STURBRIDGE, MA - Old Sturbridge Village, working collaboratively with the Hersey Farm Collection, will host an exhibit celebrating the rich traditions of coopering and toy-making in Hingham, Massachusetts. For nearly two centuries Hingham served as the woodenware capital of the country, earning the nickname ‘Bucket Town.’ By the 1770s enterprising coopers had begun to produce miniature versions of these goods to sell as keepsakes and novelties. From their shops emerged the first and largest community of professional toy-makers in America.

The exhibit centers on the recently re-discovered Hersey Farm workshop, covered with vines and untouched for the last hundred years. Entering this time capsule, one is met with handcrafted toys, personal artifacts, and tools left as if the artisan had just stepped away from his workbench. This exhibit will include many of the workshop’s rich contents and an abundance of Hingham’s charming handcrafted toys and woodenware.

Bucket Town, The Book

Coinciding with the exhibition, a book entitled Bucket Town: Woodenware and Wooden Toys of Hingham, Massachusetts, 1635-1945, written by co-curator Derin Bray, will be published by The Hingham Historical Commission. The book is available for purchase at the OSV gift shop.

Hingham Day

To celebrate opening day for OSV’s exhibit Bucket Town: Four Centuries of Toymaking and Coopering in Hingham (June 21, 2014-January 18, 2015), each adult guest with an ID showing Hingham residence will receive a reduced admission rate of $5 on June 21. Each Hingham resident can bring up to 4 people into the museum at the discounted rate of $5/per person.

To celebrate the opening, Curator’s Tours will be led at 10am, 1pm, and 2pm. Tours meet at the entrance of the exhibit in the Visitor Center.

Curator’s Tour

Get an insider’s perspective on OSV’s exhibit Bucket Town: Four Centuries of Toymaking and Coopering in Hingham. Tour the exhibit with a member of the curatorial staff. Please meet at the entrance to the exhibit at 10:00 a.m. Open to guests visiting the museum; no RSVP required.

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