Tuesday, September 1, 2015

~Visit Old Sturbridge Village!~

The short road trip to Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA on Friday was great!  It was such a comfortable day to step back in time!  The sun was shining brightly & we walked around with our water bottles & sunglasses.

After leaving the crowded parking lot, we were welcomed in the Visitor Center.  This was a no admission charge visit- sponsored by the Highland Street Foundation.  This also was the last Friday of FREE FUN FRIDAYS before so many school aged children began the new school year.  So many families learned about New England village life long ago!  We all left the 21st century Visitor Center and found ourselves in the village where every day life used different methods to get every day tasks done.  It was set in about the 1830's time period.  What a treat to learn American History by having FuN!

Our first stop was to watch & to listen to a lady explain how yarn was dyed.  Her yarn had already gone through the process of the sheep shearing & spinning.  She was dyeing it her color of choice- Yellow.  First, the yarn was "prepared".  There were many colors available to use during this time period & the colors came from objects in nature.  The objects were added to a "bath" of heated water.  The "prepared" yarn was then soaked for a certain period of time.  Goldenrod flowers were used to dye yarn the color Yellow.      
A Lady dyeing yarn the color Yellow using Goldenrod flowers!

In the Bank a portrait of George Washington hung proudly on the wall.  Then, from the Tin Shop we walked up the road to the Grist Mill where Rye & Corn were ground.  From there to the Blacksmith Shop.
The Blacksmith

After watching, listening & asking questions we visited the Cooper who was making a round container from wood. 

Then onto the Freeman Farmhouse to learn about making Cheeses.  In the summer the extra milk on the farm was used to make Cheeses.  Any Cheeses that the family does not use can be sold to the Knight Store.  At the store a store ledger is kept to record this sale as a Credit.  The family could purchase needed items at the store that they did not make themselves using this Credit.  They could also make a purchase by having a Debit on the family's account.  The Cheese (& Butter in cooler weather) could be sold by the store's owner in Boston.  Families living in the city would not be making Cheese.  The store owner would be purchasing items in Boston that were imported- like Tea & Spices to sell back to families in the village.       

A Lady making Cheese!
This lady's kitchen & tools in the Freeman Farmhouse were fascinating.  Notice the slices of Apples drying on a string below the ceiling.  Cloths drying above the fireplace.

Then onto visit the Shoemaker who was busily working on a shoe while sitting on his Cobbler's Bench. 

Shoemaker working on his "Cobbler's Bench"!

A Potter and a School Teacher then captured our attention.  Walking down the road we stopped at the Knight Store.  Inside a lady was inquiring about the price of a knitting needles container.  She wanted to store her knitting needles & knitting work safely.  The shopkeeper also told her that there was a need for knitted mittens, so if she was interested, a pair or two could be sold to the Knight Store.  In the store on the opposite wall there were many choices of objects to purchase on the shelves for the residents of Sturbridge Village.
So many objects to purchase!

A toothbrush with an ivory handle was in the locked case on a counter.  The lady shared with me that everyone in the family would use the same toothbrush.

There are so many fascinating areas to visit in Old Sturbridge Village.  We made our way to a few of them.  The Bake Shop makes yummy Oatmeal Cookies!  Many people were smiling while eating Chocolate Chip Cookies, too!

If you ever have the opportunity to go back in time to the 19th century, stop in to Old Sturbridge Village in Central MA.  I've given you only "a snapshot" here of rural American life in the Northeast around the 1830's.  This is a great place to visit!  In the Fall the Cider Mill will be working!

We Enjoyed!


Stacey said...

That looks like so much fun!! Perfect fall activity.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What an awesome place to visit! I would love to go. And when Fall starts, it's nice to see what's available locally. Sweet hugs, Diane

JG said...

Stacey & Lavender Dreamer- It's a great place to visit & to learn more about History! Would be FuN to watch the cider mill in operation this Fall. :)