Daily Schedule

DATE: MAY 18, 2024

Exhibits open 9:30 AM to 5 PM

Daily events are subject to change.

Saturday, May 18, 2024
Welcome to Old Sturbridge Village, a recreated 1830s rural New England town! Join us for 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 – the forerunner of today’s National Guard. Twice a year, these citizen-soldiers were “called to muster” for the 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. Enjoy your visit! Please Note: The Woodland and Pasture Walks are closed today.

Muster Day Programming

Throughout the Day:
◈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 #18).
◈Muster Day Scavenger Hunt
(Pick up at the Visitor Center, #2).
◈Blacksmith Shop: See our smiths forging iron hardware and hinges for a tool chest (Building #37).

9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Help Roll Cartridges for the Militia:
Each town had to furnish their militia with blank cartridges for muster days. Come help make the paper tubes that Sturbridge needs (in the Fitch House, Building #20).

9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Make a Paper Militia Hat
(in the Visitor Center, Building #2).

9:45 a.m.
 Flag Raising with Fife and Drum Music (on the Common).

10:00 a.m. “What is Muster Day?” A Citizen’s Guide to the Militia
(in front of the Fenno House, Building #22).

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
(on the Common).

10:30 a.m.
 Fife and Drum Music Performance (by the Center Meetinghouse, Building #6).

11:00 a.m. The Militia Practices Target Shooting: Firing ball at targets was a common training activity during muster days. See the militia do their best to hit the bull’s eye (behind the Cabinetmaking Shop, Building #7).

11:30 a.m. Kids Target Shoot with Rubber Band Rifles
: After seeing the militia firing their muskets at targets, kids can test their aim with rubber band rifles (behind the Cabinetmaking Shop, Building #7).

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).

12:30 p.m. Kids Learn to March (on the Common).

1:00 p.m. A Sermon on Peace:
Christians Should Unite to Disseminate the Principles of Peace (in the Center Meetinghouse, Building #7).

11:30 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. OSV Dancers:
Come learn a dance from the 1830s with the Old Sturbridge Village Dancers(in the Gebhardt Barn, Building #13).

2:00 p.m. Calls of the Bugle: Learn about the role of the bugle as a signal instrument for artillery companies (at the Bixby Field, by Building #36).

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 Bixby Field, by Building #36).

3:00 p.m.
 Fife and Drum Music Performance (at the Bixby Field, by Building #36).

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 #9).

4:45 p.m.
 Flag Lowering with Fife and Drum Music (on the Common).

Daily Activities
10:00 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. A Guided Tour of the Salem Towne House:
Tour the home of a prosperous farmer with a costumed historian (meets in hallway of the Salem Towne House, Building #15).

11:00 a.m. Nature Myths: Fanciful tales about how things came to be (in the Salem Towne House Garden, #15).

11:30 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. OSV Dancers: Watch the Old Sturbridge Village Dancers demonstrate dancing in the 1830s (at the Gebhardt Barn, Building #13).

12:00 p.m. Read Me a Story: A read – aloud story for children (in the Salem Towne House Garden, #15).

2:00 p.m. Carding Mill Demonstration:
Carding is brushing wool to prepare it for spinning into yarn. Our 200+ year-old water-powered machines did it much faster than hand carding, a welcome service to early farm families
(at the Carding Mill, Building #39).

2:30 p.m. Living by the Bell:
A character presentation about a former boardinghouse mistress’ recollections of Lowell, MA Factory Girls and the labor strikes of the 1830s (in the Salem Towne House Garden, #15).

3:30 p.m. A Reading of New England Poetry:
Poems by Poe, Emerson, and other early 19th century poets
(in the Salem Towne House Garden, #15).

Dining & Shopping
Bullard Caf
é (Building #3) (on the Ground Floor)
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Hungry? Stop by for lunch or a snack.

Miner Grant Store & Bake Shop (Building #18)
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, historical children’s toys and gifts, too!

Ox & Yoke Café (Building #1)
10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Featuring scrumptious sweet and savory baked goods prepared on-site, along with freshly ground coffee, beer and wine, cold and hot drinks, and more.

Ox & Yoke Mercantile (Building #1)
10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Take home a traditional rural New England treasure or unique gift. Village-made crafts and kits, home décor, books, and more await!


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