Daily events are subject to change.
Saturday, May 6, 2023
Welcome to Old Sturbridge Village, a recreated 1830s rural New England town! Today, Old Sturbridge Village re-creates a typical Muster Day and celebrates our local military history. 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. Demonstrations will include marching, musket and cannon firing, and target practice. Enjoy your visit!
Muster Day Programs
Gingerbread for sale outside of the Miner Grant Store – While supplies last! A winter treat today, gingerbread was traditionally enjoyed on muster days in the early 19th century. (Building #19)
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Make a Paper Militia Hat
(in the Visitor Center, Building #2).
9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Making Uniforms for the Militia (at the Fitch House, Building #21).
10:00 a.m. “What is Muster Day?” A Citizen’s Guide to the Militia (in front of the Fenno House, Building #23).
10:15 a.m. The Militia Musters on the Common: 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. The Militia Practices Target Shooting
(behind the Cabinetmaking Shop, Building #8).
12:00 p.m. Old Sturbridge Academy (OSA) Fife and Drum: OSA Students will play a set of historical fife and drum songs and solos. (at the field across from the Shoe Shop, Building #10).
1:00 p.m. A Sermon on Peace: Christians Should Unite to Disseminate the Principles of Peace (in the Center Meetinghouse, Building #7).
1:30 p.m. Kids Learn to March (on the Common).
2:00 p.m. Uncle Ezra Remembers His Militia Days (Outside of the Bullard Tavern, Building #3).
2:30 p.m. Cannon Demonstration: Hear the thunderous roar of our replica cannon and learn about the importance of artillery in early 19th century warfare (at the Blacksmith Field, by Building #39).
3:30 p.m. Safe and Sound: The Role of Powder Houses in New England Towns (This special tour of our powder house will meet by the Shoe Shop, Building #10).
10:00 a.m. Common Curiosities: Take a tour around the center Village (meets in front of the Center Meetinghouse, Building #7).
11:00 a.m. Phrenology: The Science of the Mind. Learn about the hot new “science” of the 1830s
(at the Bullard Tavern, Building #3).
12:00 p.m. & 2:30 p.m. A Guided Tour of the Salem Towne House: Tour the home of a prosperous farmer with a costumed educator (meets in the hallway of the Salem Towne House, Building #16).
3:30 p.m. A Dentist Comes to Town: Hear a first person presentation and see the tools of a traveling dentist in the 1830s (in the Bullard Tavern, Building #3).
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. Please note due to today’s programing this walk is CLOSED.
Pasture Walk (#49) Takes you to the top of Powder House Hill, offering views of the pastured landscape. Please note due to today’s programing this walk is CLOSED.
River Walk (#50) Best views of the Wight Dam and a peaceful setting to enjoy the Quinebaug River.
Hands-on Crafts in Kidstory (Building #2)
3:00 – 4:45 p.m. Punch A Tin Ornament, $4.00 per craft.
Purchase a $4.00 token for Crafts at the Visitor Center or the Miner Grant Store. Instruction by Costumed Interpreter;
make an item to take home.
Please note tokens are nonrefundable.
Unused tokens can be redeemed on a future visit.
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).
Wool Days: May 27 – May 29
Discover how New England farmers used the wool from their sheep in the 1830s at Old Sturbridge Village’s annual Wool Days. Farmers will give the sheep their annual “haircut” while costumed historians demonstrate the entire wool textile process from scouring and carding the wool to dyeing, spinning, and then knitting the dyed yarn.