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Photographer: Kelbert McFarland Photography


Mayflower Pilgrim Houses

Today in history almost 400 years ago (1620), the Mayflower set sail to America. As with Jamestown plantations which we already blogged about, the original houses are not standing today but replicas. Also as with Jamestown, we ourselves have quite a few ancestors who came to America on the Mayflower. Our 11th great-grandparents were John and Elinor (my name!) Billington. Their sons Francis and John (our 10th great) were also on the Mayflower. A close cousin of our 8th great-grandfather Nathaniel Bradford, William Bradford, was also on the ship and was the Governor of Plymouth Colony (below).

Another close cousin was Mayflower passenger John Turner who died in 1620, not long after arriving at Plymouth, the same year our John Turner (9th great-grandfather and his cousin) came to Virginia from Great Yarmouth England. And one more cousin was Richard Warren- our Warren ancestors were the ones we knew the most history about in New England. Most both sides of our family are very Southern so it has always been of note that our Warren family were from the Massachusetts Colonies and ended up in Vermont in the 19th century and upstate New York in the 20th before somehow ending up in Texas.

For this post we will look at Governor William Bradford first. While he would end up living in a house like the above in Plymouth, he was born in a farm manor house in Austerfield where his family were wealthy landowners.

The house was of course not painted white originally and would have a more recognizable Tudor look. Many people make their own pilgrimage back to England to see this house.

Above is a chair that belonged to Governor Bradford which typifies the style of the day and is on display at the Plymouth Museum. This is a beautiful non-rudimentary piece and was probably brought over from England. Similar pieces are shown in the photo below which is setup to look as it would have when the pilgrims lived at Plymouth. We have not visited Plymouth colony, though both our husbands have done this field trip growing up in Boston and Albany. However it looks similar to the model houses we have explored at Jamestown, of course.

What stands out are the pewter pieces on the shelf. We still love a good display of pewter today. You can see in these photos why we choose to decorate for Thanksgiving in the way we do today. Inspiration was taken from the way the pilgrims lived in the harvest season surely.

The table linens are especially interesting and something we would like to know more about.

They look just like rugs and are obviously woven/tapestry.

We are getting some great ideas for a more authentic Thanksgiving tablescape thanks to looking into the way the pilgrims lived in their Plymouth plantation houses.

This display from Good Housekeeping is pilgrim perfection. With one week until fall officially begins, we are going to start planning our decor. Look for more posts on it and potential pewter pieces for sale in the shop soon!