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Old Sturbridge Village, Moving Forward

July 31, 2022 @ 9:30 am - 5:00 pm EDT

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every day that begins at 9:30 am, repeating until July 31, 2022

The early 19th-century was a time of significant social change. On July 30th-31st, we will highlight some of the efforts, struggles, and triumphs of early 19th-century New England society. Moving Forward will highlight both the topics and the groups involved in social change, like temperance, anti-slavery, local charity, the Industrial Revolution, progressive agriculture and gardening,  and women’s rights in the 1830s and how they relate to social change today.

Chat with costumed historians about racial and gender inequity in the 1830s, learn how people formed “voluntary associations” to end slavery, combat substance abuse, assist the unfortunate, protect workers’ rights, and promote peace, and explore how citizens worked to improve education and care for the poor and mentally ill.  However daunting the challenges were, there were people determined to improve society for themselves and the generations that would come after them. As you consider these stories from the past, ask yourself what you can do to build a better world for tomorrow, and beyond.

Uncomfortable Truths

10:00 am and 2:30 pm

A discussion about discrimination in early 19th-century New England

Remember the Ladies

11:30 am and 3:30 pm

A look at Women’s Suffrage from Colonial Times to the Seneca Falls

Water Rights

11:00 am

A talk about water power and the conflicting rights of farmers and mill owners

Town Meeting

1:00 pm

A participatory re-enactment of 1830s representational government—keep scrolling to learn more!

Ladies Charitable Societies

12:30 pm

A talk about how local Ladies Charitable Societies worked provide clothing and household textiles for those in need

You can also listen to special music performances, tour the gardens, meet the farm animals, learn about the many summer tasks on the farm, and more. No two visits to the Village are the same!

Did you Know?

Most of early New England’s sugar was imported from plantations in the Caribbean, where it was grown, harvested, and processed by enslaved people. Some folks started to push back against the unjust system of slavery and found alternatives to plantation-grown cane sugar.

Here at the Village, we often talk about author Lydia Maria Child and we use her advice literature, like “The American Frugal Housewife,” on a regular basis in our historical households. She and her husband, David Lee Child, were also both prominent abolitionists. Like Lydia, David was also a published author. After studying the beet sugar industry in Belgium and England, he wrote The Culture of the Beet, and the Manufacture of Beet Sugar, published in 1840. While beets and beet sugar may seem like an odd topic to write an entire book about, David knew that beet sugar could serve as an alternative to cane sugar, which was mostly grown, harvested, and refined by enslaved people in the Caribbean at the time.

Kids Free Summer Returns to the Village

Experience more fun, more history, more sun, more play, and MORE SAVINGS this summer! Up to three kids 17 and younger are admitted for FREE* when accompanied by an adult paying full admission ($28) now through Labor Day.

Learn More

Whether you come to see the sights of the season, meet our farm animals, marvel at the skills of our artisans, stroll through the gardens, listen to historical music, learn about New England history, enjoy family time, or any combination thereof, no two visits are alike! There’s so much to see, do, learn, and discover this summer at Old Sturbridge Village!


July 31, 2022
9:30 am - 5:00 pm


Old Sturbridge Village
1 Old Sturbridge Village Road
Sturbridge, MA 01566
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(800) 733-1830
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