September 2017 marked the opening of a newly redesigned firearms and militia exhibit, after months of planning and collaboration by a cross-disciplinary team of Village historians and curators. Armed and Equipped: Firearms and the Militia in New England, 1790-1840 includes many objects in that have either never been on public display or have not been on view in many years.
The citizen militia was an important part of civic life in the colonial period and in the early 19th-century New England. All able-bodied men from 18 to 45 were required to serve in their town’s militia. They had to provide their own weapons and equipment and had to attend at least one training day per year. The new exhibit will bring more detail to this story and have four distinct themes within the context of New England: citizen militia, firearms technology, firearms manufacturing, and sport shooting.