Thanksgiving is about more than just delicious food. It's also about history and community. Visitors to the Plimoth Plantation, an interactive museum in Plymouth, Mass., can discover some of that history and see how settlers lived in the 17th century.
One of the best ways that a visitor can take part in the community is by enjoying a Thanksgiving meal. The first harvest feast was described in letter by Edward Winslow. Much of the cuisine from that period comes from the English tradition and the feast included a variety of wild fowl, including but not limited to turkey, goose and craine, as well as venison and cranberries. Plimoth serves a feast that is based on Winslow's letter along with some of the additions that have been added to this American meal over the years.
The meal itself is truly a chance for Americans to come together. Richard Pickering, Plimoth's Deputy Director, said that many "naturalized citizens come because they consider themselves pilgrims too" and want experience the holiday like the original settlers.
In addition to the Thanksgiving meal, visitors can see traditional English and Wampanoag villages where historical interpreters speak, dress and act in the style of the time. These interpreters will answer questions in the manner of 17th century villagers and highlight key point of their day to day lifestyle. Though the 17th-Century English village and Wampanoag Homesite were separate, villagers from each would interact daily, Pickering said. "The women would see each other everyday while clamming and doing other activities," said Pickering.
According to Pickering, every "animal, plant and every voice is recovered. The natural world is as authentic and accurate as possible."
Because there are few written records that describe daily life during this period, the museum uses this experience to give visitors a chance to create and to recreate individual stories, making the history more relatable.Click here to plan your visit