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15th annual homecoming at Sonnenberg Village

The Gerber/Nussbaum barn will be complete for the Sonnenberg Homecoming. A barn dance is scheduled for 11 a.m. Aug. 13. Each building in the historical village has a rich local history. Glenn and Phyllis Nussbaum Gerber donated the 1847 scribe rule barn to the Kidron Community Historical Society to be taken apart and rebuilt in the village. Only two such barns exist in Sugar Creek Township.

Enjoy a trip back in time this weekend at Sonnenberg Village just outside of Kidron.

The 15th annual Homecoming in the historical village is the biggest ever with more completed buildings, a packed schedule of events including old-fashioned activities, a children’s theatre performance and a vintage baseball game.

Honeytown is the musical entertainment at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, for a suggested donation of $5.

Homecoming activities continue the next day, Saturday, Aug. 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Whether you come expressly for the children’s theatre performance, or you want to catch some of the other activities going on Saturday, either way drop off a donation and enjoy a packed schedule and a journey to a simpler time.

Ongoing attractions Aug. 13 include demonstrations of blacksmithing, basket weaving, spoon carving and more; calliope music; activities for children; wagon shuttle rides; and a vintage baseball game.

Ray Leisy, project manager at Sonnenberg Village and president of the Wayne County Historical Society, along with a crew of volunteers have been the heart and soul on the 5-acre campus for the past 15 years working on building the village by saving structures of local historical significance and relocating them to the village.

There is much to be celebrated at this year’s homecoming, as the Gerber/Nussbaum Barn, built in 1847 and relocated and rebuilt in the village, will be open for a barn dance. The Saurer Blacksmith Shop will be fully operational for the first time. People will be able to tour cabins and homes and enjoy the grounds with ponds, flowers and trees. Sometimes visitors have an opportunity to meet descendants of the original families who lived in the homes or have a connection to the buildings. Visitors will see progress on the latest building that volunteers are working on, which is the Moser Buggy Shop. Plans include making it an operational print shop.

Because the children’s theatre performance is being put on during Sonnenberg’s homecoming weekend, director Christa J. Wolf, who is the events coordinator with her husband, Andrew, for Sonnenberg Village and also helps with the Heritage Center, said she wanted to keep with the theme and present a story from an older time period. She often chooses historical dramas for educational components and to further the living history in Sonnenberg Village, she said.

Sonnenberg Village is under the umbrella of the Kidron Community Historical Society. More information is available at

Read the complete story in the Aug. 3, 2022 edition.


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