Saturday, May 30, 2015

Day 6 - Plimouth Plantation

 After our few days up in Vermont we headed back down to Massachusetts and spent the next day in Plymouth visiting the Plimoth Plantation.  Yes it is spelled that way. They took the spelling from the writings of Governor Bradford who was using a phonetic spelling of the word.

First stop was the Wampanoag village where some natives showed us how to burn out a log to make a canoe.

 We saw how the native people would have lived.

Then we headed into the Village which is a recreation of Leyden street. They called it Leyden Street because many of those that came over on the Mayflower came from Leiden, Holland where they had been living.  

The pilgrim people in these houses each represented and acted as their character. Each had been assigned a specific person to be and they were those people talking to us in accents and as if we entered into their everyday life. I didn't realize they were going to speak as if they were actually their character so the first one we talked to I made the mistake and asked him which character he was supposed to be. He looked at me strange and said "I am myself". Once we figured out how this works and asked him his name properly. He told us he was Joseph Rogers

 The man in the blue cap showed us his garden. He told us his name, Francis Cooke, and where he was from. He explained that he was a sepratist from Leiden but had been in England and was from France before that. His wife Hester was french too, but she was still in England with his other children. He brought only his oldest son. The others would join him when they were more settled. He said he had been a weaver in Leiden but here he was just a farmer.

This is Fear Brewster Allerton. She was so much fun to talk to. She was cooking chicken in a dutch oven over the fire while she spoke to us.  She talked a bit about what foods they ate. They were allowed swan and even dear here. Those were forbidden back in England. Those were foods only for royalty. They ate a lot of lobster, which she was not excited about. She said lobster doesn't fill the belly like bread did.

She talked a bit about getting married recently to Isaac Allerton and having two step children. She explained her coming to the plantation aboard the Fortune and not the Mayflower. She had been left in England when the Speedwell took on water and couldn't make the trip.  She was very friendly and at one point we discussed the books she had on her table and one was the bible and one was a book of psalms. They don't sing hymns in her puritan beliefs they only sing the psalms. She asked me what my favorite was. Put on the spot I could only remember the 23rd and the 100.  She handed her book to me and wanted me to sing along with her. She did a solo since I didn't know the tune! plus the words in her book were not the same as the ones I have in my King James version and they were in a rather hard to read font. She joked that my education was a bit behind.

 The houses didn't have ovens in them they had community ovens where they would bake their breads.

 Some historically accurate breeds of cow were tied up in the pen near one of the houses.
 Here is Priscilla Mullens Alden. She too had been recently married to her husband John who was a barrel maker. In her cabin there were tools and such for making barrels.  We didn't get her talking as well as some of the other actors. She told us a bit about herself. She and her husband weren't separatists so were church of England. It was interesting to see how the two groups lived together in the village but had such different views on religion.

 This is a view looking up the street to the meeting house at the top of the hill.

We talked to Governor William Bradford for quite awhile. He explained that he had lost his first wife and had remarried about a year before and they were expecting a child in a few weeks. We asked him about his duties as Governor and he talked to our young girls about what it takes to be a good wife. Evidently 14 was old enough to be married and he was seeing if they were taught the things they needed to know.

As we walked by Fear's house we noticed a different lady inside so we went in to talk to her.
 Here is the chicken Fear had been cooking. It smelled really good.
The woman in the cabin was her mother Mary. She was making a gravy to go on the chicken for her daughter.  She had a whole lot to tell us about the differences between the separatists beliefs and those of the Church of England.

Oh look some sheep too.

We spent a lot of time in this village talking to all the different characters. That was really the best part of the visit. The buildings were interesting and we were amazed by the amount of furniture they houses actually had. Evidently the hold of the ship can transport quite a bit of tables, chairs, and chests. But talking to the people and learning the history this way was very enjoyable and made it much more memorable.

After looking through the gift shop a bit and while the others continued to try to find gifts to take home Sophie and I decided we would head to the cafe and get some fish and chips. We were so hungry and that meal tasted so good.  And the day wasn't over yet. We still needed to head into the city of Plymouth and see the Mayflower II which was docked there as well as Plymouth Rock.

No comments: