Bolton, Massachusetts, 1796
Moved to OSV, 1953
The Religious Society of Friends was a small denomination in early 19th-century New England. Called Quakers, they were uncompromisingly plain in dress, speech, and manners. They practiced a distinctive style of worship and were determined to maintain the integrity of their beliefs and practices. There were close to 100 Quaker meetinghouses in 19th-century New England, often in small Quaker neighborhoods set off from the larger community. The Friends Meetinghouse at Old Sturbridge Village was built in Bolton, Massachusetts in 1796, and the Village restored the building in the 1950s. The steeple-less meetinghouse, with its traditional 17th- and 18th-century architectural form (the "long" side was parallel to the road), was testimony to the Quaker aesthetic of plainness and the group's cultural conservatism.