Sauder Village began a new chapter in its history last week as contractors and management team members gathered to break ground on the 1920s Main Street Project – the next phase of the Walk Through Time Experience at Sauder Village.
Scheduled for completion in summer 2018, the new project will allow the replication of a portion of a 1920s Main Street typical to northwest Ohio across approximately five acres. Structures already located at Sauder Village will be incorporated into this new area and other key buildings representative of businesses typical to the 1920s will be constructed.
The first phase of the project will cost $1.5 million. A total of $630,000 will be administered through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission State Capital Appropriation funding. Improvements will include: infrastructure for the main street; relocation of the Elmira Train Depot, which now becomes an actual stop for the Erie Express Train that transports guests through the timeline; construction of a community plaza and bandstand; building a barbershop that incorporates the complete collection of artifacts from the Okuley barbershop. originally in Continental, Ohio; and construction of a livery barn.
Local contractors Armstrong Excavating and Wyse Electric will be on-site in December to begin the first steps to install the infrastructure for the expansion project. The Main Street road will be constructed with the necessary water, gas, sewer, and electric lines in place. The plan also involves the relocation and building of new structures with the project including a depot, bandstand, barbershop and livery.
“My grandpa built Sauder Village to honor the past and inspire the future,” said Debbie Sauder David, president and CEO. “As part of our master plan we continue to look for new ways to immerse guests in authentic experiences that make history relevant to our lives today. Thanks to the availability of the State Capital Appropriation funds and other designated gifts for this project we are excited to take the next step in our Walk Through Time plan by beginning to create a 1920s Main Street Community.”
The Walk Through Time at Sauder Village has been developed over the past 15 years with the help of staff, volunteers, contractors, donors, and capital funding. Guests can experience more than 120 years of Great Black Swamp history while traveling from Natives and Newcomers to Pioneer Settlement, The Grime Homestead, and soon the 1920s Main Street Community.
As construction begins, project updates will be posted online with photos of the progress, stories and interesting facts about the 1920s. Project updates can be found online at https://saudervillage.org/explore/walk-through-time/1920s-main-street.