Ol’ Sturbridge Village: A New England Staple

by Heidi Obermeyer

osv1osv2osv3osv4osv5osv6osv7osv8osv9Hey blog family. What’s up? What’s been happening? How was your January? Mine was cold. We got our electric bill yesterday and my, my, that number was higher than expected! It’s pretty chilly out there, folks. These pictures are from back in November, when snow still felt exciting and Thanksgiving spirit was all around. I took Flo, my Dutch roommate, up to Connecticut with me for the holiday and had a German friend from Boston come down. My usual Connecticut habits of watching too much HBO and baking up a storm were not going to cut it here, no sir… we needed to do something entertaining… we needed to do something American… we needed to go to Old Sturbridge Village!

Old Sturbridge Village, for those of you that didn’t grow up in Massachusetts or Connecticut where it seems like everyone and their mother paid a visit to OSV at some point during their childhood, is a living history museum that replicates colonial life in New England. Not only do they replicate colonial life in New England, they replicate it YEAR ROUND, so on cold, snowy days like the last few they’ve had up north, all of the people who work there are dressing in period clothing and heading out to entertain the visitors. So, in a word… it is GREAT.

There wasn’t as much going on while we were there as there is in the summer; outdoor activities become null and void when there are giant, muddy puddles where all of the presentation grounds are supposed to be. The structures are the best part of the experience, as many of them are period houses and buildings moved from all over New England onto the site. My favorite “business” that we visited was the local potter, where you tugged open a massive wooden door to enter a dimly lit room where some guy was cranking away at a potter’s wheel that was turned using his foot. Along the wall were rows and rows of cups, bowls, pitchers, and plates drying and waiting to be glazed, all of which are slated to be sold in their extensive and not-as-kitschy-as-expected gift shop. Several of the houses had people inside answering questions, and one had a few large pots of food, including pie, leftover from a colonial Thanksgiving celebration they had done the day before.

What a contrast visiting the village was to DC- sometimes it’s nice to just poke around outside, see some farm animals, and think about how tough life was back in the old days. Old Sturbridge Village was a good preview of another historic site that’s on my list for this spring- Mount Vernon, the home of the big man himself, George Washington. But until it warms up, I’m going to stick with catching up on the Americans (which is making me consider learning Russian) and working away on a new quilt (another that I just finished will be up on the blog soon). Happy Wednesday!