Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tour of the old Gaol in York, ME

Here is a picture of my friend Marion in the stocks in front of the old Gaol. The gaol was first a stone building in the 17th C., and later in the 18th C. it was added onto with living quarters for the jailer and his wife. She has to cook for her family and the prisoners. There was quite a bit of info about how jails were used in the old days, as short term holding cells, until their trial and sentence, hanging, branding, flogging etc. The idea was to get their punishment over with so they could get back to work for the community needed every one's contribution.

Here's one of the 18th C. cells with a cobbler's bench. This was so he could work and pay off his debts. Look at the great early light. Sorry I did not get any pics of the 17th C area, so dark, the windows were only 8" square. No glass, so I guess it was pretty cold in the winter.

Here's a favorite from the jailer's family quarters.I can't wait to try one of my cutting boards this way, as a game table. Here the children were learning to count.

Again in the 18th C part, a built in privy that drains to the outdoors. What luxury!

Here's Marion posing next to an idiot's chair, a sad commentary on the treatment of the mentally ill in the old days. Look at the holes for tying the person in, and tying it to the floor. And of course the potty underneath.

I thought you'd like this "ancient" treen plate from the museum area.

Tour of Plymouth

On our way south from Maine, we decided to spend a day and tour a classic New England piece of history. We went to Plymouth, MA. I did not go to Plimouth Plantation, as I have been there before, but I do recommend you go if you're in the area. We viewed the Plymouth rock, OK, its a rock, and toured the Mayflower 2, an accurate copy of the famous ship that brought the pilgrim here.
What a pretty view, no? Next we went to the famous Pilgrim Hall, a museum showing many of the pilgrim's actual possessions, and a lot of great information about their lives and the era.

A great early carved chest and carver type chair.

A fabulous writing box from Holland, inlaid with shell. Look at the early glasses and their carved wooden case.

Another early chair, a wainscot style this time, and a great large gateleg table.

After that we hiked around town, saw the sarcophagus that commemorates the burial after dark of the first settlers who died. This was done to hide from the Indians the terrible loss of life. Further up the hill we walked through the early graveyard, so lonely and beautiful. 
 Aren't these sweet, leaning together in death as in life.

Of course after all of this hiking about,  we needed lunch. Here is the view from our table at the Lobster Hut. Great shore lunch, sweetest scallops I think I've ever had.

 Then we got the car and visited a few old houses. Here is the Howland house.

Here is a great old broom I thought you'd like, the top is bound up with fishing twine.

And here is a great rush light we found in the parlor. Isn't it great? Wish I could have bought it, but no, its a museum Judi!

Here is the earliest remaining house, the Sparrow house. I'm only showing you the exterior, as the interior was pretty dire.

After that we went home and collapsed. What a great time, looking at all that American history, it makes you feel so in touch with the old days. I'm glad I wasn't a Pilgrim, but I am proud that they were our ancestors. If you want to read a riveting book about their trials and tribulations, read Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick.  It's kind of hard to read, I kept having to put it down for a day or two, as he wrote so clearly that I felt their difficulties keenly.

Don't you love history?