With the help of the rain earlier this summer and now the heat and sun, the Heirloom Garden is doing very well. This is the first year we have used raised beds and it seems to be working by keeping the strong-willed weeds at bay. We do not use any insecticides or weed killers in the garden.

Below are the plants in the Garden this year:

White pumpkins


Yellow Banana peppers

Dragon Tongue beans

Tongues of Fire Bush Shell beans

Vermont Cranberry Bush Shell beans

Bulls Blood beets

Crosby’s Egyptian beets

Detroit beets

Roma Tomato

Brussels Spout

Purple Potatoes

Butterfly Garden

Butterfy Garden 2017The certified Monarch Butterfly Garden is in full swing this year after a couple of lean years. The garden is full of Monarch caterpillars, and other types of butterfly caterpillars which will soon become beautiful butterflies.

You may not be able to spot some of the caterpillars but you can tell that they are present as you see all of the milkweed slowly disappearing as it is being eaten by the newly hatched caterpillars.

Monarch Catepillar 2017

Schedule for 10th Annual Sonnenberg Homecoming

Welcome to the Sonnenberg Homecoming on August 12th. A day to meet old friends and relax in Sonnenberg Village.

10:00 am  Food Vendors open.

10:00 am Entertainment begins in the Welcome Center; Band Wagon begins near Tschantz Cabin.

10:00 am Buildings open for tours

1:00 pm entertainment ends

1:00 Vintage Base Ball game between the Smithville Stars and the Kidron Nine begins.

4:oo pm Sonnenberg Homecoming ends.


church groupA group from the Chesterland (Ohio) Community Church spent a day in Sonnenberg Village helping with projects in the Village. They were spending a week at the North Street Mission (Trinity Church) of Wooster doing mission work in Wooster.  They wanted to spend a day in the Village working on projects and learning more about the Amish and Mennonite faith.

They helped load and then unload floor boards for the Bixler House and also worked in the gardens with our own volunteers.  It was a beautiful day in so many ways and we were glad for the help.

They stayed on with us into the evening as we furnished pizza to thank them for their help. Before dinner, we had two people from the Kidron Community stop and discuss Mennonite history and beliefs and Amish history and beliefs.

The Chesterland group appreciated what we are doing in the Village as much as we appreciated their help.



Kidron Days June 9 and 10

There is a lot going on with the Kidron Merchants Friday and Saturday in Kidron. There are discounts, prizes and a good time. So, stop by all of the merchants in Kidron those days, particularly the Heritage Center because the Kidron Community Historical Society is now a full fledged member of the Kidron Merchants and will be having discounts, prizes and specials on some of our items. Plus, the weather will be nice and warm.


At the Sonnenberg Village Welcome Center (Old Sonnenberg Church) two Professors of German, Michael Putnam and Richard Page, and two students in their German program, spent three days interviewing Swiss German speakers.  The Professors and students were from Penn State University.

Over the three days in one hour time slots 30 people were interviewed and were recording speaking Swiss German. Six more potential Swiss speakers were unable to attend. Four were farming and two were unable to attend due to illness.

The Professors intend to return in the future to interview those people who could not attend this session.

Sonnenberg Arboretum and Grounds

arboretumraisedbedFor Arbor Day, volunteers planted another eight trees in the Sonnenberg Arboretum. Since then they have cleaned the Geiser Interlude Garden, the Butterfly Garden and the Rain Garden. The last project for the spring is the restructuring of the Heritage Heirloom Garden. The plans include raised garden beds and new fencing.


Bixler interiorWork continues on the 1832 Sommer/Bixler House. Windows on the first floor have been installed and doorways famed. Framing has been added to the rest of the first floor to accomodate electric, insulation and dry wall, but leaving exposed part of each of the original beams.  We expect flooring for the second floor to arrive by mid-June so that we can continue on to frame the second floor.


With a thank you to Steiner Trenching and Kidron Electric we are happy to report that three more buildings have electrical wiring in place.  The Sauer Blacksmith Shop, the Bixler House and the storage facility all have powered electrical panels installed.  We also have a light installed in the overflow parking lot.

Shortly, we will begin wiring the Blacksmith Shop and the Bixler House for lights and electrical outlets. We are moving closer to each building being for rent.


eggs in a nest While we were planting some new trees in the Sonnenberg Arboretum, we found some new (potential) residents in one of the Canaan Fir trees which we had planted last year. Photo by Christina McCune, Dalton Gazette.