But it’s not the buildings that make history come alive at this attraction; rather, it’s the knowledgeable staff, who explain and demonstrate the significance of each building and show what little slices of life were like around the turn of the last century.
Sauder Village is, frankly, the most honest historical collection in our area. History there is not boringly preserved in a jar, locked away never to be seen; but neither is it pandering to the silliness or gags that some historical institutions have introduced to boost ticket sales. It’s not quite a journey back in time, but neither is Sauder Village quite of our time. It is, in some respects, a place where time just doesn’t apply.
The institution was founded by Erie Sauder, who was also the entrepreneur behind Sauder Furniture, the nation’s largest manufacturer of ready-to-assemble furniture ? in fact, chances are probably decent that many will read this on a computer sitting on a Sauder desk. It was a way for Sauder to preserve some of the historic structures of
the area, such as his first workshop, an old Lutheran church, a train station, and a working farm.
Over the years, the village has grown exponentially. Now, beautiful, larger buildings house some of the most popular crafts, such as blacksmithing, pottery, and glassblowing. A lodge and conference center abuts the village and the popular Barn Restaurant. A hands-on children’s area is new this year.