ARCHBOLD – Have you heard the news? The 1910 farmhouse has been remodeled, “modern” artifacts like a telephone and radio have been added. and the hemline of the interpreter’s dresses has been shortened. It’s big news, because on Wednesday, June 17, Sauder Village is moving into the 1920s with the opening of the newly renovated Grime Homestead.
The first phase of a 1920s era “Main Street and Rural Homestead” project, the Grime Homestead will open on June 17 – allowing Sauder Village to share the story of a 1920s farm family in the home originally built on the property. Over the winter, the Grime Homestead has undergone a complete transformation. Layer upon layer of wallpaper was removed, windows were replaced, walls were insulated and painted, and the exterior received a new roof and a green coat of paint.
New heating and air conditioning was added, a wheelchair ramp installed, the summer kitchen was moved and so much more. While the house has a whole new look, the most exciting part of the renovation involves the new stories that will be shared as part of the “Walk Through Time” experience at Sauder Village.
The Grime Homestead is the farmhouse located on the property that Erie Sauder first bought to establish Sauder Village. The home was originally built around 1860 by Peter Henry Grime, a French Catholic family who had seven boys. By 1910 Henry’s son Gustave and his wife Amelia owned the home. They had one daughter named Ethel and through the years also had many teenage boys living with them to help work on the farm.
Guests visiting the home will learn how the family was able to take advantage of many of the “modern” comforts that were being manufactured by the early part of the 20th century. Since the railroad serviced this area, many products were available to rural homes, from stoves and sofas to buggies, harnesses and clothing.
Improvements in farming and housekeeping also meant that this farm family had more leisure time than any other family represented at Sauder Village. The Grime family used the telephone in their dining room quite frequently. They owned a radio, a phonograph and even a player piano. There was wall-to-wall carpet in the dining room and even a truck parked in their garage to use on the farm.
“The 1920s is seen by historians as the beginning of our modern America,” shared Tracie Evans, Curator of Collections. “In this first phase of our 1920s expansion, we look forward to sharing how many rural families began accepting some modern technologies while still clinging to some of the traditional ways of doing things. Our costumed guides look forward to sharing stories, demonstrations, and hands-on activities to help guests experience life in the 1920s in the home, barns and garden areas of the Grime Homestead.”
The 1920s Grime Homestead is part of the “Walk Through Time” experience at Sauder Village. Guests can now start their journey in 1803 at Natives and Newcomers and then travel to Pioneer Settlement to explore life in Ohio from the 1830s through the 1870s. Finally, a visit to the Grime Homestead will transport guests to the 1920s in rural Northwest Ohio.
Throughout the Historic Village guests can experience Ohio’s historic past through activities and stories shared in the community shops, historic homes, farm and gardens. While watching a cooking demonstrations in the homes, sitting at a desk in the District 16 school or hearing stories in the barbershop, guests often feel as though they are taking a trip down memory lane.
And since it’s not a guided tour, guests can take their time while experiencing life in the past at their own pace. Depending on the day and season, guests also have the opportunity to try a variety of hands-on activities like making noodles, rolling out a pie crust, washing clothes on a scrub board or playing old-fashioned games.
Throughout the Village, guests can also marvel at craftsmen blending skill and creativity in glass, metals, fabric, wood and clay. These talented traditional and contemporary craftsmen not only demonstrate their trade but also offer hand-crafted items available for sale in places like the Spinning Shop, Pottery Shop, Tin Shop, Glass Shop and Tiffin River Woodworks. Other popular craft shops include the Basket Shop, Weaving Shop, Cooper’s Shop and Blacksmith Shop.
A visit to Sauder Village would not be complete without a ride on the horse and buggy or the Erie Express Train. Other favorite stops include a visit to the Ice Cream Parlor and the new Stella Leona Chocolates and Coffees Shop. There are many unique shopping opportunities at Sauder Village including the Village Gift Shop, Quilt Shop and Lauber’s General Store. Also on the Sauder Village Complex is the Sauder Store and Outlet, where a hometown factory store offers a vast selection of ready-to-assemble furniture made locally by the Sauder Woodworking Company.
The Barn Restaurant offers a unique place to enjoy a home-style meal. Built in about 1861 on a farm just a few miles from Sauder Village, more than 200,000 guests enjoy dining under the hand-hewn timbers of this historic barn every year. Guests also enjoy finding delicious treats to take home from the Doughbox Bakery.
For those looking to extend their stay, overnight accommodations are available at the Sauder Heritage Inn or Campground (expansion to open by late summer). Guests feel right at home in the 98 room Heritage Inn complete with indoor pool and hot tub, game and exercise room, all adjacent to the “Great Oak Tree” in the lobby. The 48-site Campground is a great place to relax and enjoy time together while fishing, sharing stories around the campfire, riding bikes or walking around “Little Lake Erie” or enjoying the amenities at the Heritage Inn.
Historic Sauder Village is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. The Village is closed on Mondays, except holidays. Admission is $16 for adults, $14 for seniors, $10 for students (6-16) and free for members and children 5 and under. Again this year, children 16 and under are free every Sunday this season.