The Unique Doors of OSV – #ThursdayDoors

The buildings are remarkably well maintained.

If you have been following this blog for any amount of time, you knew this post was coming. You know that I couldn’t spend time walking around a wonderful place like Old Sturbridge Village without taking pictures of doors. In fact, if you’ve been following No Facilities for a long time, you know that I’ve featured doors from OSV in the past.

I was pleased to find a number of new doors on our recent visit. We walked into a couple of areas we hadn’t been to in recent years.

Most of the houses were closed to the public, but many of the doors were open. I think the sight of an open door is a wonderful thing – it says “welcome” even when you can’t enter the building. It’s like these buildings were reminding us that people were available to share their story. The story of the building and the people who lived or worked in them. In some cases, we could look inside. In some cases, we listened to the interpreter tell the story, and in some cases, we imagined and remembered.

This visit to Old Sturbridge Village was unique, and it was special. In many ways, it was one of the best visits we have had.

This post is part of Norm Frampton’s weekly blogfest – Thursday Doors. Each week, Norm invites door lovers from around the world to share images of and stories about doors. From simple utility to grand elegance, visit Norm’s page and you will find links to those, and every door in between. If you have door images to share, please head over to Norm’s place and leave a link for us. Be sure to check out his doors, they are always worth the trip.


69 comments

  1. Touring OSV with you never gets old Dan. Always new things to see and always glad to see repeat shots. The stonework on the cottage is wonderful. And you’re right, the buildings are remarkably well maintained. Loved seeing the covered bridge from the inside. They are amazing structures, especially considering what the craftsmen had to work with all those years ago.
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoy these visits, Ginger. The long curved support beams on the side of the covered bridge are amazing. I’d have a hard time getting those to meet in the middle with power tools, tape measures and laser levels.

      I don’t think most people understand how hard it is to maintain these buildings. They had a fundraiser years ago to support the renovation of the sawmill. Norm Abrams (This Old House / New Yankee Workshop) gave a dedication presentation when the project was complete which Faith took me to as a gift. As I mentioned in that post, Norm talked about “over 70 buildings, 67 masonry fireplaces and chimneys, roofs, walls and windows and over 5,000 square feet of wood flooring.” – All surviving a New England winter and hot humid summer every year.

      I have a hard time maintaining one house!

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    1. I’m not sure of the story behind that bridge. I think it might be an entrance for educational tours and field trips, so the doors would be necessary. I just loved the way the light was shining through.

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  2. As a woodworker, I suspect you see things that most of us would never see … ie the challenge of hanging those huge barn doors. What jumps out for me however are the lines of the various fences, and my favourite photo which is the covered bridge with the closed doors at the end. I’ve never encountered doors across a bridge before!

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    1. I do find the construction fascinating, Joanne. The thing that amazes me is how everything is so interrelated. They didn’t waste anything.

      I think the covered bridge is the entrance from the educational center (where school trips and groups arrive). I guess that’s why they need the doors.

      I do like the way the fences define so much of the view.

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  3. I do love seeing your photos of OSV. I was there so very many years ago. That fact that all these buildings are still standing after all this time…..they knew how to build back then. My favorite photo is the little sheep resting outside the building. Hey, mister! Take my picture.

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    1. I liked that little guy, Lois. He reminded me of our cats – “you’re not going to make me get up, are you?”

      The buildings require a lot of maintenance. I had a conversation on Twitter with a person who feels that OSV charges too much. We aren’t members for the discounts, we choose to support the village.

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  4. Dan, thank you so much for bringing us along for this visit. What a charming place. It’s so picturesque that it’s hard to imagine how hot and humid I know it had to be that day. I loved seeing everything, but the cottage and blacksmith shop (and anything with an animal in it, LOL) are my favorites… except the covered bridge. That shot is fantastic, it’s in a league unto itself. Hugs on the wing.

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed this Teagan. I felt so bad for the blacksmiths. The day was hot enough, but working at a coal forge just seemed like overkill. I love the animals and the people who care for them seem as gentle as the animals themselves. You might see that covered bridge again (I took a few photos).

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  5. I so LOVE this place, Dan. This is my kind of excursion. And that horse in the last shot….:D! I’ll bet the holiday event just shines. I’m glad you were abled to go. One thing about the new world process of Covid is often less crowds and more opportunity to really observe those events we love. Have a great Thursday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a great day, Cheryl. We did enjoy the smaller crowd, but painfully aware that that means the Village is suffering financially. Still, this is a first step. I hope they have plans to move forward.

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  6. It is amazing what goes into recreating and maintaining a historic village. Many times the historic buildings are brought in from other sites. The first act is rebuilding and repair. Neat Dan !

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    1. You’re right, John. I think almost all of the buildings at OSV were moved here from other areas of New England. One building was moved here from much farther away. They had plans to build one new building, a cabinet shop, on-site using period techniques. I’m assuming those plans are on hold, but i’d love to see them complete it.

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  7. It really is like stepping back in time, isn’t it? Too bad access to the interior wasn’t available, but under the current circumstances I probably wouldn’t have ventured indoors even it it was allowed ;-)
    You nailed that covered bridge shot Dan. Seriously, I could easily see that one printed in large format and put up on a wall somewhere – it’s an outstanding shot.

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    1. I’m glad you liked that photo, Norm, I am happy with it. . The good news is that we’ve been inside most of the buildings. It was interesting having the historians and artisans outside. We had longer and more in-depth conversations with them – we learned more than in other visits.

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    1. I’m glad you enjoyed this, Janis. I started visiting before I had the ability to bring back photos. I would be shooting fewer frames if I was using film. We really enjoyed the demonstrations this time.

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          1. Judt talking w the kids a day ago about missing the door to door milkman we had when they were little. I doubt they do that now. So convenient for me as a mom– just ask and it appeared early morning, any type of dairy in a steel box on the doorstep. 😊

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  8. I just love this, Dan. Your door photos are outstanding. I find it amazing that the hard day-to-day work at the time of OSV is something few of us could do – yet, the beauty and pride and architecture of their work never faltered. They cared. There’s a great lesson here.

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  9. Hi Dan – Old Sturbridge looks to be an amazing ‘replica’ of an old village … and obviously it is well visited … loved seeing all the buildings – the bridge, the barns, the houses etc … just delightful wanderings – thank you … Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Not sure petting the animals is allowed everywhere right now or even wagon rides but the horse all harnessed made me think of how much children would like that. Great historical destinations are well worth our support.

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