All members of Old Sturbridge Village and Coggeshall Farm Museum are invited to join us for Friends’ Day 2023.

You 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 at 9:30 a.m.

Even if you are not pre-registering for any individual programs, please pre-register for your visit to the Village on September 23 so we have a sense of how many members are joining us that day. Click here to register.

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 50 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 marked as such. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and will open on August 22, 2022. Please note materials fees and age minimums on certain programs listed in the descriptions. 

Stitches from the Past: Reproducing Knitted Garments:

Have you ever wondered where we find the inspiration for the knitted garments worn by the staff at Old Sturbridge Village?  Please stop by the Friends Meetinghouse to see artifact-knitted items from our Collection and advice books of the 1830s & 1840s from the Research Library.  Examine reproduction pieces made from these sources.  Join us to discuss the whole process from inspiration to wearing the clothing. Drop in from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m at the Friends’ Meetinghouse.

Tour of Collections Storage:

Pre-registration required

Join 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.

Register for the 9:45 a.m. Tour FULL

Register for the 1:00 pm. Tour FULL

English Black Pig Sitting in the MudTour of the Allen Piggery and How to Manage Pigs:

Join a farmer to learn about Old Sturbridge Village’s newest building, the reconstructed Allen Piggery! Farmers built piggeries, or hog houses, as dedicated and efficient spaces in which to raise swine. Keeping pigs was an important activity on most early 19th-century New England farms. This program runs at 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at the Allen Piggery.

Sugar Cakes: 19th- versus 21st-century Baking Techniques for Tea Cakes

Pre-registration required

Experience the similarities and differences in baking techniques for small cakes of the 19th and 21st centuries This is a 90-minute program.

Register for the 10:00 a.m. workshop FULL

Register for the 2:00 p.m. workshop FULL

Woodworking in Early New England:

Pre-registration required

Join a historical trades interpreter for a hands-on exploration of traditional woodworking tools. Learn more about the tools and techniques used in early New England, to split, shave, plane, saw, and chisel wood. This is a 30-minute program.

Register for the 10:00 a.m. program  FULL

Register for the 12:30 p.m. program  FULL

Register for the 1:30 p.m. program  FULL

Make a Punched Tin Ornament:

Instructed by a costumed historian, make a punched tin ornament to take home. Drop in from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 2:30 pm. – 4:30 p.m. at the Crafts on the Common booth.

Fall Farm and Garden:

Pre-registration required

Explore some of the work that was done on the farm during the fall months. Use a cider press, process dried corn from threshing to grinding, and enjoy a cup of apple cider together. Please note that this program takes place in our Museum Education building, which is outside of the main Village.

Register for the 10:00 a.m. program FULL

Register for the 11:00 a.m. program FULL

Register for the 1:30 p.m. program FULL

 Reticule Workshop: Sewing an 1830s Purse:

Pre-registration required

Design and stitch your own 1830s reticule (a useful yet elegant drawstring handbag) with the guidance of OSV’s Historical Clothing staff. Practice hand-sewing stitches commonly used in the 19th century and learn how small decorative bags like this could be used for personal items, sewing projects, or small treasures. Ages 14+. This is a 90-minute program and there is a $10 materials fee per person.

Register for the 10:30 a.m. workshop FULL

Register for the 12:30 p.m. workshop FULL

Hearth Cooking Workshop:

Pre-registration required

Hearth cooking workshop at Museum EdCook a sweet treat together in the hearth! Following a 19th-century receipt for gingerbread, participants will mix, measure, and prepare this delicious cake full of warm spices. We will also mull some cider to enjoy with the cake. Ingredients will include: molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, flour, sugar, milk, eggs, apple cider. Please note that this program takes place in our Museum Education building, which is outside of the main Village.  Ages 6+.  There is a $5 materials fee per person.

Register for the 10:30 a.m. workshop, section 1  FULL

Register for the 10:30 a.m. workshop, section 2  FULL

Register for the 12:30 p.m. workshop, section 1  FULL

Register for the 12:30 p.m. workshop, section 2  FULL

Register for the 2:30 p.m. workshop, section 1 FULL

Register for the 2:30 p.m. workshop, section 2 FULL

Basic Woodworking Workshop:

Pre-registration required

Practice some basic woodworking skills while making a simple footstool! Participants will use hand tools 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. Ages 9+. This is a 90-minute program, and there is a $10 materials fee per person.

Register for the 10:30 a.m. workshop  FULL

Register for the 2:00 p.m. workshop FULL

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.

Register for the 11:00 a.m. tour FULL

Register for the 3:00 p.m. tour  FULL

Coin Collecting: History in Your Pocket:

Pre-registration required

Were early 19th-century Americans collecting coins? What kind of coins were they collecting? Meet a costumed educator in the Thompson Bank where they will talk about coin collecting in early America. They will talk about early U.S. coinage and its development in the first sixty years of our country’s existence. This is a 30-minute program.

Register for the 11:00 a.m. program  FULL

Register for the 2:00 p.m. program  FULL

Tour of the Herb Garden’s Perennials:

Pre-registration required

Join members of our horticulture staff for a tour of our herb garden’s tender perennials before they make their trip to the village’s greenhouse. Learn the tricks to overwintering plants and the secrets to rooting herbaceous cuttings from our greenhouse manager. The tour ends with a rooting cuttings demonstration and an opportunity to root your own cuttings.

Register for the 11:00 a.m. program FULL

Register for the 2:00 p.m. program  FULL

Autumnal Tour:

Join a costumed educator to learn about the various ways New Englanders prepared for and celebrated the fall season.  This is a 30-minute program at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. meeting at the Towne House.

Low Down and Dirty Elections:

Mudslinging in politics is nothing new; come learn about how our forefathers fought down and dirty to win elections.  This is a 30-minute program at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the Center Meetinghouse.

Food Adulteration in the 19th Century

Should you be eating that? Even two hundred years ago, some people wondered if the foods they were eating might not be good for them. Learn about Sylvester Graham, who traveled the East Coast, alerting people to the dangers in their foods, and the benefits of a simple life without stimulants and food adulterants. This program runs at 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. at the Bixby Garden.

Unfortunately, we are unable to carry out the Orchard Tour that was originally scheduled for Friends’ Day due to unforeseen circumstances. We’re sorry for the disappointment but are excited to offer this Food Adulteration program instead.

Toy Hot Air Balloons

Unfortunately, this program has been canceled due to weather 

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 is a 30-minute program at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on the Common.

New House in Town: Bixby:

Pre-registration required

Curious about the iron products Emerson Bixby built for his neighbor? Join a costumed educator for a talk at the Bixby House to learn more about this topic. This is a 30-minute program.

Register for the 11:30 a.m. program FULL

Register for the 1:00 p.m. program FULL

Moving the Thompson Bank and John McClellan Law Office:

Pre-registration required

What do the Thompson Bank and the John McClellan Law Office have in common? Both buildings were moved to Old Sturbridge Village without being dismantled.  Learn how these two building made their way to the Village. This is a 30-minute program.

Register for the 12:15 p.m. program FULL

Register for the 2:30 p.m. program FULL

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. Drop in any time between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. in the Historical Clothing Office.

Tour of Machinery Storage:

Pre-registration required

Get a behind the scene tour of our Machinery Storage building, where we house our larger pieces of early 19th-century equipment and vehicles.

Register for the 3:00 p.m. tour  FULL

How do you make that? An 1830s baking competition:

Pre-registration required

Part of the excitement and struggle of early 19th-century cooking is understanding the receipt, or recipe. How are we supposed to know much flour is “enough” flour, at what temperature does it bake, or for how long? Try your best to translate and bake an early American receipt, and come with your dish for hot chocolate as we taste, drink hot chocolate and discuss, “how do you make that?” Please bring your finished Chocolate Cake, ready for judging, with your full recipe. Whoever makes the tastiest cake, while staying true to the original, receipt will win. The winning recipe will be featured on our member e-news and social media. Please only register for the person who will be submitting the recipe; each entrant may bring one guest with them to the program. This activity requires you to bake your cake at home prior to the event. 

Receipt:

“Put half a pound of nice brown sugar into a quart of flour, sift it, and make it into a paste, with four ounces of butter melted in as much milk as will wet it; knead it till light, roll it tolerably thin, cut it in strips an inch wide, and just long enough to lay in a plate; bake them on a griddle, put them in the plate in rows to checker each other, and serve them to eat with chocolate.”
From The Virginia Housewife by Mary Randolph (1824)

Register for the 4:00 p.m. competition

OSV Singers’ Concert and Evening at the Kiln:

Pre-registration required

Join us for our annual Old Sturbridge Village Singers’ concert in the Center Meetinghouse. The night will also feature our kiln firing and members can take a ride on the horse-drawn carryall. Miner Grant will be open and will have coffee, tea, and cookies available for purchase. $15 per person.

Register for the 5:30 p.m. program 

Night at the Museum:

Pre-registration required

With only a map and a tattered journal at their side, young historians and their families will travel back in time and take part in a mysterious, candlelit adventure through the 1830s. The quest will exercise their detective skills as they hunt for clues, conduct experiments, and investigate the past. Back at our hands-on learning laboratory, we will experiment with historic crafts to learn more about 19th-century life. We are offering this popular program especially for Friends’ Day families! Ages 6+. This is a 3-hour program with a $30 fee per adult and a $25 fee per child under the age of 18.

Register for the 6:00 p.m. program 

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 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. in The Grove between Bullard Tavern and the Gebhardt Performance Barn. You must make a reservation and purchase your meal ticket in advance for $18 per person. (Please note, there is no youth price for the cookout.) The cookout will include hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, barbeque chicken, veggie burgers, watermelon, potato chips, garden salad, potato salad, cookies, and canned beverages.

Purchase your ticket for the 11:30 am seating FULL

Purchase your ticket for the 1:00 pm seating  FULL

 

 

 

Friends’ Day 2023

All members of Old Sturbridge Village and Coggeshall Farm Museum are invited to join us for Friends’ Day 2023. You 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… Read More


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. Fall militia musters often saw the various militia companies of several towns coming together for a regimental muster. These would have… Read More


Dog Days

MEMBERS ONLY Old Sturbridge Village extends to OSV members the privilege of bringing their dog to Old Sturbridge Village on select weekends throughout the year. Dogs must be registered before visiting, see below for more information. Not a member yet?  Join now. Upcoming Dog Days: January 13-14, 2024 January… Read More


Independence Celebration

Join us in celebration of Independence Day! Experience fife and drum music, cannon demonstrations, games, a parade, and more. Hear special readings of poetry and the Declaration of Independence. Join in a game of base ball, or watch a toy hot air balloon take flight. Marvel at the work of… Read More


Historical Craft Classes

Spend some time at the Village learning a historical craft. These adult workshops vary from blacksmithing to textiles, coopering, foodways, and more. Come and try your hand at a craft and take home your finished masterpiece! Unless otherwise specified, workshops will be held in the Museum Education Center. Historical Craft… Read More


Collections Storage Tour

Join 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. Meet at the Visitor Center and walk to our storage building with a Village curator. Please note: The… Read More


Antiques Roadshow

Last June, ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, PBS’s most-watched ongoing series, stopped at Old Sturbridge Village on their production tour. Several thousand guests came through, carrying a wide assortment of furniture, collectibles, pieces of art, instruments, textiles, toys, clocks, jewelry, books, and more. Three Sturbridge episodes will air as a part of the… Read More


Celtic Celebration

Join us as we celebrate cultural heritage through music, dance, storytelling, and poetry. Special daytime Celtic Celebration themed activities include: Irish dance performances from two different local dance schools live musical performances by renowned Celtic harpist Cate Mahoney (Sunday only) fiddle and bagpipe music presentations Irish stories and poetry reading We… Read More


Evening of Illumination

How did New England families spend their evenings before the intrusion of texting, telephones, TVs, and computers? Visitors to Old Sturbridge Village will get a rare chance to find out as they tour the historic Village lit only by candles, oil lamps, lanterns, and firelight during Old Sturbridge Village’s… Read More


Redcoats & Rebels 2024

Redcoats & Rebels returns on August 3rd and 4th! See the largest military re-enactment in New England with hundreds of costumed Revolutionary War reenactors, both soldiers and civilians, encamped on the Village Common. Visitors can explore our exhibits and galleries, watch demonstrations, and talk with our costumed historians about everyday… Read More


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