Just a short distance from Boston, Massachusetts is Plymouth, Massachusetts. Plymouth is a seaside town that is on the Plymouth Harbor. We took a tour called ‘Plimoth Patuxet’ which details the history of the pilgrims once they arrived in Plymouth Harbor. The tour consists of 3 parts (Patuxet Homesite and 17th Century English Village, Plimoth Grist Mill, and the Mayflower II).
Homesite and Village
In November of 1620, the pilgrims arrived in Plymouth Harbor. This was the site of the Wampanoag community of Patuxet which was left uninhabited after a devastating epidemic that swept through the New England coast prior to the Mayflower arriving. The 17th Century English Village are the buildings that were built by the pilgrims for their home.
The pilgrims (males only) signed the Mayflower Compact which laid the foundation for their civic life and for our American system of representative government. The pilgrims and surrounding Wampanoag people also made a pact that there was no turning back and vowed to succeed.
Plimoth Grist Mill
The second part of the tour is a working grist mill that the pilgrims used in food production. The grist mill is located closer to the harbor and is in between the homesite and the Mayflower II. There is a restaurant right behind the grist mill or ones close by for lunch.
The final part of the tour is the best at least in my opinion! In the fall of 1620, the Mayflower with pilgrims intact made a 66 day journey across the Atlantic Ocean. On November 11, the Mayflower dropped an anchor which is now Provincetown Harbor. After several weeks searching for a suitable building site, they left there and arrived in Plymouth Harbor.
The Mayflower left New Plymouth in April 1621 and arrived in London a month later. The Mayflower was likely broken up and sold for scrap. The Mayflower II is a full scale reproduction of the ship. It was built by hand using the same tools and techniques that were in existence 400 years ago. The ship crossed the Atlantic in 1957 and was a gift from England to the United States.
Below is a diagram of the Mayflower II and the legend.
- B-Ship Bell
- C-Great Room (Commander)
- D-Ship’s Helm
- F-Capstan (Hoist Cargo)
- G-Forecastle (Housed Crew/Galley)
- H-Tween Deck (Housed Livestock)
- I-Gun Room
- J-Windlass (Raising Anchors)
- K-Hold (Cargo)
Not far from where the Mayflower II is docked is Plymouth Rock with 1620 etched in the stone. Closer to the Grist Mill is the original Plimoth Colony. Everywhere you see the name Plimoth instead of Plymouth which I guess evolved over time.
This tour was very enjoyable and all three sites have workers who dress in the period dress. If you are in Massachusetts, it is well worth a visit to Plymouth, Massachusetts!!
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