Sunday, March 14, 2010

Our Visit to Old Sturbridge Village

After American Girl Place we hopped back in the car and headed west again toward Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA. I had heard a lot about this museum village, but we'd never had the chance to go. Seriously, we couldn't have had a better day for weather in late February. It was about 45 and the sun was strong with no wind. Amazing!

The kids had the best time and they can hardly wait until we go again. Our first stop was a small house and upon entering we found a young woman making a meal over a fire. She's made a pie and was roasting some pork over the fire. She talked about how she would make the vegetables on the table and who would have lived in a house of that sort. This living museum depicts a rural New England village in the 1830s- long after the American revolution and a generation before the Civil War.

The congregational church- the Quaker meeting house is just a bit before this church on the same side of the village.
We were fortunate enough to catch this gentleman on our way to the village Blacksmith. No horse drawn sleigh that snow left!

One of our last stops was the printer. He showed how to set the type and make prints of the pages.
The village has a whole section on textiles and how things were made back then. This loom reminds of the one described in Farmer Boy. Mother Wilder would spend her afternoons at the loom making their fabric.

J4 take a turn at carding the wool. Last year at co-op one of the moms taught a class on carding wool and making characters from felted wool.
The blacksmith shop was a fun stop! He showed us the giant bellows and what he was forging. He told us the story of where the forge came from and how it was moved to its spot in the village. Many of the buildings, etc were moved from other locations in pieces and restored in the village.

This is the master blacksmith just stopping in to give the other man a break. He began to make a small hook with a twist in it.
R9 was so chatty when answering questions (anyone who knows her knows this is her trademark!) that the blacksmith got her help in doing some of the twisting. She'd told him at one point he'd have to throw his hook back in the fire so he could fix "that". He put her right to work helping to fix the problem.
In the end, he showed off the finished product and he graciously let her keep the hook. Funny thing is I remember bending metal in industrial arts in middle school. Literally, I made metal sign holders among other things. We had to get the metal hot and bend it around an anvil or whatever and twist it to make designs. I don't remember fire and forge though so I'm not how we got the metal hot enough.

With a family our size, often paying for the membership is only nominally more than a day's admission. So, we like to leave the option of returning if we can. Our membership is a good for a year and we plan to return right after Labor Day to camp and enjoy more of the village. I know we want to try out some crafts next time.

We're looking forward to enjoying the village again and many of the other stops we made while in New England last month. Plus, we'll try for Salem and Plimoth Plantation in early September. Next time we'll be there after school begins again and NOT on a break. We're so used to everything being quiet that to go when school break occurred was a stink!


Shannon said...

We went to Salem and Plimoth Plantation a couple of years ago. It was an absolutely fantastic trip. You guys are so lucky to be so close to all of the absolutely fantastic field trip opportunities.

I really do miss that living here in WV. Although, I do know of a stone monument on the site of one of George Washington's encampments nearby in Ohio. I always joke that we are going to stop. It is in the parking lot of a storage unit facility.

Heather said...

Funny Shannon...I always lament not living in Maryland and Virginia anymore and missing out on all that is there!

My parents are in WV. I love the mountains!