After we spent an entire week in Connecticut (we didn’t realize it was going to be so charming and historically interesting) , we headed to the Bay View Campground in Bourne, Massachusetts which is at the very base of Cape Cod. This was our second year there and we met up with our friends Doris and Bob to repeat the fun we had the year before by clamming and taking the ferry from Falmouth to Martha’s Vineyard. We rented bikes and pedaled around the beautiful island all day.
Then, since we skipped seeing Plymouth Rock the year before, we took a day to see it and go to Plymouth Harbor and Plimouth Plantation which is a very large living history type museum.
So, Plymouth Rock is known as the site where the Pilgrims disembarked the Mayflower in 1620. But – it turns out it doesn’t appear in any historical writings until 1715 and then it’s referred to as a great rock in the town boundary records. It wasn’t until 1741 that it started to be written about and became a symbol of the spirit of the people who first colonized new England. Today, it’s enclosed within the structure above to protected from people who want to break pieces of it off.
The rock really isn’t that big. In 1774, it broke in half when it was being moved to be put on display in the town square. It was put back together and moved back to this original site in 1880.
This is the view just beyond the Plymouth Rock monument. It’s definitely low tide. I’d like to think that maybe the Pilgrims used the rock as sort of a landmark as in, “Hey Sir Bradford, I’ll meet you at tea time over by that large rock in Plymouth.”
Just a couple blocks away from the big rock was Woods Seafood which I wholeheartedly recommend. You go in, order at window inside, and sit at no frills tables in a big room with windows which look out to great views. The food was so fresh, so good and so reasonable.
Also in town is the place where the Mayflower II, a replica of the famous ship usually docks. It’s part of the Plimouth Plantation Museum and a tour of it is included in the admission price. It was built in 1956 and needed restoration, so it was at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut getting repairs. We were glad we had gotten to see it when we were there just a week and a half earlier!
Plimouth Museum is about 10 minutes or so south and east of the town of Plymouth. It features both inside and outside exhibits. The recreation of a 17th century colonial village has a cast of historically dressed settlers who answer questions while staying in character.
Another piece of the outdoor exhibits is the Wampanoag village. It’s staffed with people that are all of Native American heritage. They answer questions from a modern perspective but are dressed in historically accurate deer skin clothing.
We moved on to Canoe River Campground in Mansfield. We had stayed there last fall and thought it was a great place with it’s pond and nice quiet atmosphere. However, this year we were there over Labor Day weekend and it was, as they say, “lit”! Day and night, the noise level was like we were in a very crowded football stadium.
So we escaped to nearby Borderland State Park.
We hiked around the Pond Walk Trail and took some little off shoot loops as well.
The park land was originally the estate of Oakes Ames, a Harvard Professor and his wife Blanche, an artist and noted suffragette. They purchased 1,200 acres which spanned across the borders of the towns of Sharon and Easton. Eventually they build the manor above in 1910. The library alone was 5,000 square feet. Side note: one of their grandchildren was journalist George Plimpton, who was a friend of Robert Kennedy. Plimpton was known for his witty commentary and Mid-Atlantic accent which has has no roots to anywhere in the United States but was cultivated by the upper class Northeastern prep schools.
The state of Massachusetts bought Borderland from the Ames family in 1971. They have added more land and even have a nice little nature center right near the parking lot at the front of the park.
We also took a trip into Boston and spent the afternoon walking around Boston Common and Boston Public Gardens.
The Tuesday after Labor Day, we headed to Rhode Island. We made a stop at Fall River, Massachusetts. It’s probably best known for the story of Lizzie Borden who was tried and acquitted for the ax murders of her father and stepmother. The town has a bed and breakfast/museum of the Borden home, but we came to visit a Portuguese market. Portugalia Marketplace supplies the many Portuguese restaurants in town and keeps the residents- 46% are of Portuguese decent- stocked with tinned fish, salt cod and imported foodstuffs. We had a great cup of coffee, some pastries, and I ended up buying some pottery and a $10 can of the best tuna fish ever! Apparently the whaling industry initially brought in the waves of immigration and maybe even the many textile mills that are still standing supplied work. I do know that I wish there was a market like it near me!
Falls River is also home to Battleship Cove Maritime Museum.
It is home to several retired ships which include: battleship USS Massachusetts (BB-59), destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr (DD-850), submarine USS Lionfish (SS-298), PT Boats 617 and 796, and German missile corvette Hiddensee
We ran out of time before we could see everything and every boat. We spent at least two hours exploring the USS Massachusetts, and some of the time we actually had the feeling we were lost especially when we were wandering the lower levels.
And then we focused on Rhode Island- it’s small in size but big in beauty!
Just for fun, here are some links to some other Yates social media sites:
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