Muster Day

Saturday, June 8, 2013 - 9:30am to 5:00pm

See the full daily schedule.

To supplement the meager armed forces, most early 19th-century farmers and craftsmen were required by law to serve in local militia units -  the forerunner of today's National Guard. Every spring these citizen-soldiers were "called to muster" for a day of training.

Old Sturbridge Village re-creates a typical Muster Day and celebrates our military history.

Meet members of the military from various points in our history, including the Revolutionary War, 19th-century militia members, and soldiers from the War of 1812.

New! Learn about contrasting opinions during a militia protest parade. By the 1830s, American citizens from the average farmer to Generals in the militia petitioned the government to reform the militia, which they saw as useless in its current form. They staged farcical and entertaining parades with ridiculous costumes and equipment. Old Sturbridge Village will be re-creating one of those parades.

Learn the difference between volunteer militia companies, who drilled regularly and had matching uniforms, and enrolled companies, who typically met only twice a year to train.

Groups will be demonstrating drilling, military martial music, target practice and "sham fights" or mock battles.

Our young visitors will get the chance to learn period drill and marching with the militia officer’s instruction and a toy gun.  Later, the new recruits will be able to put their skills to use in their own “mock battle.”

Guess how many musket balls are in a keg. The closest guess will win a special Village-made prize.

See the "striped pig" and learn how it was used to skirt the early 19th-century liquor laws.

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