Why You Need to Visit Plimoth Plantation Soon

Plimoth Plantation Photos: Welcome To The 17th Century

Plimoth Plantation Photos: Welcome To The 17th Century
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You’re probably used to seeing Plymouth spelled the way it is now, but don’t get caught up in the spelling when you see it as “Plimoth” on road signs in town.

They’re referring to Plimoth Plantation, an accurate recreation of the original 1627 colony which essentially kick-started America.

Founded in 1948, the “living history” museum is the only one of its kind in the region. Educators, dressed in period costumes and well-versed in appropriate dialects, play real Pilgrims and Natives Americans.

The facility’s grounds see about 360,000 visitors each year, but the months of October and November are especially important.

“America’s Hometown” is a special place: it harbors the history of Plimoth Colony, the first New World locale in which people from across the Atlantic decided to raise families. That familial focus is transferred into the museum’s daily operations, with a host of activities suitable for all ages and interactive guides who have studied history from personal accounts.

Of course, Plymouth is also the site of the first Thanksgiving meal, though that fateful day in 1621 is often retold with wildly inaccurate details.

First of all, we know through first-hand accounts that the Pilgrims did not eat turkey on the first Thanksgiving. Their leader, Governor Bradford, decreed the first successful growing season a cause for celebration, and the ruckus caused by such acts of jubilance caught the attention of the nearby Massasoit. It was then that the chief brought over some men, who may or may not have brought offerings of deer, to be greeted at the Pilgrims’ table.

On that table, it was the deer which was served as a main course, not turkey. No sides of mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce either; it was more likely for the Pilgrims to have prepared stews, root vegetables, eel, and maybe some foraged grapes.

The Plantation tries to bring some semblance of accuracy back into Thanksgiving dinners. On the holiday itself, attendees can attend a massive feast which features one of two options: either a meal made entirely out of ingredients the people of that time would have had access to, or a more contemporary selection.

Diners throughout the month of November can learn about 17th century table manners as they don napkins, eat with pewter and woodenware, and listen to costumed Pilgrim interpreters perform ballads of the time.

But the entirety of Plimoth Plantation is not only the recreated colony grounds at 137 Warren Avenue. The Grist Mill at 6 Spring Lane explains how settlers grinded corn into meal using wooden mortars. This reproduction was constructed out of parts from an early 1800s mill in Philadelphia.

While the previously mentioned sites are all meant to be staged portraits of life as it was, the Wampanoag Homesite features folks who still practice many of their traditions in earnest. The grounds are located on the banks of the Eel River and feature different types of traditional Wampanoag tribe home structures, such as the bark-covered houses called nush wetu.

Visitors to the museum throughout the month of November can visit a traditional mishoon (Wampanoag word for “boat”) burning, an ancient practice of hollowing out logs using a burning and scraping techniques.

Whatever parts of the grounds you visit, it is important to consider how much gratitude played a pivotal role in life during the 1600s.

Everybody knows that many lives were lost during the Pilgrims’ first winter in the New World, so when they had their first successful harvest, it was truly a cause for celebration and the giving of thanks.

Food aside, there are so many aspects of modern living which are more bountiful than days of old. It is important to see how the ideals of hope, freedom and gratitude played into both the Pilgrims’ and Wampanoags’ lives. The “living history” at Plimoth Plantation provides the perfect context for this kind of meditation.

Check out their page for a schedule of events surrounding Thanksgiving.

By Adam Forziati

737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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