Daily events are subject to change.
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
Welcome to Old Sturbridge Village, a recreated 1830s rural New England town! On this day in 1946 Old Sturbridge Village opened to the public for the first time seventy-five years ago. Today kicks off a yearlong celebration of the Village’s decades of historic preservation, interpretation, and education. Below you will find a listing of exhibits that were open on the original opening day of June 8, 1946, such as the Printing Office, Richardson House, Fitch House, Gristmill, and the Blacksmith Shop. Many now-familiar buildings were not yet here, or were in different locations and put to different uses than they are now. Please follow occupancy guidelines and signs posted outside buildings. Enjoy your visit!
June 8, 1946 Activities
Fitch House Moved from Willimantic CT, Fitch was one of the first households to join the museum. Come visit today as we make a cake to celebrate the Village’s 75th anniversary!
Richardson House (Parsonage) The Richardson House was one of the buildings visited by guests on our Opening Day in 1946. As we celebrate our 75th Anniversary, learn how people in rural New England might dress to celebrate a special occasion such as the Fourth of July, Muster Day, or a parade. Celebrations offered an opportunity to wear and be seen in all of your best clothing. Bonnets, embroidered collars, reticules, walking sticks, silk cravats, and gloves all added to the festive feeling of the day.
Grist Mill Built in 1939, the Grist Mill was one of the first buildings on the site of what is now Old Sturbridge Village. The stones were first powered by electricity, later being retrofitted to our water wheel. Originally the Grist Mill ground meal for sale; today we grind animal feed for use on our farm.
Blacksmith The granite-walled Moses Wilder Blacksmith Shop you see here today is actually the second Blacksmith Shop at the Village. It was moved to OSV in 1957 from Bolton, MA. The George Stone Blacksmith Shop was on site until it was lost in a fire in 1956.
Printing Office Here you will find us printing the broadside that was on a wooden printing press in 1946. A broadside was intended to convey information. The printing office didn’t have an iron press as it does today, but instead had a wooden press. Visit the Asa Knight Store to learn about how they sold the items listed in the broadside.
We offer two horse-drawn carryall rides, included with the price of admission, around the Village. Please note from 1:00 – 1:30 pm there are no Carryalls operating.
From 10:00 am – 1:00 pm 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 am – 12:00 pm and 1:30 – 5:00 p.m. 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.
Performances & Tours
10:00 a.m. & 2 p.m. Common Curiosities: A general tour with OSV historian of the buildings in our center Village (meets outside Center Meetinghouse).
11:30 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. A Tour of the Fitch Children’s Garden:
A guided tour of our children’s garden based off the 1833 book The Young Florist by Joseph Breck.
11:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. 75 Years of Costumed Interpretation at OSV: Visit the museum’s Historical Clothing Office for a behind-the-scenes tour of the building and learn how costumes worn by museum have changed through throughout OSV’s history. The Historical Clothing Office is in the original caretaker’s building which was also built/opened in 1946. (pre-registration in person at the Visitor Center is required)
12:00 & 4:00 p.m. River Walk: A narrated tour with OSV historian of the Mill Neighborhood and River Walk (meets outside the Gristmill).
11:00 a.m. & 3:00 p.m. Uncomfortable Truths: A walking tour with OSV historian discussing the role of race in early New England (meets outside Small House).
1:00 Musket Demonstrations Watch our interpreters load and fire a flintlock musket, near the Bullard Tavern.
10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. & 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Curator’s Pick: A Look into the Institutional Archives: A collection of items from Old Sturbridge Village’s institutional archives ranging from opening day in 1946 to the present. Objects include a photo album gifted to George Watson, the man responsible for moving and reconstructing many of the buildings at the Village, with photos of all the buildings that were in the Village in 1954. In addition, you can see a newspaper spread advertising Old Sturbridge Village during World War II. There will also be map guides, publications and memorabilia from different periods of the Village’s history, and “The Village” board game, once sold in the gift shop. (in the Visitor Center Demonstration Space).
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 pm: Gifford’s ice cream and cold beverages 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, heirloom seeds, historical children’s toys and gifts, too!