Last Saturday I visited Plimoth Plantation with a group of genealogy friends and colleagues from the Boston University Genealogy program. Plimoth Plantation is a living history museum modeled after the original colony at Plymouth and is located approximately three miles south of Plymouth center. We were fortunate to have beautiful, clear, crisp autumn weather during our visit.
Our group met at the Visitors Center to view an orientation film before our tour began. We met our tour guide, Jim, who gave a brief lecture on the history of the Plymouth settlement and an overview of our tour and the sites along our visit.
Our first stop was the Wampanoag Homesite, modeled after the native settlement of Patuxet. The re-enactors at the Wampanoag Homesite are of Wampanoag or other Native descent, who wear period costume but speak from a modern perspective. We observed a mishoon, or canoe, burning demonstration and visited a nush wetu, a large bark-covered house with three inside fire pits.
We also witnessed a demonstration of native cookery over an open fire.
Our next stop was the 1627 English Village, where the re-enactors speak in 17th- century English from the 1627 perspective. The village is modeled after the original settlement in Plymouth along Leiden Street.
This modern-day view of Leiden Street in downtown Plymouth is the site of the original Plymouth settlement. The brick house on the left side of the view is on the site of Governor William Bradford's house.
Our tour guide encouraged us to explore the 1627 village on our own. The fort at the top of the hill offered fine views of the settlement.
I visited my ancestor Governor William Bradford's home and had short conversations with Edward Winslow, who was tending the fire, and Juliana Carpenter Morton, sister of Governor Bradford's wife Alice.
Across the street from the Bradford home was the house of Mayflower passenger John Billington, who welcomed our group with tales about the settlement and its inhabitants.
We ended our tour at the Craft Center, viewing various exhibits of 17th-century craftwork.
For additional information about Plimoth Plantation please visit their website at http://www.plimoth.org. For additional information about Plymouth history please visit the Pilgrim Hall Museum website at http://www.pilgrimhallmuseum.org and the Plymouth Antiquarian Society website at http://www.plymouthantiquariansociety.org/. Please visit my Mayflower and Plymouth Colony Reading List blog post for suggestions for additional reading.