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Photo of a girl decorating Christmas Tree in the 1910 farmhouse
Kristen Dillard decorating Christmas tree in the 1910 farmhouse

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Historic Sauder Village
A Local Legacy

If you want to travel back in time and see what settlers in the 1830s looked like and how they lived, then you should visit Historic Sauder Village in Ohio. Complete with people dressed in period clothing and authentically restored buildings, Sauder Village was the idea of local farm boy Erie J. Sauder, founder of the Sauder Woodworking Company in 1934.

Sauder was inspired to create this village by his relatives, who had helped settle Ohio's Great Black Swamp. Although Ohio became a state in 1803, few European settlers considered entering the damp, forested wilderness of northwestern Ohio, known as the Great Black Swamp, until the 1830s. It was then that people from the Mennonite and Amish religions decided to move to this region to start a new life away from the religious persecution in their European homeland. For years the Amish and the Mennonites, along with other settlers, worked, digging ditches and clearing away trees, until they had drained the Great Black Swamp and turned it into the state's best farmland.

Today, Sauder Village is a nonprofit living history museum and educational complex, with more than 30 buildings that show how life was in rural Ohio during the 19th century. Artisans in 11 craft shops demonstrate trades of that period: glassblowing, pottery making, spinning and weaving, broom making, woodworking, basket making, printing, and quilting.

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