We went to Old Sturbridge Village, a pretend 1830s New England village, much like Conner Prairie in Indiana. We were greeted by this guy on the way in.
OSV is divided into two main areas: the craftsmen's rough-hewn buildings...
...and the nicer buildings in the village.
We started with the craftsmen, getting to the grist mill in time for a demo, when they ground up dried corn and oats to make feed for the animals, using a water wheel to turn the grinding stones. But I didn't get good photos of that.
Next to the grist mill, and also using the water from the mill pond, was the carding mill, where mechanized wool-carding machines ran on water power. A box sits near the window, with wool and a set of hand carders for visitors to try for themselves. After trying it, we can appreciate the joys of automation.
At the Village, as in much of Massachusetts around Springfield, autumn still hasn't decided if it wants to come. A few trees have turned colors, but even more are still green.
After the carding mill, we visited the blacksmith. There were two smithies, pulling on the bellows once in a while to heat the flames and shaping hooks on the anvil.
On the way to the village from the blacksmith, we passed a young woman boiling down apple cider to make molasses. As she watched over the two cast-iron pots hanging above wood fires, she kept busy knitting a sock. A woman's work is never done.
In the village, we passed the church and turned toward the general store, where a gentleman sat outside on a bench playing a lively tune on a pipe. Besides in the gift shop, his was the only music we heard.
The leaves that had fallen from the trees hadn't been raked up, and a few groups of children were playing in them. This baby was learning about leaves for the first time.
They have a plastic cow that lets kids (or adults, if they can get in during a lull in the youngsters) try their hand at milking. But even plastic cows have their limits. One of these lads shouted, "Hey! They turned off the cow!"
We saw more things than I have time for telling, and I took more pictures than I have room for showing. On a beautiful fall day, we learned quite a bit, laughed even more, and had a great time together in the past.