Old Sturbridge Village
An 1830s New England Living History Museum
This small village was created in the 30’s by a family of antique collectors. Some of the buildings on this property date back to the 1700’s. Over the years they were deconstructed and brought here to Sturbridge MA to be preserved for other generations.
From the Old Sturbridge website: “Old Sturbridge Village’s collection consists of more than 50,000 artifacts made or used by rural New Englanders between 1790 and 1840…Members of the Wells family, who owned and ran the American Optical Company in Southbridge, Massachusetts, founded the Wells Historical Museum in 1935 to display the extensive collection that they assembled. Shortly afterwards, the family acquired land in nearby Sturbridge to create a model setting that would evoke the atmosphere of a working early New England village to show the collections in the context of their original use. On June 8, 1946, the museum village opened to the public with thirteen historic structures in place.”
I so enjoyed this little place! This is a local hotspot and was suggested we visit here by our aunt. Our children got to see what life was like in the 1830’s in a small New England village. Houses and towns were built around the common. This park like area was shared by all the townspeople and was used for grazing animals. In the picture above is a colonial home that was the parsonage where the pastor lived. The ladies were working outside in the garden enclosed by the white picket fence. They made use of every square inch. Instead of planting flower gardens, herbs and vegetables were grown in their front yards.
Here is the meeting house where all town decisions were made at a town meeting.
Walking just outside of the common was the farmstead. Dirt roads and hills led to these New England style homes. Along the way kids could stop play typical childhood games like hoop rolling. I love the primitive colors and styles of the buildings. If I lived on a farm it would be this cute!
In the kitchen of the Farmhouse. Our kids had so much fun playing and getting spices prepared for supper with the ladies of the house. They asked if they could go down into the cellar to get some sweet potatoes. They were obliged! This was the real deal cooking. Flies were swarming after the homemade pies that were covered in cheesecloth and old rags to protect them. You could smell a hint of curdled milk as they were churning real butter!
Look at the bold wallpaper, the old farmhouse chair, the 1880’s rug! All from the Well’s family antique collection.
The ladies of the house would get together after morning chores and have afternoon tea and knit clothes, blankets, and curtains for their households. The ladies in this picture were in the parlor parsonage. ( I really liked the Parsonage the best because of the large floor boards the steep steps, and the décor. All typical of late 18th century design.)
The Blacksmith shop. The word “Smith” means to Smite or hit the object being formed, thus the word Blacksmith.
When they weren’t farming, they were working in their shops making useful items. This is the Tinsmith. We think we live such busy lives today. Most of us wouldn’t last a day if we lived off the land, made everything we own and only possessed that which our hard working hands made. At least I know I wouldn’t. 🙂
Here’s the Vermont Bridge! Everyone who comes here has seen this beauty. It’s set in a gorgeous spot near the Gristmill just outside the common.
There was so much to see and take in at the village. It was a fun adventure. Our children’s imagination and curiosity was engauged the whole time. It was very educational and we enjoyed it so!
Thanks for joining me! Happy trails to you, until next time…