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Old Sturbridge Village, Open Labor Day

September 3, 2021 - September 6, 2021

Summer is quickly coming to an end, but there is still time to get outdoors and explore history! The Village will be open for all of Labor Day Weekend.

Saturday will be Muster Day!

This Saturday, join us for a recreated Muster Day. Don’t miss the Justice of the Peace hearing, the Ladies temperance tea, or the sham battle. The day is also packed with martial music, cannon demonstrations, militia drills, a striped pig, and so much more!

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.

PLUS: Kids Get In For FREE! Up to three kids, 17 and younger, are admitted FREE when accompanied by an adult paying full admission ($28) through Labor Day.

Two costumed historians wearing facemasks

End of Summer

September may mean back-to-school time for modern-day scholars in the United States, but that wasn’t always the case. In early 19th-century rural New England, school terms were typically three months in the winter and three months in the summer. Older children sometimes only attended winter term, since they might be needed for summer work on the farm.

Students ranging in age from about 3 or 4 to 16 would attend school in one-room buildings like the District Schoolhouse (c.1810) now at the Village. By this time, there were numerous free or nearly free schoolhouses in New England. The literacy rate in early 19th-century New England is estimated to be somewhere in the 90th percentile! Of course, all these estimates of literacy rates are just that – estimates. Some historians question the representativeness of samples used and what reading level is considered “literate.”

Game Time!

Throughout the Village, kids and adults alike enjoy playing old-fashioned games like les graces, battledore and shuttlecock, trundling hoops, and more. Many days, we also have a game of 19th-century baseball for guests to take part in!

These simple games are a fun respite from the digital world for all ages.

As the end of summer and the beginning of fall approaches, it’s a great time to take a trip to the Village to relive childhood memories and learn something new. It’s a great field trip for learners of all ages! There is always more to see, do, and learn. PLUS, Kids Get In For FREE through Labor Day! Up to three kids, 17 and younger, are admitted FREE when accompanied by an adult paying full admission ($28) through Labor Day.*


September 3, 2021
September 6, 2021


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