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Published: Wednesday, 10/29/2003

Sauder Village hopes attraction boosts tourism

ARCHBOLD, Ohio — Attendance at Sauder Village was 3 percent higher than last year for its April-October season which ended Sunday, but still was less than many years despite the addition of a two-acre Ohio Bicentennial exhibit.

The historical village counted 95,000 visitors this year, up from just over 92,000 last year. Last year, however, was the first time in years that attendance had strayed from about 100,000.

Marketing manager Kim Krieger said the village hopes its Little Pioneers Homestead, which is to open in June, will draw more young families next season. The planned cabin and barn is to have “everything a busy preschooler will need to play pioneer,” such as doing the wash on a scrub board and cooking on a pretend fireplace.

“We're thinking we're on an upward trend here,” she said.

The village received many compliments for its exhibit “Natives & Newcomers: Ohio in Transition,” a new living history exhibit this year telling the story of northwest Ohio from 1803 to 1839, she said. The Ohio Bicentennial Commission had given Sauder Village a $30,000 grant toward that project.

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