2016-06-29 / Sesquicentennial Edition

Sauder Village Hosts Special Ceremony To Celebrate 40th Anniversary


The first customers to tour Sauder Museum, Farm & Craft Village at 9:30 opening day, Monday, June 14, 1976, were two neighbors, Misses Viola and Wilma Rupp, whose farm adjoins the museum, according to a photograph from the Archbold Buckeye archives. Presenting them the first two tickets sold were Mrs. John Wilson and Mrs. Jan Schmucker. The first customers to tour Sauder Museum, Farm & Craft Village at 9:30 opening day, Monday, June 14, 1976, were two neighbors, Misses Viola and Wilma Rupp, whose farm adjoins the museum, according to a photograph from the Archbold Buckeye archives. Presenting them the first two tickets sold were Mrs. John Wilson and Mrs. Jan Schmucker. A special ceremony was held at Sauder Village, Tuesday, June 14, to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Sauder Village, Ohio’s largest living history destination.

Special guests, members, employees and visitors to Sauder Village gathered on the Village Green to commemorate the milestone anniversary.

Dean Spangler, chairman of the Sauder Village Board, welcomed everyone to the ceremony and took time to recognize Sauder family members and many employees who have been at the Village since the very beginning.

Kris Jemmott, Director of Historic Village Operations, and Randy Buchman, retired professor emeritus at Defiance College and a historian, also shared thoughts about this special day.


From left: Dean Spangler, chairman of the Sauder Village Board; Randy Gardner, state senator (R-Bowling Green); Randy Buchman, historian; Debbie David, president and CEO, Sauder Village; Kathy Shaver, deputy district director for the office of Robert Latta, US representative (R-Bowling Green); LuAnn Cooke, Northwest Ohio regional liaison for John Kasich, Ohio governor. From left: Dean Spangler, chairman of the Sauder Village Board; Randy Gardner, state senator (R-Bowling Green); Randy Buchman, historian; Debbie David, president and CEO, Sauder Village; Kathy Shaver, deputy district director for the office of Robert Latta, US representative (R-Bowling Green); LuAnn Cooke, Northwest Ohio regional liaison for John Kasich, Ohio governor. “When asked to speak today, I reflected on what Sauder Village means to Northwest Ohio,” said Mr. Buchman.

“Erie spoke to me several times about his dream. Some said it will never happen and I said, you don’t know Erie Sauder!

“What it has meant to Northwest Ohio is so significant in bringing back the ethics and the culture that Erie Sauder felt permeated Northwest Ohio.

“The impact for your children and mine to have this experience, to understand our heritage of work and effort in producing something that is valuable to the community... you have a great gift here.

“Erie had that vision and dream and knew how to make that happen.”

Debbie David, president and chief executive officer of Sauder Village and Erie Sauder’s granddaughter, shared a message of thanks and impact on the region.

“We’re here to honor the past and inspire the future, and we do that by giving people an authentic experience with a tangible history,” said David. “We look forward to the next 40 years at Sauder Village!”

A number of other special guests presented proclamations in honor of the 40th anniversary.

They included LuAnne Cooke, Northwest Ohio regional liaison, office of John Kasich, Ohio governor; and Kathy Shaver, deputy district director, office of Robert E. Latta, US Congressman.

Shaver also presented a flag that was flown over the United States Capitol in honor of the 40th anniversary of Sauder Village.

Latta’s father, Delbert Latta, a former Congressman, made a similar presentation to Erie Sauder when the Village opened in June 1976.

Randy Gardner, state senator, shared words of congratulations and a proclamation from the Ohio Senate.

“It has been a real blessing to represent the people in Fulton County,” shared Gardner. “They are wonderful people who care about the history and heritage of this region.”

To continue the celebration, on the morning of June 15 Sauder Village rolled back admission rates to $2.50, the price of admission in 1976. Hundreds of guests took advantage of this special deal and enjoyed a fun day creating special memories at Sauder Village.

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