Scenic USA - Massachusetts

Old Sturbridge Village

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Old Sturbridge Village Parsonage - This mid-18th-century house is interpreted as the home of a Congregational minister and his family - Massachusetts

Photos by Terri Prepelka

     One of the largest living history museums in the country, the Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts Old Sturbridge Village farm scene portrays New England life from 1790 to 1840. This outdoor museum, covering more than 200 acres, offers a unique look at historic homes, meeting houses, farm buildings, shops, heirloom gardens, water powered mills and all the features of a 19th century village. Complete with a wide variety of detailed artifacts (tools, utensils, furniture, etc.), authentically costumed staff brings this village to life.
     First opening in 1946, more than 20 million visitors have toured the village. Old Sturbridge Village Stagecoach Complete with all the sights, sounds and smells of a bustling town, the portrayal is backed by painstaking research. Studies included archeology, scientific analysis of historic buildings and objects, 19th century letters, diaries and accounting documents. Old Sturbridge Village Center Meetinghouse With a passion for handmade goods, the beginnings of this remarkable collection of New England artifacts were amassed by Southbridge residents, Albert B. and J. Cheney Wells. The Wells family continued along this vein, dedicating themselves to the idea of a village display. Crowding out of their homes by a growing collection of artifacts, the Well's family had no idea they were about to create one of the largest and most complex museum villages in the country.
     Expanded and refined over the years, the Village's next 50 years promises to continue its commitment to education, preservation, and the interpretation of history.

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