Sturbridge Revisted

We were at Old Sturbridge Village again yesterday. It was a glorious day for a visit – sunny and in the 60’s. Truly ideal.

It was also Girl Scout Day, so we were surrounded by mobs of little girls. They’d charge into the houses, talk excitedly, pick up anything that wasn’t nailed down, then tumble back out again – all in a matter of seconds. Meanwhile, the troop leaders did their best to keep the girls in sight and under control. If they were extra motivated troop leaders, they hollered out educational tidbits as the girls ran past – usually things about chamber pots and outhouses. It made for wild visit.

Not everything was so chaotic, though. In the Education Building, OSV was offering classes. Ginger and Pepper signed up for several.

Here are the toy houses Ginger painted in her “Games” class.


Meanwhile, Pepper learned how to play “Nine Men’s Morris,” using beans and corn kernels as game pieces.


While the girls attended classes, I roamed the village, focusing on wallpaper this time. Normally, I’m not a fan, but somehow, Old Sturbridge Village makes it work. They pair enormous – sometimes even ugly – prints with the most unlikely colors and somehow it’s all very pleasing. (In my opinion, at least.)

Case in point – this birdcage print. If I saw this in a wallpaper sample book, I don’t think I’d ever choose it.IMG_9032

But I love it at OSV.

In the parlor across the hall, there is more wallpaper – as well as a gorgeous set of dishes.IMG_9034

Upstairs, they’ve papered a little boy’s room with this:


It’s one of my all time favorite shades of blue.

All of these papers manage to peacefully coexist in one home. Amazing.

There’s more blue to be seen in the Small House – so named because it’s about the size of a dining room.


And, in the Fitch House, dusty red reigns.

It’s in the parlor,IMG_9044

and in the living room.


After my wanderings, I returned to the Education Building to pick up the children. I sat down on a bench next to this:IMG_9048

As I sat waiting for Pepper’s archaeology class to let out, every Girl Scout that passed either asked about or reached out to touch this pay phone.

And then the troop leaders (in their best educational voices) gave discourses on the use of the twentieth century pay phone – something I remember very well from my own childhood. I routinely used one to call my mother to pick me up after volleyball practice in junior high. How can we have come so far so fast?

It’s mind boggling.

From the dining room table, getting ready to watch the second installment of The Hobbit (Hooray!),

Mrs. Smythe

4 Comments on “Sturbridge Revisted

  1. I love the wallpaper too! I especially love the birdcage print. I would never use anything like that, but it suits those old houses.

    • I know. I try and imagine those papers in my own home and just can’t envision it. But I love it there.

  2. I love the way it’s so bright and colorful and cheery. And the pay phone intrigue cracks me up. . . đŸ™‚

    • You’re right – the wallpaper is very cheerful. Maybe that’s part of the reason why I like it so much.