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Tea Party Winners: Carla Gade's winner is Becky Dempsey, Andrea Boeshaar's winner Caryl Kane, Gina Welborn's winner Jasmine A., Carrie Fancett Pagels' winners book copy -- Lynda Edwards, teacup and saucer -- Wendy Shoults

Monday, April 21, 2014

Plimoth Plantation: A Walk in History

One of my favorite research sites is Plimoth (an old-fashioned spelling used by Gov. William Bradley) Plantation where the staff dresses - and talks - as if they
were still in the year of 1627. The English immigrants had arrived seven years prior and built the plantation. A self-sufficient colony by that time, it was surrounded by a palisade.

While visiting you can watch the carpenters and blacksmiths at work, or engage the ladies in a discussion about child rearing whilst they feed the chickens. Don't be embarrassed if you walk in on dinner - they are quite used to the intrusion, and don't mind telling you about what they have in their pot or on the table. 

The livestock you see in the pens and at the Nye barn are heritage breeds, and the Devon cattle are beautiful and
considered rare. You'll also find rare breeds of chicken, goats, sheep and swine. Interestingly, in the early years of immigration they did not eat their animals, but kept them for their milk or wool, and subsisted on venison, wild turkey, squirrels and fish.

The immigrants did not refer to themselves as Puritans or Separatists - they felt those were derogatory names - or even pilgrims. They considered themselves Planters. And don't be surprised if you receive a blank look if you ask about cell phone usage or bathrooms. It just wasn't in their vocabulary back then. 

Worship and the Indians are popular topics of conversation, and the Wampanoag Village is within walking distance. There you will find the native people are dressed for the part, but actually are guides that will speak to you from a modern perspective. 

You can enter their dwellings - a wetu, which is a house, or a nush wetu - a long house with three fire pits, or watch the women cook over an open fire. You can learn how to gut a log to build a canoe or admire the toys of the young children at play.

It's interesting to learn how the two cultures lived and how they learned from each other. But while you are there, don't forget to go down to the port and take a tour of the Mayflower II. It is a working model of the original and once again you'll get a firsthand account of the English immigrants and what they lived through to come to the New World. 



There is an array of organized talks and programs, so if you plan to visit, be sure to check their calendar for what is available. 

Can you tell from the pictures it was a drizzly day? It was, but don't be afraid to brave the rain! It meant that we were able to pop in many homes and find the Planters inside and ready to chat - and no crowds!

And don't leave Plymouth without finding The National Monument to the Forefathers, a dedication to the Pilgrims. Here is the address and short directions: 72 Allerton St., Plymouth, MA, Directions:
From Hwy 3/Pilgrims Hwy take exits 6 or 6A onto Samoset St. Drive east one mile, then turn left (north) onto Allerton St.

What's your favorite research site? Does your community have one?





Rebecca's debut novel, A PLACE IN HIS HEART, is a historical romance based on the lives of her 9th great-grandparents, Barnabas and Mary Horton. It releases from Revell in June, 2014.






5 comments:

  1. I love to come to CQ and learn so many fascinating things about our history.
    Thank you for sharing about Plimouth Plantation, I really enjoyed it. Sounds like a great place to visit.
    Blessings, Tina

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  2. Thank you, Mrs. Tina! I love Plimoth Plantation! I hope you get the opportunity to visit soon! Thank you for stopping by!

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  3. This is very timely. We were just talking about planning a trip to Plimouth Plantation this summer. Thank you for sharing with us your favorite research site.

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  4. Plymouth Plantations is a fantastic place to visit. I've been several times, each time learning something new. It's a great historic village for families to come and learn, do, play, and more in a wholesome family friendly environment.

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  5. This looks so cool! I'd love to go there sometime! Thanks for the interesting post, Rebecca!

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