July 5, 2014

Hitty Visits Old Sturbridge Village, Freeman Farm!

We Are of Old New England...
At Old Sturbridge Village Gift Shop, Hitty stands next to the book "Hitty, Her First Hundred Years" by Rachel Field. Hitty was so excited and happy to find "her book" at the gift shop! Surrounding Hitty and the book are beautiful fabrics from Marcus Fabrics "Enduring Legacy". Judie Rothermel did a lovely job of designing these reproduction fabrics from the Old Sturbridge Village antique fabric archives. We bought some of each of the fabrics in the photograph above and some others as well!
Hitty was made by talented wood carver Judy Brown, who has also made us many other Hittys as well as Nanny Nettie-Kin. Hitty's pretty dress and pinafore were made by Gail Wilson.

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Some of the writings on this post are from previous Corgyncombe Courant posts that can be found here on the Corgyncombe Courant and from our previous writings elsewhere on the internet.

Old Sturbridge Village interprets as an old New England village with an emphasis on the 1830s.

How my daughter Sarah and I love old fashioned things!
We are of Old New England... of old Yankee stock.
As a child I loved to visit a nearby museum showing the way my ancestors lived. I ended up working at that museum.
What Tasha Tudor has drawn in her illustrations are the same old ways that I grew up with. I find them familiar, comforting, and I am drawn to them.
Hitty says "I love old fashioned things, too!"

We love it when people truly like Tasha Tudor and the old fashioned things that she did!

Hitty is a bit shy but she is delighted and enthusiastic about exploring Old Sturbridge Village!
She is only 6 1/4 inches tall but makes a happy impression! Word got round that Hitty was on the grounds! The ladies and gentlemen in the shops and houses awaited her arrival as they had heard of her presence at the old New England Village. How she makes people smile when they see her! All of the interpreters at Old Sturbridge Village were so friendly!

One of the first places Hitty wanted to visit was the Freeman Farm! So here is where her visit commenced. Our second cousin John May married Delia, one of the Freeman daughters. John May, Delia, and their children lived with Delia's parents at the Freeman Farm in the late 1830s.

After visiting the Freeman Farm at Old Sturbridge Village for years, then to find out that relatives lived in the house was so exciting! We wanted to see the Family Register in the parlour of the Freeman house.

John May's grandfather Capt. Nehemiah May was brother to my 5th great grandfather Eliakim May. Capt. Nehemiah and Eliakim both served in the Revolutionary War. Their mother's name was Mehitabel! Hitty says "That's my name, too! My nickname is Hitty, from Mehitabel!"

My 5th great grandfather Eliakim May was 1st cousin to Louisa May Alcott's great grandfather Samuel May.

John May of the Freeman Farm's grandfather Capt. Nehemiah May and Eliakim May's 1st cousin Colonel John May participated in the Boston Tea Party. John was colonel of the first, or Boston, reg't militia. 'Tis little wonder that Eliakim responded to the Lexington Alarm and marched for the relief of Boston. How blessed this country has been to have such fine, brave veterans! Eliakim's father Nehemiah Sr., Col. John's father Eleazer, and Louisa May Alcott's great great grandfather Ebenezer were all brothers. They were sons of John and Prudence (Bridge) May.

Colonel John May married his 1st cousin's daughter Abigail (May) May.  (Abigail's father was also 1st cousin to Eliakim May.) Abigail (May) May was an aunt to Abigail (May) Alcott..... Marmee in "Little Women".

As all of the children of Nehemiah and Mehitabel (Holbrook) May married Lyons, John May of the Freeman Farm was also related to us through the Lyon family, as well.

My 5th great grandmother Martha (Lyon) May, wife of Eliakim May, was reported in 1766 by The Hartford Courant, to have "spun 194 knots of good linen yarn in one day."

When we told Tasha Tudor about our old family genealogies she said that it was to "no end impressive".

The Freeman Family Register in the parlour of the Freeman house.

Hitty was delighted to find the Freeman Family Register with Delia's name written!

The reproduction wallpaper in the Freeman parlour is named Ada Harris after the lady who had the original antique wallpaper. Ada lived in an old house that she had an antique shop in. Ada has passed on now, but when she was alive I would go visit her, look through her antiques for sale, and talk about antiques, old fabric, tinware, history and genealogy. She didn't always let people in who stopped at her shop but if she did let you in and she liked you, she would keep you there and was sorry when you had to leave.

Hitty in the Freeman parlour by the decorated tin teapot.
Some carved wooden buildings are also on the tray.

The kitchen of the Freeman Farm where all the cooking and baking was done.
I enjoy open hearth cookery and baking in the beehive oven. I used to teach classes at a museum. Tasha Tudor said that her favorite exhibit at the museum where I used to work was the farmhouse, where I kept house in the old fashioned way.

The Butt'ry at the Freeman Farm with its wonderful stone sink!

The downstairs bedroom at the Freeman Farm.
How we just love this splendid hat!
Hitty says "The bed reminds me of my antique rope bed at Pumpkin House!"

A lovely, beautifully fragrant rose outside the parlour window at the Freeman Farm.

Darling red shoes with ties in the bedroom at the Freeman Farm.
They remind us of our Izannah doll Emma's delightful shoes! Emma and her shoes were made by talented dollmaker Margaret Flavin.

A knitted cozy cover in a chair.

Hitty says "Mother Shepard, look! That is the same book the Izannah Dolls have in their library and read from to us Hittys!" All the dolls call me "Mother Shepard", it has something to do with my Grandmum Shepard, and some day I will explain why!
The little book was originally printed by H. & E. Phinney, the same publisher as my old Jones Family Bible.

Hitty outside the Freeman Farm with her basket hoping to collect some eggs.

The barn at the Freeman Farm.

At one time, our cousin John Mott supervised the Freeman Farm at Old Sturbridge Village.

John Mott's Grandmum Nettie was first cousin to Lettie who was my Great Great Grandmum.
John and I have shared grandparents through the Cook, Greene, Matteson, Cummings, Mott, and other families. All these families were from early New England.

As you can see, my daughter Sarah's and my love of the past comes naturally. Sarah and I would spend afternoons with our cousin John going through his photographs and discussing old houses, old barns, sheep, old farming techniques, and genealogy. He was a photographer and author, and in his writings his way of using words is the same as I grew up hearing from my family. Words and phrases handed down through family tradition.

A new calf at the Freeman Farm! He just settled down to take a nap.

Hitty has found the hens and decided that she best not bother them for some eggs!

A wheelbarrow in the garden at the Freeman Farm. Hitty commented that the dolls have wheelbarrows made by Roy Bubbenmoyer that they use in their garden.

The little lamb near its Mum amongst the clover and daisies.
Hitty was thrilled to see the sweet little lamb look up at her!

I truly like the smell of the unwashed fleece. I love spinning wool in the grease. Spinning in the grease is not for everyone but I do not mind the smell of the fleece, in fact I find the smell comforting as it reminds me of when I was a little girl going into the old barn with the beautiful stone foundation and seeing all the lambs with their mamas.

Miniatures on display at a new exhibit at Old Sturbridge Village.
Hitty loved this group of miniature furniture made by Samuel Hersey (1820-1909) of Hingham, Massachusetts.

How blessed we were that the old timers like John Mott, Ada Harris, and Tasha Tudor shared their knowledge and love of history and antiques with us, and we are able to share and pass that on to our dear readers!

How we appreciate the artisans in the old days and now, who through their talents and hard work make beautiful and well made things with their hands!

We will have more posts to come of Hitty's Adventures at Old Sturbridge Village including more photographs of the "Bucket Town" exhibit which includes more miniatures from Hingham, MA.

Here is a link to a very interesting article, you will enjoy reading!
"The Making of a Farm at Old Sturbridge Village"
by our Cousin John A. Mott.

Here is a link to Marcus Fabrics:
Inspired by Old Sturbridge Village

Here is a link to:

We hope our Dear Readers had a wonderful
Independence Day!!!

copyright © 2014 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson


Simply Shelley said...

A most interesting post today. How blessed you are to know so much family history, and its a wonderful history too. Thank you so much for sharing, can't wait to see more. Hitty is absolutely fantastic .......Please let her know I said so :) Blessings my friends

Deborah @A Garden in The Shire said...

I loved this entry. I was introduced to Hitty by two lovely ladies with whom I am friends on Facebook. So much family history, I have truly enjoyed reading.

The BUTT'RY and BOOK'RY said...

Oh what a delightful post!! Hitty is so fortunate to be able to visit such a wonderful place!!
Hubby and I are looking forward to visiting Old Sturbridge Village in Oct for the first time!
We just lately had a wonderful day in June at the Living History G.C.V.M. of Mumford for the 1812/Jane Austen celebration. I spent most of my time in the The Susan Greene Historic Clothing Exhibit taking many pictures, such a joy! (I'm hoping to post them sometime soon) So many of the sights there are so similar to the pictures you have here! :-) I can't wait to see OSV
in person!
Hitty is so sweet!
It is great to hear of all your Family connections and I am looking forward to reading the article by John Mott.
Many Warm Blessings, Linnie

Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson said...

Dear Shelley,

Thank you for your sweet comment! We think you will enjoy the posts that we have from Sturbridge! Hugs to you and Hitty Jane!

Your friends,
Diane and daughter Sarah, and the Hittys and Tillie Tinkham the seamstress mouse at Corgyncombe

Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson said...

Dear Deborah,

So glad that you enjoyed the post!

Your friends,
Diane and daughter Sarah, and the Hittys and Tillie Tinkham the seamstress mouse at Corgyncombe

Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson said...

Dear Linnie,

Hitty knows that you enjoy your visit to Old Sturbridge Village! The display at GCVM sounds wonderful! We love fashion from Jane Austen's time! We look forward to seeing your photographs!

Your friends,
Diane and daughter Sarah, and the Hittys and Tillie Tinkham the seamstress mouse at Corgyncombe

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