Storyteller Tammy Denease to highlight Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations at Old Sturbridge Village

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Kids get in free at OSV on weekends through March 30, including Martin Luther King Jr. Day

STURBRIDGE, Mass. (Jan. 9, 2014) – Old Sturbridge Village will feature storyteller and museum educator Tammy Denease, portraying “Mum Bett”, during the Village’s celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday, January 20.  As part of its Kids Free on Winter Weekends promotion, the Village will be offering free admission to all children 17 and under who are accompanied by an adult paying full-priced admission on the holiday.

Elizabeth “Mum Bett” Freeman, a young, illiterate slave woman, won her freedom in court in 1781 in a landmark case that became the precedent for a 1783 decision that ended slavery statewide.  Denease draws inspiration for her portrayal from a quote attributed to “Mum Bett” who once said, "Any time, any time while I was a slave, if one minute's freedom had been offered to me, and I had been told I must die at the end of that minute, I would have taken it--just to stand one minute on God's airth (earth) a free woman--I would."

After spending 30 years as a slave in the household of Colonel John Ashley of Sheffield, Massachusetts, “Mum Bett” hired lawyer Theodore Sedgwick to sue for her freedom in court.  Once free, she took the name Elizabeth Freeman and was employed by the Sedgwick family as a midwife, nurse, and healer.

In addition to “Mum Bett”, OSV will feature portrayals of Abby Kelley, a 19th-century abolitionist, and William Lloyd Garrison, a founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Winter activities at Old Sturbridge Village include sleigh rides, old-fashioned sledding, exploring historic buildings, engaging with Old Sturbridge Village interpreters, and making hands-on crafts.  Children will also enjoy “KidStory” where they can pretend to be rural New England villagers from the early 19th century.

Old Sturbridge Village is one of the largest living history museums in the nation, celebrating life in early New England from 1790 – 1840. Located just off the Massachusetts Turnpike and Routes I-84 and 20 in Sturbridge, Mass., OSV is open year-round, but days and hours vary seasonally.  The Village offers visitors lodging at the Old Sturbridge Inn and Reeder Family Lodges and several dining options on-site.  During the winter, the Village is open Tuesday through Sunday 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., and on all Monday holidays, including Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Presidents’ Day.  It is also open daily for School Vacation Week February 15-23. Admission: $24; seniors $22; children 3-17: $8 for admission, but free with one full-priced adult admission on weekends through March 30 (no other discounts or coupons apply); children 2 and under: free. Admission includes free parking and a free second-day visit within 10 days. OSV members receive free daytime admission all year long. For more details, visit or call 800-SEE-1830.

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Contact:   Greg Dixon
774-230-2495 cell

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