April 30th, 2016
by Brian Walker, Greg Walker and Chance Browne
The Hi and Lois Sunday page, shown above, was inspired by a trip the Walker family made to Old Sturbridge Village in the late 1950s or early 1960s.
This living museum, located in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, recreates life in rural New England from the 1790s to the 1830s. There are 59 buildings on 200 acres, including a Blacksmith Shop, a Cooper Shop, a Tin Shop (shown below) and a Shoe Shop. Costumed actors help visitors learn about how people lived and worked in the past.
Old Sturbridge Village opened as a public museum on June 8, 1946 and is still operating today.
On July 31, 2011, Old Sturbridge Village was featured again in the funny papers.
Jeff Keane, the current artist on The Family Circus, which was started by his father Bil in 1960, visited Old Sturbridge Village with his family around 1967 or 1968 when he was 9 or 10 years old.
“All of my brothers and sister and I remember Old Sturbridge Village so well,” Jeff said in an interview. “And I especially remember the blacksmith!”
“It was a slice of life that we hadn’t seen at all,” Jeff continued. “I remember being very comfortable running around on the pathways, going from place to place and seeing the people dressed up in the style of the time period.”
A trip to Boston, where his son was attending Emerson College, inspired Jeff to revisit Old Sturbridge Village in this classic episode.
– Brian Walker
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