Saturday, August 6, 2022

Temperature 86 Degrees, Abundant Sunshine, Clear Blue Skies

Sauder Historic Village

When I first booked our site here for two weeks I was under the assumption that it would take us that long to work our way through the Sauder Complex. Well, I guess I should have done a bit more research. Ms. Barbara informed me that her research showed that the average amount of time to tour the village is 3 hours! Now, what do we do with the rest of the 2 weeks? In the end we’ve found a number of interesting attractions that we are going to visit. We also will be meeting up with my son Paul to see his new house in Findlay, Ohio. The bottom line is, we will not be bored.

OK, let’s talk about Sauder Village. It is indeed true what the welcome sign says when you enter

You can do as much, or as little as you want. You can just breeze through all that the Village has to offer – I would not suggest doing this; or, you can slow down and take the time to immerse yourself in all that is here – what we chose to do.

Now it is important to note that the Village and everything that surrounds it began with one exceptional man.

The life of Erie J Sauder is one of courage, compassion, great faith, persistence and the ability to triumph over all of life’s obstacles. As an example, in order to become the company that Sauder is today Erie had to rebuilt his company not once, but twice due to fire. In 1936 fire destroyed the machinery and most of the orders he was working on. This resulted in the building of a new factory. However, in 1946 fire completely destroyed the new factory with all of its machinery, orders, inventory and his beloved uncle also unfortunately lost his life in this fire. Once again he rebuilt his business and then went on to make it what it is today. His life story is a remarkable one and if you ever have a chance to Google it and read it, you will be amazed at what he accomplished in his lifetime.

Regarding Sauder Village as a whole. Today it is

Ohio’s Largest Living History Destination.

We decided first to tour the Historical Village. How did it come to be?

What is said about a tour of the Village is as true today as ever.

OK, put on your walking shoes and let’s begin our tour of the Village. After you purchase your ticket for the Village you walk out the door and there in front of you is the

Village Green. We’ll now move around the Green in a clockwise direction.

From this little washhouse would come a company that today is worth billions of dollars.

Notice the wooden chicken painted white off to the left in the above picture as well as the other animal shapes around it, well

this is how they were cut out. The gentleman is using a pedal powered saw to cut the images out of a piece of wood that he had traced the image on. This is the way it used to be done.

Next is the Basket Shop where talented basket makers are at work every day making a variety of unique baskets.

See if you can figure out who would usually receive this kind of basket?

This basket was typically given as a wedding present. Inside the basket was a chicken, a source of eggs and eventually a meal for the new bride and groom.

This is the type of basket you would take with you when you went to the garden to pick fresh vegetables.

Our docent told us it was usually carried on the one hip, leaving the other free to carry the baby on!

Moving on we come to the Tinsmith Shop. In this shop, reproductions of 1700’s -1800’s traditional tinware is created.

From pieces of tin come items like this

and this

and this. Anyone have any idea what it is?

This is an agitator! On wash day using two hands you pushed it into the wash water, it would grab on to a piece of clothing and you would push and pull that piece of clothing back and forth to clean it. When you were done with that piece, you moved on to a second piece, and so it went until all the clothes in the wash tub had been done. Sounds like fun, hey? I think not.

Next shop we visited was the Black Swamp Cooperage. Here we watched and learned how coopers used tools and techniques that have changed little over the years in the making of wooden buckets.

Meet David a current cooper in the shop. When I asked him how long it took him to learn this trade he stated he had to work 3 years as an apprentice before he was certified as a cooper.

He explained and often illustrated the many steps that went in to making a sturdy, hand made, water proof bucket. Anyone notice his beverage cup? A handmade little bucket! By the way anyone know the German word for what David is sitting on while he is shaping that bucket stave?

He also explained how to tell a genuine hand made wooden bucket from a manufactured one and that is – in a hand made one each stave in the bucket will be a different size.

As for what David is sitting on in the previous picture it is a Schnitzebank. How about that now you can speak German. Or if you prefer simple English it is a carving bench.

Moving on, we come to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. Now, I know what you’re probably saying, one church is just like all others. That’s what I was thinking and I almost passed this by but am I ever glad I went inside.

That wonderful lady by the name of Linda is the reason I’m glad I went inside. She has a very special and remarkable talent which is

the ability to play the old fashioned pump organ like no one else. She played several of our favorite hymns for us and we absolutely enjoyed the music. Thank you Linda.

On to the next shop and it is the Broom Shop.

I never knew there were so many different types of brooms – barn, child’s, regular, camper, braided regular, braided hearth – wait there are more

whiskett, pot scrubby, veggie scrubby – and all of them are made right here in this shop.

The docent in this shop was fabulous. She gave us a complete lesson in broom making and took the time to answer the many questions that we had. I was amazed at how much of a process it was to make just one simple broom. Never mind adding decorative touches which some of the brooms in this shop have.

Today most of this corn we learned comes from Mexico.

Time for yet another shop and that is Anna’s Spinning Shop.

You start with this, recently sheared wool which once cleaned up becomes

this product that is then

spun into yarn which then is taken to the tailor who will use it to make various items of clothing. Back then there was no such thing as off the rack or let me run down to Macy’s to get something to wear to the gala tonight. Everything was a process that often took weeks.

So we are now through day one. We’ll continue with day two in the next blog. Oh yes, there is quite a bit more to see. Three hours to see it all? That person must have been running from place to place, never stopping to watch and learn, nor read the informative signs. Their loss.

Thanks again for spending some time with us.  It’s always great to be able to share our story with family and friends. Comments? Feel free to share them with me. And always remember, cherish every moment of every day that God gives you and live those moments to the fullest. 

Our continuing mission remains the same: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have not been before


  1. This looks like a place I would want to visit. I think I like the buckets and the tin making the best.
    I know I would not want to do laundry that way! And I know I have bought some Sauder furniture in the past. I agree that people who hurry through and don’t notice what is offered miss out! Now, I’m wondering if there is an ice cream shop in this village.


    1. Ice Cream Shop? Oh yea with home made ice cream! I can testify to the fact that it is delicious. Oh, and ask for a small because that is like three scoops! Get a large and you’ll have enough for two to three people. Hope you trip is going well. Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

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