Thursday, July 23, 2009

Of Muskets and Memories, Part 3

It was not too long ago that summer, for us, meant hiding inside and scrapbooking; all that has changed since Owen came along, and needed excitement and action 24/7. Now, summer is when we get out and DO stuff!



One of our new favorite places to get out and do something is Old Sturbridge Village, a living history museum which returns the visitor to the 1830s, with a village, a working farm, interpreters to help understand how the people of the time really lived, and more to do than you ever could in a day. Which is why we became members, enabling us to go back whenever we want, for a whole year. Some highlights from our first few trips back in time:



From Old Sturbridge Village


Luke and Owen enjoyed the tinsmithy, not just because there was lots going on inside, but because so much of it was done by a fifteen-year-old apprentice (he's reflected in the window glass, isn't that neat?) The apprentice is making an outdoor candleholder, while his masters stand around and chat with the nice people from the future.



From Old Sturbridge Village


Owen's favorite part of Old Sturbridge Village, possibly even beating out the hand-cranked ice cream, is the wagon ride courtesy of Mike and Jerry, the most beautiful and powerful draft horses he's ever seen. They can pull six thousand pounds with ease - probably more, but, as their mild-mannered driver told us, the horses become sad and discouraged if you give them something they can't pull, so they stick to a weight load that the horses can definitely handle.



From Old Sturbridge Village


Here are Mike and Jerry, getting a drink of water.



From Old Sturbridge Village


Both boys enjoyed the musket firing demonstration, despite its loudness. They got to ask a million questions, and even got to hold a musket ball:



From Old Sturbridge Village


Those things are heavy!



Luke especially is very taken with the games that children played in the 1830's:



From Old Sturbridge Village


From Old Sturbridge Village


We all are, if you want the truth. They're fun!



From Old Sturbridge Village


From Old Sturbridge Village


Trust me, stilts are much harder than they look.



I think one of my favorite spots in the whole place is the Pasture Walk. The path goes through the pastures of Freeman Farm, and the animals are hanging around, grazing!



From Old Sturbridge Village


From Old Sturbridge Village


Because Luke instructed Owen on how to not scare sheep away, they nibbled grass right up to our feet. I mean, like six inches away from us. It was amazing. (That brick building in the distance was for the town's gunpowder stores. They kept it away from the other buildings in case of fire; isn't that a good idea?)



From Old Sturbridge Village


Both boys, but especially Luke, were fascinated with the blacksmithy. Luke and his dad stood inside that 90-plus degree building for at least forty-five minutes, watching this apprentice forge a single chain link. (Owen and I caught the tail end of it, we had been learning about the Freeman Farm root cellar, where they still winter over their food.)

From Old Sturbridge Village


This is place that I have a feeling I'll be blogging about often. They are having a Revolutionary War reenactment in a few weeks, and other cool and interesting programs go on throughout the year. But I think the reason the boys love it so much is because of all the interpreters, especially the young apprentices. The idea that somebody not so very much older than Luke himself is forging iron or making lamps out of tin is exciting, especially for kids living in our modern world where children are often treated, as Lenore Skenazy recently pointed out, as "the new 50s housewives."

7 comments:

Susan said...

Oh Sturbridge Village is so great! You've shown me a bunch of things we missed--Mike and Jerry--and the pasture walk! I wish it weren't so far away. It is such a great place. Evelyn wove a bracelet out of grass and the potter traded her a pot for it! Lovely photos...love the tinsmithy.

The Stone Age Techie said...

Thanks Susan... I wish it weren't so far away for you too! Next time we go, I am sure that, as I am standing in the potter's shop, I will have that same feeling I had in Philadelphia looking at the lion.
K

topsytechie said...

Now that is one terrific educational destination! I wanna go! I wanna go! (Can you hear the whine in my voice?) And the stilts thing really made me nostalgic. I remember spending practically an entire summer when I was around 10 years old learning to walk on stilts exactly like those. Makes me so curious whether I could still manage it!

The Stone Age Techie said...

Topsy - you must try it, and report back! You can totally come with us next time, btw, as long as you don't mind the 17-hour drive...
:-)
K

Firefly mom said...

It looks fabulous! Makes me wish we were a little closer. We have a *much* smaller living history farm not too far from here that also does blacksmithing (and takes apprentices at 15). That's Cody's favorite part, too!

The Stone Age Techie said...

Firefly Mom - I think our children will somehow need to meet up, soon if possible!
K

jessiev said...

what fun - we need to go there! looks like a fantastic place to play and learn. thanks for sharing!