The new “Walk Through Time Experience” at Sauder Village replicates a portion of a 1920s Main Street typical to Northwest Ohio. The grand-opening festivities will include special musical entertainment to celebrate this new addition to Ohio’s largest living history destination.
“We are very excited to open this first phase to the public, said Debbie Sauder David, village president and CEO. “We are deeply grateful for the hard work and generosity of the many people that brought this vision to reality.”
Construction of the first phase of this project began in the fall of 2017. It includes infrastructure for the expanding community, relocation of existing buildings and the construction of other key buildings representative of the 1920s.
A cornerstone of the Main Street project, the relocated Elmira Depot has been renovated and is ready to serve as a stop on the Erie Express Train. The impact of the railroad on rural daily life was significant in the 1920s, bringing rural communities in contact with the world through travel, commerce and communication.
The depot originally was located just two miles north of Sauder Village along an extension of the Wabash Railroad. It includes a waiting room for passengers, an office for the stationmaster and a freight room for storage. The depot also will feature a telegraphy collection to share the vital communication tools used by the railroads.
An original, 1920s-era caboose has been relocated next to the Elmira Depot, preserving this classic symbol of American railroading. Once a vital part of the railroad, the caboose was the last car of a freight train and provided shelter for the crew.
Businesses that catered to train passengers, such the barbershop, were some of the first to locate near the train depot. As part of the Main Street project, a new barbershop has been constructed near the depot. It includes the complete collection of artifacts from the Okuley Barbershop in Continental, Ohio. Historically, the barbershop was not only a place to spruce up from your travels or to have your hair cut, it was also a hub of communications in a small town. Local residents and visitors alike could stop by and find out what was happening with others in the areas and across the country.
Finally, a plaza and classic community bandstand has been constructed to accommodate events and special programs at Sauder Village. The plaza features a beautiful clock and original bricks from the streets in downtown Archbold. Special entertainment will take place at the bandstand on select weekends throughout the season.
As part of the grand opening celebration, there will be special music throughout the day on Sept. 15. Guests will have an opportunity to take a ride down the Main Street in an antique automobile and get a ride on the Erie Express Train from the newly remodeled Elmira Depot. Come see this initial phase and envision the potential for continued expansion of the 1920s community!
Other upcoming Sauder Village events in September include Celebrate our Artisans, Apple Week, Vintage Base Ball Tournament and Fiber Arts Fest. October events include Transportation Exploration, Fall on the Farm/Scout Day, Community Health Day, Explore the Crafts and the annual Woodcarver’s Show & Sale. A complete schedule of 2018 events is available online at www.saudervillage.org.
Historic Sauder Village is open from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and each Sunday afternoon from noon to 4 p.m. The village is closed on Mondays, except holidays. For more information, including ticket prices, call 800-590-9755 or visit www.saudervillage.org.