Travel topics > Cultural attractions > Historical travel > Pioneer villages
- Pioneer villages, open-air and living history museums are a travel topic.
A pioneer village is a form of living museum in which a village-size group of historic buildings is restored to their use in an earlier time period, typically with museum guide staff in period costume carrying out the tasks of tradespeople of that era with traditional methods and tools, including or similar to historical re-enactment. The target eras for such historic reconstruction vary, with the "pioneer era" (widespread global colonisation by Europeans in the 1600s and 1700s, ending with adoption of steam power in the Victorian 1800s) among the most popular. Native or Viking settlements are also occasional targets for reconstruction, as a village may represent any era before the adoption of 20th century automation, industrialisation and mechanisation.
Although the term "pioneer village" is colonial in origins and context, comparable attractions also exist in Europe, the UK and other locations, as "living history museums" or "open-air museums". These terms do not have quite the same meaning but, given the substantial overlap, feature here.
Often, the village (or at the very least a distinct group of buildings) in such museums is assembled from authentic local historic buildings which are relocated to a common site as a means of historic preservation; this may preserve structures which otherwise would be lost due to urban development or destroyed by flooding after construction of a hydroelectric dam.
A living museum may not recreate an entire village or settlement; in some cases, just one or a handful of buildings (anything from an individual mill or blacksmith shop to a historic fortress) are restored to operation. Confusingly, the term "living museum" also is often applied to nature museums or protected areas, which are not the same concept.
By its nature, this is not a comprehensive list.
- Pioneer Village Museum, Burnie (Tasmania), covers local economic boom period from 1890-1910.
- 1 Sovereign Hill, Magpie St, Golden Point (a suburb of Ballarat, Victoria). 1851 gold rush town with sixty historically recreated buildings, costumed staff and volunteers.
- 2 Timbertown Pioneer Village, On Oxley Highway, Wauchope (New South Wales), ☎ . Very good old timber town of the 1880s set on 87 acres (35 hectares).
- 3 Bar U Ranch, near Longview (Alberta), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: BarU.Info@pc.gc.ca. Ranging life during the time period 1882-1950
- Batoche (near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan), Métis settlement and site of the defeat of Louis Riel in 1885.
- 4 Black Creek Pioneer Village, 1000 Murray Ross Pkwy, North York (Ontario), ☎ .
- Doon Heritage Village, Kitchener (Ontario), 22 buildings recreate life in rural Waterloo County in 1914.
- 5 Fanshawe Pioneer Village, 1424 Clarke Rd, London (Ontario), ☎ .
- 6 Fortress of Louisbourg, 259 Park Service Rd, Louisbourg (Nova Scotia), ☎ . Village-sized historic French military settlement, destroyed after English conquest and later reconstructed.
- 7 Heritage Park, 1900 Heritage Dr SW, Calgary (Alberta), ☎ , fax: .
- 8 Kawartha Settlers Village, 85 Dunn St, Bobcaygeon (Ontario), ☎ . A collection of over 20 historic homes and buildings from 1830 – 1935.
- 9 King's Landing, near Fredericton (New Brunswick). United Empire Loyalist village.
- 10 Lang Pioneer Village, 104 Lang Rd, Keene (near Peterborough (Ontario)), ☎ .
- 11 L'Anse aux Meadows, Route 436, Great Northern Peninsula (Newfoundland and Labrador). (north of St. Anthony), ☎ (May-Oct), (off-season), e-mail: email@example.com. Archaeological site with reconstructions of three Norse buildings.
- 12 Pickering Museum Village, 2365 Concession Rd 6, Greenwood (near Pickering (Ontario)). Depicts live pioneers in 18 heritage buildings.
- Pioneer Village Museum, in Beausejour (Manitoba)
- Sherbrooke Village, open-air museum in Sherbrooke (Nova Scotia)
- Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, near Midland (Ontario), reconstructed Jesuit mission settlement.
- Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village (Село спадщини української культури), near Elk Island National Park (Alberta), shows the lives of Ukrainian Canadian settlers from 1899 to 1930.
- 13 Upper Canada Village, 13740 Hwy 2, Morrisburg (Ontario), ☎ , toll-free: . Pioneer 1860s village of thirty buildings staffed by skilled tradespersons in costume of the era.
- 14 Village Historique Acadien, 5, rue du Pont, Bertrand (on Rivière-du-Nord near Caraquet (New Brunswick).), ☎ , toll-free: , fax: . Depicts an Acadian community between 1770 and 1939.
- Village Québécois d'Antan, Drummondville (Québec)
- Walter Wright Pioneer Village, Dawson Creek (British Columbia), depicts Dawson Creek before the Alaska Highway.
- Sarawak Cultural Village, reconstructed native settlements, Sarawak
- Bourtange, a town, built entirely inside of a 16th-century pentagonal fort, which was fully restored in the 1960s to its state in the 1740s.
- 16 Nederlands Openluchtmuseum, Schelmseweg 89, Arnhem, ☎ . A 44-hectare-large museum that sets out to document the Netherlands' history.
- Groenlo holds a bi-annual reenactment of the 1627 Siege of Grolle (Groenlo).
- Taranaki Pioneer Village, Stratford (New Zealand)
- Pilgrim's Rest, partially-restored 1873 gold rush town.
- Seonbichon Village (선비촌), Yeongju, living museum depicting traditional Seonbi life.
- Can Ros, Santa Eulària des Riu, mountaintop village depicts historic life on the island.
- See also: Vikings and the Old Norse
- 18 Open-Air Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life (Музей народної архітектури та побуту - Muzey narodnoyi arkhitektury ta pobutu), Krasnoznamennaya street, 1, Pyrohiv (near Kiev), ☎ . Nineteenth-century Ukrainian life is depicted in six restored rural villages with old huts, wooden mills and churches from all over Ukraine. Description is primarily Ukrainian-language, although some guided tours in other languages are available.
- Beamish, County Durham. One of the best known 'recreation' of a "northern" village in England
- 19 Black Country Living Museum, 2 Tipton Rd, Dudley (England). Outdoor recreation of the local area on 26 acres (11 hectares), including a coal mine, canal port and rebuilt houses.
- 20 Cosmeston Medieval Village, Near Lavernock in the Vale of Glamorgan (Wales). Re-creation of 14th century peasant life in the Late Middle Ages, groups of re-enactors camp in tents around the village outskirts and perform historical combat displays.
- Living History Village of Little Woodham, seventeenth century village on ancient woodland in Rowner (on the Gosport peninsula, Hampshire). Gosport Living History Society villagers dress in costume to talk about Charles I, the impending war between the King and Parliament, their village life and day-to-day existence as if it were the summer of 1642.
- 21 Ulster American Folk Park, Castletown, County Tyrone (near Omagh, Northern Ireland). Historical lifestyle and experiences of immigrants who sailed from Ulster to America in the 18th and 19th centuries. 30 buildings, agricultural displays and animals, samples of local foods such as smoked salmon and bread, volunteers in period costume demonstrate bread making, cooking, arts and crafts, embroidery, spinning and printing.
- Blists Hill, Iornbridge, reconstruction of a partial 19th-century town complete with some shops, a bank and other buildings.
- 22 Skye Musuem of Rural Life, Kilmuir, By Portree, Isle of Skye, IV51 9UE, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A semi-recreation of a pre-modern Highland village, consisting of single storey cottages and crofts.. £3.
United States of AmericaEdit
- Caesar's Creek Pioneer Village, Waynesville (Ohio), 19 original Quaker buildings from the 1700s and early 1800s.
- Cass County Pioneer Village, Ayr (near Fargo, North Dakota), old barber shop, school, ice cream parlor, bank, gas station, depot and cook shack.
- Colonial Williamsburg, historic area re-creates 18th-century Williamsburg (Virginia) before and during the American Revolution.
- Divide County Museum and Pioneer Village, Crosby (North Dakota), 25 pioneer buildings including a bank, printing press, general store and dwelling shacks.
- 23 Harold Warp Pioneer Village, 138 E US Highway 6, Minden (Nebraska), ☎ , toll-free: . 28 buildings on 12 acres (4.9 hectares), with 12 of those around a green
- 24 Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village, 3200 Indian Village Rd, Mitchell (South Dakota), ☎ . An archeological site with reconstructed native lodge.
- Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge (Massachusetts) re-creates life in rural New England during the 1830s.
- Pioneer Village, Salem (Massachusetts), 3 acres (1.2 hectares) re-creation of a Puritan village.
- Prairie Village, Madison (South Dakota)