Without a doubt, one of my favorite Massachusetts tourist spots (though it didn't appear to be as big of a draw as I think it should be :)) was the recreated pioneer village. We practically had the place to ourselves, and I got completely taken up with soaking it in, in preparation for teaching my 5th graders all about this time period.
With our (discounted due to being a teacher/student) tickets, we received a complimentary tour of the grounds with our very own "pioneer."
We started at what original shelters would have looked like for people in Salem - not too much.
While it wasn't much, it was apparently much better than just being outside.
Next, they fashioned these thatched homes, based on the thatched roofs in England. While they were much warmer, they had the disadvantage of being quite flammable, so that style was also discontinued.
If we ever move to the east coast, I would love summer job dressed up and working at some reenactment place :).
Next, we went to the largest house, which would have been for the wealthiest person in the village. A primary reason was that heating such a large home would have been very expensive. That's why homes had shorter ceilings back then. Glass was also only for the very wealthy.
In here was the also the meeting house/school.
Our last stop was to go to the Blacksmiths, where we actually got to see a blacksmith bending metal!
I don't remember ever seeing that before, and both Ed and I were excited to see how it actually worked.
On our way out, we had to try out the stocks - the punishment of the day in 1630.
Imagine staying like this for a whole day!
With one final look, we said goodbye, though I did drag my feet just a bit - I am such a sucker for these kinds of things.
After the village, we visited the Witch House - the only home around during the witch trials period. While this was also pretty cool - mostly to see a home that old - by this point we were about museumed out.
Our last stop was walking down this historic street, enjoying looking at very old pretty homes.
Before we got back to the cars, we needed a little sustenance. So, I got some ice cream. Now, apparently a small in Salem is a large everywhere else. Seriously - I got three giant scoops. It was delicious, but very intense.
We headed back to Ed's relatives house for one last get together with everyone.
Everyone had a nice, relaxed time chatting, eating, and taking in the summer evening.
We even got to sit around and hear some stories about Ed's dad (and see lots of pictures).
The newlyweds had a nice day after the wedding, getting ready for their flight the next day.
As the sun set over the lake at the foot of their property, Ed and I reflected on a beautiful evening and a wonderful trip. It was exhausting but so incredibly worthwhile.
(and finally - we are done!)