Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Timeless Tuesday Tours: Old Sturbridge Village

For this first edition of Timeless Tuesday Tours (which for all intents and purposes will be hereafter, unless in blog titles, be referred to as TTT), let us travel to early America... 1830s to be exact.

Old Sturbridge Village is an 1830s Village come to life. This has been one of the most fun places I have ever visited. This could be per the fact that I love history and seeing it in action just makes it that much more alive. There is nothing better than walking the path out of the visitor's center and into the town Commons and being transported back in time.

Here is a map of the village:
The village is a collection of buildings and a farm that depicts life c. 1830. The village is staffed with people that are "in character" as townspeople that answer your questions or you can just observe and learn.

Most of the buildings at OSV  are original buildings that have been relocated and restored at OSV although some are authentic reconstructions.

A listing of the buildings with a brief description(if needed) are:
  • Friends Meetinghouse
  • Center Meetinghouse 
  • Tin Shop
  • Salem Towne House - a prosperous farmer's home
  • Law Office
  • Parsonage - the home of a Congregational minister and his family
  • Asa Knight Store - a country store, transported from its original location in Vermont.
  • Thompson Bank - a bank that was originally located in Thompson, CT
  • Fenno House - an historic house with exhibits that highlight domestic textile production
  • Fitch House - the residence with exhibit elements that highlight children and family life
  • Small House - a small home based on those of less affluent families, people of color, newlyweds, and renters
  • Printing Office
  • Cider Mill - a horse-powered mill for the production of hard cider
  • Shoe Shop
  • Town Pound - for the confinement of livestock wandering around town or on other farmer's property
  • Bullard Tavern - an early 19th-century tavern room
  • Freeman Farm - A typical New England farm of 70 acres (280,000 m2) or so, with barn, outbuildings, and fields
  • Blacksmith Shop
  • Bixby House - the home of the blacksmith
  • Cooper Shop
  • Pottery Shop
  • District School - a typical publicly funded one-room school
  • Covered Bridge
  • Gristmill - uses water power to turn a 3,000-pound millstone for grinding grain
  • Sawmill - a working replica of an "up-and-down" sawmill powered by a reaction-type waterwheel
  • Carding Mill - a water driven facility to prepare wool for spinning

Besides buildings full of living history, OSV also  has other attractions that deal with that time period:
  • Firearms - many displays feature firearms from colonial America through the post-Civil War era
  • Glass - three distinct categories of displays: blown glassmolded glass and pressed glass
  • Lighting Devices - early lighting devices from ancient oil lamps and candles to whale oil, camphene and argand lamps
  • Herb Garden - a living collection of native and heirloom varieties of ornamental plants and those used for cooking, medicine, dying cloth, and making traditional crafts

As you can tell, there are a lot of buildings. It is set  on 200+ acres so there is also a lot of ground to cover. This is definitely one place where you would want to plan to take all day to explore. Besides just touring the buildings, OSV also host events and educational classes and such at different times that you just might want to stop and enjoy along the way.
Here are a few pictures:


Covered Bridge in the Fall

Salem Towne House


Meeting House


Old Sturbridge Village is truly a place where you can explore for hours on end and not see it all!! Even though I have visited here once, I m more than anxious to see it again and in fuller detail. 

If you would like more information, visit their official website: http://www.osv.org/

I think one of my favorite moments there was when my brother, dressed in his cowboy gear, was asked by some other tourists to get his picture taken with them as they thought that he was a part of the exhibit :)

If any of you have been to OSV please comment with anything that you would like to share.

I hope you will all join me next week for the 2nd edition of TTT!!!!


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