Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Today was a "simpler" day than yesterday. We really only had two stops: Plimouth Plantation and Salem.
Our first stop was Plimouth Plantation. For those of you unfamiliar with the location, it is an authentic recreation of the original village built by the Pilgrims as it was in 1627. There are a number of Pilgrims there, too, going about their daily chores, or just walking around talking with their guests, or (better yet if visiting on a cloudy late-November morning) inside one of the huts sitting by a warm fire. They all are 100% in person.
They have an individual character they are reenacting, and their vocabulary, sentence structure, accent, views, knowledge, opinions, beliefs, convictions are as nearly exact as it is possible to come. And they don't come out of character for an instant. If you use words that weren't in use at the time, they'll ask for clarification. They will explain and discuss the answers to anything you might ask - whether it be about their clothes, their homes, their families, or their theology, their hopes, their fears, their history, their politics, or anything else you can dream up to ask them about! I had a chance to talk with several of them, one of note being their doctor, Samuel Fuller. We discussed a wide variety of issues ranging from common ailments/injuries among the colonists - and the differences between physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries, to their current economic state, to how they hoped to divide up the land, to what was a standard dowry for a new bride... and more!
A quick visit to the book shop on site, and then we headed out to the buses - our family serving the day's lunch to the attendees as they boarded. The menu today being a nameless entree made of a tortilla filled with chicken, cheese, sweet red peppers slices, shredded lettuce and ranch dressing. That was accompanied by the typical sides of chips, baby carrots, cookies, etc.
Once on board, the buses drove us up to the town of Salem, Massachusetts. There we were met once again by Dr. Paul Jehle of the Plymouth Rock Foundation. He led us on a walking tour of Salem highlighting three main concepts as we discussed Nathaniel Bowditch (walking past his birthplace) and the infamous Salem Witch Trials. The three themes were seemingly very diverse, but very interestingly connected in Salem's history: Vision, Architecture, and Jurisdiction. Truly a fascinating afternoon. AND, if you have never heard Dr. Jehle's lecture on the Salem Witch Trials you REALLY have to! It can be purchased from Vision Forum HERE.
Concluding our visit to Salem, we visited Derby Wharf and saw a replica of one of the ships Nat Bowditch sailed - the Friendship. Some of our group also had the opportunity to visit America's oldest candy shop - where they have on display some of the candies they made... 175 years ago, and they haven't gone bad yet!!
By 6:00 we had bid adieu to Salem and were on board the buses back to Plymouth. Tomorrow is supposed to be pretty relaxed. Lots of feasting, though! I apologize for the lack of pictures on this day... we didn't often feel inspired to remove our cozy gloves for the sake of a picture!