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Old Sturbridge Village, Woodworking Weekend
October 9, 2021 - October 11, 2021
Celebrate the grand opening of our new Cabinetmaking Shop on the Common and learn about historical woodworking through presentations, demonstrations, and more.
Sturbridge and the surrounding region were home to some of the foremost rural cabinetmakers of the early 19th century, including Nathan Lumbard and Oliver Wight. These craftspeople, as well as others like them, were integral to 19th-century rural New England communities. In 2017, Village staff and Trustees began working on a plan to create a permanent home for cabinetmaking at the Village. The grand opening of the new shop on Saturday, October 9, 2021, is the culmination of countless hours of work and a highlight of Old Sturbridge Village’s 75th-anniversary celebrations.
Highlights of Woodworking Weekend will include:
(Subject to change – check back closer to the time for a schedule)
- Panel discussion of a newly acquired sideboard in the Old Sturbridge Village Museum Collection, featuring Brock Jobe (OSV Trustee and Professor Emeritus of American Decorative Arts at the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library), Clark Pearce (Advisor in American Arts to Collectors and Institutions) and Chris Nassise (OSV Master Cabinetmaker) (Saturday only)
- Presentation by Philip Zea (President Emeritus, Historic Deerfield): A Uniformity in Our Trade: Cabinetwork and the Workmanship of Economics, 1790-1840 (Saturday only, begins at 2:00 pm)
- Opening Ceremony (Saturday only, begins at 11:00 am)
- Painting demonstrations using period-style paints and pigments
- Wooden clock-making demonstration
- Tree walks focusing on historical forestry
- Sawmill demonstration (weather and water-level permitting)
- Ladder-back chair repair/splint seat weaving (Sunday only)
- Woodblock printing demonstrations
- Whittling demonstrations
- Architecture tours
- Richard Colton, a gunsmith of fifty years will be final-shaping the wooden stock, apple in this case, of a sporting flintlock fowling-piece in the local Worcester County style.
- William Morrison of Montpelier, VT will be demonstrating how he makes Windsor chairs using hand tools.
- Architecture tours of the common (Saturday and Monday)
And so much more!
About the new Cabinetmaking Shop:
The Cabinetmaking Shop is a hybrid building, built using both historic and modern building methods in the construction of the Shop. The shop is patterned after period structures operated by early 19th-century New England craftsmen. Many elements of the final Cabinetmaking Shop will be created by craftsmen and interpretive staff working in the Village, including reproduction period tools, doors, shelves, and the box stove. The large timbers for the construction of the shop were even cut by the Village Sawmill.
For a variety of reasons, including modern building codes, providing ADA access, safety, visitor comfort, and making the craft demonstrations more visible to the public, this building was constructed using some modern tools, materials, and techniques as well.
A scale model of the shop, built by Old Sturbridge Village Trustee Bob Roemer, is pictured below. See more pictures from the building process here.
As always, members get in for free! Learn more about membership here.
See current COVID-19 related policies here.