They say the best way to teach someone is to show them. If you want to teach your children what life was like in New England during the early 1800’s, then a visit to Old Sturbridge Village is a must.
Old Sturbridge Village is located in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. It is at the intersections of I-90 (Mass. Pike) and I-84, just an hour west of Boston. The year 2016 finds the village celebrating its 70th Anniversary. Old Sturbridge Village is set on more than 200 acres, and includes a Center Village, Mills Area, and Countryside.
The village logo, a grasshopper, was established about ten years after the first year of opening. In ancient folk belief, the grasshopper originated by being ‘sprung from the soil’. Old Sturbridge Village has sprung from the soil over the past 70 years. It has grown from a Center Village with a few small buildings, to over 40 structures. Most of the structures are restored buildings, while some are authentic reconstructions.
The entrance to Old Sturbridge Village begins as a quiet, back-road entranceway passing streams and wildlife. The free parking area has a picnic area and plenty of space for larger vehicles, such as RV’s and buses. The admission area has visitors feeling welcomed with friendly staff. Upon purchasing your tickets, all & any questions are answered to help you enjoy your visit to the village.
A good pair of walking shoes is highly recommended, as there were no paved roads in the 1800’s. The self-guided tour usually takes between three and a half to four hours. Good eyesight and a good sense of smell may also come in handy, as farm animals walk the same paths as the visitors. Throughout the village, workers dressed in period clothing encourage visitors to ask questions & take pictures.
Old Sturbridge Village is a working village. Employees dress in period clothing and are completing tasks that needed to be done during this time period, in a New England town. You can visit the tin man, pottery maker, cobbler, or even watch as ladies prepare meals over the fire- while swatting flies away from bread & bacon. Special events take place daily, such as the sawing of logs in the lumber mill, wagon rides, or firing canons on the 4th of July. The village website provides constant updates to plan your trip according to these special activities.
The village provides educational programs for homeschoolers, scout activities and even overnight stays for youth events. There are internships available, and many programs during the summer to keep children entertained, while being educated. If you have little ones, and wondering if one day will be too much to see the entire village, no worries. The admission ticket allows your return to the village within ten days for a free second visit.
Old Sturbridge Village also offers a variety of places to eat. You can enjoy lunch in the village at the Bullard Tavern. The Oliver Wight Tavern and Village Café are located before entering the village, and require no admission fee to the village to eat at their establishment. There are also many restaurants & hotels located just outside the village, in the town of Sturbridge.
Old Sturbridge Village is a living museum of a time that should never be forgotten. It is a reminder of a time when people needed to work together as a community, know their neighbors, and relied on faith & family to survive the New England seasons & changing times of the 1800’s.
Linda Massucci loves to travel across America. She writes & photographs her travels to share on her blog- ‘Travels with Sissy’. Linda also writes family sagas, short stories and blogs about the world’s smartest dog, Maggie. If you would like to learn more about the writings of Linda Massucci, visit her website at http://www.lindamassucci.wordpress.com