Laura Ingalls Wilder was born on February 7, 1867 in Pepin County, Wisconsin. I read her Little House in the Big Woods series over and over and over as a little girl. The books told the real-life story of Laura’s childhood. I loved the story of this little girl. Like me, she only had sisters; like me, the family kept moving every few years. Unlike me, Laura and her family were pioneers and settlers in the 1800s. In her honor I am reprinting a post I wrote about visiting the working open air museum of Old Sturbridge Village. – Jadi
We visited Massachusett’s Old Sturbridge Village in the fall, the perfect time to enjoy this open air museum.
The costumed employees and volunteers at Old Sturbridge harvest the land as the earlier settlers would have.
Apples, pumpkins and squash had been carefully collected, sometimes in unexpected free spaces. The settlers needed a dry area away from weather and animals, and floor space was a great (and, one hopes, temporary) storage spot.
Crops needed to be gathered while other jobs still had to be performed.
Men and boys set type and did the printing, while women stiched and bound books. Country printers also brought out pamphlets, broadsides, sermons, legal forms, advertisements, and public notices.
This bridge, one of the 12 remaining in Massachusetts, was saved from demolition to make way for a new highway in 1951. Fewer than 200 covered bridges still stand in New England.
Along with shoeing horses and making nails, the village blacksmith (often a town had more than one) produced items of metal needed for everyday life.
The Fenno House is Sturbridge’s oldest building.
Artisans on the Old Sturbridge Village grounds make traditional products in the old way. Many are available for sale in the gift shop. 
Old Sturbridge Village was born from the collective vision of a family. The three Wells brothers, Albert B., Joel Cheney, and Channing M. purchased David Wight’s farm with the vision of showing their collection in the context of a working village. The living museum received its first visitors on June 8, 1946. To date more than 21 million adults and children have visited the Village, and 250,000 people visit every year.
In memory of Laura Ingalls Wilder, February 7, 1867 – February 10, 1957
NOTES:  The ruby red glass flask I purchased there winks at me from the window as I write this. Old Sturbridge Village is also a Site of Conscience © Jadi Campbell 2015. Previously published as New England’s Old Sturbridge Village, Part 2. More of Uwe’s pictures from New England and his photography may be viewed at viewpics.de.
My books are Broken In: A Novel in Stories, Tsunami Cowboys, Grounded, and The Trail Back Out.
Broken In: A Novel in Stories was semifinalist for the international 2020 Hawk Mountain Short Story Collection Award and Finalist for Greece’s 2021 Eyelands Book of the Year Award (Short Stories). Tsunami Cowboys was longlisted for the 2019 ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Award. The Trail Back Out was American Book Fest 2020 Best Book Award Finalist: Fiction Anthologies, Runner-Up for the 2021 Top Shelf Award, 2021 IAN Book of the Year Award Short Story Collection Finalist, and awarded a 2021 Wishing Shelf Red Ribbon. The title story The Trail Back Out was longlisted for the 2021 ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Award.
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