Sturbridge Massachusetts

Sturbridge Massachusetts August 2016

After attending the FMCA Rally in West Springfield Massachusetts, we traveled less than an hour to our next camping spot in Sturbridge Massachusetts.  For the first time we are staying in the one place for 3 weeks!  This is what traveling by RV is all about for us – taking the time to explore an area.

Sturbridge Encore Resort

The Sturbridge RV “Resort” is in a great location close to historic Sturbridge and Southbridge Massachusetts.  Old Sturbridge Village looks like a fun place to visit and re-live what life was like in central Massachusetts back in the early 1800’s.

Our arrival was a bit of a disappointment because there were no RV sites that would accommodate our 40′ Lola.  Christine took a tour of the campground where she checked out some sites.  The campsites were too small for us so we stayed in an “overflow” spot the first night.  It was so small we couldn’t even put both of our slides out.  Since we had made reservations almost 3 months in advance that specified the size of our rig it’s surprising that nothing was available.

Getting a permanent spot

The next day an assistant came by and told us that we should move over to an open spot as soon as possible so no one else would get it.  It was a nice pull-through site. We were lucky to get a site that was close to the dog park and away from the lodge and pool where it was quite noisy, especially on the weekends.  We took the camp site, and sure enough once we got parked another rig pulled up and the driver said that the campsite was theirs!  Our new neighbor also mentioned he was originally assigned that camping site and considered moving there.  Obviously there is a need for more staff and organization at Sturbridge.

Facility Review

The pool – laundry – bath house is all together and covered.  It was very warm and musty and the bathrooms were very dirty.  Jeff went back late the next day and the toilets were still disgusting, although the following day they were clean.  We remember the original orientation we attended when we got our Thousand Trails membership back in 1984.  At that time one of the things emphasized was the schedule of bathroom cleanings with the clip board by the door.  That sure wasn’t happening at Sturbridge.  After talking with the staff it is clear the campground is understaffed.

WiFi?

We tried out the Wi-Fi and got a connection, so paid for 2 weeks.  In all, we were able to connect for 3 or 4 hours total during our entire stay.  The office just handed out instructions on how to connect then said that they had nothing to do with the internet connection.  When I contacted TengoInternet the support person verified that the router at Sturbridge was constantly resetting.  We were able to connect later, but the next day it was out again and TengoInternet support said that the site there had a slow internet connection that caused the router to constantly reset.  That’s also why campers are limited to 200 Mb per day!  Nothing more they could do.

We used our AT&T MiFi burning our data plan.

Things to do around Sturbridge Massachusetts

On the plus side of our stay at Sturbridge there are a number of things to do.  It’s close to Connecticut, Rhode Island and Boston, however we stuck close and explored the local area.

We already wrote about Wells State Park,  and the Grand Trunk Rail Trail at Westville Dam.  Then we posted about our wanderings at the Breakneck Brook gravel pit.

More Grand Truck Rail Trail

We explored other sections of the Grand Truck Rail Trail while we stayed at Sturbridge.

Tantiusques

We also visited Lead Mine Hill (Tantiusques) where we saw an old graphite mine where the Indians extracted graphite to use for face paint.  Later the colonists used the graphite for pencils – and the link above explains this.  Ticonderoga No 2 pencils used this material from these mines by Joseph Dixon and son.  Dixon made the pencils in Ticonderoga, NY, hence the Ticonderoga name on them.

American Optical

Jeff visited American Optical – the first optical company in the US.  The effort to make US glasses started in 1826 because William Beecher was not satisfied with the high cost and poor quality of European eye-wear.  By 1905 there were over 2,000 people employed in Southbridge Massachusetts.  The site has some great examples of late 1800 manufacturing buildings.

We had a great time at Sturbridge and immersed ourselves in the local history and are looking forward to moving on to Downstate New York where we will stay in historic Accord.

Happy Trails from the Trippin’ Engles