Visitors watch as two costmed historians launch a small fire balloon

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Times: The Village is open from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm

Cost: All members of Old Sturbridge Village and Coggeshall Farm Museum are invited to join us for Friends’ Day! Must be a member to participate. Workshops have a nominal fee to cover materials. The celebratory cookout is available for an additional fee as well.

Registration for Friends’ Day Programming opens on August 22, 2022 at 10:00 am! Check back for additional information.

All members of Old Sturbridge Village and Coggeshall Farm Museum are invited to join us for Friends’ Day 2022.

Friends of Old Sturbridge Village logoYou must be a member of Old Sturbridge Village or Coggeshall Farm Museum to participate in the pre-registered Friends’ Day programs. Please note that some programs require pre-registration online or by phone at 508-347-0210. Registration links for individual programs are noted below the relevant program description and will open on a first-come, first-served basis on August 22, 2022.

Even if you are not pre-registering for any individual programs, please pre-register for your visit to the Village on September 17 so we have a sense of how many members are joining us that day.

Special Tours, Workshops, and More

In addition to the regular daily program, the following programs are available to members. (Regular daily program information will be available on the map guide upon arrival at the Village). All programs last 45 minutes – 1 hour unless otherwise noted. When choosing your programs, please plan for travel time between locations.

Programs that note “drop in” below are open throughout the entire time frame indicated; you can join that program at any time during that time frame and do not need to pre-register. Programs that require pre-registration are noted accordingly in bold orange text. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and will open on August 22, 2022.

We understand that it can be disappointing if a program sells out before you can register; please be respectful of the capacity limits on our programs. These are very popular programs and if your circumstances change, please email us at membership@osv.org let us know if you can no longer attend.

All programming is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. 

Village Mystery Box

See if you can guess what 19th-century items are hidden in the box! This drop-in program will be running throughout the day in the Fitch House Garden.

Making Gingerbread at the Fitch House

Stop in for a treat at the Fitch House! Gingerbread was a staple of 1830s homes, with dozens of types and flavors. Stop by to see gingerbread being made over an open fire, and even try a piece for yourself! This drop-in program will be running throughout the day in the Fitch House.

Help Potters Unload the Kiln

After firing the kiln the prior week the pots are ready to be removed and examined. Join some of OSV’s Potters and help unload some pots. This drop-in program will be running throughout the day at the Kiln.

Training Oxen for the Single Yoke

Learn how and why oxen are trained to work in a single yoke, how it differs from standard yokes, and which jobs suit single oxen. This 30-minute drop-in program begins at 10:00 am at the Cider Mill.

Make a Punched Tin Ornament

Instructed by a costumed historian, make an item to take home. This drop-in program runs from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and again from 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm in the Crafts on the Common Booth on the Common. A $3 per ornament materials fee will be charged, payable at the Visitor Center or Miner Grant Store.

Pattern to Paper to Person: Reproducing a Dress from the OSV Collection

See a dress that was completed over Textile Weekend on the person for whom it was made. Costumed historians will explain how they moved from the original dress in the Collection through making a pattern and reproducing the dress.  This drop-in program runs from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and again from 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm in the Friends Meetinghouse.

Historical Clothing Office Open Hours

Drop in for a visit with Historical Clothing Staff for an up-close look at the reproduction 1830s costumes worn by interpreters at OSV and how they are made. Learn how studying original garments in the museum’s collections and conducting new research has led to changes in what costumes are regularly worn in the village. This drop-in program runs from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and again from 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm in our Historic Clothing Office (located next to the Oliver Wight Tavern and the Herb Garden).

Create a Cut Flower Arrangement

Pre-registration required

Join OSV’s horticulture staff and make your own beautiful cut flower arrangement! Along the way, you’ll learn some of the history of cut flowers and some of the best flowers to grow for your own arrangements at home. All materials will be provided. This workshop will be held in the Gebhardt Performance Barn. Capacity is limited, a $10 per person materials fee is charged, and pre-registration is required.

10:00 am

2:00 pm

Tour of Needle & Thread: The Skill and Art of Clothing an Early 19th-Century Family

Pre-registration required

Join us for a tour of our new textile exhibit. Discover how rural New England housewives completed their everyday chores as well as managed to make, mend, launder and iron clothing for the entire family. From constructing new garments, to patching, mending, and darning worn items, to cutting old garments down and remaking them into something new, the task of keeping the family clothed in good order was a daunting task.  Come and view the tools they used, and the garments they created as well as much more. This program will meet in the Dennison Building. Capacity is limited and pre-registration is required.

10:00 am

1:00 pm

Tour of Collections Storage

Pre-registration required

A variety of framed portraits hung on wallsJoin us for a behind-the-scenes tour of our collections storage building where we house most of our more than 40,000 artifacts made or used by rural New Englanders between 1790 and 1840. This tour will meet in the Visitor Center. Capacity is limited and pre-registration is required.

10:00 am

1:00 pm

Learn to Weave

Pre-registration required

Try your hand at weaving on a loom. Participants in this workshop will also card wool from the Village’s sheep, learn about 19th-century dyeing methods, and practice using a spinning wheel. Please note that this program takes place in our Museum Education building, which is outside of the main Village. Capacity is limited, a $5 per person materials fee is charged, this class is designed for ages 6+, and pre-registration is required.

10:00 am

11:00 am

1:30 pm

New House in Town

Pre-registration required

Join a costumed historian for a talk at the Bixby House on the iron products that Emerson Bixby built for his neighbor. This program will be held in the Bixby House. Capacity is limited and pre-registration is required.

10:30 am

Clocks and Clockmaking in New England: The Connecticut Common Clock

Pre-registration required

The Clock Gallery at Old Sturbridge VillageIn this special presentation, learn about the trade of clockmaking in New England. Discover how the average New Englander kept and interpreted time. Take a private tour of our J. Cheney Wells Clock Gallery. This program will meet in the Clock Gallery inside the Visitor Center. Capacity is limited and pre-registration is required.

10:30 am

Hearth Cooking: Apple Fritters

Pre-registration required

Cook a sweet treat together in the hearth! Following a 19th-century receipt for apple fritters, participants will mix, measure, and prepare this pancake-like delight in an hanging skillet. Ingredients will include: apples, flour, sugar, milk, eggs. Please note that this program takes place in our Museum Education building, which is outside of the main Village. Capacity is limited, a $5 materials fee per person is charged, this class is designed for ages 6+, and pre-registration is required.

10:30 am

12:30 pm

2:30 pm

Woodworking: Make a Toolbox

Pre-registration required

Practice some basic woodworking skills while making a simple toolbox! Participants will use handtools to create this useful project. This is a 90-minute workshop. Please note that this program takes place in our Museum Education building, which is outside of the main Village. Capacity is limited, a $10 per person materials fee is charged, this class is designed for ages 9+, and pre-registration is required.

10:30 am

2:30 pm

Dining in a Deluge

Pre-registration required

Freeman Kitchen GardenJoin us for a preservation tour at the Freeman Farmhouse. What does a rainy previous year mean for this year’s stores, and how might a family make do? This program is held in the Freeman Garden. Capacity is limited and pre-registration is required.

10:30 am

11:30 am

Maintaining and Repairing Dry Stone Walls

Learn about the farm’s current dry stone wall projects, including repairing the cattle yard at the Freeman Farm. This 30-minute program begins at 11:00 am at Freeman Farm and does not require pre-registration.

Your Day in Court

Visitors volunteer to play parts in a court case brought before a Justice of the Peace in the 1830s. Visitors who are not participating will offer a verdict(s) in the case. The “Justice of the Peace” will reveal the real verdict. This 30-minute program begins at 11:00 am and again at 1:30 pm at the Law Office; pre-registration is not required.

Tour of the Research Library

Pre-registration required

Join us for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Old Sturbridge Village Research Library, which encompasses more than 35,000 volumes and focuses on the history and material life in rural New England from the years following the American Revolution until the Civil War. This tour will meet in the Visitor Center. Capacity is limited and pre-registration is required.

11:00 am

2:00 pm

Coin Collecting: History in Your Pocket

Pre-registration required

A costumed historian will give a brief history of coin collecting, share a sample of his coin collection, and offer suggestions for starting a collection of your own. This program will be held in the Thompson Bank. Capacity is limited and pre-registration is required.

11:00 am

2:00 pm

Toy Hot Air Balloons

Join us on the common for a demonstration (or two!) of a fascinating diversion enjoyed by children in the early 1800s, a toy hot air balloon flight! This drop-in program begins at 11:30 am and again at 2:30 pm on the Common.

Violin Bow Re-Hairing

Learn about the history of violin family instruments in New England. See how a violin bow is re-haired. This drop-in program begins at 12:30 pm in the Gebhardt Performance Barn.

Yoke Construction and Variations in Yoke Design

Talk to the farmers of Old Sturbridge Village about yoke making. We will have in-progress examples to discuss as well as a selection from the museum collections. Please note that this program takes place in our Museum Education building, which is outside of the main Village. Capacity is limited and pre-registration is required.

1:00 pm

A Survey of Dairying at OSV

Pre-registration required

Starting at the Salem Towne House we will move through Bixby House and the Freeman Farmhouse to talk about dairying in the early 19th century. We will look at the different dairying scenarios and equipment displayed across the museum. This program will meet at the Salem Towne House. Capacity is limited and pre-registration is required.

1:30 pm

3:00 pm

Friends’ Day Annual Meeting with President and CEO of Old Sturbridge Village, Jim Donahue

Join us for Jim Donahue’s Annual Friends’ Day Meeting, including the opportunity to ask Jim your questions directly. At the conclusion of the meeting, Jim will draw this year’s raffle winners. This program does not require pre-registration and will be held at 2:00 pm in the Stephen M. Brewer Theater in the Visitor Center. Capacity is limited on a first-come, first-served basis. *Note: You must be in attendance at the Friends’ Day Annual Meeting to be entered into the raffles. Raffle tickets will be distributed as you enter the theater, one per membership.

Celebratory Cookout

Pre-registration required

Enjoy a celebratory cookout outside at one of our picnic tables, on a bench, or in a shady spot on the grass. There will be two seatings: 11:30 am and 1:00 pm in The Grove between Bullard Tavern and the Gebhardt Performance Barn. You must make a reservation and purchase your meal ticket in advance for $16 per person. The cookout will include: hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, barbeque chicken, veggie burgers, watermelon, potato chips, garden salad, potato salad, apple caramel cookies, and canned beverages.

11:30 am seating

1:00 pm seating