Visit Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts
The Plimoth Plantation is about an hour from Boston, MA, and about the same from Providence, RI. A visit works well as a day trip but there are plenty of hotels and motels in the Plymouth area so it won't be a problem to stay overnight. Do plan on spending at the very least a few hours there as a big part of the charm and education of Plimoth Plantation is what you will learn from the residents, all of whom will be only too happy to tell you what life was like in early America. The entire area is steeped in early American history and it can be equally fascinating for children and adults.
This site is a survey of Plimoth Plantation that is geared for kids but hopefully is of interest to anyone. Most external links in the commentary are to Wikipedia, the online encylopedia, and those can give you exhaustive knowledge on the subject.
Please enjoy the following photographs of what many consider to be the most profound symbol of freedom in history. This is where many will say that man staked the claim to freedom. Consider for a little bit how magnificent it must have felt to set foot here. This was Heaven! They were free, finally free after over two months in that tiny little ship, most likely eating horrible food, living in an incredibly-cramped area, and being wet and sea-sick most of the time. It's worth giving some thought to what was so terrible that they wanted to get away from it that badly and how wonderful must it have felt to build the Plimoth Plantation and watch it grow.
Visiting the Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts will give you a charming taste of what that time must have been like as it doesn't feel 'touristy' and no-one will bother you to buy t-shirts. This is a re-enactment that is as dead accurate as a loving company of people can make it. Do try to visit some time but, short of that, I hope you enjoy the following pictorial - Silas Scarborough
Contacting Plimoth Plantation:
Route 3a, Plymouth, MA 02360
Plymouth Rock As rocks go, this is hardly the most impressive that one might ever see. Plymouth Rock is really surprisingly small but it marks the beginning of a story that grew farther and faster than any other in human history.
This tiny little rock is what staked the claim for freedom as the people on the Mayflower were escaping exceptionally rough and repressive times in England. From the perspective of their times, America was almost entirely undiscovered and all that was known was a rough idea of the coastline. They knew the land on which they were now standing was gigantic relative to anything they had ever seen and this was as much the New World to them as it would be for a human today to first set foot on Mars.
Crow's Nest of the Mayflower The Mayflower was a tiny little vessel and it's almost a miracle that it ever survived the cold and treacherous North Atlantic to get the Pilgrims to their new home in America.
This isn't the original Mayflower but historical research was performed to make sure it was duplicated as closely as possible. The Mayflower is docked about 4.5 miles from Plimoth Plantation.
Imagine the feeling of the sailor in the Crow's Nest when he first sighted America! The first place he saw was Cape Cod and they dropped anchor in Provincetown Harbor. That was a distance east from Plymouth Rock and circumstances forced them to wait the winter there aboard the ship. It was terribly difficult that winter and half of the Pilgrims and the ship's company were lost.
During their time at Cape Code, the Mayflower Compact was written and this established the first document of government of the New World. You can read more about the Mayflower Compact on Wikipeda, the online encyclopedia.
The Pilgrims went ashore the following March at Plymouth and that's where they built the Plantation. The Mayflower went back to England the following month.
For kids who are reading this for school work, here's one to impress your teacher: the name of the Captain of the Mayflower was Christopher Jones.
You can learn a lot more about the Mayflower on Wikipedia.
Mayflower Sailor This is one of the men who sailed the Mayflower to the New World. About thirty-five sailors were required to sail the vessel along with some other helpers, one of them being John Alden, said to be the first man to set foot on Plymouth Rock.
Imagine the stories this sailor had to tell and consider how salty they must have seemed to his passengers. The Mayflower had been a cargo ship before carrying the Pilgrims so he could likely tell of many ports of call.
Plimoth Carpenter One of the first tasks facing the new Americans was finding a safe place to stay. Consider for a moment how daunting it must have been for them to stand on the shore for the first time with no home but the ship until they built the shelter themselves.
Think of the care that a carpenter at Plimoth Plantation would have given to his tools. If any break, there isn't a replacement on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.
You can see the tools they used in a pictorial on colonial tools at eHow.com.
Wooden Chimney This is one of the houses of the Plimoth Plantation. The Habitat for Humanity project we know today is something like the Plantation as the entire community would get the project started and the family would finish it.
You might want to think about where they put the bathtub in these small houses. The answer is that they didn't and they hardly ever bathed at all. Never? No, not ever. They washed their faces and hands sometimes and that was as clean as they ever got!
The interested student is invited to determine how one can make a house with a wooden chimney!
Plimoth Houses Here is another look at some of the houses in the Plimoth Plantation. The thatched roof is quite thick and is designed so that water will drain off to the side of the house. A good slope to the roof lowers the chance of leaking.
A hazard in thatched roofs is that the weather was much drier than England during the long summer and the thatched roof was prone to drying out and catching fire! You can read more about colonial house building at eSSORTMENT.com.
The First Parish Church was bulit at Plymouth and it is the oldest continuously-operating church in North America. You can read about it on Wikipeda, the online encyclopedia.
View of the Sea Despite the hardships and dangers they faced, there must have been times when they gasped in wonder at the extraordinary beauty of the view of the ocean.
New England is a quite beautiful part of the country, particularly around Cape Cod, and it's one of the few where it doesn't matter which season. Even, or perhaps especially, when you are surrounded by seven-foot snow drifts, it can be spectacular. There are no oil-burning cars so the snow doesn't get dirty and will stay beautiful until it melts.
Life was primitive in many ways but they appreciated very much the wonderful place in which they were building and the country they would go on to explore.
Cannon Half a dozen or so cannon were used to defend the Plimoth Plantation. Small wooden doors could be opened to fire the cannon and then closed while the cannon was reloaded. In a time that was virtually silent relative to today, the thunder of these cannon must have been absolutely terrifying.
Listen for a moment to what is around you now. Perhaps you can hear an airplane overhead, automobile traffic noise, or any of thousands of modern sounds. None of that existed back then so when it got quiet it got very quiet. Now imagine that cannon going off. We don't know what you would do but we would be hiding under the bed.
Young Man in Maroon Trousers This is another of the residents of Plimoth Plantation, a young man with many a story to tell of the development of the Plantation.
He is being serious just now but seeing those maroon trousers, we think he is a practical joker. History doesn't usually mention the comedians but they have always been around.
There was no television so people had to be inventive with their time in the evenings and this young man was a the story teller, talking of the funny things that were happening, as not everything was about sawing logs and hunting for food.
Young Man in Blue Jacket Here is a young man who is raising his family in Plimoth Plantation and hopefully many of them will survive to look back proudly on their extraordinary heritage.
It was common in colonial times to raise large families with seven to nine children. That could mean up to eleven people in one of the tiny houses they built.
Imagine how many Americans today can trace their family history back to this one man. His family has been growing in the New World since 1620.
He is a hard-working man as the work ethic the Pilgrims brought with them gave an awareness of the need for work to achieve success. Plimoth Plantation is a reflection of that as the Pilgrims needed a town so they built one.
Young Woman This young lady has not yet married but she has developed a fancy for one of the young men of the Plantation. Here she is taking a moment to speak of him and her dreams for the future.