Located in the southwestern corner of Washington Township, the village of Sandusky was once a stopping place for area farmers, providing the necessities needed to survive during the mid-19th and early 20th centuries.
Harvey W. Reeve, who arrived in 1854, was the first settler to homestead near what was to become the village of Sandusky. A postoffice was established in the village in 1855. During those early years, Sandusky offered residents and farmers three stores, a church, school, Reeve’s Hall, a cooper shop run by Thomas Lyndon, and a nearby steam sawmill.
In 1855, the first store was operated by William Dano and J.Holmes. A second store was opened by Robert Hawke in 1861, and a third, by H.W. Reeve also that same year. Reeve’s store was still in business in 1880, along with one operated by Fred Zweig.
Forest Lodge, No. 106, I.O.O.F. was organized around 1863 and met in Reeve’s Hall, with a membership of 35 at its peak. The charter was surrendered in 1873.
The Good Templars organized in the village in 1867, meeting at the schoolhouse and later in Reeve’s Hall. The organization lasted only 3 years.
The first sawmill in Washington Township was constructed at Sandusky by William Cobb and H.W. Reeve, in 1857. It was operated by steam power.
The Sandusky Society of the Evangelical Association of North America built the first church in the township in 1864.
In Butterfield’s 1880 "History of Sauk County", a story is told of the narrow escape from one of Washington’s "savage beasts".
"When the first settlement was young, one summer evening, as one of Sandusky’s fair mothers was wending her way home from a neighbor’s, accompanied by her son, a hopeful of perhaps fifteen years, they suddenly discovered a large black animal approaching them. Black bears were quite common in those early days, and, recognizing Bruin at once, they took to their heels for safety, the animal lumbering along behind them. The mother, finding that she was likely to be left behind by her stalwart son, seized him by the coat-tails, to help herself to escape from the savage brute in pursuit. Imagine her feelings when the boy tried to shake her off, very coolly observing, ‘What is the use of us both being eat up;’ but the mother wouldn’t let go, and together they reached their gate, only a few steps in advance of – not a great hungry bear, but of a pet black calf."
This once thriving village has faded into history, as did many early settlements, when larger towns usurped the farmer’s trade, by offering more and varied commodities. Though still on the map, Sandusky today is the home of several families and the Sandusky United Methodist Church.