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Plimoth Plantation - History
Authors: Marco & Angelo
We own the Candleberry Inn, a boutique bed and breakfast in central Cape Cod. We're glad to share our recommendations on all the great things to explore throughout Cape Cod.
The highway begins at exit 4 off Route 3, a partial interchange which is accessible only from the southbound side from which there is a left exit. Motorists on Plimoth Plantation Highway headed toward Route 3 can enter that highway northbound only. However, motorists may use exit 5 in order to reverse direction and ultimately travel southbound on Route 3. The highway proceeds east, serving Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth Beach and the village of Chiltonville. The highway ends at a special intersection in White Horse Beach and Manomet at Route 3A.
The first segment of Route 3 opened up in 1951 from what is now exit 9 to exit 4 and used Plimoth Plantation Highway temporarily to detour around the old Route 3 in Kingston and Plymouth, now renamed Route 3A, until 1957 when Route 3 south of exit 4 opened and assumed its current alignment. An act naming the two-mile (3.2 km) spur Plimoth Plantation Highway was approved on April 3, 1969, 18 years after the highway had opened.  The act references the highway as being exit 40, the old exit number before the Massachusetts Highway Department renumbered the exit in 1978.
The entire route is in Plymouth, Plymouth County. All exits are unnumbered.
Pre-colonial era Edit
Prior to the arrival of the Pilgrims, the location of Plymouth was a village of the Wampanoag tribe called Patuxet.  The region was visited twice by European explorers prior to the establishment of Plymouth Colony. In 1605, Samuel de Champlain sailed to Plymouth Harbor, calling it Port St. Louis. Captain John Smith was a leader of the colony at Jamestown, Virginia, and he explored parts of Cape Cod Bay and is credited with naming the region "New Plimouth." 
Two plagues afflicted coastal New England in 1614 and 1617, killing between 90% and 95% of the local Wampanoag inhabitants.  The near disappearance of the tribe from the site left their cornfields and cleared areas vacant for the Pilgrims to occupy. 
Colonial era Edit
Plymouth played a very important role in American colonial history. It was the final landing site of the first voyage of the Mayflower and the location of the original settlement of Plymouth Colony. Plymouth was established in December 1620 by separatist Puritans who had broken away from the Church of England, believing that the Church had not completed the work of the Protestant Reformation. Today, these settlers are much better known as the "Pilgrims", a term coined by William Bradford. 
The Mayflower first anchored in the harbor of Provincetown, Massachusetts on November 11, 1620. The ship was headed for the mouth of the Hudson River (which was in the notional territory of the Colony of Virginia at the time, and this was before the establishment of New Amsterdam) but it did not go beyond Cape Cod.  The Pilgrim settlers realized that they did not have a patent to settle in the region, so they signed the Mayflower Compact prior to disembarking.  They explored various parts of Cape Cod and eventually sought a suitable location for a permanent settlement to the westward in Cape Cod Bay. They discovered the sheltered waters of Plymouth Harbor on December 17, and the protected bay led to a site for the new settlement after three days of surveying.
The settlers officially disembarked on December 21, 1620. It is traditionally said that the Pilgrims first set foot in America at the site of Plymouth Rock, though no historical evidence can prove this claim.  They named their settlement "Plimouth" (sometimes spelled "Plimoth") after the major port city in Devon from which the Mayflower ultimately set sail. [ citation needed ]
First Winter Edit
Plymouth faced many difficulties during its first winter, the most notable being the risk of starvation and the lack of suitable shelter. From the beginning, the assistance of Native Americans was vital. One colonist's journal reports: 
We marched to the place we called Cornhill, where we had found the corn before. At another place we had seen before, we dug and found some more corn, two or three baskets full, and a bag of beans. . In all we had about ten bushels, which will be enough for seed. It is with God's help that we found this corn, for how else could we have done it, without meeting some Indians who might trouble us.
During their earlier exploration of the Cape, the Pilgrims had come upon a Native American burial site which contained corn, and they had taken the corn for future planting. On another occasion, they found an unoccupied house and had taken corn and beans, for which they made restitution with the occupants about six months later. 
Even greater assistance came from Samoset and Tisquantum (known as Squanto by the Pilgrims), a Native American sent by Wampanoag Tribe Chief Massasoit as an ambassador and technical adviser. Squanto had been kidnapped in 1614 by a colonist and sold into slavery in Málaga, Spain. With the help of another colonist, he escaped slavery, and returned home in 1619. He taught the colonists how to farm corn, where and how to catch fish, and other helpful skills for the New World. He also was instrumental in the survival of the settlement for the first two years. [ citation needed ]
Squanto and another guide sent by Massasoit in 1621 named Hobomok helped the colonists set up trading posts for furs.  Chief Massasoit later formed a Peace Treaty with the Pilgrims. Upon growing a plentiful harvest in the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims gathered with Squanto, Samoset, Massasoit, and ninety other Wampanoag men in a celebration of thanksgiving to God for their plentiful harvest. This celebration is known today as the First Thanksgiving, and is still commemorated annually in downtown Plymouth with a parade and a reenactment. Since 1941, Thanksgiving has been observed as a federal holiday in the United States.  
Plymouth served as the capital of Plymouth Colony (which consisted of modern-day Barnstable, Bristol, and Plymouth Counties) from its founding in 1620 until 1691, when the colony was merged with the Massachusetts Bay Colony and other territories to form the Province of Massachusetts Bay.    Plymouth holds the unique distinction of being the first permanent settlement in New England, and one of the oldest European settlements in what is now the United States.  
Revolutionary War Edit
During the Revolutionary War, the Plymouth County militia was led by Colonel Theophilus Cotton of Plymouth. News reached Plymouth of the Battles of Concord and Lexington, and Cotton gathered his soldiers and marched on the town of Marshfield where a small British barracks had been established on the estate of Nathaniel Ray Thomas, known today as the Daniel Webster Estate. Cotton's forces surrounded the British troops, but Cotton determined not to fire, allowing the British to escape by water down the Green Harbor River and back to the security of the British forces occupying Boston. 
19th century Edit
In the 1800s, Plymouth remained a relatively isolated seacoast town whose livelihood depended on fishing and shipping.  The town eventually became a regional center of shipbuilding and fishing. Its principal industry was the Plymouth Cordage Company, founded in 1824,  which became the world's largest manufacturer of rope and cordage products. At one point, the longest ropewalk in the world was found on the Cordage Company's site on the North Plymouth waterfront, a quarter-mile (0.4 km) in length. It thrived into the 1960s, but was forced out of business in 1964 due to competition from synthetic-fiber ropes.  The refurbished factory is home to numerous offices, restaurants, and stores, known as Cordage Commerce Center. 
Modern history Edit
Plymouth has experienced rapid growth and development in recent years. It became more accessible to Boston in the early 1970s with improved railroads, highways, and bus routes, and the town's inexpensive land costs and low tax rates were factors in the town's significant population rise, which grew from 18,606 residents in 1970 to 45,608 residents in 1990, a 145% increase in 20 years.  Plymouth has surpassed several Massachusetts cities in population, but it is still officially regarded as a town and continues to be governed by a board of selectmen rather than a mayor.
Plymouth spans several exits on the town's primary highway Massachusetts Route 3. Additional access is possible via an extension to U.S. Route 44 in Massachusetts.
The latitude of Plymouth is 41.95833 and its longitude is −70.66778.   According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 134.0 sq mi (347 km 2 ), of which 96.5 sq mi (250 km 2 ) is land, and 37.5 sq mi (97 km 2 ) (28%) is water.
With the largest land area of any municipality in Massachusetts, Plymouth consists of several neighborhoods and geographical sections. Larger localities in the town include Plymouth Center, North, West and South Plymouth, Manomet, Cedarville, and Saquish Neck.
Plymouth makes up the entire western shore of Cape Cod Bay. It is bordered on land by Bourne to the southeast, Wareham to the southwest, Carver to the west, and Kingston to the north. It also shares a small border with Duxbury at the land entrance of Saquish Neck.  Plymouth's border with Bourne makes up most of the line between Plymouth and Barnstable counties. The town is located roughly 44 miles (71 km) southeast of Boston (it is almost exactly 40 miles (64 km) from Plymouth Rock to the Massachusetts State House) and equidistantly east of Providence, Rhode Island. [ citation needed ]
Located in the Plymouth Pinelands, the town of Plymouth has many distinct geographical features. The town's Atlantic coast is characterized by low plains, while its western sections are extremely hilly and forested. Plymouth contains several small ponds scattered throughout its western quadrant, the largest being the Great Herring Pond (which is partly in the town of Bourne).  A major feature of the town is the Myles Standish State Forest, which is in the southwestern region.  Cachalot Scout Reservation, operated by the Cachalot District of the Narragansett Council of the Boy Scouts of America, lies adjacent to the state forest lands. There is also a smaller town forest, as well as several parks, recreation areas and beaches.
Plymouth has nine public beaches, the largest being Plymouth Beach. Plymouth Beach guards Plymouth Harbor and mostly consists of a three-mile (5 km) long, ecologically significant barrier beach. Clark's Island, a small island in Plymouth Bay, is the only island in Plymouth. It is off the coast of Saquish Neck and has nine summer houses but no year-round inhabitants.
Plymouth has a humid continental climate (Dfb) which is the predominant climate for Massachusetts. Due to its location on the Atlantic Ocean, humidity levels can be very high year-round. Plymouth's coastal location causes it to experience warmer temperatures than many inland locations in New England.  Summers are typically hot and humid, while winters are cold, windy and often snowy.
Plymouth's warmest month is July, with an average high temperature of 80.6 °F (27.0 °C) and an average low of 61.6 °F (16.4 °C). The coldest month is January, with an average high temperature of 38.1 °F (3.4 °C) and an average low of 20.1 °F (−6.6 °C). 
Much like the rest of the Northeastern seaboard, Plymouth receives ample amounts of precipitation year-round. On average, summer months receive slightly less precipitation than winter months. Plymouth averages about 47.4 inches (120 cm) of rainfall a year. Plymouth, like other coastal Massachusetts towns, is very vulnerable to Nor'easter weather systems. The town is sometimes vulnerable to Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms, which infrequently threaten the Cape Cod region during the early autumn months.
|Climate data for Plymouth/Kingston, Massachusetts (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1905–present|
|Record high °F (°C)||70 |
|Average high °F (°C)||41.0 |
|Daily mean °F (°C)||31.4 |
|Average low °F (°C)||21.8 |
|Record low °F (°C)||−19 |
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||4.79 |
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||10.1 |
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||12.2||10.8||12.6||11.8||12.6||12.1||10.9||10.8||10.1||12.2||11.6||11.9||139.6|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||4.7||4.3||3.3||0.2||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.1||2.3||14.9|
|Source: NOAA   |
Source: United States census records and Population Estimates Program data.          
As of the census  of 2010, there were 56,468 people, 21,269 households, and 14,742 families residing in the town by population it was the largest town in Massachusetts. It was also the 21st–largest municipality in the state. The population density was 536.0 inhabitants per square mile (207.0/km 2 ).  There were 21,250 housing units, at an average density of 85.1/km 2 (220/sq mi). The racial makeup of the town was 94% White, 1.8% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.7% Asian, <0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.9% from other races, and 1.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2% of the population. 
There were 21,269 households, out of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.6% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.7% were non-families. 23.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.04.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 24.3% under the age of 20, 10.7% from 20 to 29, 28.8% from 30 to 49, 22.2% from 50 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.4 years.
The median income for a household in the town was $54,677 as of the 2000 census, and the median income for a family was $63,266. [ citation needed ] Males had a median income of $44,983 versus $31,565 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,732. About 4.4% of families and 5.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.1% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.
Plymouth is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a part of the First and Twelfth Plymouth Districts. The town is represented in the Massachusetts Senate as a part of the Plymouth and Barnstable district, which also includes Bourne, Falmouth, Kingston, Pembroke, and Sandwich.  On the state level, primary but shared patrolling responsibility of the town's limited access highways falls upon the Seventh (Bourne) Barracks of Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police. 
On the national level, Plymouth is a part of Massachusetts's 9th congressional district, and is currently represented by William R. Keating. The state's senior (Class I) member of the United States Senate is Elizabeth Warren. The state's current junior (Class II) Senator is Edward Markey. On the local level, the town uses the representative town meeting form of government, led by a town manager and a board of selectmen.  The current town manager of Plymouth is Melissa Arrighi. 
Plymouth has a centralized municipal police force, the Plymouth Police Department.  The town also has a professional fire department, with seven firehouses spread around the town.  There are also six post offices for the town's five ZIP codes, with one in the downtown area, one in North Plymouth, one in Manomet, one in White Horse Beach, one near the Plymouth County Jail, and one near the town forest in "The Village Green" shopping area of The Pinehills.  
The town has a public library, with a branch location in Manomet.  Both libraries are a part of the Old Colony Library Network, which services 28 libraries throughout the South Shore.  Additionally, as a seat of Plymouth County, there are several county facilities located in Plymouth. These include a County farm, the Registry of Deeds, two jails (the Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Plymouth and the Plymouth County Correctional Facility) and the County Courthouse.
Plymouth's major industry is tourism, with healthcare, technical and scientific research, real estate, and telecommunications also being primary industries. [ citation needed ] The largest employer in the town is Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Plymouth has experienced commercial and industrial success, with the downtown area and North Plymouth each becoming commercial centers and an industrial park opening outside of the town center. Colony Place was completed in late 2007, located near the industrial park. It consists of several large retail stores and various chain restaurants, and it contains one of the largest designer outlet malls on the South Shore.  Plymouth has also recently seen the development of several residential projects, among them The Pinehills which consists of 1,000 residential units, two golf courses, a country club, an inn and spa hotel, and a shopping village,  completed in 2010. It is expected to contain 2,877 homes. 
Plymouth operates a large school system, with an enrollment over 8,000 students. The Plymouth School District is one of the largest in the state, operating fourteen schools. This is larger than the Massachusetts average of eight schools.  The school district operates 86 school buses under contract with First Student bus company.
The schools in Plymouth include the Mount Pleasant Preschool, eight elementary schools (Cold Spring, Federal Furnace, Hedge, Indian Brook, Manomet, Nathanial Morton, South and West Elementaries) which generally serve students from kindergarten to fifth grade, two middle schools that serve grades 5–8, Plymouth Community Intermediate School (PCIS) and Plymouth South Middle School, and two high schools, Plymouth North and Plymouth South.  Both high schools play in the Atlantic Coast League, and the two schools share a rivalry with each other. Students who decide to receive a technical education have the option of attending either Plymouth South Technical School or Plymouth North which now offers Technical studies in either Engineering or Facilities management . There were also 120 home educated children in Plymouth as of 2011. [ citation needed ]
There is also a charter school in the town, Rising Tide Charter Public School,  which serves middle and high school-aged students. Two special education schools, the Baird School and the Radius Pediatric School, are located in the town.
The town has two institutions of higher learning. Quincy College has a campus located in Cordage Park. The Plymouth campus opened in 1991, and the college's main campus is in Quincy.  Curry College has a campus at the northern edge of Plymouth Center in the Citizens Bank building. The campus opened in 1994, and the main campus is located in Milton.  While the University of Massachusetts Boston does not have a campus in Plymouth, it offers some courses at another location in Cordage Park. 
Plymouth is home to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth (Jordan Hospital), the largest hospital in the southern region of the South Shore. It is the only major healthcare provider in the town. The hospital is a community medical center serving twelve towns in Plymouth and Barnstable counties. It consists of more than 30 departments, with 150 patient beds.  The hospital also offers a rehabilitation center in The Pinehills region.
While Beth Israel Deaconess – Plymouth Hospital (Jordan Hospital) is the only hospital in Plymouth. South Shore Hospital operates several offices and physician labs in South Pond. South Shore Hospital, in South Weymouth, is the largest hospital in southeastern Massachusetts. 
Plymouth lies along the "Pilgrims Highway" portion of Route 3, which is the major route between Cape Cod and Boston. The town can be accessed from six exits on the highway, which is more than any other municipality along the Pilgrims Highway. Plymouth is also the eastern terminus of U.S. Route 44. The route has changed recently, as a new divided highway section has linked it to Route 3, before heading south and exiting at its old location before terminating at Route 3A, which more closely follows the shoreline and passes through Plymouth Center. Route 80's western terminus is at its intersection with old Route 44. Route 25 goes through a remote section of the town north of Buzzards Bay, but does not have an exit. Finally, the short Plimoth Plantation Highway allows easy access between Routes 3 and 3A, with an exit that allows direct entry to Plimoth Plantation's parking area. The highway is north of Manomet and south of Plymouth Center.
Plymouth is one of two termini of the Kingston/Plymouth Old Colony Line of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's commuter rail, providing non-peak service to Braintree and as far north as Boston's South Station.  The Plymouth MBTA station is near Cordage Park in North Plymouth, along Route 3A.  (The other terminus is in Kingston and has more frequent train arrivals and departures. Its station is behind the Kingston Collection.) No other railroad lines pass through the town.
There is a seasonal ferry to Provincetown and several other excursion lines that offer cruises of Plymouth Bay and Cape Cod Bay. The ferry is operated by Capt. John Boats and offers one round trip daily from June to September. The ferry leaves from the State Wharf in Plymouth Center.  In addition to the ferry, Plymouth Harbor offers service for harbor excursions, whale watching tours, and deep sea fishing.
The Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Company offers scheduled service to Logan Airport, downtown Boston, Hyannis, and Provincetown. Buses can be boarded at the commuter parking lot at exit 5 off Route 3, behind the McDonald's rest stop.  The Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA) operates public transportation buses known as the Plymouth Area Link (PAL) throughout much of Plymouth and Kingston. 
The town is home to the Plymouth Municipal Airport, which lies on the border between Plymouth and Carver. Founded in 1931, it offers scheduled service to Nantucket, as well as private service. The airport features a local restaurant and gift shop, but does not have an on-site traffic control tower. 
Barnstable Municipal Airport, in Hyannis, offers additional scheduled carrier service. [ citation needed ] The airport offers scheduled flight services to Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Boston and New York City.  It is approximately 30 mi (48 km) from Plymouth.
The nearest national and international airport is Logan International Airport in Boston, roughly 43 mi (69 km) away. T.F. Green Airport, a state airport located in Warwick, Rhode Island, is about 63 mi (101 km) away.
Plymouth was the home of the New England Collegiate Baseball League's Plymouth Pilgrims, who played their home games at Forges Field 1.
Promoted as America's Hometown, Plymouth is a tourist destination noted for its heritage. The town is home to several notable sites.
Plymouth Rock Edit
Plymouth Rock is one of Plymouth's most famous attractions. Traditionally, the rock is said to be the disembarkation site of the Pilgrims. The first identification of Plymouth Rock as the actual landing site was made in 1741 by 94-year-old Thomas Faunce, whose father had arrived in Plymouth in 1623, three years after the arrival of the Mayflower.  The rock is located roughly 650 feet (200 m) from where the initial settlement was thought to be built.
Plymouth Rock became very famous after its identification as the supposed landing site of the Pilgrims, and was subsequently moved to a location in Plymouth Center. During the process, the rock split in two. It was later moved to Pilgrim Hall and then to a location under a granite Victorian Canopy, where it was easily accessible and subject to souvenir hunters. The rock was finally moved back to its original location along the town's waterfront in 1921. "Plymouth Rock", a large boulder, now sits under the historic Plymouth Rock Portico. The Neo-Classical Revival structure was designed by the highly influential architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White, designers of the Boston Public Library, Rhode Island State House and the former Pennsylvania Station in New York City. Built in 1921 the existing granite portico replaced an earlier Gothic Revival style monument designed by Hammatt Billings (who also designed the National Monument to the Forefathers). In 1970 the Plymouth Rock Portico was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The rock and portico are the centerpiece of Pilgrim Memorial State Park. The park is the smallest park in the Massachusetts state forest and park system, but is also the most heavily visited. 
Plimoth Plantation Edit
Plimoth Plantation is a living history museum located south of Plymouth Center. It consists of a re-creation of the Plymouth settlement in 1627, as well as a replica of a 17th-century Wampanoag homesite. The museum features role playing tour guides, as well as a large crafts center. The Nye Barn, a replica of a 1627 farming homestead in Plymouth, is also part of the museum. The farm features several animals that would have been found in Plymouth Colony, but are very rare in modern times. 
The museum opened in 1947 under the guidance of Henry Hornblower II, a wealthy Boston stockbroker who grew up in Plymouth.  The museum originally consisted of the Mayflower II and a "First House" exhibit in Plymouth Center, but was expanded into a large fortified town and a Native American village by 1960.
Mayflower II Edit
The Mayflower II is a full-size replica of the Mayflower, the ship which brought the Pilgrims to Plymouth in 1620. It is located at the State Pier in Plymouth Center. The ship is open as a museum about the Pilgrims' historic voyage from Plymouth, England, and is considered a faithful replica of the original Mayflower.  It is officially a part of Plimoth Plantation.
The ship was built in Brixham, England in 1956, and sailed to Plymouth across the Atlantic Ocean in 1957 by famous mariner Alan Villiers.  The ship is still seaworthy, and routinely takes voyages around Plymouth Harbor. In the year 2007, the Mayflower II celebrated the 50th anniversary of its arrival in Plymouth. 
Other sites Edit
Historic interest Edit
In addition to the Plymouth Rock Memorial, several other monuments were constructed in celebration of Plymouth's tricentennial. These include statues of Massasoit and William Bradford, and a sarcophagus containing the bones of the 51 Pilgrims who died in the winter of 1620, which rests atop Cole's Hill.
Pilgrim Hall Museum, founded in 1824, is the oldest continually operating museum in the United States.  It is located in Plymouth Center. Plymouth also features the National Monument to the Forefathers, which was dedicated in 1889.  Standing at 81 feet (25 m) tall, it is the tallest free-standing solid granite monument in the United States.  Other notable historical sites include the Plimoth Grist Mill, a working replica of an original mill built in 1636 (also officially a part of Plimoth Plantation), as well as the 1640 Richard Sparrow House, the oldest house still standing in Plymouth. At the edge of the town on Route 80 is Parting Ways, a 94-acre (380,000 m 2 ) site that is notable for containing the remains of four former slaves who fought in the American Revolutionary War and their families.  Other historic houses include the Mayflower House Museum.
There are 21 locations in Plymouth that appear on the National Register of Historic Places, including Plymouth Rock, Cole's Hill, and Pilgrim Hall.
Parks and recreation Edit
Myles Standish State Forest, the Commonwealth's second largest state forest, is located in Plymouth. It is a camping and hiking destination, and contains 16 freshwater lakes and ponds.  It is home to Pinewoods Dance Camp, a traditional dance and music camp listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Ellisville Harbor State Park, located in the extreme southern portion of the town, contains a natural beach inside Cape Cod Bay.  Plymouth is also home to 11 public and private golf courses, which include Squirrel Run, Pinehills, Plymouth Country Club, and Southers Marsh, a course that runs through a series of actively maintained cranberry bogs.
|Name||Born||Died||Notability and relation to Plymouth|
|James Warren||1726||1808||president of the Massachusetts provincial legislature and prominent colonial-era politician.|
|Elkanah Watson||1758||1842||American Revolution patriot, associate of John Brown (Rhode Island politician), Travel literature writer|
|Aaron Matson||1770||1855||a United States Representative from New Hampshire, born in Plymouth |
|Thomas Davee||1797||1841||United States Representative from Maine, born in Plymouth |
|Oliver Ames, Jr.||1807||1877||railroad official, former resident of Plymouth |
|John Bartlett||1820||1905||publisher of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, born in Plymouth |
|Frederic Augustus Lucas||1852||1929||Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences museum director, author of many scientific papers, born in Plymouth |
|Violet Mersereau||1892||1975||silent film actress, died in Plymouth |
|Beatrice Roberts||1905||1970||film actress|
|Glen Gray||1906||1963||saxophonist, leader of the Casa Loma Orchestra, born in Plymouth |
|Henry Picard||1906||1997||Professional golfer, won The Masters Tournament|
|Pee Wee Hunt||1907||1979||trombonist and co-founder of the Casa Loma Orchestra, died in Plymouth |
|Ken Coleman||1925||2003||sportscaster, died in Plymouth |
|Dick Gregory||1932||2017||comedian, activist and nutritionist, resident of Plymouth |
|Dick Waterman||1935||blues promoter and photographer, born in Plymouth|
|Peter J. Gomes||1942||2011||preacher and theologian at Harvard Divinity School, resident of Plymouth |
|Nancy Darsch||1951||2020||WNBA Coach, current resident of Plymouth|
|Warren G. Phillips||1954||Inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame in 2010, taught in Plymouth|
|Michael Sweet||1963||Lead vocalist and lead and rhythm guitars in Stryper. Resident of Plymouth.|
|Chris Alberghini||1965||television producer-writer, born in Plymouth |
|Amy Lynn Baxter||1967||adult film star and nude model, born in Plymouth  |
|Gary DiSarcina||1967||former shortstop for the California Angels and manager of the single-A team Lowell Spinners, currently resides in Plymouth.|
|David Chokachi||1968||actor, born in Plymouth.  Most known for roles in Baywatch, Witchblade, and Beyond the Break.|
|Jamie P. Chandler||1977||political commentator and author, born in Plymouth |
|Dave Farrell||1977||bassist with Linkin Park, born in Plymouth |
|Chris Raab||1980||Television personality, member of the CKY Crew (Viva La Bam and Jackass).|
Since 2001, Plymouth has shared a twin-city status with: Plymouth, Devon, United Kingdom.  In addition, since 1990, Plymouth has shared a sister-city status with Shichigahama, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. 
Living history in America’s most historic attraction: Plimoth Plantation brings the seventeenth century to life
Of the living history sites I’ve visited, none capture the imagination like Plimoth Plantation. Plimoth Plantation feels real, for aside from the visitors, there are no traces of modern life. There are no signs, no artifacts behind glass cases, no areas roped off. This is truly living history, as the interpreters never leave character, and are busy going about the day to day tasks which would have occupied the time of the earliest settlers of the colony.
Plymouth has undergone many spellings throughout the years, and one of the earliest was Plimoth, hence the peculiar spelling. The idea for the museum was the brainchild of Henry Hornblower II, who began the project in 1947, on the shore of Plymouth Bay where the Mayflower II is now docked, and a part of the exhibit. Since there are no structures dating to the time of the pilgrims, Hornblower settled on the idea of recreating the village a couple miles up the road, on terrain which approximates that of the original site.
View of The Village and Plymouth Bay from the Fort, 1627 English Village, Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Now known as the 1627 English Village, it is the living heart of the complex. You can watch the inhabitants build and repair their homes using techniques from the period, as well as cooking, caring for their livestock, working the crops and relaxing, just as their counterparts would have nearly four hundred years ago. The re-enactors are friendly and approachable, always asking where you hail from, and acting appropriately confused when you reply with a place name which would have been unfamiliar in their day.
Noticing a young couple holding hands, one of the interpreters simply shook his head, and explained how lucky they were not to live here. Such public displays of affection were frowned upon by the governor, he explained, and would likely have resulted in a “striping,” or public lashing. Not to mention the public humiliation.
Another told of his theory on beer, and why one shouldn’t drink water. “You can’t eat earth”, he reasoned. “Instead you plant seeds in the earth, and from the earth springs food”. “Fire will kill you,” he went on, “but you can cook crops which are inedible, and it makes them edible.” He then further explained, “so it is with water. Often it’s not fit to drink, but you add the crops from the earth, and heat it with fire, and from that you get beer, which is wonderful to drink.”
Costumed Male Pilgrim Interpreter Eating Sausages, 1627 English Village, Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Others will tell of the difficulty of life here, and the losses that the colonists went through in the early years. Many have lost husbands, wives and children. Some left loved ones back in Europe. Some are awaiting the arrival of spouses and children whom you know will never arrive. In short, those interpreting the history are more than tour guides, and more than actors. They bring the history of the plantation, and most importantly, the lives of the people to life. The sights, the sounds and the smell of the place is that of the seventeenth century, and it is rare is it that you can find that here in the twenty-first century.
The layout of the village itself is based on the historical data collected from the archeology and writings of the original settlers. Leydon Street is a dirt track leading up the hill to the fort, which gives a panoramic view of the village below and Massachusetts Bay beyond.
One phrase I heard time and again at Plimoth Plantation. When someone is asked what they did before they came here, it always ends with variations of the same statement. But I’m a farmer now. We’re all farmers here. Which was true. There was no time nor need for finer skills. At Plimoth it was all about survival, which meant getting the crops in the ground, seeing to the harvest, caring for the livestock, and keeping a roof over their heads. There was no need for printers, decorative artisans, merchants. It was all about the day-to-day survival in a harsh and unforgiving wilderness. Sewing was more utilitarian that art, and seemingly was one chore that never ended. The interpreters take part in all these tasks, including caring for the livestock, in a way which brings visitors, particularly young ones into the process. It’s not unusual to see school age children pressed into service to haul wood, hoe or help drive a cow to its pen.
Wampanoag Interpreter and Child in Traditional Native American Dress Cooking Over A Fire. Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth County, Plymouth, Massachusetts
The settlement of Plimoth Plantation would never have survived those first years without the help of the native Americans. The Wamanoag Homesite allows you to see what life is like in a traditional Wampanoah home, watch traditional native Amercan cooking techniques, and learn how a canoe was dug out of a tree. Unlike the English Village, the Wampanoag homesite residents aren’t in character, but are in traditional dress. They are just as willing to interact with visitors, but on a modern day person to person basis, which is a great way to find yourself back in the twentieth century after the English village, as well as learning the story of their people, and the coming of the Europeans from a native American point of view.The stories are far more effective told in a long house, sitting around the fire on a fur rug.
Plimoth Plantation also encompasses the Mayflower II, on the water in Plymouth itself, just down from the infamous rock. Plimoth Plantation worked with the builder, Warwick Charlton, in Devon England to recreate the Mayflower, the ship that brought the pilgrims to the new world. Built in Brixham, England at the at the Upham Shipyard, the ship sailed to the U.S in April of 1957. The Mayflower II is open for tours, and gives the visitor a feel for what life was like in the cramped quarters of the ship on the original 66 day journey.
And of course there’s the gift shop, one of the nicer and most complete that I’ve come across. With a full range of wares, for the kids, adults, native American products, books, cooking and things for the home, it’s easy to spend an hour or more wandering. I recommend the fudge. Rocky Road to be precise.
If you visit Plimoth Plantation, and you really should, beware the month of November. In addition to people naturally having their curiosity piqued around Thanksgiving, it’s also the time of year when school children of the area are studying the Pilgrims and the founding of the Plymouth Colony. Be sure to bring your children repellent, or avoid this month altogether. Inside the homes you’ll find fairly cramped spaces, and Plimoth begs for the opportunity to interact with the re-enactors one-on-one.
Then again, it really doesn’t matter when you go. Even with swarms of children and adults snapping pictures, Plimoth Plantation works. Perhaps it’s the commitment of the people who bring the place to life, to ignoring the twenty-first century, that allows us to as well.
Two Costumed Male Pilgrim Interpreters Tending Livestock, 1627 English Village, Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts
HISTORY IS SERVED
Gov. William Bradford positions himself in the middle of Nye Barn at Plimoth Plantation. Outside, winds howl and rain beats in near-horizontal sheets against the muddy paths as he welcomes guests to the re-creation of the 1621 harvest feast--the only one attended by both Pilgrims and natives and known later as the first Thanksgiving.
At 35 the governor, played by Christopher Hall, seems young to be running Plimoth Plantation. He seats himself at the head table on a "great chair," which is slightly more elevated than the three-legged chairs on which sit the church elder William Brewster and his wife, Mistress Mary Brewster.
Bradford holds forth in front of a table full of English linens handblown glasses pewter cups, plates and chargers and pottery bowls. The servants and children bring the food--fowl from the Pilgrims and deer from the natives--and curtsy or bow to the head of the table first. As the platters go around, to both costumed Pilgrims and contemporary guests, Mistress Brewster (Lisa Walbridge) pulls off a piece of rabbit with her hand. Delighted with the array, she announces, "Some number of goodly meats, from king's meat to that which we feed our dogs. We are doubtful we shall eat this way again for a year."
Plimoth Plantation, a living history museum, is peopled by costumed "interpreters" who speak early 17th Century dialect and portray colonists who really lived in Plimoth. Working from documented biographical information, the interpreters have a sound feel for daily life in the new colony, and an ability to make educated guesses about anything not chronicled. As they interact with visitors, they chat about fleeing to Holland for religious refuge, crossing the sea for 66 days, leaving older children at home, and the terrible failures that ensued when they planted England's finest seeds in New England's unreceptive soil.
The first Thanksgiving was not held in a barn, of course, but outside, and neither were its participants as sweet-smelling as Gov. Bradford and Mistress Brewster. Nor is the real meal recorded anywhere. This re-creation menu has been cooked up (literally) by historians, headed by Kathleen Curtin, Plimoth's foodways manager.
English harvest traditions
What historians actually have access to is skimpy. There are two brief descriptions written by Pilgrims, and there are various chronicles of English life before the crossing. English harvest feasts were commonplace in the early 17th Century.
The 1621 feast, which included 50 Europeans (all who remained of the 100 who had landed) and 90 native guests, lasted for three days. "The event occurred between Sept. 21 and Nov. 11, 1621," writes James Baker, Plimoth vice president of research, "with the most likely time being around Michaelmas (Sept. 29), the traditional time."
Plimoth's re-creation feast boasts geese roasted before open fires of pine wood, rabbit (called "coney") fricasseed with herbs, plenty of lobsters, a savory Indian corn pudding and a sweetened corn pudding with "whorlberries" (a wild berry), roast venison with mustard sauce, boiled turkey "with a bellyful of herbs," a brace of ducks, a dish of fruit and Dutch cheese (carried on the ship), a whole cod "seethed," or boiled, with onions and vinegar, and finally, stewed pumpkin ("pompion" to the Pilgrims).
What the original feast did not include were three ingredients that the English considered necessary to any meal. "Not a drop of beer, scarce butter, no bread," explains Mistress Brewster.
That first Thanksgiving meal was cooked by the four married women who survived the first winter, along with daughters and both male and female servants. "The whole town had to be pulled together," says Plimoth's Curtin. "Don't forget, there were 90 guests."
Fish was plentiful. Cod became the common food most people ate, and though lobsters were just beginning to become known on English tables, the Pilgrims found them in great quantity in the new land.
Five deer presented to the Pilgrims by King Massasoit and his men were stewed or roasted over open fires, turned frequently, then presented with mustard sauce. "Venison is cold and dry by its nature," Mistress Brewster reminds a visitor, "and mustard is hot and dry. The sauce has a goodly amount of vinegar." She dips the venison in the sauce, she explains, to balance the humors, or the disposition.
Though 90 natives attended the original feast, Linda Coombs, director of the Wampanoag Indian Program at Plimoth, says that Native Americans mourn on Thanksgiving Day.
"The fact is, Native Americans have paid and still pay a heavy price so that others can pursue the American dream," she says. According to Native American custom, Coombs says, there have always been thanksgivings for crops, and celebrations for green corn, the harvest and planting.
Coombs and other Native Americans maintain that Massasoit attended the first feast because of politics or protocol. Though the Europeans tried to establish an annual event, the Wampanoags had their own traditional ways of giving thanks and never joined in the feasting again.
Hard times at Plimoth Plantation
The ancestors. Who were they and what did they want? John Winslow (d. 1673 or 1674), for example. He arrived in America in 1621, a year after the Mayflower and a bit too late for the first Thanksgiving. What did he want?
Just now he said he wanted me to drape my napkin across my shoulder. He’s materialized behind my chair, his face full of Puritan severity, his accent Jacobean-era West Midlands. My napkin is in my lap, as is my phone, which I’ve been staring into for I’m not sure how long. This is impolite in any social setting, and especially at a 17th-century harvest feast.
’Tis correct for a man to array his napery thusly — I’m paraphrasing — ’twould likewise be correct to leave off the moody nether-table fiddling, which looketh arrant strange.
I’m paraphrasing because I’m on the grounds of Plimoth Plantation, a museum of living history in Plymouth, Massachusetts. (The “Plimoth” in the name derives from the “Plimoth” in the writings of the Colony’s second governor, William Bradford (d. 1657), which predate standardized spelling.) I’ve been granted interviews with three employees and told that, apart from these, I nnot quote” any other employee, though it will be 𠇏ine” for me to “reflect” on my “overall experience.” This directive was issued by the museum’s friendly, intermittently solicitous communications rep, who didn’t love it when I told him I𠆝 already found some pilgrims on Facebook and sent them messages asking if they𠆝 like to talk. I𠆝 wanted to do a nice Thanksgiving piece about a place I𠆝 first visited in the third grade. I thought it would be simple. But little about history is simple, and the same may be said about history museums, or at least about this one.
An interpreter prepares fritters in her one-room house at Plimoth Plantation in 2003. Getty/Michael Springer
I found Bridget Fuller (d. circa 1667) on Facebook. Rather, I found the woman portraying Fuller on Facebook, but here she is Bridget, in a bonnet and petticoat, about to make an announcement from the little mic-and-amp set-up beside the fireplace. I and the hundred or so other guests have gathered in a bright function hall inside the museum’s 20th-century visitor center. We’ve all bought tickets ($48 with a membership, $68 without) for what the website promises will be a “savory journey into the past.” Bridget wants us to know that our pewter flatware is lead free, and that our places have been set with spoons but not forks because forks are what Italians use to shovel hay, and that the “stew𠆝 pompion” has been prepared with vinegar, so as to trick the palate by approaching the savor of apples, of which this strange land is sadly bereft.
Plimoth is a 21st-century institution, with 21st-century issues, one of which is a labor dispute 70 of the museum’s 150 employees unionized with the United Auto Workers last December amid complaints of substandard working conditions. This might explain why so few at the museum seem eager to talk to me. After the communications rep heard about my Facebooking, the Facebook pilgrims stopped responding, though not before one wrote to say that my messages — which were objectively courteous — had caused some people to feel 𠇌reeped out.”
Now that I think about it, I can’t remember if my class trip to Plimoth happened in third grade or second. Like memory, history is fissured and distorted and partial. Why view these colonials as our American ancestors? Couldn’t that label be applied to every person who ever lived on the fat middle-third of the continent? How many in that multitude could have ever imagined or wanted anything like this? How did we get here, and where are we? We are two-and-a-half miles up the road from Plymouth Rock, where, the story goes, America began.
It was late October, 2017, and it was late October, 1624. It was before the feast and Facebook and my first exchange with the communications rep. I𠆝 stepped into the museum’s English Village, past the two-story, cannon-mounted fort, and found Barbara Standish (d. 1659) outside her thatched-roofed, daub-walled, dirt-floored home, hewing tinder. “I’m a writer from the future,” I announced, and tried to give her a slip of paper with my email. “Maybe, when you get to the future, you might want to talk about your work.”
She didn’t take the paper. She was vexed by sundry travails, and hoped it would soon please God to make her a landowner. I bade her farewell, and continued down the Village’s lone street, peering in and around its dozen or so squat houses. In the 1620s, the Plymouth pilgrims didn’t dress — as they are commonly shown to — in drab, black-and-white garments. The Plimoth pilgrims don’t dress this way either. As is the case with everything in the Village, the clothes are meticulously researched, and as accurate as that research permits. The pilgrims’ colorful, arcanely styled coats and blouses and gowns look worked in, which they are. The pilgrims aren’t only here to chat. They tend gardens, and cook on open fires, and patch flawed ditches.
Visitors walk along Plimoth&aposs main street in July 2017. Getty/Boston Globe
That afternoon, the school groups had all already left. (The museum receives an average of 1,500 visitors each day, of which group tours account for about a third.) I was one of only about five or six guests in the Village. This didn’t diminish the pilgrim’s enthusiasm. They do not break character, and seem perpetually garrulous, as if never quite able to dam up great reservoirs of fact-dense talk. I was told of Charles’s attempt to woo the Spanish Infanta, of the beheading of Sir Walter Raleigh, of disagreeable seasons in Holland, of money squabbles with Merchant Adventurers, and of dear loves languishing across the wide and not infrequently ruinating sea.
A historical interpreter is an “instrument to accessing the past,” according to Richard Pickering, the museum’s deputy director and an occasional interpreter. The aim of the interpretive act, he said, is to stimulate a visitor to discover, through the shared contemplation of history, some profound private insight. At Plimoth, he said, “you’re not just watching other people as if they’re part of a zoo display.”
Many interpreters have advanced degrees in history, museum studies, or education. Others are actors. Some have no relevant professional experience. After they’re hired, they’re given a binder of primary sources, genealogical charts, and all manner of 17th-century Anglo-American esoterica. Each new pilgrim is also trained in the accent of the English settler he or she has been assigned to interpret. After about two weeks of off-site training, new hires are sent to the Village. There, they don’t act scripted scenes, or attempt to improvise drama. The goal is to connect.
The museum was founded in 1947. Several thousand years ago, the Wampanoag’s ancestors settled in the region, which they called Patuxet. They used a hilly, ample stretch of land by the Eel River and the Eel River Pond as their summer retreat. By the middle of the 20th century, that land belonged to the Boston Hornblowers, who used it for the same nominal purpose. It was here that young Henry “Harry” Hornblower II nurtured a “teenage dream” to create an exhibit that would “show” the lives of Plymouth’s earliest English settlers. In 1945, his father invested $20,000 in this dream. A decade later, Harry’s grandmother left him in her will the 140 acres that the family used as a summer retreat. Today, that land comprises Plimoth Plantation.
In time, the museum’s mission has evolved. Until the 1960s, the Village was a collection of neat homes fronted by decorative gardens, inhabited by inaccurately attired mannequins. By the end of the 1960s, the museum had embraced the concept of “living history,” and the Village was stripped of anything that wouldn’t have been found inside its palisades in the 1620s. The mannequins were replaced and interpreters were hired. Because this was the s, some of these interpreters were hippies. One Mayflower descendant, on entering a lavishly detailed model of his family’s first New World residence to discover some dozing Phil Lesh-lookalike, blasted off an irate letter to the management: “Get rid of the realism, so-called, and give people some ideals to live up to.”
In the decades that followed, the museum has sought to achieve greater and more encompassing degrees of realism. Much of its effort has focused on telling a more inclusive story. Plimoth’s 1947 articles of incorporation stated that museum’s mission was to “serve as a memorial to the Pilgrim Fathers,” whose lives helped shape the modern world. It wasn’t until 1972 that the museum entered a significant partnership with the local Native American community.
Visitors listen to an interpreter at the Wampanoag Homesite. Getty/Boston Globe
Today, beyond the English Village, about a hundred yards down a wooded path, sits the Wampanoag Homesite, a similarly elaborate re-creation of a 17th-century Wampanoag settlement. The Homesite features three homes (wetus), the newest of which, framed in cedar and wrapped in bark, is claimed to be the largest Native American dwelling in New England. At the Homesite, there is no role-playing. The staff, who are all Wampanoag or members of another Native American nation, speak as themselves, and wear traditional dress and practice traditional crafts. During one visit, one of the staff showed me how to use a controlled fire to hollow a felled tree to make a long boat called a mishoon. He told me that, before the Mayflower, one of his tribal ancestors paddled out from a nearby beach in a ship like this to say hello to Samuel de Champlain.
Plimoth not only interprets and depicts history, but also participates in history, and is stirred by currents of social, political, and economic change. I spoke on the phone with a former pilgrim named Kim Crowley, who worked at the museum for two years, and left before the start of this season. She said that, during a heat wave in the summer of 2016, the air conditioning stopped working in the Village break room, and that management didn’t fix it. She said the pipes below the Village road needed to be fixed, and weren’t repaired sufficiently, and as a result sometimes the break room was without water. She said pilgrims were hired at minimum wage (currently $11/hour in Massachusetts), and often worked at will and without clear job descriptions.
Crowley also said that, at times, there were fewer than ten staff working in the Village, which was about half of what would have been standard a decade prior. Crowley said that pilgrims are charged with intense, potentially dangerous tasks, and are often swarmed with visitors, and that there is pressure from management to remain at or near an assigned area, and that sometimes it was difficult to step away to use the bathroom. “We work in borderline dangerous conditions,” an interpreter named Kate Moore told the The Boston Globe in August. “One of our retirees has stumbled several times, brought it to the attention of management and was quite vocal about it, and lo and behold, he didn’t get asked back this season.”
In spite of these complaints, Crowley told me she loves the museum, and that it was this love that, around the beginning of 2015, prompted some employees to explore the idea of forming a union. Records filed with the Department of Labor show that, prior to the unionization vote in November of last year, the museum retained a firm called LRI Consulting. According to Crowley, LRI’s consultant held obligatory ptive audience” meetings in which he — to borrow the language of that firm’s engagement letter — attempted to educate museum employees on the 𠇍isadvantages of unions.” The records filed with the Department of Labor reflect two payments from the museum to LRI during this period ($29,730.58, $11,280.01). The Plimoth union was certified last December. Union and management continue to negotiate, and museum officials repeatedly told me that they are doing so in good faith. The museum has also stated that it “strongly disagrees with the union’s specific assertions” about working conditions, and that a structural engineer has inspected the Village and deemed it safe.
Stephen Brodeur, the chair of Plimoth’s Board of Trustees (day job: CEO of Comlink Data he’s also the stepson of Henry Hornblower), recognizes that paying interpreters to interpret history is expensive. He gave me a brief tour of the terrain during a phone conversation: The museum is doing well, he said, by which he means it’s doing better than it was ten years ago, when things looked less healthy. Plimoth is a true non-profit its revenues match its expenses. Last year, these were about $9 million. Given these constraints, Brodeur said, it’s imperative to realistic about resources.”
It’s also imperative, Brodeur said, to 𠇋uild the philanthropic base.” The museum has mounted a $17 million capital campaign, of which Brodeur estimated the museum has already raised $13 million. Plimoth’s endowment is relatively small, which forces it to rely more heavily on ticket sales. Brodeur acknowledged that many museums, Plimoth included, are grappling with lower rates of attendance. In 2016, Plimoth received about 350,000 visitors. Thirty years ago, in what he referred to as the museum’s attendance heyday, it attracted nearly half a million visitors in one summer.
Plimoth’s challenges are not without precedent. In June, Colonial Williamsburg terminated 71 employees and outsourced management of its commercial operations. In an open letter, its president wrote that Williamsburg’s goal was to 𠇌ontinue to tell America’s enduring story,” the story that 𠇌onnects us,” but that it could not do so unless it first became financially stable. Declining attendance had become a major problem, and a major reason for this problem, according to Williamsburg’s president, was 𠇌hanging times and tastes.”
Taylor Stoermer, a lecturer at Johns Hopkins and Colonial Williamsburg’s former chief historian, said he believes museums of living history are losing out to more accessible learning alternatives, such as documentaries and the internet. He said that almost every major American museum of this kind was founded within a few years of the end of World War II, when people were eager for new places to drive to on road trips. Today, the idea of driving somewhere to learn something seems quaint. As Brodeur said, ts are free.” I𠆝 add that they are also everywhere.
Inside a typical home on the Plantation. Getty/Christian Science Monitor
In a new world, Plimoth is searching for “new ways to connect,” according to Brodeur. It now styles itself, in part, as a hearth of the community. The museum is available for weddings. It has a small cinema, and shows first-run independent movies. It’s been used as a filming location for Top Chef, and The Chew. It would like to find a way, Brodeur said, to make its 𠇌ontent” more “transportable.”
Taylor Stoermer told me American history is being “weaponized,” and that institutions like Plimoth can supply “shields.” They can dispel myths, and inspire a passion for truth, and make the abstract concrete and comprehensible. Of course, to do these things, a museum must attract visitors. Stoermer said museums are wary of causing offense, and that there is pressure to avoid subjects that might challenge a patron’s 𠇌omfort level.” It’s easier to 𠇏ocus on the fun stuff.” As Pickering said, “We’re all trying to live in a world of changing entertainment dollars.”
Last year, on a hill above the center of the town of Plymouth, archeologists discovered evidence of the original English settlement. They found ceramics, animal bones, ammunition, and unique soil, the color of which indicated the vanished presence of centuries-old wooden posts. Two locals told me that, in about the same place, some of the town’s homeless have set up a makeshift camp. Many are victims of the region-wide heroin epidemic, the evidence of which, these locals told me, is becoming increasingly difficult to miss. If the archeologists’ positioning is accurate, and if the locals’ account is right, it’s likely that the spot Myles Standish (d. 1656) selected for Plymouth’s first fort is now littered with used needles and empty bags of junk.
Plymouth Rock. Getty/Christian Science Monitor
At the base of the hill lies Plymouth Rock, which is smaller than everyone seems to expect. It rests in the sand, enclosed within an odd chamber open to the sea but penned in by metal bars. The rock’s face has been chiseled with .” Nearby is the empty landing reserved for the Mayflower II. A reproduction of the original, it was built in England and sailed to Plymouth in 1957, where it was greeted by then-Vice President Nixon. Sixty years later, the ship, having suffered the depredations of time and weather, is in Connecticut, undergoing a long restoration.
A century ago, this stretch of waterfront was overrun with wharfs and warehouses. In 1921, in advance of the tercentenary, these properties were seized by eminent domain and razed to make room for the new, “pilgrimized” harbor. The theme of the tercentenary celebration was 𠇊merica’s Hometown.” President Harding attended, as did Robert Frost. A crowd of 10,000 watched a pilgrim-themed pageant, which commenced with the voice of Plymouth Rock: “I, the rock of Plymouth, speak to you, Americans.” The only formal Native American involvement seems to have been limited to an “Indian village display,” located a few miles from the harbor in Morton Park.
In 2020, the town will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Plymouth landing. Organizers emphasize that the event is not just about the pilgrims. It will be a multinational, multicultural event. Michelle Pecoraro, the executive director of the so-called Plymouth 400 festivities, said that the Wampanoag will be at the heart of the celebration, telling “the story from their perspective.” For example, they plan to stage a walk of remembrance through the town in honor of their ancestors, and some may paddle out in a mishoon to meet the Mayflower II. And so it’s possible — it is, I guess, probable — that the gleaming, lavishly restored replica of the Mayflower, professedly a symbol of the ardent dreams of a nation of immigrants, will be met on the sea by an ingeniously crafted symbol of a beautiful ancient culture, and that, together, these exemplars of American goodness will slip into Plymouth Harbor to be greeted by Donald Trump.
The harvest feast isn’t over, though it is winding down. The pilgrims are cracking pilgrim jokes. They do a bit about John Winslow’s want of a wife, and another about how pottage of cabbage is a windy victual. Before the feast, I visited the gift shop, and bought a mug ($6.50). One side shows the Plimoth logo. The other states, “You can’t change history, but it could change you.” The museum’s official miscellany is clotted with similarly broad language: “Where curiosity becomes learning, questions become answers,” etc. There’s a lot of loose talk, it seems, about profundity, encounters with the past, and about the not entirely remote possibility that the museum will, in an afternoon, change you.
“We,” Richard Pickering said, meaning America, “need to look backward if we’re going to go forward.” We need to study, he told me, moments in which our national experiment tually worked.” Doing so, we can learn haviors that may make us capable of listening and speaking to each other again.” I didn’t tell him this at the time, but I disagree. History is not a tidy sequence of events, tidily unfurling in time, trailing behind it a tidy scroll of legible, ready-to-apply lessons. It is as vast and as complicated as life, which is to say it’s a mess.
One afternoon, Darius Coombs, a member of the Wampanoag Nation and a director at the museum who has worked there for 30 years, gave me a tour of the Homesite. By its entrance, he showed me a sign displaying a life-sized photograph of himself. 𠇍o you have a picture in mind from movies or books of what ‘Indians’ look like?” the text of the sign asks, and then offers basic guidance on how not to cause offense. Darius told me that, about ten years ago, before the sign was installed, people often greeted him by saying, “How!” I think about Darius���s three decades helping to build and sustain the Homesite and the museum, and the mountains of cramped-minded nonsense he must have endured, and his abiding belief that he has an “obligation to help people understand and respect” Wampanoag history. I don’t think the purpose of history, or of a history museum, is to teach good behavior. I do think that studying history is, itself, good behavior, which might help us “to go forward,” whatever that might mean.
A woman wears a cloak made of skunk skins over her deerskin dress at the Wampanoag Homesite. Getty/Christian Science Monitor
Bridget has returned to the mic. She leads us in a drinking song, and a love song, and then says she feels guilty that we haven’t done a religious song. She passes the mic to Susanna Winslow (d. unknown), who sings a version of Psalm 23 (gentle pastures, everlasting goodness). When she finishes, a few people at the back of the room launch into another song, one that I think might just be called 𠇊men,” because that’s the only lyric. For a moment, almost the whole room gets involved, repeating 𠇊men” in a pattern of fast and slow cadences until everyone seems to realize it’s time to stop, and does. Then the feast is over, and we all leave the 17th century for the parking lot.
Kathryn Ness, the museum’s curator of collections, told me that during a dig in the s, excavators from the museum unearthed a D battery, which now sits in Plimoth’s permanent collection of artifacts. As I understood it, the battery was deemed worthy of preservation because it might someday contribute to a deeper understanding of other artifacts, or might someday contribute to a deeper understanding of something else.
Ness also told me that the excavators of the 17th-century English settlement on the hill above the town center recently dug up a cell phone. When future archeologists excavate a future Plymouth, what will they find? If we could jump the Atlantic of years to that future, what would we find? About this, what does history teach? I think it teaches that we𠆝 find something strange and unforeseeable and, to us — refugees of the land of the past — at least a little sad. An account from the early 17th-century reports that, in another part of New England, the first people to see a European ship mistook it for a “walking island.” They believed its mast was a tree, its sails clouds. A few rowed out to it, hoping it might be a place to pick strawberries. They turned back at the first cannon volley, which they thought was only thunder.
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Bradford's work is interesting. He does show how God answers prayer, how these political leaders had a fear (respect) of God and wanted to do the right thing. It is also clear how important it was for the leaders to TRUST the population, and not see them as hostile, but rather as those who gave them the authority to govern minimally, in order truly to be servants of the people. This is the story of Bradford, who was the governor of the Plymouth (plimoth) Colony, those who came first and established a successful colony of Britishers in North America. The actual story which Bradford actually wrote, is VERY different from the politically correct disinformation, often found in textbooks these days.
Bradford even tells the story of how the Founding Fathers tried a communist system, where they put all of their belongings together. The results were very challenging though, and this actually led to thanksgiving, when the Pilgrims gave thanks to God for the Indians (with whom they usually lived in Harmony). This is a good example of the positive impact of the self-denying total commitment simple lifestyle of the Puritans and Pilgrims.
There is much encouragement, many examples and interesting history found in this and other historic works. It is not difficult to read, and it is beneficial (and Free dictionary listed below for those who may need it).
For those who have an interest in the more accurate Geneva Bible or the King James,
13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.
I Per.3: 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Heb. 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Plimoth Plantation Will Change Name By The End Of The Year
PLYMOUTH (CBS) &ndash Plimoth Plantation will be changing its name to be more inclusive of the area&rsquos Native American history, the living history museum, which opened in 1947, announced Wednesday.
&ldquoAlthough our educational mission is inclusive of Indigenous history as well as European colonial history, the name of the Museum underscores only half of the story,&rdquo the museum said in a prepared statement.
According to the museum, discussions about a name change have been underway for more than a year, and the museum plans to announce the new name later this year when it commemorates the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival.
(Courtesy photo: Plimoth Plantation)
However, until the name change is decided, the museum is using a special logo that includes Plimoth, the English colonists&rsquo name for the land, and Patuxet, the name the indigenous people gave to the land. The new logo uses both Plimoth and Patuxet with a blue swirl in between the names.
&ldquoThe story we tell about an indigenous-colonial hybrid society that emerged here in the 17th century is the story of the United States&rsquo complex beginnings. It is a story of collaboration and conflict, of understanding and miscommunication. It is a story of diplomacy and subterfuge, of respect and of oppression, of friendship and mistrust. It is a story of ideals and of profound faith. It is a story of growth and change, of triumph and loss, of compassion and cruelty. It is a story of alliances made and broken, of innovations forged of necessity. It is a story of great and inspiring courage in the face of adversity. It is a story of equality and inequality. It is a story of daring greatly, of risking all, of persevering against the odds, of cultural destruction and cultural survival. In short, it is America,&rdquo the museum said.MORE NEWS: Parent, 2 Children Rescued From Salisbury Beach Rip Current