STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, photographer, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sturbridge Visit

My first visit to Old Sturbridge Village was when I was 11 or 12 years old, I think.  I can clearly
remember that autumn visit with my parents. Obviously it made an impression on me, likely I had never experienced a "living history museum" before. My next visit was last spring... uhhhh, we won't say how many years later that is, okay? I did remember parts of it, and some of the buildings. (The human brain, and memory, is an amazing thing, isn't it?) You can read about last year's visit here and here.

So when daughter Laura, History lover and Kings Landing addict, asked if we could take a quick trip there on her few days off, how could I say No? Besides, we were due for a little bit of "girl time", and of course you can always throw in a little shopping to sweeten the deal... (see me winking?) It was very quickly planned, reservations made for three nights, a stop at the bank for some US cash and we were off. It worked out well for us to share lunch with my friend Susan and drop off her beloved Canadian maple syrup on our way down. That was a bonus, for sure! (C'mon up for "Lobstah" anytime Susan!!) Read Susan's latest post here about what she was doing (!!!) while we were driving merrily on....

After a night in Salem NH, we hit the Interstate and Mass. Turnpike, covering the last miles quickly, arriving not long after opening time. We spent the entire day, and what a beautiful day it was - sunny skies, perfect warm temps, not a drop of the predicted rain did we see!

Luck was with us! We covered the entire village, visiting every building, and talked with many of the costumed staff. We found many similarities to Kings Landing, but also some differences. The time period is similar - OSV represents early New England from 1790-1840 and KL is the re-creation of a United Empire Loyalist "village" of the 1800's, with buildings spanning 1780-1910. Although OSV has things that KL doesn't ( a tinsmith, potter and cobbler), KL has more interpretive staff in their buildings.
I think what  impressed us both the most was the number  of interactive aspects of OSV. There were games you could play on your own (Graces, Hoop and Stick and stilts), and a number of  guessing games (identifying artifacts and equipment, facts about "then vs. now", etc.) There was even a life-size very realisitic "cow" that children could  try to milk ( however it gave water rather than milk!) Laura took lots of "mental notes" to suggest ways KL could improve...  All in all it was well worth the trip/visit.

Living history museums such as these are, in my mind, more important than ever to teach the modern generation about what life was like in the past and bring history alive in a fun way.  Attendance is declining each year at both of these wonderful attractions.. why don't you plan a visit?


"A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots."
~ Marcus Garvey

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