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Visiting Plimoth Plantation

Plimouth Plantation
HISTORIC SEACOAST TOURS

To them it is forever 1628. The actors may grow and change, but the original characters live on forever in the historic Plymouth recreation. One of the nation's best known outdoor museums does a better job every year of getting to the heart of the men and women who founded Massachusetts Indian neighbors. Following is our quick photo tour on a fall day. And you think your house is small.

 

Plimoth Plantation
PO Box 1620, Plymouth, MA 02362
Open April - Thanksgiving Weekend, 9 - 5
(508) 746-1622


Visit: Official Plimoth Plantation Web Site

It was the perfect time to visit Plimoth Plantation – a dreary drizzling November afternoon. The Puritan settlers were there all the same, working their hardscrabble village farm on the river, locked forever in the year 1627. Somehow, in 50 years of visiting Cape Cod, we had never toured the Plymouth, Massachusetts reconstruction. It doesn’t feel like a reconstruction, of course. It feels wonderfully, hauntingly real.

Plimouth Re-enactorVisitors wander into the dark thatched roof huts, stroll among the Puritan’s sad raised gardens, and chat with carefully trained re-enactors. Great thick volumes have been written about this living museum, but nothing beats being there. Backed by enormous scholarly research, every known detail of the early Puritans – from nails, shingles and costumes, to seeds, animals and language – is on display. There are no trash cans or Coke machines to distract the eye. This is as good as reanimated history gets.

In Plimoth Plantation, the actors rigidly adhere to 17th century rules of dress and manner. They represent authentic "pilgrims", those American founders cloaked in myth and folklore. Kids, especially, are amazed to discover that these are English men and women, newly transported, deeply religious, quirky and earthy folk. William Bradford is there, ready to talk your ear off about politics and religion. Miles Standish still drills his crude little militia. Roosters and goats wander by.

In the reconstructed Wampanoag family settlement nearby the interpreters do not role play. They demonstrate Native skills in authentic garb, but speak freely about their history with white settlers then, and now. We watched a woman grill a cod on an open flame while another family member burned the center of a tree to make a dugout canoe. Inside the bark shelter with its open fire, we found the most comfortable spot on the plantation.

We must go back. But first we need to read up. There are so many questions to ask about the odd courageous people who founded this portion of New England. Other settlers, with different goals and backgrounds founded our New Hampshire coastline. But we know almost nothing about their ways. Here in Plimoth, every Puritan is an expert, and all you have to do is ask. --- JDR

ALSO SEE: Plymouth Wax Museum Tour
 

NHS

Plimoth Plantation

Plimoth Plantation

Plimoth Plantation

Plimoth Plantation

Plimoth Plantation

Plimoth Plantation

Plimoth Plantation

Plimoth Plantation

Plimoth Plantation

Plimoth Plantation

All photos and text by J. Dennis Robinson
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