Thursday, July 21, 2022

Day Two "On The Path of the Pilgrims" Tour by the GSMD

 Day One  

Day Two  

Day Three  

Day Four 

Day Five   

The Plimoth Patuxet Museum, Plymouth, Massachusetts

The second day of our tour "On the Path of the Pilgrims" took us to the Plimoth Patuxet museum (formerly known as Plimoth Plantation).  This was a highlight of the tour for the members who had never visited Plymouth, Massachusetts before this trip.  It is an open air museum where the re-enactors in the English village represent actual villagers in 1627, and portray life in the colony.  In the Wampanoag homestead the staff represents life in a traditional setting, with wetus, mishoons, a cooking area, gardens, and artifacts. There is also a visitor center with exhibits and a film, and a craft center with artisans doing pottery, woodwork, baking, and making herbal remedies. 

Vincent and I went directly to the English village, and then to the craft center, and then to the visitor center to visit the bookshop.  We didn't have a lot of time to see the museum, but we are life members and visit at least once or twice a year so we knew exactly what we wanted to see.  The last time we visited the re-enactors all wore masks and the interiors of the houses in the English village were closed to visitors.  This time we were able to go inside the homes and interact more with the staff, which was delightful. Mayflower descendants have a lot of fun visiting with their ancestors, and on this visit we were able to interact with ancestors John Howland, Elizabeth Tilley (John's wife), and Mary Beckett (wife of Mayflower passenger George Soule).  

My "ancestors", John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley,
carrying water to their house 

The interior of a house at Plimoth Patuxet

The fort and meetinghouse at Plimoth Patuxet (a replica)

The current Meetinghouse
at Plymouth, Massachusetts

After the museum our tour went to the Plymouth Meetinghouse, which is now operated by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants as a museum, while still being used for services twice a year by the original Unitarian congregation that built the church in 1894, on the site of the original meetinghouses built earlier by the Separatists and Congregationalists.  It is also a museum and will be used by the town as a meetinghouse and event center after the renovations are complete.  The exterior has been cleaned and restored, and now the interior restoration is planned.  The structure will be strengthened to accomodate an elevator, and a new entrance will be built. The santuary stenciling and walls will be cleaned and repaired, as well as other plans.  It is a multi million dollar renovation that will take many years to complete. 

Our group in front of the Plymouth Meetinghouse

The sanctuary inside the Plymouth Meetinghouse

Tiffany stained glass windows show my ancestor 
Rev. John Robinson giving a farewell to the Pilgrims
leaving Delftshaven, Holland for the New World

The extravagant windows were donated by the
New York Mayflower Society 

Yours Truly boarding our Lobster Roll Cruise boat 
at the harbor in Dennis, Massachusetts (Cape Cod)

Mayflower Beach in Dennis, Massachusetts

After touring the meetinghouse, we boarded the bus for a drive to Dennis for a very nice cruise on Cape Cod bay called the Lobster Roll Cruise.  We traveled along the coast as far as Mayflower Beach while enjoying a scrumptious lunch where we were served 8 ounce lobster rolls and salads.  I've had a few lobster rolls this summer, but this was by far the best one yet!  And it was fun watching the coast and imagining how it must have looked 400 years ago to our Mayflower ancestors.  

The Jabez Howland House in Plymouth, Massachusetts

Interior of the Jabez Howland House

Some of these panes of glass are original 17th century

After the tour we returned to Plymouth for a tour of the Jabez Howland House.  This historic house is the oldest house in Plymouth (1667), and the only house in Plymouth where a Mayflower passenger (John Howland) lived.  Jabez was the son of passengers John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley.  The house is operated as a museum by The Pilgrim John Howland Society.  The same society also maintains the historic sites at Rocky Nook in Kingston, Massachusetts where John and Elizabeth Howland had a homestead.  

The house is full of artifacts from the 17th century, including many owned by the Howland family.  There is a small gift shop, too.  

The Mayflower II at her berth in Plymouth Harbor

The Mayflower Women fountain

After the Jabez Howland house we were dropped off at Plymouth harbor for dinner on our own, and time to walk around the waterfront.  Vincent and I wandered along and saw the Mayflower II, Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower Women fountain and Brewster Gardens.  It was a lovely day, and we had fine weather for all the walking and sightseeing.

Stay tuned for Day Three coming soon!

For the truly curious:

Part One "On the Path of the Pilgrims Tour"   

The Plimoth Patuxet Museums website:  

The Mayflower Meetinghouse webpage:   

The Lobster Roll Cruise website:  

The Jabez Howland House:  


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Day Two "On The Path of the Pilgrims" Tour by the GSMD", Nutfield Genealogy, posted July 21, 2022, ( accessed [access date]). 


  1. Thanks so much for this! We visited a few of these sites during our visit for Nutfield's 300th, but did not have time to see them all. As a Mayflower descendant myself, I'll be bookmarking these pages for our next trip.

    1. I don't know when the GSMD will be repeating this tour, but by posting about it I hope some people will make their own tours. Stay tuned though, because in the upcoming posts there will be some experiences that could only be arranged by the Mayflower Society!