Daily events are subject to change.
Saturday, June 5, 2021
Welcome to Old Sturbridge Village, a recreated 1830s rural New England town! Thank you for joining us for our biannual Muster Day. To supplement the meager armed forces, most early 19th-century farmers and craftsmen were required by law to serve in local militia units. Twice a year, these citizen-soldiers were “called to muster” for a day of training in their town. Old Sturbridge Village re-creates a typical Muster Day and celebrates our local military history. See a cannon demonstration, hear Fife and Drum music and see the militia practice target shooting. Please follow occupancy guidelines and signs posted outside buildings. Enjoy your visit!
Muster Day Programming
10:00 Militia Musters on the Common with Fife and Drum:
Every spring, a town’s militia would gather to ensure that each man had the arms and equipment that were required by law for anyone serving in the militia. Spring musters were much smaller than the musters in the fall, but were still filled with marching and field music.
11:00 a.m. & 4:00 p.m. Cannon Demonstration:
Hear the thunderous roar of our replica cannon and learn about the importance of artillery in 18th and 19th century warfare. (at the Bixby Field).
11:30 a.m. & 3:00 p.m. Hear Fife & Drum from the American Revolution:
Field music played a critical roll during militia musters. While the music was partly used to notify the men when to assemble and keep them in step, it was also used to entertain the crowds.
(at the field across from the Shoe Shop).
2:00 p.m. The Militia Practices Target Shooting:
Target practice was viewed to be just as essential to the training of soldiers in the period as was marching and other duties. Drill manuals of the period specified training soldiers to be comfortable shooting at targets that were up to 140 yards away. (by the Graveyard).
4:45 p.m. Flag Lowering with Fife and Drum on the Common
10:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. A Reading of Excerpts from the Letters of 19th Century Activist Sarah Grimke (meets at the Quaker Meetinghouse)
11:00 a.m. & 3:00 p.m. Uncomfortable Truths: A discussion of race in the early New England (meets in front of Fenno House).
4:00 p.m. Quakers in New England: The History of the Friends in 19th Century New England (meets in front of the Friends Meetinghouse).
Small House Costumed interpreters are here to help you understand the past as it relates to the present. Make this your first stop to say “good day” and orient yourself to our 1830s Village.
Bixby House The Bixbys, like many families, earned their income from several different sources. Visit to learn about the work of braiding straw, sewing shoe uppers and dairying the women of this family did from home.
Parsonage From frocks to stockings! Stop by here to discover the work that went into clothing a 1830s family.
Musket Demonstrations will happen at 1:00 p.m. Watch our interpreters load and fire a flintlock musket, near the Bullard Tavern.
Blacksmith Shop Our smiths are hard at work making tools for our new cabinetmaking shop as well as more typical items.
Tin Shop Experience our Tinners creating authentic reproductions of household items made from tinned sheet iron.
On the Farm At Freeman Farm, Fenno Barn, and Towne Barn you can find the sheep, chickens, and cattle that call OSV home. In the fields across campus, you may find our farmers hard at work with seasonal chores.
Asa Knight Store Country stores brought in goods from all over the world, through seaports like Boston and Providence. They also bought locally produced goods such as butter, cheese, and handwork for sale in those urban commercial centers.
In the Gardens Stop by the Small House, Fitch House, Parsonage, Towne House, Bixby House, Freeman Farm, or Herb Garden to learn about the diversity of plants, cultures, and techniques represented in the food culture, medicine, and floriculture of 1830s New England.
We offer two horse-drawn carryall rides, included with the price of admission, around the Village. Please note from 1:00 – 1:30 p.m. there are no Carryalls operating.
From 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 – 5:00 p.m. you can board behind the Bullard Tavern or behind the Blacksmith Shop about every 20 minutes for a ride around the Mill pond.
From 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 – 5:00 pm you can board at the Asa Knight Store or the Miner Grant Store about every 45 minutes for a longer ride around the Common and Countryside.
Dining & Shopping
Bullard Café (on the Ground Floor)
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. full hot and cold menu available.
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. soups, sandwiches and beverages.
Scoop Shop 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.: Gifford’s ice cream available.
Miner Grant Store & Bake Shop 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Stop in to buy our famous chocolate chip cookies and treats. Shop for Village-made wares, historical children’s toys and gifts, too!
Special today: While supplies last! Gingerbread for sale outside of the Miner Grant Store. While a winter treat today, gingerbread was traditionally enjoyed on muster days in the early 19th century.