Old Sturbridge Village, 75 Years
75 years later…. a hobby turned in to a village. On June 8, in 1946, Old Sturbridge Village opened to the public for the first time. 81 people paid a dollar apiece to tour the grounds and see displays of antiques arranged in the new and restored old buildings, including the Fitch House, Grist Mill, Richardson House and Gebhardt barn (now called the Parsonage and Parsonage Barn), the Miner Grant Store, Dennison Schoolhouse (now the Child’s World exhibit), Firearms exhibit, Shoe Shop and more, including a sawmill and blacksmith shop (but not the ones standing today). The Village Inn (now the Bullard Tavern) was under construction, but many now-familiar exhibits, including the Center Meetinghouse, Towne and Fenno houses, Freeman Farm, Thompson Bank and Covered Bridge were not yet here. Over 5,000 more guests visited that first summer and fall. Almost constant growth marked the Village’s early years, as more exhibits were added and more visitors came to see them. Read more about Village history here.