Storrowton readies to open for summer

Date: 6/15/2009

WEST SPRINGFIELD Storrowton Village Museum begins its summer season June 20 with free tours of historic buildings and activities for the whole family from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Life in the 19th century will be revealed by costumed interpreters during the annual Opening Day festivities. Activities will include cooking over the open hearth in the Gilbert Farmstead, tending the forge in the Blacksmith Shop and learning lessons in the one-room Schoolhouse. An old-time fiddler will once again perform family tunes and ballads from the early 19th century.

Experience what life was like in the 19th century through a hands-on exhibit in the Discovery Room in Potter Mansion including an authentic straw mattress with a rope foundation, cooking utensils, blacksmith and tradesman tools and quill pens. Aunt Helen's Herb Garden will feature a costumed interpreter throughout the day, who will serve as a guide to the area's botanical plantings.

The season continues June 23 through Aug. 28 with guided tours for individuals and groups throughout the summer from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children under 6. Members of groups such as the Massachusetts Teachers Association and AAA are eligible to receive an admission discount.

A meetinghouse, a schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, the Eddy Law Office, the John Potter Mansion complete with a General Store, and the Gilbert Farmstead make up this picturesque village, located on the grounds of Eastern States Exposition, in West Springfield. Information and history is provided by costumed staff members, who are also available to answer visitors' questions.

The Storrowton Village Gift Shop continues to offer fine gifts and collectibles for every taste. The shop is a Fenton Art Glass Showcase Dealer and offers one-of-a-kind, limited edition pieces as well as gifts and collectibles including Dedham Pottery, Woodbury Pewter and a selection of antique reproductions. The shop is also an authorized dealer for Byers' Choice and Yankee Candles. Additional products include lamps, clocks, teapots, miniature tea sets and stationery as well as a complete line of wedding accessories and Unity candles. Shop hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit us at, print out the Storrowton Village Gift Shop page and bring it to the shop to receive a 10 percent discount on select items.

Children ages ages seven through 12 have the opportunity to learn about American history as Storrowton Village presents Early American Summer Days, a chance for youngsters to travel back in time and explore 19th century life in New England. The program runs two one-week sessions, Aug. 3 through 7 and Aug. 10 through 14. The children will dress in authentic costumes and learn how to milk a cow, make candles and much more including lessons in a one room school house. Each session will cost $140 and registration is necessary.

For more information about events offered during Storrowton Village's summer season, call the Village office at 205-5051, e-mail or write Storrowton Village Museum, 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield, MA 01089.