Sauder Village’s 1920s Main Street

This living history attraction in Archbold, Ohio, offers a glimpse into how American life was undergoing a massive transformation a century ago. 

Sauder Village’s 1920s Main Street in Archbold, Ohio (photo courtesy of destination)

The Rich Auto Dealership and Gas Station is one of the first places you encounter at Sauder Village’s 1920s Main Street. It offers a glimpse into the early automobile era, complete with two vintage Ford Model T cars and a friendly attendant who is quick to share the special features of each: roll-up windows, a spare tire, electric lights.

This glimpse into how American life was undergoing a massive transformation a century ago is the newest addition to Sauder Village, a 235-acre, living-history attraction in Archbold that invites guests to stroll a fully realized block and experience the fashions, flavors and feel of the 1920s. Founded by Erie Sauder in 1976, Sauder Village has grown over the decades. Its Walk Through Time experience traces the progression of Ohioans and their way of life dating back to the state’s founding in 1803. That story showcases the frontier, the farm and the emergence of the American main street.

Farther down the east side of Main Street you’ll find the Ohio Farm Bureau Office, Farmers & Merchants Bank, Shuck Jewelry Store, Stotzer Hardware Store and Okuley Barbershop. The Elmira Depot sits next to a train caboose, plaza and bandstand at the far end. Across the street, you can step inside a movie theater, browse Wiederkehr Clothing, check out the Hub Grocery Store and visit both a fire station and a horse livery one would find during the time period.

But no visit to the 1920s would be complete without a flavor of some of the sweets of the era. Main Street Confections sells a variety of classic candies. A few doors down, a soda fountain and pharmacy serves up era-appropriate treats, including malts, phosphates and banana splits. 

22611 St. Rte. 2, Archbold, Ohio, 419/446-2541,