“District 16” (Maple Grove) one-room school
Historic Sauder Village In Northwest Ohio
2611 St. Rt. 2
Archbold, Ohio 43502
In 1934, local farm boy Erie J. Sauder (1904-1997) with plenty of vision, determination and God-given mechanical ability, founded the Sauder Woodworking Company, today a world leader in ready-to-assemble furniture. Although he was always a forward thinker, Erie was well aware that the past had paved the way. He was particularly partial to the stories of his ancestors who had been among those who settled Northwest Ohio’s Great Black Swamp in the mid 1830s. That’s why, in the 1970s, he had dozens of structures, built by hand a century earlier, moved from locations throughout NW Ohio to create the Sauder Village. Today, the third generation of his family oversees the Village, which includes a 350-seat restaurant; a bakery; a campground; a 98-room country inn and an exhibit/performance center, Founder’s Hall. There are two schools in the village.
This original one-room school built in 1890 was re-named “District 16” in honor of the school Village founder Erie Sauder attended as a boy. Visitors get to sit in the original school desks and learn about education in the days before computers and the Internet. On festival days this school is often the site of old-fashioned spelling bees and recitations which all guests can participate in. The school was originally called District #3, or Maple Grove School, in Chesterfield Township of Fulton County, Ohio. The Maple Grove School was actually moved to Sauder Village from an area near the Ohio-Michigan border, north of the town of Wauseon. It was used from 1898 to 1916. The first four buildings built in the Maple Grove District were log buildings much like the Log Schoolhouse in the Historic Village. Our “District 16” schoolhouse was the seventh building built in that district. After being used for 18 years, a new centralized school was built in 1916, and the time of one-room schoolhouses in Fulton County came to an end.