Plimoth Plantation is a living museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts, with many historical re-creations of life during the original Plimoth settlement. It was founded in 1947 and consisted of the “First House”. By the 1950s, it had expanded to the fortified village that is there today. Today, the entire museum consists of the Mayflower II, the 17th-Century English Village, and the Wampanoag Homesite.
There are many interesting re-creations of history throughout Plimoth Plantation. The Mayflower II is a full-scale reproduction of the original Mayflower that was used by the Pilgrims to cross the Atlantic Ocean from England. Finished in 1957 in Devon, England, the Mayflower II was built so that every detail was as close as possible to that of the original Mayflower, down to the lanterns and hand-colored maps. The Mayflower II gives all aboard the sense that they are actually on the original vessel as they learn about the Mayflower’s 1620 voyage, the dangers of maritime travel, and the tools of 17th-century navigation. This part of Plimoth Plantation is an interesting and informative attraction for the whole family when visiting Plymouth.
17th-Century English Village
Another of the many fascinating components of Plimoth Plantation is the 17th-Century English Village. This village is a re-creation of the original farming and maritime settlement of the Pilgrims in the year 1627, just seven years after the landing of the Mayflower. The buildings are all wood-framed, as they would have been in the 17th century, and many homes have gardens right outside of the kitchen. The actors and actresses that work there are in the role of historical figures of the original plantation and have adopted their names, viewpoints and life histories as of the year 1627. They interact with the guests of the village and welcome questions about their way of life, religious views, histories and many more topics. The English Village is a very intriguing and educational experience that the entire family can enjoy.
Of the many attractions at Plimoth Plantation, one of the most unique is the Wampanoag Homesite. Located on the banks of the Eel River, this exhibit displays the life of the Wampanoag people as it would have been in the growing season of a 17th-century year, from planting crops and gathering food, to everyday life, such as weaving baskets. Unlike the people of the 17th-Century English Village, the Native People at this site are not role playing. They are all Native People, whether Wampanoag or of other Native Tribes. They are dressed in period clothing, but they speak from a modern perspective on the culture and history of the Wampanoag people. Like the people of the English Village, they are happy to interact with visitors and will happily answer questions and show you around certain parts of the exhibit, such as their wetu, or domed hut. They are also happy to teach visitors how to play hubbub, a traditional game of the Wampanoag people that is still played today.
Craft Center and the Nye Barn
Also of Interest at Plimoth Plantation are the Craft Center and the Nye Barn. At the Craft Center, artisans can be seen making many of the objects used in the English Village and Wampanoag Homesite. To make these objects, they use tools, materials, and techniques that were used in the 1600s. At Nye Barn, visitors can see many rare and historic breeds of cattle and other livestock. Livestock in the Nye Barn includes Milking Devon and Kerry cattle, Arapawa and San Clemente Island goats, wild and Tamworth swine, Wiltshire Horned sheep, Dorking fowl and eastern wild turkeys.
Hours of Operation
Plimoth Plantation is open from mid-March to just after Thanksgiving. The hours of operation are:
- Mid-March through June: from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
- July through early September: from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM
- Early September through Late November: from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Address / Contact InformationPlimoth Plantation
137 Warren Avenue
Plymouth, MA 02360
Plimoth Plantation’s Mayflower II:
State Pier (across the road from 74 Water St) on the Plymouth waterfront.
Plimoth Plantation mailing address:
PO Box 1620
Plymouth, MA 02362
Photo credits: The picture of Plimoth Plantation is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license. The second picture of Plimoth Plantation is by Tim Grafft and is courtesy of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.