Wednesday, February 23, 2022

The Mermaid Cottage - Weathervane Wednesday

 This weathervane was photographed in Bass Harbor, Maine.

This very small weathervane was spotted over a small residence in Bass Harbor, Maine.  The mermaid is two dimensional, with no details.  She is very small and hard to see from the road, but we were driving in the convertible with the top down.  It is obviously a new weathervane, but still charming and appropriate for a location within walking distance of the working harbor. 

I have featured several other mermaid weathervanes at this blog:

August 2021  

November 2019  

November 2015  

March 2014  

September 2013  

To see 450 other weathervanes featured at this blog, click here:   


To Cite/Link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "The Mermaid Cottage - Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 21, 2022, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Sailing in Plymouth Harbor! Weathervane Wednesday

 This weathervane was photographed on Water Street in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

This nice three dimensional sailboat weathervane is located on a tiny cupola over Ziggy's Ice Cream shop in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  It is located across the street from the waterfront and the home berth of the Mayflower II at the state pier, and a few blocks from Plymouth Rock.  I think a nautical weathervane like this boat is very appropriate for the location! 

This little weathervane may be small, but it has a lot of great details - a flag flying in the breeze from the top of the mast, three porthole windows in the cabin, and nice lines on the hull of the boat.  It has weathered to a nice brown color in the salty sea air.  You can easily see this weathervane from the street or sidewalk while you are waiting for your ice cream cone or sandwich.  

For the truly curious:

Ziggy's Ice Cream on Facebook:   

Click here to see over 450 "Weathervane Wednesday" blog posts from New England and all around the world!   


To Cite/Link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Sailing in Plymouth Harbor!  Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 16, 2022, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Sailing Over A Bank - Weathervane Wednesday

 Today's weathervane was photographed in Southwest Harbor, Maine.

Whilst touring Acadia National Park we decided to take a drive over to "the quiet side" of Mount Desert Island.  We explored Southwest Harbor, Bass Harbor, Seal Cove, and Somes Sound.  Along the way we spotted this interesting weathervane over a bank.

This three dimensional sailing ship has a lot of fine details.  You can see the rigging, sails, and even structures on the deck.  A close up look at this photograph showed details we couldn't see in person, including the fact that the hull of this ship might be made of wood.  If you can enlarge the photo above, you will see this detail, too!

It's a very appropriate weathervane for a coastal community on an island.  We enjoyed a fine seafood lunch nearby after taking this photograph!  

For the truly curious:

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust

314 Main Street
Southwest Harbor, ME

To see 450 other weathervanes featured at this blog, click here:   


To Cite/Link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Sailing Over A Bank - Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 9, 2022, ( accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

The Gunnister Purse


Replicas of the 1600s "Gunnister Purse" found in Scotland
knit by Laurel Wilkinson 2022

In 1951 in Gunnister, Shetland, Scotland a bog body was found dating from the 1600s.  The remarkable thing about this discovery was the clothing found on the body, including many examples of knitted items including a purse, stockings, gloves, two caps and several knitted patches on his woolen clothing.  Knitters around the world and historians have been examining the stitching and patterns to reproduce some of the items.

The purse and other items have decorative stitches now known as “Fair Isle” patterns.  This type of knitting is well known in Scotland and Scandinavian countries, and the discovery of the body proves that this type of knitting dates from at least the 1600s.  The original objects found in the bog are on display at the National Museum of Scotland, and replicas can now be found around the world.  Re-enactors of the 17th century enjoy making “Gunnister Purses” for their costumes.

Knit purse from Beth Veazie Lambright
worn at the Pilgrims Progress 2021

I first learned about the knit pouches while I was participating in the Pilgrims Progress march during the General Society of Mayflower Descendants Board of Assistants meeting in Plymouth, Massachusetts last September.  Beth Veazie Lambright from the Oregon society sat next to me during the meetings, and she was wearing a similar knitted purse tied to her waist during the Pilgrims Progress.  I Googled the story of the Gunnister purse that same night.  My husband was particularly interested since neither of our Pilgrim outfits have pockets, and we had no place to store keys, phones, ID cards, etc.

A participant at the 2021 Pilgrims Progress
wearing a knitted pouch similar to the Gunnister purse

It is amazing that fragile knitted objects and garments survived being buried in a Scottish bog, and even more amazing that these little pieces of clothing have captured the imaginations of historians and re-enactors.  During the Mayflower 400th anniversary commemoration, many people became interested in recreating authentic costumes instead of “cartoon Pilgrim” outfits of black and white decorated with buckles (which are not historically accurate at all).  These little Gunnister purses are not only practical (a place to carry a phone and an inhaler), but also completely authentic to the time period!

Not only were the Gunnister man’s artifacts from the correct time period for Pilgrim re-enactors, but there is much evidence to suggest that he might have been from Holland.  The coins in his purse were from Holland and Sweden (although the knitting suggests Scotland).  His cap was a Dutch style. Some other objects (a quill and ink horn) were also Dutch.  The Pilgrims lived for one generation in Leiden, Holland, and picked up lots of clothing and lifestyle customs from their Dutch neighbors.

I told my sister about the Gunnister purse, thinking that perhaps I could learn how to knit one as a beginner project.  My sister is an avid knitter, and she surprised Vincent and I with these purses for Christmas.  The patterns for Gunnister purses (as well as the cap, gloves, and stockings) are available online, see my links below. Do you think my little pocket will last another 400 years?

For the truly curious:

Gunnister Man Wikipedia article: 

A photo of the actual Gunnister purse with bands of Fair Isle knitting from the National Museums of Scotland:  

Free patterns for a Gunnister Purse Replica from Ravelry:  and this one from Plimoth Patuxet Museum: 

A nice blog post describing all the Gunnister Man’s clothing, especially the knitted pieces:

Would you like to buy a book with 12 patterns for 17th century knitted garb, including the Gunnister purse, the Gunnister Cap, and some Gunnister gloves?  This book was published in 2010 from the Plimoth Platuxet Knitter’s Club: 

You can Google “Gunnister Man” or “Gunnister Purse” for many more websites with information on these interesting artifacts from the 1600s.

Also - In the British National Archives there are lists of gifts given to Queen Elizabeth 1561 – 1562, including 28 different knitted purses filled with coins:   None of these purses survive, but the archives describe the purses including the colors and materials (mostly silk threads).  This blog post shows photos of someone recreating these purses, which are close to the 1620 time frame of the Mayflower Pilgrims:  but probably much more opulent than what they would have been carrying daily.

Photo credit to Beth Veazie Lambright of the Oregon Mayflower Society for the photo of the yellow knit purse above. 


To Cite/Link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “Gunnister Purse”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 1, 2022 ( accessed [access date]).