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Old Sturbridge Village, Muster Day

May 14 @ 9:30 am - 5:00 pm EDT

Join us for our spring Muster Day to learn about militia history and see demonstrations of marching, musket and cannon firing, martial music, and target practice.

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. Twice a year, these citizen-soldiers were “called to muster” for a day of training in their town. Old Sturbridge Village re-creates a typical Muster Day and celebrates our local military history. Demonstrations will include marching, musket and cannon firing, martial music, and target practice.

. Highlights include:

  • 10:00 a.m.: Militia Musters on the Common with Fife and Drum
  • 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.: Marches & Quicksteps
  • 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.: Cannon Demonstrations
  • 12:00 p.m.: Learn to March!
  • While supplies last: Gingerbread, a favorite treat during 19th-century muster days, available for sale at Miner Grant

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!)

Also, save the date for our next Muster Day: September 3, 2022!


May 14
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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