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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 museum 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.
address: Magpie St, Golden Point1851 gold rush town with sixty historically recreated buildings, costumed staff and volunteers.
phone: +61 02 6586 1940address: On Oxley Highway, Wauchope (New South Wales)Very good old timber town of the 1880s set on .
phone: +1 403-395-2212address: near Longview (Alberta)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.
phone: +1 416 667-6295address: 1000 Murray Ross Pkwy, North York (Ontario)
- Doon Heritage Village, Kitchener (Ontario), 22 buildings recreate life in rural Waterloo County in 1914.
phone: +1 519-457-1296address: 1424 Clarke Rd, London (Ontario)
phone: +1 902 733-2280address: 259 Park Service Rd, Louisbourg (Nova Scotia)Village-sized historic French military settlement, destroyed after English conquest and later reconstructed.
phone: +1 403-268-8500address: 1900 Heritage Dr SW, Calgary (Alberta)
phone: +1 705-738-6163address: 85 Dunn St, Bobcaygeon (Ontario)A collection of over 20 historic homes and buildings from 1830 – 1935.
address: near Fredericton (New Brunswick)United Empire Loyalist village.
phone: +1 705 295-6694address: 104 Lang Rd, Keene
phone: +1 709 623-2608 (May-Oct), +1 709 458-2417 (off-season)address: Route 436, Great Northern Peninsula (Newfoundland and Labrador).Archaeological site with reconstructions of three Norse buildings.
address: 2365 Concession Rd 6, GreenwoodDepicts 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.
phone: +1 613-543-4328address: 13740 Hwy 2, Morrisburg (Ontario)Pioneer 1860s village of thirty buildings staffed by skilled tradespersons in costume of the era.
phone: +1 506 726-2600address: 5, rue du Pont, BertrandDepicts 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.
phone: +81 476-95-3333address: 1028, Ryukakuji Sakae-machi Inbagun Chiba, NaritaA reproduction of a samurai-era Japanese town street.
- Hokkaido Pioneer Village, on the outskirts of Sapporo
- 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.
phone: +31 26 357-6111address: Schelmseweg 89, ArnhemA 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.
Open-Air Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Lifephone: +380 44 526 5765address: Krasnoznamennaya street, 1, PyrohivNineteenth-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
address: 2 Tipton Rd, Dudley (England)Outdoor recreation of the local area on , including a coal mine, canal port and rebuilt houses.
address: 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.
address: Castletown, County TyroneHistorical 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.
phone: +44 1470 552 206address: Kilmuir, By Portree, Isle of Skye, IV51 9UEA semi-recreation of a pre-modern Highland village, consisting of single storey cottages and crofts..
United States of America
- 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.
phone: +1 308 832-1181address: 138 E US Highway 6, Minden (Nebraska)28 buildings on , with 12 of those around a green
Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Villagephone: +1 605 996-5473address: 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), re-creation of a Puritan village.
- Prairie Village, Madison (South Dakota)