These Five Historic Villages In Massachusetts Will Transport You Into A Different Time
There is so much to learn about the rich and complex history of the Massachusetts region. While you could always enhance your knowledge by reading a book or watching a historical movie, isn’t it more fun to learn about history by immersing yourself in the experience? During a trip to these five historic villages, you will be transported back hundreds of years in time.
Tour antique buildings, discover 18th-century artifacts, and learn about early life from costumed interpreters at these fabulous living history museums.
1. Hancock Shaker Village
If you are interested in learning more about the history of the Shakers, Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield is the place to visit. This historic attraction contains thousands of Shaker artifacts, 20 Shaker buildings, and a plethora of information about this fascinating community of people. Over 300 members of the Shaker community resided at Hancock. Known for their unique religious and social beliefs, the Shakers were also successful craftsmen, farmers, and artists.
Hancock Shaker Village, Hancock, MA 01201, USA
Hancock Shaker Village is also a working farm that implements both modern farming techniques and Shaker principles. The village often hosts gardening and farm animal events. You can even take part in goat yoga!
You can learn on the official
Hancock Shaker Village
2. Historic Deerfield
Historic Deerfield, 80 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA 01342, USA
Another 18th-century village worth visiting is Historic Deerfield, which is located in the western part of Massachusetts. This outdoor museum is comprised of 12 antique houses, some of which date back to the 1700s. Guests can learn about the art of basket making, food preservation, and open hearth cooking through demonstrations, workshops, and hands-on learning experiences. There are also several collections of period silver, furniture, and art on display. To find out even more about what life was like in the 18th century, be sure to visit the Flynt Center of Early New England Life museum, located on the premises.
More information can be found on the
Historic Deerfield website
3. Old Sturbridge Village
Old Sturbridge Village in the town of Sturbridge is one of the largest historic villages in Massachusetts. You can easily find yourself lost in history as you spend the day exploring the sights at this 200-acre recreation of an 1830s local town. Forty buildings were moved here from other parts of New England to form the village. They contain historically accurate furnishings and artifacts and tell the story of what colonial life was like almost 200 years ago. The village also contains five gardens, heritage-breed animals, and countless historical exhibits.
Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Rd, Sturbridge, MA 01566, USA
Knowledgeable, costumed historians act out the jobs and tasks of the time period and are more than happy to answer any of your questions.
To find out information about hours and exhibits, visit the
Old Sturbridge Village
4. Pioneer Village
Salem Pioneer Village, 98 West Ave, Salem, MA 01970, USA
Pioneer Village is a small, historic village located in Salem, Massachusetts. Known as the country’s first living history museum, the village was designed to recreate life in Salem in the year 1630. Guests can learn about this time period by visiting the blacksmith shop, cottages, and medicinal gardens. The village doesn’t take long to tour, but it makes for an interesting stop to add to a Salem trip itinerary. Fun fact - scenes from the 1993 movie, “Hocus Pocus” (one of my favorite Halloween movies) were filmed at Pioneer Village.
Further information can be found on the
Pioneer Village website
5. Plimoth Patuxet Museums
Plimoth Patuxet Museums, 137 Warren Ave, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA
Plymouth Patuxet Museums (formerly Plimouth Plantation) is made up of five sites where you can learn about the history of the early colonial settlers and indigenous people who once lived in the area. Many people come to see the reproduction of the Mayflower, but there are also great opportunities to learn about the Wampanoag community, tour a working grist mill, and try your hand at 17th-century lawn games. The museum hosts a number of fun events for all ages.
Please visit the
Plimouth Patuxet Museums
website for more information.
Have you been to any of the historic villages listed above? While visiting, did you learn any unusual facts? To learn more about some of the interesting things that have taken place in our great state, consider taking
a Massachusetts historic road trip.
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