Historic America

Plimoth Plantation

Plimoth Plantation, founded in 1947, is a living history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts, featuring a replica of a 1627 Pilgrim village. It is located at 137 Warren Avenue, a few miles southeast of the actual site of the Plymouth Colony. The museum also owns and operates a replica of the Pilgrim ship Mayflower, but it was undergoing repairs when I visited in the spring.

The museum offers an impressive variety of things to see and do, including a large visitor center, Wampanoag Homesite, Craft Center, Maxwell and Nye Barns, Plimoth Grist Mill, and of course, the village itself. The visitor center has a large gift shop and even a movie theater, although it was playing two random, nonhistorical movies when I visited.

Wampanoag Homesite, added in 1973, was small but interesting. It features a bark lodge and several other frame structures. Logs at various stages of being carved into canoes were visible. Pilgrims encountered the Wampanoag Indians, led by Chief Massasoit, when they landed in Plymouth Harbor in 1621.

Plimoth Plantation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to recreating the time period as accurately as possible, based on records, firsthand accounts, articles, and period paintings and artifacts. Volunteers and staff in the village, called historical interpreters, are trained to dress, act, and speak like seventeenth century English colonists.

The Craft Center was neat because it showed how various products were made in the colony. There is a small beeswax shop, bakery, tool shop, and craft shop. Visitors can freely interact with the artisans, who are more than happy to explain the process behind their work.

Plimoth Plantation is a great experience, but be prepared to pay for that experience. Adult tickets are $28.00, seniors are $26.00, and children (ages 5-12) are $16.00. There is no military discount. The Grist Mill and waterfront exhibit are extra. In season, the plantation is open seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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