This is Plymouth Rock.
This is the Garden Center of Plymouth, Massachusetts.
This is Plimouth Plantation.
The Plimouth versus the Plymouth spelling was explained right away at the Plimouth Plantation. In early America, written documents were written and words were spelled phonetically, often differently in the same document.
The Plimoth Plantation was built to commemorate the early lifestyle of the 17th Century English Village. They used the spelling of Plimouth to distinguish it apart from the city of Plymouth.
It is a well-organized 17th Century living museum that takes one back into time and dispels much of what I understood about the newly discovered New World. After our day I understood what was meant by the moto of the plantation:
“You can’t change history, but it could change you”.
First we were given a map of the compound and led into a theater for a short clip of what to expect and a lesson on how to interact with the native and European characters. From the theater we followed the map as it directed and had a most informative day experiencing life as it was way back when……
Dinner was normally slow cooked in clay pots over ashes. A vegetable and squash stew with maybe a little rabbit.
First living museum stop was the Wampanoag Home site where we met descendants of the native population who gave wonderful presentations of what their life was like back then. They spoke of the plentiful versatile food supplies which included ample natural grown herbs, fruits and vegetables and the fish that they dried to supplement the winter hunting meats. This particular village was one family’s home which probably supported about 8 people. The wooden hut belonged to the wife and usually was home to her mother and father, her children and her husband. She would hand it down to her oldest daughter at the end of her time.
We saw demonstrations of children’s toys and games, cooking and a presentation of how a hut was built and how the air flow was controlled to keep it warm and smoke free or cooled with air circulation. It was a hot day, but the hut was much cooler even with a crowd of tourists inside.
We saw the native gardens full of corn, fruited bushes, herbs and such. They made teas and medicines from all sorts of native plants. They were so proud of their lifestyle and freedoms that they had back then.
This was their summer home, they retreated inland during the winter. It is cooler near the ocean with the breezes that blow across the water.
I was pleased at how the characters reacted to questions of how it felt to be invaded and subjected to the Europeans illnesses and encroachments. Our guide was careful, kind and explained that the two villages lived in peace for some time before friction became an issue. That each village (the English and the Native) learned from one another and continue to work together today to evolve into one country.
Our next path took us to the English Village where we met both groups of passengers that survived the ocean trip and the first dire winter on land. Most of the settlers were not hunters or farmers prior to arriving. It was a rush to set up housing for shelter and wood for warmth. The first year was severe.
They talked about the trials that they lived through, how they helped one another and how they better prepared themselves for the next winter. Even after the first year they found that a late spring could cause food shortages. They may have used their food stores, the flying game had not returned yet and the ground game had retreated inland.
The gardens provided vegetables, herbs and fruit. The women made teas and medical concoctions from the herbs that they brought until they found which native herbs would do.
Children learned songs and games from long ago, heard a few fabled stories told, and chased the chickens and walked the livestock corrals.