By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: I've got a bet going with my boyfriend and I'm hoping you can provide an answer. It's about the Quakers or Shakers. He says there really is a village with original buildings dating back to early times and it's located somewhere in Massachusetts. I say no. Any guidance here is appreciated

A: Cows grazing in the front yards. Horses clopping through the covered bridge. Ladies in ankle-length smocks and oversized hats hunch over the herb garden, picking the day's seasonings.

Yes, this scene is very much alive and it is located in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Known as the Old Sturbridge Village, the history museum is a collection of homes and buildings from a sect called, "The Society of Friends" or "Quakers" dating back to the early 1800's. It is the largest of its kind in the northeast.

Although some of the buildings have been moved to the current location, by far, it is the best example available. So, your boyfriend is right.

Today, visitors can roam through the 40 buildings and interact with the villagers who are ready to show off the oldest techniques used by coopers, cobblers and blacksmiths.

Interestingly, in the early days New Englanders lived a little closer together than other Americans and preferred to stay within sight of their neighbors. This explains the compactness evident when you stroll along the 200 acres of fields and rolling farmland.

Need more info? Call 1-800-SEE 1830. Overnight accommodations are available.

Old Sturbridge Village is located on Route 20 in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, at the intersection of two major interstate highways - Interstate 84 and the Massachusetts Turnpike (Interstate 90).


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