Plimoth Plantation and Mayflower II ship are major attractions in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Authentic yet entertaining two are links to our past and 102 passengers that survived journey across stormy seas.
Many times bad storms of North Atlantic forced crew to take down sails and just let winds blow ship wherever it wanted. During one brutal storm one of Mayflower main beams cracked and sailors where convinced they’d have to turn back.
But journey continued and because of it world was forever changed.
No, this is not really a history lesson, but first of two articles about two unique experiences of US history you can have during your New England vacations.
This first article covers area of Plymouth Plantation, and second in series covers Sturbridge Village.
The Mayflower voyage of 1620 took 66 days after leaving Plymouth, England on September 6, and anchoring in present day Provincetown harbor in Cape Cod on November 11, 1620. Miraculously only one passenger died on voyage.
The Pilgrims decided Cape Cod was not a suitable place for a settlement, and forced north because of weather and dangerous shoals south of Cape Cod, pilgrims finally came ashore in late November in present day Plymouth center.
That first winter at Plimoth Plantation decimated settlers due to cold and disease. Of 102 that came ashore only 52 were left in spring.
The native Wampanoag men showed survivors how to plant corn and in October 1621 Pilgrims celebrated their first harvest at Plymouth Plantation. Later generations would recognize significance of harvest by setting aside a special day that we now call Thanksgiving. And this day, more than any other in our calendar, binds every American to that fateful voyage in 1620.
And you can relive and feel this spirit and early days of settlement at Plimoth Plantation and Mayflower II replica. Both located in coastal town of Plymouth, a city about 40 miles south of Boston and an easy ride on Route 3 south.
Plymouth Plantation is a 1627 Pilgrim authentic village a few miles outside of city but close to highway and well sign-posted.
An orientation movie and collection of artifacts greet you at Henry Hornblower Visitor Center. Plimoth plantation itself is a loop tour with two primary sites, 1627 Pilgrim Village and Hobbamock’s (Wampanoag) Homesite. The stroll from museum down to main village passes by a craft center and crop fields.