March 26, 2007

Wednesday, March 26, 1975

10:30 am.
this morning we are going to sturbridge village after the plumber finished fixing the toilet. we really should have gone yesterday when the temperature was 65 out. today it will be below 40 and very windy.
I will take notes while we are there.
I am a little because why did nana have to pick the best day this week to go to a tea party. well, most of the buildings are probably heated anyway.
right now the plumber is here and we will be leaving shortly.

Sturbridge village:
Church-box pews with doors that open and close. simple benches, small pipe organ, pulpit.
white painted walls and ceiling with spindly brass chandeleirs hanging from the roof.
all white on the outside. columns are standing in front. people used heavy wollen blankets and charcoal burning footwarmers, as they spent four hours in church.
Lawyer's office-
the small office of John McClellan, he built the small square building himself. there is a small fireplace on one wall. there is a quill pen and candle on a small table he and his client would have sit at during negotiations, and also a full desk in a corner, there are two closets, and a small bookcase.

I have noticed how wide the floorboards are, almost a foot across.
The Tavern-
there is lots of old furniture. as you walk in the door there is a staircase directly ahead, going up and down.
there is a long black bench against the entrance hall wall to your left, and a small table and mirror on your right. the same floor as in the lawyer's office.
the adjoining room on the right has a fireplace, a front desk like a hotel, four or five chairs, a low table, a china cabinet in the corner, and an immaculately carved chest of drawers.
adjoining that, again on the right, is another room with another carved chest, a swirly armed sofa, a very intricately designed rug on the floor.
I have noticed hoe there houses and buildings have many windows, probably to save on lighting. usually the windows have many panes about 6" x 7". I was intrigued by a game set up called skittles where you spin a top with a string and see how many pins you can knock over. here is a diagram:
on the left of the entrance hall there is a small dining room. I notice how small the tables and chars are compared to modern ones.

as you proceed past the steps down the entryway you come to another, larger dining room with long tables and thick, smoky beams on the ceiling, and some more small chairs.
down the stairs there is still another dining room in this room, hand painted plaques advertising things, instead of paintings decorate the walls.
then there is a cafeteria, modern, where you can eat lunch.
upstairs there are many smaller rooms. most of them are bare except display cases of childrens toys and furniture. there are paintings of children on the walls, and in one room, an embroidery display. a larger room has walls lined with paintings of children, and three rocking horses on a pedestal. in the hallway there is an interesting design on the wallpaper.
I have noticed all the many outside walls are made of piled stones with no mortar.

Tinsmith's shop-
this is the first action I have seen. the tinsmith is making a candles snuffer, and while he is hammering he is telling the history of his art. there are small pieces of tin and solder cluttering his workbench.

today the blacksmith is making nails. he is using a soft kind of steel because wrought iron isn't sold anymore. this is a sooty place.

the potter has a musty air about his shop. there are dishes bowls and jars stacked on the shelf in the back of the shop.
today he is making small bowls. I find it amazing how he can do every bowl almost identically.
while we were on the road we saw a lamb that had escaped from the farm.

I am sitting in the schoolhouse. I notice there are no nails in the desks there are wooden pegs. the "teacher" is telling how school was in those days.
the floor is slanted so melting snow will run off to the small stone in the center of the room where it evaporated.

Grist Mill-
the grist mill's machinery is all wooden. not very good but I learned that flour in the air will explode if ignited.

Printshop- the printshop has a ho-hum demonstration. printing in those days seems to be a tedious process. the glasshouse is boring.
the demonstration today was pewter buttons. the shop has the same cluttered look of the other metal shops.
we have just passed the boring clock carpentry, lighting, and gun exhibits and are heading for the gift shop.

at the gift shop I bought one of the tin snuffers we saw made, one of the nails, and the last pewter button. the lady at the counter where they sold pewter said the pewtershop didn't produce much because the demonstration was fun, but the smoothing off of a finished button was boring job and the boys usually threw the buttons back into the melting pot at the end of a day. I also bought a small pewter plate which I thought was nice.
when we left we went to the public house. a restaurant which is very ritzy to eat dinner.
I ordered some crab because I never had crab and wanted to try it, nana ordered some scrod, a kind of fish and my dad and jenny ordered beef. the menu had many exotic dishes, such as frogs legs, snails, lobsters in season, and of few other gruesome meals I don't know who would eat or even want to eat.
when we finished our dinner we went to the bathroom and on my way there I found a neat little nook in a stairway, which I later found out was, or used to be a hide out for the military during some old war. naturally, jenny had to spend ten minutes in the gift shop.
the trip home seemed a lot shorter than the trip up and I think it was probably because on the way up we were anxious to get here and on the way back there was more to talk about.
I hope you appreciate how much work it was copying seven or eight pages of notes I took into this book.