Old Sturbridge Village Travel Guide

  • Old Sturbridge Village Farm
    Old Sturbridge Village Farm
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    Sheep in the Livestock Pound
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Old Sturbridge Village Things to Do

  • Print Shop

    The Print Shop is cool! You can watch the printer set type and print ads, book pages, and other neat things. It used to take a skilled printer an hour to set the type for one book page--which gives you some idea of why books were so expensive. Print shops in the 19th Century also sold books--there were no bookstores. On display in the OSV print...

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  • Society of Friends Meeting House

    The Society of Friends Meeting House is an authentic 1800s building moved to the Sturbridge Village site from Bolton, Massachusetts. Also known as the Quakers, the Society of Friends' love of simplicity is evident in the construction of the church which consists of little more than row upon row of plain wooden benches. In fact it makes most New...

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  • Cooper Shop

    The cooper makes both barrels and buckets for water and milk out of wood. Out of all the craftsmen we visited at OSV, I think this one impressed me the most. Making a barrel by hand takes an unbelievable amount of patience and skill. Each wooden stave must be just the right shape and angle to fit under the metal hoop, and together with the other...

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  • Blacksmith Shop

    At the OSV blacksmith shop they really make things out of iron. The furnace they use is coal-fired, and much smaller than you'd expect. The shop itself is full of tools and things that they've made there. It's really like going back in time. On the day we visited in April the blacksmith was making an iron spit used to roast meats in a tin oven...

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  • The Pottery Barn

    No, not that annoying preppy housewares store--this is a real pottery barn where you can watch potters making dishes, pots and cups on foot-powered pottery wheels exactly the way they were made in the early 19th Century. Pottery was often made by farmers during the off-season as a way to earn extra money (they were often able to dig up clay...

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  • Games for Kids

    OSV offers a lot of games and activities for children. Some are educational and structured while others are simply just for fun. One of the things that Miss M liked was playing the old-fashioned push the hoop game--the one you always see kids doing in those old Currier & Ives prints. It's a lot more difficult than it looks! Kids' activities can be...

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  • Enjoy the architecture from around New...

    Sometimes it's fun to try and guess where the building came from. One building was obviously Connecticut style..while others might be from Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island or Massachusetts. They try to rescue buildings which are in danger of being lost. Of course there is quite an expense to moving them and restoring them...getting them ready...

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  • Old fashioned games for the kids

    Early versions of bowling at the side of an old house....or a costumed guide playing baseball in the grass with young visitors, or boys bringing home toy muskets...the kids find lots of interesting things to do at Sturbridge. There was even a huge plastic cow outside the ice cream shop where kids could actually pull the udders and pull milk into a...

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  • The Saw Mill

    The Saw mill is a reproduction built in 1984 because all the original up and down saw mills had disappeared. The longest standing one had been documented in New Hampshire, but the 1938 hurricane finally destroyed it. Careful research went into the construction of the new mill which stands at the side of the mill pond, which empties into the...

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  • Penny Candy at the General Store

    Another favorite for the kids. I stopped in for batteries and just HAD to have some licorice. Nice to sit on the bench out in front of the store. You can find freshly baked cookies, crafts, toys, and games. Heirloom seeds and plants are available along with a variety of other goods. Naturally in the early general store we would have found many...

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  • The essential herb garden

    The 1700's herb garden was vital to the cooking but also for many home remedies. This garden is really beautifully done with several plateaus, old stone steps and walls, lovely walkways lined with poppies, and several fruit trees scattered around. Plant markers help us identify various species. Inside the gift shop, you can purchase cook books...

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  • Visit the village blacksmith

    The blacksmith shop is always a favorite stop for kids and the men who visit the village. Moved from Bolton, Massachusetts in 1957, the shop dates to 1802 - 10. Anvils, hammers, tongs, flatters, and fullers are used with intense heat on iron or steel. Blacksmiths fashioned needed items and repaired broken ones for the whole community. Some of the...

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  • Little architectural details and stories

    Travelling through these properties with my historic architect friend, Lombard, I always learn little known details about these old buildings. For instance, this mantlepiece shows an error by the carpenter who mis-read the plans from England. The plans were showing a side view of the detail at the end of the mantle, but the carpenter built it into...

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  • The Tin Smith ~ a MUST SEE

    The Tin Shop seems to be a favorite stop for most people. Two "tinners" work in the shop...snipping, hammering, punching and bending their lanterns, pails and candle holders as they talk with visitors. They demonstrate the machines used by the early tinner and discuss matters of their day. When we visited, one tinner was talking about the amount...

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  • Arbors and gardens....beautiful !

    There was a fabulous arbor at the side yard of the Salem Towne House from Charlton, Mass. C.1796. The house was moved to Old Sturbridge Village in 1952. Sitting at the head of the town green, it is an impressive building. Totally updated in the 1800's, the style blends with the 1800 date for the village. Brick walks and a gazebo combine with...

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  • Everyone enjoys the wildlife here

    Kids play by the pond and enjoy the birds who seem very friendly...and often we see children chasing the tiny chipmunks who are everywhere. Funny to watch people trying to photograph them sometimes. They seem to be teasing us as they pose and then dart away just as you click.

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  • Free ride on a horse trolley

    You'll get stories about all the sites you pass from the costumed guide who drives the horse trolley out to the old farm. Dirt roads wind through the woods as you clop along... taking a needed rest from all the walking you do in Sturbridge. It's a charming mode of transportation, and you learn something more from the guide as you go.

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  • Pottery

    The restored pottery shop belonged to Hervey Brooks of Goshen, Connecticut and was brought to Old Sturbridge Village in 1961. The kiln, used in firing pottery, is a recreation.In this photo, a costumed staff member is making a flower pot out of clay. He acted like he was straight out of the 19th century with his manner of speaking and demeanor. It...

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Old Sturbridge Village Restaurants

  • Good pub food

    We enjoyed a charcoal broiled burger with sweet potatoe fries. Very satisfying. Needed a quick lunch, and altho they were busy... the efficient host made certain everything moved along quickly and everyone was well taken care of.Located on the main street as you arrive in the town of Sturbridge... this is not within the grounds of the historic...

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  • OSV Eateries

    There are a few places where you can eat at OSV. One of them is a cafeteria type place in the central part of of the town that has picnic tables outside. You can get normal lunch items there such as sandwiches and salads and slices of pizza. Across the way from it there is another small place that sells hamburgers and hot dogs. Near the entrance to...

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  • Advertised as "A Unique Taste of History

    This is old American fare. From clam chowder to quail, the Tavern offers both lunch and dinner. Soups, salads, appetizers, entrees and desserts are offered with the addition of sandwiches at lunch.

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Old Sturbridge Village Transportation

  • moiraistyx's Profile Photo

    by moiraistyx Written May 1, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sturbridge Village is about an hour west of Boston, which makes it a great side trip from Boston and a great day trip from NH, VT, ME, CT, NY and RI. To get here you gotta drive though.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel

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Old Sturbridge Village Shopping

  • Places to Buy Things at OSV

    There are a couple of places to buy things at Old Sturbridge Village. In the heart of the Village itself there is an old-fashioned country store where they sell souvenirs as well as little treats like candy and drinks. Near the entrance to the Village there is a regular gift shop where they also sell souvenirs as well as many of the items made by...

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  • A VERY pleasant shopping trip

    The gift shop at Sturbridge Village is first of all a handsome building which you approach from the herb garden....down stone steps...past the poppies. Inside you'll find wares made right at Sturbridge in the old methods...such as iron pieces made by the blacksmiths, and redware made by the potters on the site. Of course there is candy, toys,...

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  • Old Sturbridge Village Hotels

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Old Sturbridge Village Local Customs

  • Unexpected color

    Most people think of the early houses as being drab and colorless...but we found one with a kitchen door that would knock your eye out. Now that is a RED door! Notice also the width of the boards it is made from. Amazing sized boards. Back in the day when the trees were allowed to grow to a ripe old age before cutting.

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  • My favorite kitchen

    I fell in love as soon as I walked through the door of this kitchen. I think I surely lived a previous life in the 1700's. Love the color, the cupboards, wavey glass in the windows and the wonderful cooking fireplace with brick oven. Racks on the ceiling to hang herbs to dry, wide board floors, and old iron cooking utensils. . . all near and...

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  • Dinner in the dining room

    The table is set for dinner in the way the early colonists would prepare the table. Cloths might be linen...usually white, and the best china could be brought from England or later..China when trade developed. Notice the minimal silverware ... actually bone handled implements. The child's chair is squeezed at the corner of the table.On the...

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Old Sturbridge Village Off The Beaten Path

  • Quiet spots along the way

    A woman farms in her period dress, you can walk through a covered bridge on your way to the saw mill, you can rest on a bench beside the pond and enjoy the ducks, or any number of quiet and peaceful moments to be enjoyed in Sturbridge.There is a sweet sundial in the herb garden, and a precious little building at the end of the tour before...

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  • It's a puzzle....

    Lombard and I spent some time trying to figure out what the museum folks were doing with one of the houses which is currently being rehabbed. They have raised pannelling and paint jobs which are off center with fireplaces and odd color combinations which don't make sense with the architectural features of the house. Look closely at the pics here...

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Old Sturbridge Village Favorites

  • other options in town of Sturbridge

    There are many things to see and do around the town of Sturbridge other than to tour the Old Sturbridge Village museum village. We enjoyed the New England Historic Home Show which was held at the Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center. There are a number of hotels and restaurants throughout the town...many antique shops and places to...

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  • OSV Livestock

    Being that OSV is a recreation of a 19th Century farming village, they have a lot of livestock. There are oxen for plowing the fields, sheep, cows and chickens. The chickens pretty much wander around where they please, searching for food. The sheep are sheared each year and their wool is processed at the carding mill and then made into yarn and...

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  • Guides stay in character

    There are guides around Sturbridge Village who are dressed in period costume and many are doing the work of the old village in an authentic way. This woman sitting by the wood pile was also tending a pot of something cooking over an open fire. While she waited for the cooking to be completed, she was knitting something to keep her hands busy. The...

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Explore Deeper into Old Sturbridge Village
Real "stylin" hats!
Local Customs
OLD SUTRBRIDGE VILLAGE
Things to Do
See the old shops
Things to Do
See the old homes
Things to Do
See the old meeting houses.
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