Daily events are subject to change.
Friday, May 5, 2023
Welcome to Old Sturbridge Village, a recreated 1830s rural New England town! Spring is an exciting time here. See if you can spot crocus and snowdrops springing from the soil. See our artisans making handcrafted items from iron, tin plate, clay, leather, and wood. Watch as food is being prepared by an open hearth with the remains of last year’s harvest, anxiously awaiting the new spring growth. Our farmers and gardeners are industriously preparing the soil for the planting season, and of course, our farm animals, including newborn lambs, always enjoy a visitor too. Enjoy your visit!
10:00 a.m. A Guided Tour of the Salem Towne House: Tour a prosperous farmer’s home with a costumed educator (meets in the hallway in the Salem Towne House, Building #16).
11:00 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. What’s Blooming in Mrs. Towne’s Garden? A look at heirloom flowers in a formal garden (in the Salem Towne Garden, #16).
12:00 p.m. & 3:30 p.m. Meet the Schoolmistress: Learn about school in the 1830s (in the District School, Building #33).
2:30 p.m. Fashion Delights: Find out what’s in style in the 1830s (in the Asa Knight Store, Building #11).
10:00 a.m. Music at the Tavern: Hear a sampler of
1830s music (in the Bullard Tavern, Building #3).
11:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. Musical Highlights: The Rocking Melodeon Listen to a selection of songs on one of the most unusual instruments of the 19th century. Learn about the people that would have played on this instrument, and how it works at the Fitch House, Building #21.
2:00 p.m. Dancing School: Learn to leap or move with measured steps in the style of an 1830s dancing master (in the Gebhart Barn, Building #14).
3:00 p.m. Musical Highlights, the “Hurdy Gurdy”:
Listen to this strange and unusual instrument
(at the Bullard Tavern, Building #3).
Cabinetmaking Shop (Building #8) Period cabinetmakers made
a wide variety of wares including tables, chairs, chests and other case furniture. Explore this trade shop, and learn more about the tools and techniques used by nineteenth century woodworkers.
Printing Office (Building #18) Small printing offices often worked for publishers in Philadelphia, New York, or Boston, printing and binding books for sale anywhere in New England. They often also did smaller printing jobs for local people.
Small House (Building #5) 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.
Asa Knight Store (Building #11) 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.
Law Office (Building #12) Most town lawyers dispensed
legal advice: helped collect debts, wrote contracts, deeds,
and wills, settled estates, and occasionally argued civil and criminal cases.
The Carryall (weather permitting)
We offer a horse-drawn carryall ride included with the price of admission. From 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. you can board behind the Bullard Tavern (#3) or in front of the Blacksmith Shop (#39) about every 20 minutes for a ride around the Mill Pond. There is no carryall operating outside of this time.
Dining & Shopping
Bullard Café (Building #3) (on the Ground Floor)
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. A variety of lunch options and beverages.
Miner Grant Store & Bake Shop (Building #19)
9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Stop in to buy our famous chocolate chip cookies, Joe Frogger cookies, and treats. Shop for Village-made wares, heirloom seeds, historical children’s toys and gifts, too!
Ox & Yoke Mercantile (Building #1)
10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Take home a traditional rural New England treasure or locally made gift. Village-made crafts and kits, home décor, books, and more await!
The Environmental Point of View
Woodland Walk (#47) A short hike along Pogus Brook to a wooded viewing platform.
Pasture Walk (#49) Takes you to the top of Powder House Hill, offering views of the pastured landscape.
River Walk (#50) Best views of the Wight Dam and a peaceful setting to enjoy the Quinebaug River.
New England on Parade
Learn about the long history of parades in this region, and their many purposes. Visit both of the exhibitions’ locations in the Visitor Center (#2C), and Armed & Equipped Militia Exhibit (#26).
Old Sturbridge Village’s new exhibit
Needle and Thread: The Art and Skill of Clothing an Early 19th Century Family highlights the responsibilities held by rural New England housewives in constructing new garments, patching, mending, and darning worn items, and repurposing old items into new wardrobes. The exhibit features over a dozen garments and accessories, along with other textile and clothing objects from the Old Sturbridge Village Museum Collections
(in the Dennison Building, #28).
Muster Day: May 6
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. 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. Demonstrations will include marching, musket and cannon firing, and target practice.