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Old Sturbridge Village, Teacher Open House

January 28 @ 9:30 am - 4:30 pm EST

This date is free to educators and one guest. Come and visit for the day, or register for a hands-on workshop or guided tour to learn more about the ways you can integrate the Museum’s programs into your curriculum!

Calling all classroom educators!

Join us for a cozy open house on Saturday, January 28. Learn more about OSV’s field trip options, from self-guided visits to hands-on workshops. Sign up for a workshop yourself and explore how our offerings fit with your curriculum and how you can tailor a visit to OSV to suit your students’ needs.

  • Enjoy snacks and mulled cider by the fire at Museum Education
  • Explore OSV’s program options for schools and youth groups with education staff
  • Haven’t been to Old Sturbridge Village since your own 3rd-grade field trip? Take this opportunity to reacquaint yourself with the museum and all it has to offer.
  • Take home self-guided materials, craft instructions, and lesson plans to use with your students

This teacher open house day is free for educators and one guest, but pre-registration is required (see below). All workshops will take place at the Museum Education building. Please park and start your visit at Museum Education. The Village is open from 9:30 to 4:00. Standard daytime admission is included.

Snow date: Saturday, February 4

Questions? Please email Liz O’Grady, Assistant Director of School and Youth Programs, at [email protected], or call (508) 347-0287.

Click here to sign up!

Weaving Demo at Museum Ed

Time: 9:30-1:30; Museum is open to the public from 9:30 to 4:00.

A Messy but Necessary Chore

Candle-making was an important albeit messy and tedious winter task for early 19th-century New Englanders. The process of making candles for the year often disrupted the normal organization of the kitchen for a little while, but it was a necessary inconvenience. Candles could be dipped or molded, but most housewives could not afford enough molds to make a year’s worth of candles at one time. Therefore, most rural families made their supply of candles either primarily or exclusively by dipping wicks in a kettle of melted fat. In urban areas, commercial producers often sold candles made of tallow, bayberry, or spermaceti (which was derived from the heads of Sperm Whales).

“Very hard and durable candles are made in the following manner: Melt together ten ounces of mutton tallow, a quarter of an ounce of camphor, four ounces of beeswax, and two ounces of alum. Candles made of these materials burn with a very clear light.”

– Lydia Maria Child in The American Frugal Housewife (1832)

Winter Work

As Lydia suggests in her candle-making instructions above, the most economical ingredient for making candles was tallow, also known as purified beef or mutton fat, which was readily available after the fall/winter butchering. The colder temperatures also helped the candles harden and therefore burn more efficiently. It’s not to say that early New Englanders never made candles at other times, just that they tended to do so in the winter when it was the most convenient and productive time to do it. With that knowledge, we will demonstrate the seasonal chore of candlemaking in the Village starting later this month.



January 28
9:30 am - 4:30 pm EST


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