Old Sturbridge Village

Being a bit of a recreational luddite, I find myself often romanticizing the past. It’s easy to think of times-gone-by fondly, or at least idealize them as simpler if not superior. I like cars without airbags and shoulder belts. I like mechanical wrist watches and nixie tubes. Not necessarily because they’re better and sometimes expressly because they’re not.

We travel frequently throughout New England and tacked this excursion to Old Sturbridge Village onto a November homeschool trip to Boston.

Millpond and covered bridge
Millpond and covered bridge

OSV is a living museum covering over 200 acres with working farms and mills. It exists in a slice of time meant to best represent the 1790s through 1830s. The buildings are either accurate reconstructions, or purchased and reassembled from other parts of New England. You really need to turn your phone off and spend a day in the quiet to appreciate it. It was a weekday in late November so we had the run of the place at a reduced admission.

Town Square, Sturbridge
Gracie works the pump

This trip was a few years ago and I was shooting with my Fuji GA645 (which I’ll gush and go on about in a review sometime soon). The Fuji is a fully automatic marvel, sharp and quick though not particularly stealthy.

Cooper's Shop
Cooper’s Shop

The “residents” at the Village are happy to chat and have their photos taken, and the late fall air had many of them indoors around stoves or bundled against the wind if working outdoors.

Tinsmith
Tinsmith

The Central Meetinghouse was a dream to shoot in, with massive glazing on both sides. It was chilly, though.

Center Meetinghouse
Center Meetinghouse

This potter chatted with us for a while. He was an investment professional in Boston for his adult life and was enjoying his work at the Village as his retirement. He was proficient at his trade. These two following images are my favourites from the visit. I could have used a stop more speed but the silky, classic character of Ilford FP4 shines through. Leaf shutters make the most of light like this.

Potter at work
Potter at work
Freshly thrown.
Freshly thrown.

Images in this set are courtesy of Fuji GA645, 4.0 EBC Fujinon loaded with Ilford FP4. Processing and scans are Ilfosol3 and Epson Perfection 3200 Photo.

3 Replies to “Old Sturbridge Village”

  1. This is wonderful! Lovely setting, great photography and I’m walking away with food for thought. The food = this line: “Not necessarily because they’re better and sometimes expressly because they’re not” (lots to ponder in that statement), the Fuji GA645 and leaf shutters. Enjoyed this, thank you

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