On the way home we stopped for another night in Sturbridge, MA, which features Old Sturbridge Village, a re-creation of a New England village of the early 1800s.
The docents are dressed in period costume. They do not play the role of their historical characters (like the guides at Plimouth Plantation, who speak in a 17th century dialect). But they do demonstrate some of their crafts, such as this woman who was carding wool.
B got to try some carding (do you know what carding is?), while I went next door and viewed the loom and the spinning wheel.
By the 1830s the factories and railroads were starting to transform the way things were done in New England. Still, if you wanted to go from Hartford to Worcester (about 65 miles) you'd get on a stagecoach and, making stops every 12 to 15 miles to change horses, arrive at your destination a mere 12 hours later.
As you probably know, there were other aspects of 1800s life that lacked the creature comforts we enjoy today. No central heating. No indoor plumbing. We went into one small house, and noticing no bathroom, I asked the guide, "Oh, is there an outhouse?" She shook her head and pointed outside. "They used the trees over there behind the wood pile." I was aghast. "Really? Even the women?" She nodded. "Only the bigger houses had privies."
We stopped at the bank, which was originally built in the 1830s and later moved here from Thompson, CT. There was no ATM. But there was a modest collection of old coins, a tiny wood-burning stove and a small but very formidable-looking safe.
After carding, B made a candle; I looked at the old rifles and guns and then visited the printing house. I also was interested in the clock collection -- which has nothing to do with Sturbridge Village except the Wells brothers, who owned an optical company and founded Old Sturbridge in the 1930s, also had a collection of old clocks, some of which are now displayed in the welcome center.
There is a Protestant church and a Friends Meeting House (I was surprised; apparently there were some Quakers in New England in the 1830s, although Catholics were still frowned upon) and a General Store.
A few animals roam the grounds -- chickens and . . . I don't what these are, but we got out of there fast!
So what about you? How did you celebrate the holiday and give thanks for all our progress and all our modern blessings?