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History of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Journey back in time to Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA
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Sturbridge, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
Home of Old Sturbridge Village.
In 1946, the three sons of George Wells (American Optical Company), created Old Sturbridge Village, the largest living museum in New England.
Sturbridge includes: Shuttleville, Snellville, Westville, Fiskdale, and Leadmine.
There is MUCH more to discover about Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA. Read on!
Sturbridge Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Publick House, Sturbridge, Mass., 1771
The Publick House Historic Inn was originally established on the eve of the American Revolution by Colonel Ebenezer Crafts...
When Crafts finally debuted his wonderful new inn during the 1770s, he decided to call it “Crafts Tavern.” But Crafts also referred to the structure as the “Publick House” in recognition of the inn’s mission to service the people of Sturbridge...
...the building hosted both the Marquis de Lafayette and his son, Georges Washington de Lafayette, when the two famously toured the nation during the 1820s.
Colonel Ebenezer Crafts, who was the founder and keeper of the Publick House, personally raised and equipped the company. The Publick House, which dates back to 1771... revolutionarday.com
Read more about Ebenezer CRAFTS
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA
The Elms Hotel, 1908
By the beginning of the 20th century, the Publick House was unfortunately a shadow of its former self. The inn was even transformed into a boarding house for women called “The Elms” for a brief time, although it nearly closed down due to its dilapidated state. historichotels.org
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Colonial Motel Inc., Route 20, Sturbridge, Mass., Tel. Dickens -- 7-3883
One of the most modern and beautiful motels, with tile bath rooms and shower, and wall to wall carpets. Located 300 feet off U. S. Route 20 and 15, and 100 feet off Gate No. 9, off Mass. Turnpike -- 1/ 2 mile from the Old Sturbridge Village. 58 Miles West of Boston, 35 Miles East of Hartford, 35 Miles East of Springfield. digitalcommonwealth.org
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Old Sturbridge Village
Salem Towne House
Old Sturbridge Village celebrates the people who lived in rural New England in the formative, first decades of our new nation – the United States of America. The Village provides an authentic, first-hand look at the often challenging and rapidly changing textures and rhythms of New England life in what were transformative years – 1790 to 1840...
Industrialist Albert B. Wells of Southbridge, Massachusetts, became interested in the beauty of hand-wrought utilitarian objects in the early 1900s on annual tours of Europe with his father-in-law, the noted Chicago architect Daniel Hudson Burnham...
A.B. Wells later wrote a friend, “when the collecting bug bit me, it bit me hard.” His collecting became a consuming passion. Within a few years he had filled his large mansion at 176 Main Street in Southbridge (designed by Daniel Burnham) and two additional barns. A.B. and his wife were forced to move to another home. In 1935... Read MORE...
Read more about Salem TOWNE
Discover Sturbridge: History, News, Travel, and StoriesAdd History/News/Story
1729 - Sturbridge is settled
Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates
1738 - Sturbridge is incorporated
Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates
1839 - Sturbridge
Worcester county. This is a very pleasant town, and is well watered by Quinebaug river. It lies 60 miles W.S.W. from Boston and 18 S.W. from Worcester. Incorporated, 1738. Population, 1830, 1,688; 1837, 2,004. The surface of the town is uneven and hilly, and the soil hard to subdue; but it has become productive by good management. There are some good fish ponds in the town, which serve to swell the Quinebaug. There are 6 cotton mills in Sturbridge and manufactures of boots, shoes, leather, chairs, cabinet ware, clothing, palm-leaf hats, trunks, harnesses, chairs, wagons, sleighs and pocket rifles; total value, the year ending April 1, 1837, $182,415.
The New England Gazetteer containing descriptions of all the states, counties and towns in New England: also descriptions of the principal mountains, rivers lakes, capes, bays, harbors, islands and fashionable resorts within that territory. Alphabetically arranged. By John Hayward, author of the Columbian Traveller, Religious Creeds, &c. &c. Boston: John Hayward. Boyd & White, Concord, N.H. 1839
1840 - WANTED
At the Sturbridge Cotton Mills, 5 or 6 good Families, consisting of Weavers, Spinners, and Carding Room help, who are of strictly temperance habits, for which the most liberal wages will be given. -- Those who are supporters of the great principles of the country, which encourage and foster the manufacturing interest, would be preferred.
S. A. DRAKE, Agent.
Sturbridge, March 4.
March 21, 1840
1845 - STURBRIDGE. [Pop. 2,005. Inc 1738.]
The first settlers of Sturbridge were chiefly from Medfield, in Norfolk county, and the settlement at first was called New Medfield.
The Quinebaug has its sources in several ponds of this town, and furnishes good water-piivileges.
The chief manufactures are cotton goods, boots, shoes and rifles.
Distance from Worcester, 18 miles ; from Boston, 58.
An Elementary Geography for Massachusetts Children by William Bentley Fowle and Asa Fitz, 1845
1848 - Sturbridge
The land of this town was originally granted, in 1729, to several petitioners of Medfield, and many of the first settlers were from that town. and hence the place was called New Medfield, until its incorporated in when it recieved the name of Sturbridge. The following, respecting the first settlers, is from Rev. Joseph S. Clark’s Historical Sketch of Sturbridge, published in 1838:
“Henry Fiske, one of the original proprietors, and his brother Daniel, pitched their tent near the top of the hill which has ever since borne their name. They had been at work for some time without knowing which way they must look for their nearest neighbor, or whether indeed they had a neighbor nearer than one of the adjacent towns. At length on a clear afternoon they heard the sound of an axe far off in a southerly direction, and went in pursuit of it. The individual whose solitary axe they heard had also been attracted by the sound of theirs, and was advancing towards them on the same errand. They came ... Read MORE...
1854 - Sturbridge
Sturbridge, a post-village in Worcester co., Massachusetts, 00 miles W. S. W. from Boston, contains several churches. Population of township, 2119.
A New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States: Giving a Full and Comprehensive Review of the Present Condition, Industry, and Resources of the American Confederacy ... Thomas Baldwin (of Philadelphia.) Joseph Thomas January 1, 1854 Philadelphia : Lippincott, Grambo & Company 1854.
1864 - An Aged Man
The Boston Transcript publishes a sketch of Deacon John Philips of Sturbridge, Mass., who is now in his one hundred and fourth year. This venerable man was born in Massachusetts when George II was King of Great Britain. He was drafted in 1776, and served in the early part of the American Revolution, and has a distinct recollection of the battle of Bunker Hill, which took place when he was fifteen years old. He has lived all his life on one farm, eaten at one table, and during a space of ninety years has not had a severe sickness.
January 16, 1864
Sturbridge Massachusetts, 1890
Sturbridge is a thriving agricultural and manufacturing town of about 1,980 inhabitants, situated in the southwestern part of Worcester County, 60 miles from Boston. It is reached most nearly by the Southbridge Branch of the New York and New England Railroad, and readily also from Palmer, on the Boston and Albany Railroad. Brookfield forms its boundary on the north, Charlton on the east, Southbridge on the southeast, Holland and Brimfield on the west, and Union and Woodstock, in Connecticut, on the south.
The assessed area is 21,832 acres; the forests covering 8,412 acres. The hills, many of them long, are ranged north and south through the town. The principal elevations are Walker Mountain in the north, Fisk Hill in the east, Mount Dan in the northwest, and Lead-mine Mountain in the southwest. Between these ridges, in the northwest, lies Alum Pond, 280 acres in extent; in the northeast is Walker Pond, nearly as large; and long Cedar Pond extends from between them southward,... Read MORE...
1892 - Suicide Instead of a Wedding
WORCESTER, Mass., October 19 - H. M. Asselin of West Warren, a young Frenchman, was found dead in the road in Sturbridge late Monday afternoon. He had apparently shot himself while driving, and had fallen from the wagon, dragging a blanket with him. He was to marry yesterday a French girl named Cacher. At the time of his death the girl was waiting in the Catholic church in Southbridge for Asselin to call for her in her father's wagon. Instead of starting for Southbridge, however, he appears to have started back toward Sturbridge. The reason for his suicide is a mystery.
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn, New York
October 19, 1892
1895 - Sturbridge
Stur'bridge, a post-village and township of Worcester co., Mass., on the Quinebaug River, about 30 miles E. of Springfield, and 20 miles S.W. of Worcester. It has 3 churches. The township contains Fiskedale, and has mannufactures of cotton print cloth, bits, augers, carriages, and women's shoes, and a pop. of 2213. Graphite is mined here
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
1905 - Must Await Funeral
William Willard of Sturbridge, Mass., who painted the portraits of several of Massachusetts' Governors, was a collector of colonial furniture. He had an annoying experience with other collectors who came to him trying to purchase some of his prized articles.
A New York woman visiting in the vicinity of Sturbridge, hearing that the old artist possessed a beautiful colonial mirror and a rare clock, tried to buy them. Mr. Willard seemed readily to agree to the sale, but when asked when it would be convenient to have them packed, replied: "Not until after the funeral."
"Whose funeral?" asked the woman.
"Mine," replied Mr. Willard. -- Baltimore Sun
The Inter Ocean
August 11, 1905
Sturbridge, a post-village and township (town) of Worcester co., Mass., on the Quinebaug River, about 30 miles E. of Springfield. The town has manufactures of dies, etc. Graphite has been mined here. Pop. of the town in 1900, 2058.
Lippincott's New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns ... in Every Portion of the Globe Publisher J.B. Lippincott Company, 1906
1908 - HOLY JUMPERS GET FARMS. Farmer Gives Away Entire Holding to Religious Sect.
Worcester, Mass., Feb. 4. - Charles H. Huntington, a prominent farmer in Sturbridge, living about two miles east of the village, became a convert of the religious body known as the Holy Jumpers, a short time ago, and became so enthusiastic over his conversion that he decided to turn his property over to the society and go to Wisconsin to join the Holy Jumpers sect there.
Mr. Huntington owned two farms of about one hundred acres each, one occupied by himself and the other by his daughter and her husband and family. He has a son living in Connecticut and recently removed to Brookfield, but he did not reserve a cent of his money or an acre of his land for either of his children.
Mr. and Mrs. Shippee and family are simply living on one of the farms this winter through the sufferance of the society into whose possession it recently came.
The Wichita Daily Eagle
February 5, 1908
1946 - Old Sturbridge Village
The three sons of George Wells carry on the firm (American Optical Company), but they also start a new venture: they create Old Sturbridge Village, a nationally renowned living history museum.
...The project began with a businessman, just as was the case with Henry Ford's Greenfield Village. In this case, it was A. B. Wells, founder of the American Optical Company, who initiated the activity that would eventually result in the formation of Old Sturbridge Village. Wells was an American history enthusiast, and his growing collection of "primitives" - by which he meant simple objects from everyday life of the American past - needed a proper home. In 1935, Wells Historical Museum was developed to meet this purpose. Later, however, Wells became interested in displaying his folk artifacts in a different format, more similar to a living history museum than a traditional historical museum. The plan emerged to enlarge the attraction by arranging a suite of buildings around a common green,... Read MORE...
Read more about Albert Bacheller WELLS
2023 - Here's a list of things to do and places to visit in Sturbridge:
Old Sturbridge Village: This living history museum is the crown jewel of Sturbridge. Step back in time to the 1830s and experience rural New England life. Explore historic buildings, watch skilled artisans at work, and learn about early American history through interactive exhibits.
Wells State Park: For outdoor enthusiasts, Wells State Park offers hiking trails, swimming, picnicking, and fishing opportunities. The park surrounds Walker Pond and is a lovely place to enjoy nature.
Sturbridge Pottery: Visit Sturbridge Pottery to see and purchase handcrafted stoneware and pottery. It's a great place to find unique kitchen and home decor items.
Stageloft Repertory Theater: Check the schedule at the Stageloft Repertory Theater for live performances, including plays and musicals. It's a great way to experience local talent.
Brimfield Antique Show: If your visit coincides with the Brimfield Antique Show, you're in for a treat. It's one of the largest and most famous antique shows ... Read MORE...
Discover Your Roots: Sturbridge Ancestry
Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USAWe currently have information about ancestors who were born or died in Sturbridge.
View Them Now (sorted by year of birth)
Martha HARTSHORN (2 July 1700, Dedham, Massachusetts, USA - 14 January 1781, Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA (Fiskdale))
John TARBELL (28 July 1709, Salem, Massachusetts, USA - 28 November 1804, Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA (Fiskdale))
Esther GROSVENOR (1712, Pomfret, Connecticut, USA (Abington) - 10 April 1795, Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA (Fiskdale))
Edward FOSTER (28 January 1714, Chelmsford, Massachusetts, USA - 9 February 1775, Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA (Fiskdale))
Rachel SMITH (13 November 1714, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA (North Wrentham) - 13 November 1803, Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA (Fiskdale))
Experience PERHAM (12 December 1715, Littleton, Massachusetts, USA - 19 June 1799, Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA (Fiskdale))
Jacob AMIDON (AMIDOWN) (28 February 1720, Oxford, Massachusetts, USA - 20 October 1790, Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA (Fiskdale))
Hannah GRANT (April 27, 1722, Watertown, Massachusetts, USA - March 19, 1808, Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA (Fiskdale))
Experience WARE (27 March 1736, Wrentham, Massachusetts, USA - 2 April 1805, Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA (Fiskdale))
Ancestors Who Were Married in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USAWe currently have information about ancestors who were married in Sturbridge.
View Them Now
Edward FOSTER (14 May 1749 - 1 March 1818) and Rachael NEWELL (24 May 1747 - 7 June 1835) married 4 October 1773
Reuben MARSH (18 August 1758 - 9 March 1843) and Tryphena HARDING (1759 - 1784) married 2 March 1779
Alpha MORSE (16 June 1777 - 1845) and Lucy SHEPARD (8 September 1777 - 14 May 1832) married 2 July 1800
Joel CHENEY (3 March 1782 - 29 November 1865) and Naomi BATCHELLER (17 April 1785 - 12 February 1863) married 31 October 1802
Jacob EDWARDS (16 June 1784 - 16 February 1867) and Hannah MARCY (14 January 1789 - 5 June 1825) married 2 November 1806
Perley MARSH (6 April 1784 - 20 February 1859) and Hannah GEROULD (4 February 1786 - 27 March 1864) married 6 June 1808
James E FOX (26 August 1856 - 18 May 1900) and Elizabeth NOLAN (June 1856 - 14 October 1941) married 3 February 1877
Ancestors buried in Sturbridge - Cemeteries in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USANorth Cemetery
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Updated: 9/9/2023 3:33:17 PM
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