooperage. I especially enjoyed Anna's Spinning Shop where this volunteer was spinning wool from the sheep that were sheered four days earlier.

We visited the Herb Shop - what a wonderful aroma! Ray went back later for one last smell! We spent some relaxing time at St. Mark's Lutheran Church listening to this lady play a foot pump organ.

We visited the Elmira Depot. Any idea why this bench has armrests? Because the hobos used to come in for naps and the railroad personnel didn't want them there!

After the Doctor's Office, The Sweet Shoppe, The Printing Office, and The Glass Works, we went to the Broom Shop. It appears that making a broom is hard work!

We went on to the 1910 Homestead, The Pottery Shed, and bypassed The Ice Cream Parlor. We think all 1200 children were in that line at various times. At Barbara's Weaving Shop, this lady was weaving mug rugs. She answered my many questions about looms.

The man at The Grist Mill was grinding corn. We saw the mid-1800's Settlement, the Log Schoolhouse with the oil paper windows, and a home where the lady was cooking chicken with vegetables on the fire. I was getting hungry. We went on to a Cabin where the lady had just made an apple butter pie. Oh my! Then the Jail, the Farm, and the Holdeman Church where music wasn't allowed. 

We headed for the Cafe and had a nice lunch. All refreshed, we headed back to see the rest. Many of the children left between 1 and 2 PM so it was a little easier to see things and much quieter! 

We met these 4th graders at the Blacksmith Shop. They were enjoying giant jawbreakers on sticks and thought it was wonderful that I wanted their picture!

On to the Tiffin River Woodworks with its many wooden toys and the Cider Mill. Then we backtracked to the Village Trader and the General Store which we couldn't get close to earlier in the day. 

In the Museum I had a lesson on tatting! I've always wondered how and was surprised it is just making a lark's head knot! The volunteer was so kind and patiently explained the procedure.

The Quilt Shop with its many hanging quilts - all hand quilted - was our next stop.

A group of volunteers quilt the quilts on this frame in the back of the store. They were very friendly - when I went looking for Ray, he was back there visiting with them! They are periodically tested on there stitches. At least 9 stitches per inch with great consistency is required!

When I walked in the door, I fell in love with this bolt of fabric. Can you believe I didn't buy it?! I couldn't figure out what I wanted to make so I left it behind! Looking back, I KNOW I was tired!
This is a great shop which lots of fabric and inspiration. I'd love to come back!

I think the only thing we missed was riding the train. On the way out of the village we visited the Gift Shop and met some really nice people who were telling us what to get at the Bakery which was our next stop. Then on to the Sauder Store and Outlet. It was a short walk to the Inn and time to sit down!


  1. Looks like a fun day. I haven't been to Ohio since I was a kid.

  2. Wow! That sounds like so much fun. Similar to something I went to in MA when I was growing up - Sturbridge Village. Thanks for the tour.



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