Monday, September 24, 2007

Old Sturbridge Village

For the month leading up to our vacation to Rhode Island, I have been planning a day trip to Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. I thought it would be really great to let the kids see what was like in the 17th and 18th century. On Thursday, Steve and his brother Scott had plans to go on a kayaking trip. That left the door right open for the kids, me and Steve's mom to travel back to 1835...
The little village was so peaceful. We walked through many building when we first arrived: a GATHERING BUILDING, a BARN, a TIN SHOP and a MERCHANDISE STORE. The gentleman working behind the counter at the store was so neat to talk to. Her explained what kinds of goods were being sold in his store. I asked about the price of yard goods. He explained the importance of girls learning to sew when they were young. Then talked to the children about attending school and what times of the year they would be in or out of school. We walked into the storeroom and that was where we saw these large barrels. The colonial woman in there explained that things like vinegar and other liquids were not prepackaged, but rather you would bring your empty container in and fill it with what you needed.
We went through some very simply decorated home and some that were a little more fancy. The Towne home was quite interesting. The woman who met us at the door, "Mrs. Towne" stayed in character the whole time we spoke with her. She was baffled to see the girls wearing their brothers pantaloons. And noticed that we had been working and walking so much that we had worn holes in our shoes (we were wearing sandals). She asked where we were visiting from and w told her Utah. She said she had only heard of the territory and we must see lots of Indians there. It was quite fun to talk with her.
After leaving the Towne Home we ventured to the Craftsmen area. We let the kids make some tin candle holders. There were lots of tools that the man got out for the kids to work with. It took some muscles to hammer the slots through the tin, but they all managed to get it done.
When they had finished making their CANDLE HOLDERS, then they needed a candle to go inside. So off we went to the candle dipping area. Luckily the kids were given wicks that were already started. But they stood there a little while dipping...counting to 30 (sometimes just 20) and then dipping again. I just tried to imagine what a tedious job that must have been. With no electricity you would always be in need of candles. Once the candles were to a decent size they cool slightly and were wrapped and all our goodies were put into bags to be taken home.
Next we stopped off at the PRINTING SHOP. We saw how they would print books and papers. Gramma told the kids about home Papa use to work at the newspaper and was familiar how some of these things worked. It was great having Steve's mom around to help in answering the kids questions. They definitely had a few.
We saw the BLACKSMITH doing his job, went by a FARM and saw animals, walked by the GRISTMILL, but the one attraction that the children were must amazed by was the Pottery Barn. They stood there as the man made a lump of clay transform into a cup. Obviously we did not see it go into the kiln and come out, but it still was so amazing to them. He explained as he was creating the mug that most potters only did this work on the side. That they were really famers, but sometimes the crops would not do so well and when that happened they needed a way to get a little income so they would do this.
We also went to the CARDING MILL in hopes of watching it in action, but he person who was suppose to be working there at the time did not show up. We looked around and played with some of the hand carding devices and then decided to call it a day. We had walked and seen most of the village and were ready to get make to the 21st century and out modern conveniences light air conditioning and a large icy diet coke.

1 comment:

Tip Junkie said...

Looks like you guys had a blast!! What wonderful family memories.