Ohio's largest living history destination offering guests experiences
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Monday, July 28, 2014

Bicycles of Days Gone By at Sauder Village

From early high-wheelers and bone-shakers to the mountain bikes we see on trails today – bicycles have been part of the Midwest landscape for nearly 200 years! On August 2 & 3 the Ohio Wheelmen will celebrate the history of bicycles with their 20th Biennial Meet at Sauder Village. Nearly 80 wheelmen will share their love of cycling with antique bikes and accessories on display, demonstrations and a daily parade on the Village Green.

A Look at Bicycles of Days Gone By . . .
During the late nineteenth century, bicycles dramatically changed life throughout the Midwest. Horses and carriages were expensive to maintain in cities. There were only a few automobiles built and public transportation was often inadequate. The bicycle met the need for inexpensive, individual transportation – for business, deliveries, recreational riding and sport. What may seem a machine of modest and limited performance, in the 1890s the bicycle was recognized as a swift vehicle and fine machine.

Invented in 1817 by German Karl Drais, the first 2-wheeled tandem machine was called a Laufmaschine – a simple bike with a steerable front wheel. By the 1860s, the Velocipede was introduced. While this invention added cranks and pedals, its moderate-sized front wheel made it a little faster than walking and its wooden wheels and iron tires earned it the name “boneshaker.” Eventually the English persevered and introduced a bike with a larger front wheel to increase speed and smaller rear wheel for convenience. The “High-Wheel” bike also known as an “Ordinary” was born! While the “Ordinaries” were fun to ride, it was more for sport than transportation since rough roads often brought bad spills – one small bump and the rider went right over the handlebar, head down!

Finally, in 1885 the first Safety Bicycle was produced. Considerably safer than the high wheeler, the Safety Bike allowed the rider’s feet to always touch the ground and their head was only a few feet above the ground in case of a fall. Most accidents were limited to torn trousers, skinned knees and palms. The Safety Bike was the first vehicle that was practical and affordable for the common person and became a standard form of transportation in the late 1890s and early 1900s. Propelled by a chain running between two sprockets, the larger front sprocket at the pedals allowed the rear wheel to rotate faster than the rider pedaled. Early models had a wooden frame and hard rubber tires but later models were made of tubular steel and had inflatable pneumatic rubber tires – providing a more comfortable ride.

Today the bicycle is used for recreation, exercise and play in the United States. It is a primary source of transportation in much of the world. Join us to celebrate the great American tradition of bicycling. Check out the bicycle exhibit in our Museum Building and plan a visit on August 2 & 3 to meet the Wheelmen and see some amazing bicycles of “days gone by”.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Celebrating the Chocolate Chip Cookie!

Today is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!

Did you know that half of all the cookies sold in the US today are chocolate chip? Locally, our home-made chocolate chip cookies have been a top-seller at the Doughbox Bakery since 1976.  Our recipe was even featured in an issue of Midwest Living Magazine!

Research shows that the invention of the chocolate chip cookie was actually a delicious surprise! The story goes that in 1930 Ruth Wakfield was making cookies for guests at a small inn when she realized she was out of baker’s chocolate. According to NESTLÉ®, she substituted semi-sweet chocolate chunks into the dough expecting them to melt. Instead, the chocolate held its shape and softened to a delicious, creamy texture . . . and the chocolate chip cookie was born!

The “Toll House Crunch Cookies” became a hit for guests at the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts and the recipe was soon published in a Boston newspaper and eventually on the wrapper of the Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar. 

Thank you to Ms. Wakefield for this unexpected, yet delicious discovery! 

Stop by the Doughbox Bakery soon to try our version of the Chocolate Chip Cookie or check out our recipe that was featured in Midwest Living as one of the "Six Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes." Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ask The Expert - Meet Our Livestock Manager

As part of our blog series for this year, we're pleased to introduce you to another one of the many experts we have working at Sauder Village.  From gardening, crafts and preserving your artifacts to education, farming and historic cooking – we hope you enjoy meeting some of our talented staff and will take time to ask them a question or two. What a great way to learn something new!

We hope you enjoy meeting our Livestock Manager, Katie Frey. Please post any questions you have for Katie in the comment section below. Thanks!

Meet Katie Frey

Title:  Livestock Manager.  Katie Frey started working as a groomer at Sauder Village as a summer job during college. About 3 seasons ago she was hired as our Livestock Manager.

Main Responsibilities: Katie oversees all aspects of the livestock at Sauder Village. This includes feeding/nutrition, health/medical, and reproduction. She also does historic demonstrations and helps educate guests about our livestock.

Favorite Part of her Job:
“I just really love working with animals and it's fun to teach others about our history and how livestock were such an integral part in shaping it,” Katie shared.

Anything new for guests to see this summer in our barnyard areas?  “Of course! We will be having piglets born throughout the season and two calves are expected - one in May and the other in August. We will have baby chicks, including a new breed called Dominique that will take the place of the Barred Plymouth Rocks, out at Pioneer Settlement. We also have two different breeds of sheep. The Merino will be housed at Pioneer Settlement and the Southdown are in the 1910 Barnyard Area."

Favorite Farm Animal at Sauder Village:   “I grew up raising beef cattle and continue to do so, so I have always loved cattle. I have never been around pigs much or raised them before, but Ms. Delores Piggy has really made me fond of her,” Katie shared. “Therefore I have to say it is a toss-up between our Jersey cow, Brownie, and Ms. Delores Piggy. They are both really sweet and fun to work with. I do love all of our animals though!”

What are your hobbies? Katie shared . . . I raise beef cattle. We breed and sell cattle for youth to show and that keeps me very busy! When I was in 4-H we showed cattle nationally as well as state-wide and it really gets in your blood. We also raise a few Boer goats for youth to show and I breed Australian Shepherd dogs. I also love to read books, play board games, watch movies and play cards. I also help with a youth program at church. Gardening is also a hobby. I like to collect seeds from year to year to see if I can grow my own flowers and vegetables. I usually create one new flower bed each year. My grandmother established most of the flower beds on our property, so now I am working on revamping those beds while still utilizing the same flowers that she planted. 

What is your greatest accomplishment at Sauder Village?   I really love that we have started to use our own products in our historic cooking demonstrations at the Village. I work closely with the foodways supervisor Gail Richardson and this past year we have incorporated our own eggs, milk and other products into our historic cooking. I think that this helps make our demonstrations so much more authentic and is a great way for guests to see how food gets to the table.

What other thoughts would you like to share about our farm animals?
“I always want to remind people that we are a working farm and that everyone needs to be careful around our farm animals. While animals may seem harmless, they can hurt someone without meaning to if not handled in a proper manner,” Katie shared.   Katie also wants guests to remember that our animals are fed a strict diet and something foreign can cause them to become very sick, so please don’t feed them grass, candy, or part of your ice-cream cone!

What do you hope people will learn from our livestock program at Sauder Village?  “I hope that guests walk away with the knowledge of how important farm animals were to the early pioneers as well as how important they are today,” Katie shared. “Livestock not only provided and continues to provide food, but also a means of transportation and companionship.” 

Katie also shared that she hopes our guests really come away with how much we love our animals at Sauder Village. “Growing up on a family farm, I also hope guests realize how much farmers love their animals as well. We are just caring people who love our animals, love what we do, and work very hard to provide food for others.”

What other information would you like to share?

We do practice modern day veterinary protocols at Sauder Village, so I am up-to-date on many concerns going on within the food industry today. Any questions or concerns about modern day food health issues or treatments of the animals I will welcome and try to answer to the best of my ability. And, if I don't know an answer to your question I will happily point you in the right direction to find out the answer.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Answers to Your Gardening Questions

We hope you enjoyed meeting our Grounds Supervisor, Susan Burkhart, in our blog article last week. Thanks to everyone who posted a question for our gardening expert! Susan is pleased to share her love of gardening/landscaping with others and hopes many people will learn something new and will stop by to visit the gardens this season at Sauder Village!
Why would you recommend trying some heirloom varieties of vegetables in your garden? What are the benefits?

The flavor of older varieties is sometimes much better than new ones! When new varieties come out they are geared to helping prevent insect problems or some diseases. By trying to fix one problem they sometimes lose some of the rich flavor of the vegetable.

 I am considering starting a small garden. What is your best advice for a newbie?
There are several ways you can garden. You could try having just a planter box with some vegetables or could even just place some plants within a flower bed. If space is not a problem then maybe make a bed just big enough to try a few easy to grow vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce or even green beans. There are many questions to consider when starting a garden. Is this for one person’s use or more? How much space do you have? How much time do you have to spend gardening?  Feel free to call and I can give you more information to get you started. Susan, 800.590.9755.
Students from local school volunteer to help prune bushes.
I'm never sure about when to prune the bushes in my yard (Lilac, Forsythia and Burning Bush). Any suggestions?
The rule of thumb I use:  If it’s a flowering scrub that blooms from buds that were formed on the previous season’s growth, you need to prune it right after it is done blooming.  The scrub needs a full year’s growth to produce the blossoms.  Among these are azalea, bridal wreath spirea, dogwood, forsythia, lilac, mock orange, climbing roses, snowball viburnum and wisteria.
Other scrubs bloom on buds of the current season’s growth. These would be pruned during the dormant period. I like to do it when the weather breaks in the early spring when most of the harsh winter is done so there isn’t a lot of winter die back. Butterfly bushes, clematis, highbush cranberry, honeysuckle, rose bushes, and rose of Sharon.
Burning Bushes can be done anytime but it is best to prune in early spring before it leafs out you can see the shape better while pruning. When scrubs are out of control, sometimes it is best to prune to the ground leaving just a few inches for them to start all over. 

I want to know how to safely get rid of squash bugs! My zucchini and summer squash start out looking great...then almost overnight they shrivel up and die and I find those bugs! I don't want that to happen again this year!
This is a hard one because the Squash Vine Borer has a small window of time to get it under control and by the time you see you have a problem it’s too late. Try starting the seeds inside early in the spring, so the plants are too large for the bug to bother. They feed only when they are caterpillars for about a month. You have to watch for the female moth laying eggs which can occur in June or July. After the eggs hatch the white larvae then bore into the stems. This may take a little patience in checking daily the backs of the leaves. Picking off the egg infested leaves is non-chemical way. The insecticide that you can use would be something with Methoxychlor. You would apply this during the egg-laying time.

How do you recommend keeping grass/weeds out of my asparagus patch? I've heard using salt - but is that OK? 
I spray a circle around the patch with round up. This keeps the grass or weeds from suckering under ground and taking over the entire patch. I do use the rock salt or ice cream salt right in and around the whole patch to help control the weeds.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ask the Expert – A New Blog Series in 2014!

As part of our new blog series for this year, we plan to introduce you to many of the experts we have working at Sauder Village and also give you the opportunity to ask them a question or two! From gardening, crafts and preserving your artifacts to education and historic cooking – we hope you enjoy meeting some of our talented staff and take time to ask them a question. What a great way to learn something new!

Since there’s snow on the ground and we’re all dreaming of spring we’ve decided to start with a segment about gardening. We hope you enjoy meeting our Grounds Supervisor, Susan Burkhart.

If you have questions about anything garden-related please post a comment below, on our Facebook page or even send an e-mail to our Marketing Department at kmkrieger@saudervillage.org. Susan will answer as many questions as she can in an upcoming article. Thanks for helping us to share information that you are most interested in!

Meet Susan Burkhart

Title: Grounds Supervisor. Susan has worked at Sauder Village for 18 years

Main Responsibilities: Susan is responsible for taking care of all the landscaping at Sauder Village – including all historic gardens.

Favorite Part of Job: “I love my job!” Susan shared. “There are always a variety of things to do. My responsibilities change with the seasons – from planning gardens in the winter to planting flower beds, harvesting vegetables and decorating for Christmas! This time of the year it is fun to dream about the gardens. I love thinking of new ways to share our story and new garden-themed activities that guests can get involved with.”

Favorite Flower or Vegetable: “I love the variety of squash and pumpkins. It is so much fun to plant the seeds, watch them grow and as the leaves die back see the bountiful harvest,” Susan shared. “My favorite flowers are the “Proven Winners” variety of flowers – they are a step up from the standard variety and make such a statement in the barrels and gardens we have here at Sauder Village.”

Favorite Garden: “I love the Homestead Garden. It is large enough to have a variety of flowers and vegetables,” Susan shared. “The 1900s time frame allows for a very interesting garden – trains were starting to come through and that brought new varieties of seeds for families to plant (before that they just brought seeds with them). During this time period the ladies in the house also had more ‘leisurely time’ and could enjoy more flowers. They even dried them to use for decorating for Christmas!”

Anything New Planned this Season? “We want to do more with the gardens at Little Pioneers Homestead this year,” Susan noted. “We are looking at some changes to that garden area that will allow kids to get more involved – kind of a face-lift for Little Pioneers Homestead Garden.”

Some Gardening Tips from Susan:
- Try starting seeds inside during the winter, but start out simple.
- Take time now to plan your garden, do some research and order seeds. Start dreaming about what you want to have this summer!
- If you want to learn about heirloom varieties do research. Some great websites include:
     Seed Savers Exchange
     Sand Hill Preservation Center
     Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Other Notes of Interest: We usually have some plants available for sale in the spring – heirloom tomato varieties, Malabar Spinach, Ground Cherries and more! We also have produce for sale in the Fall – when there is extra. First goal is to use the produce in our foodways program and next we’ll have for sale in the Herb Shop.

Greatest Accomplishment: Susan has enjoyed having some of the Sauder Village gardens recognized in the media – both newspaper and magazine articles throughout the region.

Hobbies: In her spare time Susan enjoys kayaking, traveling, relaxing at the lake with her family and spending time with her kids at their sporting events.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Titanic Exhibit at Imagination Station – Sauder Village Helps Tell the Story

Early this month our Curator of Collections took artifacts to Toledo to be used as part of the Titanic Exhibit at Imagination Station. As a participating sponsor, we are exhibiting a variety of trunks, a fainting couch, table, tea service, table cloth and clothing. The Titanic Exhibit opened last weekend and runs through June 15, 2014.

“Imagination Station was looking for items that would represent our society in 1912 when the Titanic sank,” shared Tracie Evans, Curator of Collections. “They want guests to see not just the movie of that time period, but how similar it was to life in Northwest Ohio.”


The Maumee Valley Historical Society has provided Imagination Station with period clothing representing upper class communities/first class passengers and we helped complete that display with furniture and tea service. The curators at Imagination Station also wanted people to see what the working class community was wearing. To help tell that story we shared women’s dresses, a man’s suit, shawls, wraps and coats – similar to what may have been worn by second or third class passengers on the Titanic. We also took trunks to Imagination Station to help tell the story of travel during the early 1900s. Two of the trunks were manufactured in Ohio and they represent the typical style of trunks used by the various passengers on the ship.

“Our involvement with this special exhibit is a great way for people to see that our collections represent not just life in Northwest Ohio, but how connected our ancestors were to a national and international story,” Tracie added. “The Titanic event happened thousands of miles away but it still reverberated in our local communities. There were people who lived in this area who were on board or had family members on the ship and were touched by this tragedy.”

In addition to having some artifacts from our collection on display, some Sauder Village staff members will also be presenting special programs this spring at Imagination Station. Some of the programs will focus on preservation of artifacts, telegraphy, and tea time. Watch for more details on our Sauder Village website.

For more details about the Titanic Exhibit at Imagination Station visit their website