A popular question at this time of year, from those not in the know, is “what actually happens at Plimoth Plantation in the winter? Aren’t you guys closed?” And you would be right to ask. While you can still call in and catch a movie twice daily, our regular, mostly outdoor, exhibits are closed during the winter. Our job as Interpreters is a seasonal one, and many of our number hang up their stockings at the end of November and are not spotted again in Plymouth until Spring Training begins in March. However, I can testify that behind the scenes of the Colonial Interpretation Department is a hive of activity this time of year.
Our supervisors are preparing for next season with new programming, casting and planning our two weeks of training at the start of the year. The Farm Department are about their year round work of feeding and breeding our all-star cast of animals.
Thanks so much to the foodways-tastic Carolyn Bither for the fantastic picture of our beautiful beasts of burden!
There are wonderful people splitting wood for use in our exhibit, and tirelessly making repairs to buildings and fences all over the English Village.
And it has been COLD.
The ship is in dry dock, receiving the maritime equivalent of a luxury spa break. The super-talented and lovely ladies in the Historic Clothing and Textiles Department are busy cleaning, darning, patching and making new clothing for those of us they dress. By the way, if knitting’s your thing, you can join our Knitter’s Club and you’ll be delighting Interpreters everywhere by contributing new clothing to their issue. We LOVE getting new clothes.
If you ask me though, the unsung heroes of our department are those working in the Curatorial Department over the winter. It sounds fancy, but in reality, here’s what they’re faced with:
Yes, it’s quite literally a mountain of reproduction artifacts that have been used and abused throughout the season, and now have to be meticulously cleaned, repaired, catalogued and packed away for delivery to the sites in the spring. Sadly, some of these artifacts will not make it to next season and are accordingly de-accessioned. In the same way, there are new pieces that are added in where there is a need. It’s an unrelenting, pretty unrewarding task, so a huge thank you goes to Martha, Kelley, Peter F., Josh and all the others who have had a hand in getting this done! A job like that is all about the attitude you take in doing it though, and it’s like the World Cafe down there in the Pavilion; you never know where the soundtrack might take you.
There are many other people holed up in nooks and crannies all over the place working away at their particular piece of our historically accurate puzzle, and for all their work, be it seen or unseen, we are extremely grateful. It’s quite amazing to watch the way that it all fits together just in time for opening day!
“Wait!” I hear you cry!
“You haven’t told us what YOU’RE doing this winter, Sally!”
Well, I’m incredibly excited to tell you all about it, but it’s SO exciting I think it needs at least a whole post in its own right. Check back soon for more details!
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