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Old Sturbridge Village, Muster Day

September 3, 2022 @ 9:30 am - 5:00 pm EDT

To supplement the meager armed forces, most early 19th-century farmers and craftsmen were required by law to serve in local militia units – the forerunner of today’s National Guard. Fall militia musters often saw the various militia companies of several towns coming together for a regimental muster. These would have been grand spectacles with townspeople coming out to view visiting militia companies in their dashing uniforms. Come and join us for our fall muster day and cheer on your favorite militia company!

  • Talk to members of two uniformed volunteer militia companies.
  • Listen to early 19th-century martial music.
  • Watch musket and cannon firing demonstrations
  • See a “Sham Fight” as rival militia companies square off against each other in the field.
  • Our young visitors will get the chance to learn early 19th-century drill and marching with the militia officer’s instruction and a toy gun.
  • See the “striped pig” and learn how it was used to skirt the early 19th-century liquor laws.
  • Join a group of ladies for “Ardent Spirits” as they discuss their concerns about temperance, how alcohol affects them and their families, and if starting a Ladies Temperance Society in Sturbridge is a good idea.

Kids Free Summer at Old Sturbridge Village


It’s Kids Free Summer at the Village!  Up to three kids 17 and younger are admitted FREE when accompanied by an adult paying full admission ($28) now through the end of Labor Day (September 5, 2022).

Click here to purchase tickets

Men in militia uniform lined up by a fence

The Miner Grant Store now has militia buttons in stock! These buttons are replicas of those found on circa 1830 militia uniforms in the Village’s collection. The original stamped brass buttons were used to generate a mold for casting the replica buttons in pewter.

Did you know?

  • The 1792 Militia Act stated that every able-bodied white man from ages 18 to 45 was liable for militia service. Exemptions were granted for government officials, pacifists, and people of certain occupations. All men liable for service had to provide their own equipment: a musket and bayonet, a cartridge box containing 24 rounds of ammunition and two flints, and a knapsack.
  • While commonly associated with Christmas today, gingerbread was a favorite treat enjoyed during early 19th century muster days. We’ll have fresh gingerbread available for purchase outside the Miner Grant Store (while supplies last!)


September 3, 2022
9:30 am - 5:00 pm EDT


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