Public land since the town's founding and first formally surveyed in 1762, the Common has served many purposes. Militia mustered here and marched to join the New England army outside Boston in April, 1775. Cattle pens once crowded the open field during the annual 19th-century Sturbridge Agricultural Fairs. A three-story shoe factory operated for nearly 50 years against the high banking on which now stands the Joshua Hyde Library. Today, hosting craft fairs, concerts, and outdoor weddings, the Common continues to evolve. The Library, the Civil War Soldiers' Monument, the Town Hall, the Center School, and the Old Burying Ground all occupy Common ground.