What’s OSV, you ask? That is what we very affectionately call Old Sturbridge Village ~ a wonderful neighbor of the Publick House. When the robins fly about and the buds pop out on the trees, school groups begin to visit the Village, and families spend long hours in the fresh air going from house to house, from farm to mills, seeing what life was like from 1790-1830 in New England.
Old Sturbridge Village came out of a labor of love by the Wells family (of American Optical in Southbridge). Starting in the 1940s, the family painstakingly dismantled, moved and reconstructed historic New England buildings onto 200 acres in Sturbridge, once owned by David Wight, land that already had a grist mill and saw mill on it. Eventually, a “farm village” and a “town common”, with meeting house, law office, general store, Tavern and many other period structures made this trip back in time complete.
View of the Common at Old Sturbridge Village
(photo courtesy of OSV)
The Old Sturbridge Village website says, “They may not have known it at the beginning, but the Wells brothers were following a path that would lead to the creation of a major American museum. Interestingly, the same course was also being taken by members of other prominent American industrial families in the 1920s and 1930s. John D. Rockefeller Jr. (Colonial Williamsburg), Henry Ford (Greenfield Village), and Henry Francis DuPont (Winterthur), among others, had become serious collectors and preservers of the American past. These individuals were very different, as were their collections and museums. But they shared more than wealth and prominence. Each was concerned with preserving and cherishing pieces of the past against the powerful currents of change in early twentieth-century America, currents so powerful that it seemed they might carry away everything old.”
Today, OSV is visited by people young and old, history buffs, architecture-lovers, nature-watchers, re-enactors, historic societies, garden groups, international travelers and more. Activities like School Vacation Week events, Girl Scout and Boy Scout days, Muster Day, Evening at the Kiln, Fireworks on the 4th of July, Agricultural Expedition, Homeschooling Days, Christmas by Candlelight and more, coupled with watching the interpreters blacksmithing, making candles, creating pottery, and working in the fields, make a visit to Old Sturbridge Village interesting as well as interactive. A fantastic Museum store offers visitors some of these handmade products.
(photo courtesy of OSV)
The Village is open year-round, from 9:30am-4pm. Please visit www.osv.org for more information and pricing.
The Publick House is proud to be a long-time partner with Old Sturbridge Village so please stay with us when you come to the area to immerse yourself in this wonderful attraction!