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flag  History of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

Journey back in time to Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

(Fiskdale)

Visit Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA - Publick House, Sturbridge, Mass., 1771  The Publick House Historic Inn was originally established on the eve of the American Revolution by Colonel E

Sturbridge, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

Home of Old Sturbridge Village.
In 1946, the three sons of George Wells (American Optical Company), created Old Sturbridge Village, the largest living museum in New England.

Sturbridge includes: Shuttleville, Snellville, Westville, Fiskdale, and Leadmine.
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Postcards and Memories of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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There is MUCH more to discover about Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA. Read on!

Sturbridge Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Publick House, Sturbridge, Mass., 1771

The Publick House Historic Inn was originally established
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Publick House, Sturbridge, Mass., 1771

The Publick House Historic Inn was originally established on the eve of the American Revolution by Colonel Ebenezer Crafts...

When Crafts finally debuted his wonderful new inn during the 1770s, he decided to call it “Crafts Tavern.” But Crafts also referred to the structure as the “Publick House” in recognition of the inn’s mission to service the people of Sturbridge...

...the building hosted both the Marquis de Lafayette and his son, Georges Washington de Lafayette, when the two famously toured the nation during the 1820s.

historichotels.org

Colonel Ebenezer Crafts, who was the founder and keeper of the Publick House, personally raised and equipped the company. The Publick House, which dates back to 1771... revolutionarday.com
Read more about Ebenezer CRAFTS photo of ancestor
Unitarian Church. Sturbridge, Mass., 1864
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Unitarian Church. Sturbridge, Mass., 1864
Arbutus Park, No. 2, Sturbridge, Mass.
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Arbutus Park, No. 2, Sturbridge, Mass.
The Common
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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The Common
Red Gables Inn
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Red Gables Inn
The Common
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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The Common
The Library, Sturbridge, Mass.
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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The Library, Sturbridge, Mass.
Main Street
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Main Street
Group of Public Buildings
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Group of Public Buildings
The Elms Hotel, 1908

By the beginning of the 20th century, the Publick House was unfortunately a
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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The Elms Hotel, 1908

By the beginning of the 20th century, the Publick House was unfortunately a shadow of its former self. The inn was even transformed into a boarding house for women called “The Elms” for a brief time, although it nearly closed down due to its dilapidated state. historichotels.org
Brook and bridge near Sturbridge
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Brook and bridge near Sturbridge
East Main St.
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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East Main St.
First Congregational Church
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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First Congregational Church

Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Discover you family history through historical newspapers at Newspapers.com
Colonial Motel Inc., Route 20, Sturbridge, Mass., Tel. Dickens -- 7-3883

One of the most modern a
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Colonial Motel Inc., Route 20, Sturbridge, Mass., Tel. Dickens -- 7-3883

One of the most modern and beautiful motels, with tile bath rooms and shower, and wall to wall carpets. Located 300 feet off U. S. Route 20 and 15, and 100 feet off Gate No. 9, off Mass. Turnpike -- 1/ 2 mile from the Old Sturbridge Village. 58 Miles West of Boston, 35 Miles East of Hartford, 35 Miles East of Springfield. digitalcommonwealth.org
Town Hall
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Town Hall
Old Sturbridge Village 
Salem Towne House
Sturbridge, Mass.

Old Sturbridge Village celebrates t
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Old Sturbridge Village
Salem Towne House
Sturbridge, Mass.

Old Sturbridge Village celebrates the people who lived in rural New England in the formative, first decades of our new nation – the United States of America. The Village provides an authentic, first-hand look at the often challenging and rapidly changing textures and rhythms of New England life in what were transformative years – 1790 to 1840...

Industrialist Albert B. Wells of Southbridge, Massachusetts, became interested in the beauty of hand-wrought utilitarian objects in the early 1900s on annual tours of Europe with his father-in-law, the noted Chicago architect Daniel Hudson Burnham...

A.B. Wells later wrote a friend, “when the collecting bug bit me, it bit me hard.” His collecting became a consuming passion. Within a few years he had filled his large mansion at 176 Main Street in Southbridge (designed by Daniel Burnham) and two additional barns. A.B. and his wife were forced to move to another home. In 1935... Read MORE...

Read more about Salem TOWNE photo of ancestor
American Motor Lodge on Cedar Lake
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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American Motor Lodge on Cedar Lake
Brother Jonathan restaurant and furniture store
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Brother Jonathan restaurant and furniture store
Sturbridge Motor Inn
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Sturbridge Motor Inn
Sturbridge Orchard Inn
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Sturbridge Orchard Inn
Old Sturbridge Village Broommaker
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Old Sturbridge Village Broommaker
Old Sturbridge Village Covered Bridge
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Old Sturbridge Village Covered Bridge
Old Sturbridge Village Candlemaker
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Old Sturbridge Village Candlemaker
Old Sturbridge Village Fenno House Parlor
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Old Sturbridge Village Fenno House Parlor
Old Sturbridge Village Fitch House
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Old Sturbridge Village Fitch House
Old Sturbridge Village Herb Barn
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Old Sturbridge Village Herb Barn
Old Sturbridge Village Herb Garden
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Old Sturbridge Village Herb Garden
Old Sturbridge Village Inn
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Old Sturbridge Village Inn
Old Sturbridge Village Mashapaug House
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Old Sturbridge Village Mashapaug House
Old Sturbridge Village Tavern
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Old Sturbridge Village Tavern
Old Sturbridge Village Tinsmith
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Old Sturbridge Village Tinsmith
Old Sturbridge Village Wright's Grist Mill
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Old Sturbridge Village Wright's Grist Mill
Old Sturbridge Village Pliny Freeman Farm
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Old Sturbridge Village Pliny Freeman Farm
Publick House Bakery
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Publick House Bakery
Sturbridge Coach Motor Lodge
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Sturbridge Coach Motor Lodge
Historic Sturbridge
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Historic Sturbridge

Discover Sturbridge: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1839 - Sturbridge
Sturbridge, Massachusetts
Worcester county. This is a very pleasant town, and is well watered by Quinebaug river. It lies 60 miles W.S.W. from Boston and 18 S.W. from Worcester. Incorporated, 1738. Population, 1830, 1,688; 1837, 2,004. The surface of the town is uneven and hilly, and the soil hard to subdue; but it has become productive by good management. There are some good fish ponds in the town, which serve to swell the Quinebaug. There are 6 cotton mills in Sturbridge and manufactures of boots, shoes, leather, chairs, cabinet ware, clothing, palm-leaf hats, trunks, harnesses, chairs, wagons, sleighs and pocket rifles; total value, the year ending April 1, 1837, $182,415.
The New England Gazetteer containing descriptions of all the states, counties and towns in New England: also descriptions of the principal mountains, rivers lakes, capes, bays, harbors, islands and fashionable resorts within that territory. Alphabetically arranged. By John Hayward, author of the Columbian Traveller, Religious Creeds, &c. &c. Boston: John Hayward. Boyd & White, Concord, N.H. 1839
1840 - WANTED
At the Sturbridge Cotton Mills, 5 or 6 good Families, consisting of Weavers, Spinners, and Carding Room help, who are of strictly temperance habits, for which the most liberal wages will be given. -- Those who are supporters of the great principles of the country, which encourage and foster the manufacturing interest, would be preferred.
S. A. DRAKE, Agent.
Sturbridge, March 4.
Boston Post
Boston, Massachusetts
March 21, 1840
1845 - STURBRIDGE. [Pop. 2,005. Inc 1738.]
The first settlers of Sturbridge were chiefly from Medfield, in Norfolk county, and the settlement at first was called New Medfield.

The Quinebaug has its sources in several ponds of this town, and furnishes good water-piivileges.

The chief manufactures are cotton goods, boots, shoes and rifles.

Distance from Worcester, 18 miles ; from Boston, 58.
An Elementary Geography for Massachusetts Children by William Bentley Fowle and Asa Fitz, 1845
1848 - Sturbridge
The land of this town was originally granted, in 1729, to several petitioners of Medfield, and many of the first settlers were from that town. and hence the place was called New Medfield, until its incorporated in when it recieved the name of Sturbridge. The following, respecting the first settlers, is from Rev. Joseph S. Clark’s Historical Sketch of Sturbridge, published in 1838:

“Henry Fiske, one of the original proprietors, and his brother Daniel, pitched their tent near the top of the hill which has ever since borne their name. They had been at work for some time without knowing which way they must look for their nearest neighbor, or whether indeed they had a neighbor nearer than one of the adjacent towns. At length on a clear afternoon they heard the sound of an axe far off in a southerly direction, and went in pursuit of it. The individual whose solitary axe they heard had also been attracted by the sound of theirs, and was advancing towards them on the same errand. They came ... Read MORE...

1864 - An Aged Man
The Boston Transcript publishes a sketch of Deacon John Philips of Sturbridge, Mass., who is now in his one hundred and fourth year. This venerable man was born in Massachusetts when George II was King of Great Britain. He was drafted in 1776, and served in the early part of the American Revolution, and has a distinct recollection of the battle of Bunker Hill, which took place when he was fifteen years old. He has lived all his life on one farm, eaten at one table, and during a space of ninety years has not had a severe sickness.
Semi-Weekly Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
January 16, 1864
Sturbridge Massachusetts, 1890
Sturbridge is a thriving agricultural and manufacturing town of about 1,980 inhabitants, situated in the southwestern part of Worcester County, 60 miles from Boston. It is reached most nearly by the Southbridge Branch of the New York and New England Railroad, and readily also from Palmer, on the Boston and Albany Railroad. Brookfield forms its boundary on the north, Charlton on the east, Southbridge on the southeast, Holland and Brimfield on the west, and Union and Woodstock, in Connecticut, on the south.

The assessed area is 21,832 acres; the forests covering 8,412 acres. The hills, many of them long, are ranged north and south through the town. The principal elevations are Walker Mountain in the north, Fisk Hill in the east, Mount Dan in the northwest, and Lead-mine Mountain in the southwest. Between these ridges, in the northwest, lies Alum Pond, 280 acres in extent; in the northeast is Walker Pond, nearly as large; and long Cedar Pond extends from between them southward,... Read MORE...

1892 - Suicide Instead of a Wedding
WORCESTER, Mass., October 19 - H. M. Asselin of West Warren, a young Frenchman, was found dead in the road in Sturbridge late Monday afternoon. He had apparently shot himself while driving, and had fallen from the wagon, dragging a blanket with him. He was to marry yesterday a French girl named Cacher. At the time of his death the girl was waiting in the Catholic church in Southbridge for Asselin to call for her in her father's wagon. Instead of starting for Southbridge, however, he appears to have started back toward Sturbridge. The reason for his suicide is a mystery.
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn, New York
October 19, 1892
1895 - Sturbridge
Stur'bridge, a post-village and township of Worcester co., Mass., on the Quinebaug River, about 30 miles E. of Springfield, and 20 miles S.W. of Worcester. It has 3 churches. The township contains Fiskedale, and has mannufactures of cotton print cloth, bits, augers, carriages, and women's shoes, and a pop. of 2213. Graphite is mined here
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
1905 - Must Await Funeral
William Willard of Sturbridge, Mass., who painted the portraits of several of Massachusetts' Governors, was a collector of colonial furniture. He had an annoying experience with other collectors who came to him trying to purchase some of his prized articles.

A New York woman visiting in the vicinity of Sturbridge, hearing that the old artist possessed a beautiful colonial mirror and a rare clock, tried to buy them. Mr. Willard seemed readily to agree to the sale, but when asked when it would be convenient to have them packed, replied: "Not until after the funeral."

"Whose funeral?" asked the woman.

"Mine," replied Mr. Willard. -- Baltimore Sun
The Inter Ocean
Chicago, Illinois
August 11, 1905
1906
Sturbridge, a post-village and township (town) of Worcester co., Mass., on the Quinebaug River, about 30 miles E. of Springfield. The town has manufactures of dies, etc. Graphite has been mined here. Pop. of the town in 1900, 2058.
Lippincott's New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns ... in Every Portion of the Globe Publisher J.B. Lippincott Company, 1906
1908 - HOLY JUMPERS GET FARMS. Farmer Gives Away Entire Holding to Religious Sect.
Worcester, Mass., Feb. 4. - Charles H. Huntington, a prominent farmer in Sturbridge, living about two miles east of the village, became a convert of the religious body known as the Holy Jumpers, a short time ago, and became so enthusiastic over his conversion that he decided to turn his property over to the society and go to Wisconsin to join the Holy Jumpers sect there.

Mr. Huntington owned two farms of about one hundred acres each, one occupied by himself and the other by his daughter and her husband and family. He has a son living in Connecticut and recently removed to Brookfield, but he did not reserve a cent of his money or an acre of his land for either of his children.

Mr. and Mrs. Shippee and family are simply living on one of the farms this winter through the sufferance of the society into whose possession it recently came.
The Wichita Daily Eagle
Wichita, Kansas
February 5, 1908
1946 - Old Sturbridge Village
The three sons of George Wells carry on the firm (American Optical Company), but they also start a new venture: they create Old Sturbridge Village, a nationally renowned living history museum.

...The project began with a businessman, just as was the case with Henry Ford's Greenfield Village. In this case, it was A. B. Wells, founder of the American Optical Company, who initiated the activity that would eventually result in the formation of Old Sturbridge Village. Wells was an American history enthusiast, and his growing collection of "primitives" - by which he meant simple objects from everyday life of the American past - needed a proper home. In 1935, Wells Historical Museum was developed to meet this purpose. Later, however, Wells became interested in displaying his folk artifacts in a different format, more similar to a living history museum than a traditional historical museum. The plan emerged to enlarge the attraction by arranging a suite of buildings around a common green,... Read MORE...


Read more about Albert Bacheller WELLS photo of ancestor
Here's a guide to exploring Sturbridge's rich history and natural beauty:
Old Sturbridge Village: Immerse yourself in the 1830s at this living history museum, offering a glimpse into rural New England life. Wander through historic buildings, observe skilled artisans, and engage with interactive exhibits to learn about early American history.

Wells State Park: Nature enthusiasts will appreciate Wells State Park, which boasts hiking trails, swimming spots, and fishing areas around Walker Pond. It's a serene setting to enjoy the outdoors.

Sturbridge Pottery: Delve into the artistry of handcrafted stoneware and pottery at Sturbridge Pottery. You can even purchase unique kitchen and home decor items as souvenirs.

Stageloft Repertory Theater: Experience local talent through live performances, including plays and musicals, at the Stageloft Repertory Theater. It's a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the local arts scene.

Brimfield Antique Show: If you're lucky enough to visit during the Brimfield Antique Show, you'll be treated to one of the... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Sturbridge Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

We currently have information about 152 ancestors who were born or died in Sturbridge.

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Ancestors Who Were Married in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Ancestors buried in Sturbridge - Cemeteries in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Genealogy Resources for Sturbridge

Massachusetts Newspapers

Our Sturbridge Gift Ideas


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Updated: 3/14/2024 6:41:31 PM