posted: August 13th, 2010 | by:Bert
©Bert Gildart: Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts is always an attraction but this week the draw for Janie and me has been particularly compelling. Family children have been attending a camp in which teachers have been sharing skills needed to farm in a village set between 1790 and 1840.
Back dropped by horse drawn carriages, covered bridges, cobblers, blacksmiths and a host of other period attractions, we watched as children demonstrated a few things they’d learned during the week-long summer camp.
Two of Janie’s grandchildren, Cassie and Griff, danced yesterday, and so did two of their cousins, Dominic and Cordelia. All had learned their lessons well, but the ambiance helped with the enthusiasm.
First, the two girls were both dressed in bonnets and long dresses. The young men were dressed in dark pants laced in the rear for a continued fit. They wore suspenders and straw hats.
As well, a man who looked as though he had just stepped out of one of the log cabins provided the music. He was dressed in a derby hat and he played a flute, and as he played, the children performed three different dances, all taken from a far-off age.
Meanwhile all other village life went on as it would during a normal day from the early 1800s, something I later learned with Piper, another of Janie’s grandchildren who did not want to leave after the dancing was over. Neither did I so the two of us wandered the village for about an hour as her parents took care of other business. Looking like a little princess, Piper opened several doors of conversation.
Click to See Larger Image. L to R: Griff, Dominic, Cordelia, Cassie; Griff, Dominic; Children visiting Old Strubridge; Cordelia and Cassie.
The blacksmith took a liking to her and selected her from the audience to help him with his work. Piper pulled the bellows that intensified the flames. He gave her a hammer and asked her to help him create a hook. He explained techniques and then advised us not to try and take the device aboard a plane, “if you are flying.” I asked him if I might take pictures and he said OK, as long as I’d take one “with Piper.”
Moving on, we stopped to see the cobbler, and he explained how he made shoes and where the leather came from.
RETURN WILL BE NECESSARY
Because we only had an hour, we were unable to see all of Old Sturbridge, which contains 59 historic buildings all set on 200 acres. Nor were we able to ride the old stagecoach, but we did “meet” a number of the farm animals, which included a demonstration of the way in which farmers once handled oxen.
Click to See Larger Image. L to R: Piper and blacksmith; Dominic — right out of a 1790 setting; Cobbler; oxen demonstration.
Because there is so much to see, we’ll be returning. In fact, on previous visits to Sturbridge, Massachusetts we’ve taken in the old village each time, a place we never tire of seeing. Yesterday with the children, of course, was special.
THIS TIME LAST YEAR:
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