Monday, October 27, 2014

Plimouth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts

Some time back Susie and I took a mini road trip to Plymouth, Massachusetts. I wanted to see the "Rock" and spend a little time in Burial Hill Cemetery but we didn't see any of the other tourist things such as the Mayflower II or "Plimouth Plantation" -- a working replica of the original 1627 village of Plymouth. Since I wanted to attend a ground-penetrating presentation at Burial Hill Cemetery on Saturday last, we decided to make a day of it.

Late fall is a nice time to visit a place like Plimouth Plantation -- groups are minimal and you don't have to spend your time cheek-by-jowl jostling with others to see or hear what's going on.

Anyway, we left Providence about 9:30 and after a quick 50-minute drive we parked right near the entrance; late autumn is definitely the time to come here.

Our first stop was the visitor center and then it was off to the Wampanoag Village. From the village we took the less-traveled the nature trail along the Eel River to the south entrance to the village.

burning out a log to create a boat

water-logged boats -- we wondered what the story was here

one of the role-players inside the largest long building

no clue as to what this was for
some sort of rack for drying animal skins

along the Eel River
Eel River
south entrance

this end of the village was in pretty sad shape 
lots of vegetables and plants still out in several gardens scattered around the village

the role players certainly came across as genuine
the interiors were impressive with plenty of detail
typical entry

unsure as to what these ovens (?) were used for

there were a few others visiting as well but we often had the houses to ourselves

view of Plymouth Bay from the meeting house watch tower 

view of the palisade from the crafts center
There were few "role-players" in the 1627 village houses and only one outside, yet as the photos above make clear, there were lots of plants still in the gardens. While the role players we did come across seemed eager to engage in discussion about their lives and lifestyle, there was also nothing going on in any of the outdoor hearths or animal pens.

The Wampanoag village was a bit different — much smaller than the village replica of course, and there appeared to be about a half dozen or so villagers performing a variety of tasks, all of which was quite fascinating.

We see no contemporary guides in the pilgrim village to help answer questions outside the scope of interpretative history. Remember, the role players are committed to staying in character so if you want information more relevant to today, say, information on where the village was originally located you're out of luck.

I thought the lack of interpretative signage on the buildings a bit frustrating: something that would have shown the names of inhabitants or use, that sort of thing. It would have been nice to get a more concrete sense of who and what was going on in the many buildings within the palisade.

One question I didn’t ask because I thought of it too late was where were all the privies. . .

On our way back through the visitor center to the car we came across one of the highpoints of the Plantation: the Mooflower:

Next up, lunch in Plymouth and the Mayflower II!

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