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type of museum, in which historical events showing the life in past time periods are performed
(Redirected from Pioneer Villages)
Travel topics > Cultural attractions > Historical travel > Living history museums

Living history museums is a travel topic.
Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, Ontario, Canada

A living history museum, a type of open-air museum, is meant to be a reconstruction of an entire ancient or prehistoric settlement or a portion of one.

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.

UnderstandEdit

Map of Living history museums

The nominal time periods reflected in living history museums can be wide, with some museums reflecting periods as late as the mid 20th century. 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.

The target eras for pioneer villages 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. The term "pioneer village" is colonial in origins and context.

By its nature, the list below is not comprehensive.

AustraliaEdit

 
Main Street of Sovereign Hill (Victoria)
  • 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).  

CanadaEdit

 
Sherbrooke Village, Nova Scotia

JapanEdit

  • 24 Boso No Mura (千葉県立房総のむら chiba-kenritsu bōsō no mura), 1028, Ryukakuji Sakae-machi Inbagun Chiba, Narita. A reproduction of a samurai-era Japanese town street.
  • 25 Hida Folk Village (飛騨民俗村 'Hida Minzokumura' also known as Hida-no-Sato (飛騨の里)). An attractive open-air museum assembled from real buildings that effectively recreates an entire traditional mountain village. Artisans continue to work in many buildings; you can buy their crafts and even try your own hand at a number of activities.
  • Hokkaido Pioneer Village, on the outskirts of Sapporo

MalaysiaEdit

  • Sarawak Cultural Village, reconstructed native settlements, Sarawak

NetherlandsEdit

 
Line of Staatse (Dutch) troops firing at the Spanish enemy at the 2008 reenactment of the Siege of Grolle.
  • 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.
  • 26 Nederlands Openluchtmuseum, Schelmseweg 89, Arnhem. A 44-hectare museum that sets out to document the Netherlands' history.    
  • Groenlo holds a bi-annual reenactment of the 1627 Siege of Grolle (Groenlo).

New ZealandEdit

RomaniaEdit

 
Village Museum in Bucharest
  • 27 Village Museum (Muzeul Național al Satului „Dimitrie Gusti”), Șoseaua Pavel Dimitrievici Kiseleff, 28-30, Bucharest. An open air museum created in 1934, it now has around 300 traditional buildings (including churches, workshops, mills) and furniture, pottery, clothing gathered from villages in every region of the country in an effort to showcase the traditional way of life of the Romanians. Occasionally hosts folkloric and traditional crafts festivals.    

South AfricaEdit

South KoreaEdit

 
Nagan Folk Village
  • Seonbichon Village (선비촌), Yeongju, living museum depicting traditional Seonbi life.

SpainEdit

SwedenEdit

See also: Vikings and the Old Norse, Nordic history
  • 28 Skansen, Main entrance from Djurgårdsvägen (Stockholm/Djurgården). Founded in 1891, Skansen is the world's oldest open-air museum, containing a zoological garden specializing in Nordic fauna, such as moose, reindeer, bear, wolf, lynx and wolverine. It features over 150 historic buildings from previous centuries, from all parts of Sweden. Guides in historic costumes further enhance this attraction, and demonstrate domestic crafts such as weaving, spinning, and glass blowing. The Skansen area is fairly large (700 metres across) with steep slopes and limited public transport (there is a funicular and an escalator to the upper area) so be prepared for long walks.
  • 29 Foteviken Museum, Höllviken, in Vellinge municipality near Malmö. An open-air Viking museum centered around a large Viking settlement reconstruction.    

UkraineEdit

  • 30 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). 19th-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.

United KingdomEdit

The UK has a number of open-air museums, a number of which have 'living history' elements. Not all the museums listed here have re-enactors.

 
Wax candles are home-made at Ulster American Folk Park
  • 31 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.
  • 32 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.    

Later periods (19th century)Edit

United States of AmericaEdit

See also: Early United States history, Old West
 
Covered bridge at Old Sturbridge, Massachusetts

See alsoEdit


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List of open-air and living museums