Friday, July 17, 2015

Is it Plimoth or Plymouth?

Doesn't Sid look happy to be here?

Plimoth Plantation is another piece of history that has been meticulously recreated for the purpose of giving us a peek into the life of our forefathers.  It is a living history center, staffed with authentically costumed actors playing roles of specific individuals that were originally part of the village.

The 17th century village has been built using the same techniques the pilgrims would have used.  The actors go about their business as they would have in 1624, the year represented by the settlement.

The village
Nice view, huh?  I could live there!

A typical house
All the houses were pretty much alike.  A walled off entry, a single room containing an open fire kitchen area, table and chairs for eating or relaxing and a bed with curtains that could be drawn.

A large fence surrounded the entire village and individual fences contained animal lots.

Typical interior

A Pilgrim garden
Notice the rocks around the garden plots.  Not really sure why.

This field was outside the walls of the village and one of the "residents" was working the field with a hoe.

Meeting house
The meeting house was the larges and most carefully built.  It stood on the highest point of the village.

Upstairs of meeting house
Once I climbed to to the upper story of the meeting house, I understood. They could all gather here if under attack and the cannons could be used to defend, if not their homes and goods, their lives.

Some of the "residents"

Also on the property of the Plimouth Plantation is a recreated Wampanoag Homesite.  The Wampanoag Indians were instrumental in helping the Pilgrims survive in the New World.  The peace treaty signed by these two groups lasted for 50 years.  The homesite is staffed by Native people, not actors.  They are dressed and function as their ancestors would have in the 1700s, but they are modern descendants.   

A single family home

A multi-family home

Home interior

A sweat lodge

Making a dug out canoe

Usable dug out canoes
One of the men told us they used these canoes just recently to paddle from Plymouth to Martha's Vineyard in just an hour.

Indian cornfield
Maybe even I could successfully garden this way!

I have to say that this was one of the most enlightening and enjoyable historical sites I've seen so far on this trip.  Even though nothing was "original", the actors were so in character and the buildings so historically accurate that I really felt I learned about what it must have been like back then.  The plantation also had a craft shop where items were being made with 17th century methods and a museum displaying weapons and clothing among other things.  The docents were so knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their subjects - it was a pleasure to talk with them.  If you ever find yourself in Plymouth, Massachusetts with a little spare time, do visit.  You'll be glad you did.

Until next time...

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