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OSV: Muster Day
To supplement the meager armed forces, most early 19th-century farmers and craftsmen were required by law to serve in local militia units – the forerunner of today’s National Guard. Twice a year, these citizen-soldiers were “called to muster” for a day of training in their town. Old Sturbridge Village re-creates a typical Muster Day and celebrates our local military history. Demonstrations will include marching, musket and cannon firing, and target practice.
Did you know?
The 1792 Militia Act stated required nearly all white men from 18-45 to serve in the militia as part of their civic obligation to their communities. Indigenous Peoples and people of color were explicitly barred from serving in the militia, ensuring the primacy of white manhood as an important element of citizenship.
All men liable for service in early 19th-century New England had to provide their own equipment: a musket and bayonet, a cartridge box containing 24 rounds of ammunition and two flints, and a knapsack.
While commonly associated with Christmas today, gingerbread was a favorite treat enjoyed during early 19th century muster days.
Saturday, May 6, 2023
Times: The Village is open from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm
Cost: Included with standard daytime admission or Village membership. Standard daytime admission is $30 for adults, $28 for seniors (55+), $15 for youth (4-17), $15 for college students (with a valid college ID), and free for children 3 and under.
Photos Courtesy of OSV