Sunday, August 8, 2022

Temperature 91 Degrees, Overcast, Rain Showers

Sauder Historic Village

Today was the Great Exodus. Let me explain. The campground has a total of 85 sites and by Friday evening all but 2 were occupied. Today, all but about 10 are occupied this afternoon. It was something to see everyone leave. One by one they made their way around the loop and out the exit road. But you know what? The same thing will no doubt happen again next weekend.

OK, let’s go back to the Village.

One of the most amazing buildings on the grounds is the Museum. It was 5 large exhibit rooms and you could easily spend a full day taking in all the fascinating and informative exhibits it has to offer. We spent about 2 hours here and I know we missed so much. After awhile you just go in to what I call overload.

Let me share with you just a bit of the fascinating things I discovered. In the area of communication I came across these interesting facts.

I challenge you to try and find a pay phone today. Hey, I actually know where there is one. Believe it or not there was one in the campground at the International Peace Gardens campground. And yes, it was in working order.

Talk about a resourceful person. George must have really wanted to create that first switchboard considering the objects he used to make it.

Can you imagine anyone today waiting 10 hours for their cell phone to charge! Not to mention its limited use and its crazy price.

In the exhibit Improving Your Home

Can’t afford a full tub, then how about a tin hip bath? Hey, it even has a cup holder!

In the exhibit of Ways We Move

Wow! I believe I’ll stick to driving Elvira.

OK, how about riding a horse?

How about that I never thought about the drawbacks of using a horse.

No museum in the Village would be complete without an entire room dedicated to

The Sauder story and an exhibition of some of its furniture. The panel above is just one of about 24 that tells the ups and downs, the trials and tribulations, and the numerous innovations that is Sauder. The story is absolutely fascinating and I was delighted to learn about the man and the company he formed and went on to build

Well, like I said the museum is immense and one could easily spend the better part of a day there but we need to be on our way.

We’re moving on now to a new section of the village known as 1920’s Main Street. But before we walk Main Street lets stop and have a little fun.

There is a miniature train that runs around the perimeter of the Historic Village and the kid in me was not going to pass this up. All aboard!

Back from our train ride and the first building we see is

Anyone know what this company is famous for? Well, first a bit of history. This company was founded by Henry Winzeler who opened a dental practice in Archbold. Eight years later he made a career change and started a company to manufacture picture frames. Eventually they began to make children’s toys, the most famous being – ready for it – the Etch A Sketch! I know I once had one and had a ball with it. How about you?

Moving on, we’ll now visit some of the shops on Main Street.

In the 1900’s the barbershop was usually the gathering place for men in the community. Ladies were gently reminded that this was not a place for them.

Often times the barbershop was located near the train depot. Train employees and sometimes gentlemen travelers departing the train would often need a means of “freshening up” therefore the barbershop usually had a section in the back for bathing.

The hardware store offered a little bit of everything in terms of tools, modern appliances, and materials for almost any home or farmstead need. It also offered toys and books and dollhouses for the kids. Not to mention it also offered something the large box stores don’t offer today, it offered home town hospitality. I remember we had a store similar to this in our little town and whenever you went to the store to get something you received a warm greeting and service with a smile.

This is an example of a 1900’s green grocery store. It offered basic staples to meet everyday needs beyond meat and fish such as vegetables, cheeses, bread and prepackaged foods.

Have you every had this before? This is a brand of carbonated beverage that is among the first mass-produced soft drinks in the United States. It is considered Maine’s official state beverage. I have no idea what it tastes like ,though, I’ve read that it tastes something like root beer but with a bitter aftertaste. I believe I’ll pass on it. Oh, and yes it is still sold today.

This is the local post office which was often found in the grocery store. I’ll take a loaf of bread, a box of cereal and a book of stamps, please.

This was a great place to take a break and watch some film clips of silent films. I watched and wondered how in the world they did some of the stunts. They really had everyone laughing in the theater.

This is where we ended our final day. They offered home made ice cream and I was not about to pass it up. Oh, it was so delicious and they were so generous in the portions they offered.

Our time in the Village has come to an end. There is more there that I was not able to include in the blog. But I’ve covered the majority of the Village. We didn’t do it in 3 hours, it didn’t take us 2 weeks, instead it took us 2 days and we could have spend a 3rd day there if they had only offered a weekly pass. We had a delightful time, especially watching the various guides show us how things were made way back then. Life was definitely different back in the 1800’s and the 1900’s and quite truthfully I’m glad I’m living in the 21st Century.

Let me encourage you if you have a “bucket list” of places you would like to visit put Sauder Village on that list. It is a great place to visit and learn. In addition they have two great ways to stay – a room at the Inn or a site at the Campground. We’re glad we made the trip here.

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.


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


Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Temperature 92 Degrees, Strong Winds, Partial Cloud Cover

Travel Day – Yesterday

Yup, I’m a day behind again. I guess I’m just getting lazy in my old age. Be that as it may – we moved again yesterday.

However, our move was not without a bit of drama. Everything was set, all I had to do was bring in the slides and raise the jacks. Slides one, two, and three came in without an issue. Now it was time for the biggest and heaviest slide and it did not want to budge. Oh boy. The only thing I could think to do was to continue to toggle the switch back and forth and finally on the fourth try the slide came in. I would like to say we could get along with the slide in but that is not really possible. So when we get to our new home I’ll put it back out and cross my fingers that it will come in at the end of our stay. That and I’ll begin to look for a mobile RV tech.

OK, time now to do a final tug test on all the locker doors to make sure they are shut and will stay shut. Guess what? Yup, one door refused to lock shut. I shut the engine off and got out my tools and pulled the lock apart. Thankfully, this I could fix and it was an easy fix.

A little later than planned we were on our way. The night before we had hemmed and hawed as to which route to follow. The roads in Michigan are really the pits. The one route would take us on a highway that we knew was under construction. Not going that way. In the end we made the decision to take the scenic route and though it also had some issues we believe we made the right choice to go the way we did.

We made a quick stop for fuel – the price per gallon is coming down a little at a time. Once again we also discovered we’re getting better than 8 mpg. Not bad for a 40 ft rig weighing 32,000 pounds.

Traffic was light, the GPS was spot on and soon enough we saw

the entrance sign for our new home. A quick stop for registration and to get our packet of campground information, and we were on our way to our new home.

If it looks like a back-in, you are correct. The only FHU sites are back-in’s with no trees around for shade. If I wanted a 30 amp with water but no sewer I could have had a site under a tree. But for a stay of two weeks with anticipated temperatures supposed to be way over 85 degrees we absolutely need 50 amp for both AC’s. Today the proof is in the pudding as they say, we’re 91 plus yet inside we’re at 75 with both AC’s running. I’ll take that any day with such high temp’s.

As for the site itself, it has a gravel base and is level enough that the jacks are down just to give us some stability. All the utilities are exactly where they need to be. Albert is happy sitting on the picnic table. It is a really nice site as is the whole campground.

Now, perhaps you’ve heard something about campground crowding? It definitely is not here. Everywhere you look there are numerous open sites. Granted, this is not exactly a hot bed of tourist activity yet all in all I would have expected to find more people here if only for a day or two.

We’re here for two weeks and we have a number of trips and a bunch of sightseeing planned. At the end of two weeks we’ll find out the answer to the all important question Will our slide come back in!

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


Sunday, July 31, 2022

Temperature 84 Degrees, Abundant Sunshine, Patchy Clouds

REOlds Transportation Museum

This is just a quick follow up to yesterday’s post. I just want to share with you some of the more unique automobiles that were at the museum. They’re only a few so for those of you who like Ms. Barbara believe that a car is a car is a car and once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all this should be painless.

This was a time when what won on Sunday sold on Monday. Hence, all the manufactures were heavily involved in all forms of automobile racing.

This car was a huge step forward for Oldsmobile. It was the first U.S. produced front-wheel drive automobile since the Cord ceased production. Of course now-a-days almost every automobile produced is front wheel drive and this is how it got started. It won Motor Trend’s Car of the Year and in Europe it was the third-place finisher in the European Car of the Year competition.

No room in the back seat for not even one passenger! This promotional tool for Oldsmobile automobiles and Hurst shifters had not one, but two 425cu-in Oldsmobile engines, one up front where you would expect an engine, and the second where the back seat used to be. It was used strictly as an exhibition car and brought a lot of attention for Hurst and Oldsmobile. The word on the street was that the car was a beast to drive and control. Hence, it appeared for only one year and then was retired.

This was an entirely new and radical engine design that had never been tried before. However, it proved so successful that today all American automobile engines are based on its design. It took a bit of work, though, to have it accepted by the general public. Toward that end Oldsmobile developed the Aerotech vehicle program to demonstrate the engine’s capabilities by setting several closed course speed records, many of which still stand today.

Finally, I’ll close with this. This really speaks to the wonderful relationship that existed between the community of Lansing and R.E.

This is what I discovered about the Club House.

Built in 1917, the REO Clubhouse was the cultural hub of Lansing, hosting free movies, wedding receptions, basketball games, dress balls and patriotic gatherings during the First and Second World Wars. Known as the “Temple of Leisure,” the building comprised a two thousand-person capacity dining room, an auditorium, a library, four bowling alleys, a fireproof movie booth, and smoking lounging and billiard rooms. Use of the clubhouse by employees was one of the policies implemented by REO to cultivate the loyalty of its workers. Years after the Diamond REO plant closed in 1975, former employees recalled the sense of family fostered by the company. The clubhouse was razed in 1979.

This was a small museum which took a bit of doing to find and get to. It was, though, well worth visiting. It’s amazing how much more there is to the history of the automobile in America than most of us really know. That’s why I for one was extremely glad to have had the opportunity to visit here and learn about R.E. Olds and his significant contributions to the automobile in America.

Much more yet to come on a couple of other places that we visited. But for now it is time play Rummikub!

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