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We foster a unique environment that explores the past, engages the senses and inspires wonder. 

Erie Sauder Founder

Sauder Village: Who We Are

Sauder Village is a nonprofit organization, home of Ohio’s largest living-history museum. The 235-acre complex offers a complement of food, lodging and retail services, making it an ideal destination for families, groups, small conferences and special events.

We are different than most organizations thanks to the original passion and dream of our founder, Erie Sauder who was a visionary leader. Erie established Sauder Village in 1976, not just to preserve the “things” from history, but more importantly to share the “stories” of every day people of the past. His respect and appreciation for his ancestors translated into a passion to ensure that people, and most specifically children, realize the ingenuity, hard work, sacrifice, and determination of those who came before us — and ultimately to inspire that same pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit in their lives today in hopes that they strive to make a positive difference in their world. This continues to serve as our core purpose.

In addition, an overriding commitment to service and hospitality is deeply rooted in the Sauder Village culture. Reminded of Erie’s continued example of servitude in all he did, our staff is dedicated to creating a warm and welcoming environment, offering experiences rich in history, hospitality, creativity and fun.

We accomplish our purpose by:
  • Embracing and perpetuating the principles of good stewardship in all we do.
  • Genuinely treating people right.
  • Celebrating everyday people of the past and their stories, making them relevant to our lives today.
  • Maintaining nationally recognized standards of preserving and interpreting the past.
  • Creating an environment that nurtures learning, creativity, and appreciation of the past and present.
  • Sharing the inspirations and lessons of the past with school children during field trips, special programs, and in-school programs.
  • Investing in costumed interpreters throughout the Historic Village who facilitate personal, interactive experiences.
  • Featuring a distinctive craft program with traditional and contemporary American artisans.
  • Providing a personable and memorable experience through our hospitality services — from the impressive timber-framed atmosphere in our dining, lodging, and conference areas, to the home-cooked foods and made-from-scratch bakery treats — all in a clean and relaxing rural environment.

Our mission is supported by:

  • Financial donations from the public, with additional contributions from grants and foundation sources.
  • Proceeds from our retail and hospitality areas throughout the complex that all directly support the non-profit mission.
  • Contributions of time and talents from a team of over 600 youth and adult volunteers in addition to paid full- and part-time staff.
  • Earnings from an operating foundation established by our founder and supported by our donors.

“Investing in the future by preserving the past”