What better way to get in the Thanksgiving mood than going back in time to enjoy a recreation of the first Thanksgiving. The Plimoth Plantation, located in Plymouth, Mass., is a living history museum with outdoor and indoor learning environments dedicated to telling the stories of two distinct cultures – English and Native. Each year, Plimoth Plantation hosts a weekly New England Harvest Feast throughout the month of November. Here’s what guests can expect.
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The Plimoth Plantation is the realized dream of Henry Hornblower II. The Boston native was fascinated by American history and archaeology. Hornblower spent his boyhood summers at his family’s summer house in Plymouth. He quickly grew an interest in the area, and the new relationship between the Pilgrims and the native Wampanoag people.
Under Hornblower’s visionary leadership, the Plimoth Plantation opened in 1947, telling the iconic story of Plymouth Colony. At first, it consisted of two English cottages and a fort on Plymouth’s historic waterfront. The museum has grown to include Mayflower II (1957), the English Village (1959), the Wampanoag Homesite (1973), the Hornblower Visitor Center (1987), the Craft Center (1992), the Maxwell and Nye Barns (1994) and the Plimoth Grist Mill (2013).
All of these exhibits and learning experiences built on thorough research about the Wampanoag People and the Colonial English community in the 1600s. The museum’s offerings are rounded out by a host of special events, public programs and workshops that offer a rich and diverse exploration of the 17th-century.
As guests dine on their meals, the host will guide them through each item on the menu. Historical experts will also be on hand to answer questions about England and Plymouth, then and now.
During dinner, visitors will also get a taste of 17th-century entertainment. This includes performances of centuries-old psalms and songs.
The New England Harvest Feast
So, what exactly can you expect from a 17th-century meal?
Plimoth Plantation’s menu begins with cheate bread and butter with wood-pressed cider. The first course consists of a sallet of herbs; mussels seeth’d with parsley and beer; a dish of sauc’d turkey; a pottage of cabbage, leeks, and onions; and a sweet pudding of native corn.
The second course features stew’d pompion (pumpkin); a chine of roast’d pork, fricassee of fish, cheesecake made with spice and dried fruit, and a charger of Holland cheese and fruit.
All courses are served family style at tables that may sit several families.
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Living History Educators portraying Governor William Bradford and Pokanoket pniese Hobbamock meet at our newest exhibit, a post-contact (after English settlement) wetu. In this unique program, they offer insight into playing their roles and an in-depth look at the relationship between Native Americans and English people along these shores of change in the early 17th century and beyond.⠀ ⠀ #plimoth #livinghistory #17thcentury #livingmuseum #neh
A ticket to the event includes two-day admission to the museum, which includes several exhibits. The Wampanoag Homesite is a representation of how the Wampanoag would have lived in the 17th-century – planting crops, fishing and hunting, gathering wild herbs and berries for food, and reeds for making mats and baskets. Unlike the people in the 17th-Century English Village, the staff in the Wampanoag Homesite are not role players. They are all Native People — either Wampanoag or from other Native Nations.
The 17th-Century English Village is a re-creation of the small farming and maritime community built by the Pilgrims along the shore of Plymouth Harbor.
Guests will also have access to the Plimoth Grist Mill, which tells the story of the corn grinding mill built by the Pilgrims; the Nye Barn, home to livestock that represent the types of animals found in Plymouth Colony in the 17th century; and the craft center, where visitors can get a glimpse into the historic crafts and technologies that allow the museum’s artisans to vividly recreate the look and feel of the 17th century.
Have you been to Plimouth Plantation or the New England Harvest Feast? What were your favorite experiences? Let us know in the comments below!
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