OSV sheep get fleeced
Sheep shearing, sheep herding, wool dyeing
Free admission for U.S. military and families
(STURBRIDGE, MA) – May 8, 2013: The sheep at Old Sturbridge Village will be a little cooler after getting their annual “haircuts” during "Wool Days" on Memorial Day Weekend May 25-27. OSV farmers will demonstrate sheep shearing 1830s-style throughout the weekend, and Border Collies will show off their sheepherding skills on Saturday, May 25. Village historians will show the entire wool textile process, from scouring and carding the wool to spinning, knitting and weaving. Visitors can try hand carding (brushing and de-tangling) the wool and then can see how the Village’s water-powered carding mill does the same job much faster. Details: 800-SEE-1830; www.osv.org.
Free Military Admission
Active and retired members of the U.S. military, National Guard and Reserve military personnel and their immediate family members (spouse, parents, and children under 18) will receive free OSV admission beginning Saturday, May 25. The free military admissions are funded by donations to the Old Sturbridge Village annual Field of Flags campaign. OSV is a member of the national Blue Star Museum program offering free military admissions.
Dyeing Wool, Spinning and Weaving
Old Sturbridge Village historians will dye wool as it was done in the early 19th century -- in kettles over an open fire using natural dyes that produce brilliant colors. And they will demonstrate spinning and weaving to show how wool was used to make household clothing and textiles. Visitors can dye their own skein of wool yarn using modern dyeing techniques, and make a drop spindle at the Craft Center.
Sheep aren't the only animals that produce wool, and visitors can meet and Angora rabbit on Saturday, and alpacas and llamas on both Saturday and Monday to learn about the different wools. And an antique sock knitting machine will be demonstrated on Saturday and Monday.
Sheepherding Demonstrations Saturday, May 25
Veteran Sheepherder David Kennard and his team of Border Collies from Wellscroft Farm in Chesham, New Hampshire, will demonstrate the dogs' innate ability to herd not just sheep, but pigs, ducks, and goats as well. According to Kennard, Border Collies are uniquely talented in retrieving livestock because of their power, balance, intelligence, and their ability to control animals by staring at them with a "predatory eye." At the end of the sheepherding demonstration, Kennard rewards his dogs by playing Frisbee and interacting with the audience.
Old Sturbridge Village celebrates New England life in the 1830s and is one of the largest living history museums in the country. The museum is open daily 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. seven days a week. OSV offers free parking and a free return visit within 10 days. Admission: $24; seniors $22; children 3-17, $8; children 2 and under, free. For information: www.osv.org or call 800-733-1830.