Patriots' Day

Monday, April 21, 2014 -
9:30am to 4:00pm

Join us in learning how the start of the Revolutionary War affected a small New England community, a highlight of special school vacation week events.

Patriots' Day observances at Old Sturbridge will resound with the peal of bells, the stirring beat of drums and the thrilling call of the fife, as the Sturbridge Militia musters on the common on Monday, April 21st. Special programs and activities throughout the day will invite visitors to experience the sights and sounds of our colonial ancestors, reacting with hasty alarm to action at Lexington and Concord.

Men hasten from their farms, homes and families to march to the aid of those already engaged in the initial battle of the American Revolution against King George's tyranny. Housewives cook and entertain in their kitchens and parlors, watching from a window or doorstep perhaps, as the men march off to war. Then, young visitors are invited to become minutemen and women, wielding muskets and swords, learning to drill and march, flags flying, in the manner of the boys of '76. "Muskets" are provided for this ever-popular exercise in leadership, bravery, and derring-do for small patriots.

Witness the making of real musket balls in the small house; in the museum's craft center you may make your own Revolutionary War cartridge, using paper, ball and "powder".

Thrill to the songs sung during and of those perilous times;  observe the uniformed splendor of the Emerick brothers as they provide, with correct military music, background for the day's events. This year they will present a special fife and drum program, contrasting and comparing military tunes of the American Revolution with what our American soldiers would hear thirty-six years later, in our 1812 second war with Great Britain.

Not all Americans fought against the British crown; many sided with and pledged their allegiance to the king. They called themselves loyalists; to them, our patriots were rebels. On the 21st,  you are invited to meet one of those loyalists;  he will tell you of his side of the conflict, oft times at the cost of hardship and heartache to him and his family.

This year, it is our pleasure and privilege to present yet another aspect of our nation's military history. Two hundred years ago, our still-young country was fighting another war with Great Britain, the War of 1812, in which the plucky "Old Ironsides" played so notable a part. The U.S.S. Constitution's surgeon will be present, wearing full 1812 naval regalia, to describe life and the practice of medicine aboard the historic vessel.

And, as ever, the life of our village swirls and eddies about us. The sheep, pigs, cows and oxen, the chickens and turkeys go about their busy work and play throughout the village, offering occasional photo ops, as do youngsters enjoying the games of yesteryear.  The housewives and their families, though war threatens their young country, are observing the rites of spring. Important business is conducted among tradesmen and craftsmen. Textiles and fashions and clothing offer a history lesson of their own. Enjoy the harmony of historic purpose and achievement in our splendid springtime nineteenth century setting.

How did the news of Lexington and Concord affect a small New England community? For a day of history, entertainment and discovery, visit Old Sturbridge Village on April 21st as we celebrate our nation's beginning and continuing perseverance, in war and in peace.

Planning Ahead

Purchase your tickets online in advance to expedite your entrance into the Village.

Add an overnight stay at the Old Sturbridge Inn and Reeder Family Lodges.

Find more useful information for planning your visit.


Generously sponsored by Skinner Auctioneers.

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