Event Details

Muster Day at OSV

Time: June 8, 2013 from 9:30am to 5pm
Location: Old Sturbridge Village
Street: 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road
City/Town: Sturbridge
Website or Map: http://www.osv.org
Phone: 800-SEE-1830
Event Type: osv, muster
Organized By: Old Sturbridge Village
Latest Activity: Apr 3, 2013

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Event Description

Imagine if there were only 8,000 men in the entire U.S. Army.

That's how it was in the 1830s. To supplement the meager armed forces, most farmers and craftsmen were required by law to serve in local militia units, the forerunner of today's National Guard. Every spring these citizen-soldiers were "called to muster" for a day of training, inspection, ... and to elect their own officers.

Learn the difference between volunteer militia companies, who drilled regularly and had matching uniforms, and enrolled companies, who typically met only twice a year to train.

Groups will be demonstrating drilling, military martial music, target practice and "sham fights" or mock battles.

Our young visitors will get the chance to learn period drill and marching with the militia officer’s instruction and a toy gun.  Later, the new recruits will be able to put their skills to use in their own “mock battle”.

Guess how many musket balls are in a keg. The closest guess will win a special Village-made prize.

We will also be showcasing how Villagers would have relaxed and celebrated on such a day. Visitors can buy gingerbread on the Common using a period-appropriate coin and witness and visit a Striped Pig Tent.

In the 1830's the "Fifteen Gallon Law" was enacted in Massachusetts, making it illegal to sell alcohol by the drink. To circumvent the law, an entrepreneur in Dedham, MA erected a tent, painted stripes on a common pig and charged 6 1/4 cents to see the "Wonderful Striped Pig". Customers were then given a free glass of rum, by-passing the law. Our pig will be in a tent on the Common, lemonade substituting for rum.

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