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Mayflower Day

"Soon were heard on board the shouts and songs of the sailors
Heaving the windlass round, and hoisting the ponderous anchor.
Then the yards were braced, and all sails set to the west-wind,
Blowing steady and strong; and the Mayflower sailed from the harbor,
Rounded the point of the Gurnet, and leaving far to the southward
Island and cape of sand, and the Field of the First Encounter,
Took the wind on her quarter, and stood for the open Atlantic,
Borne on the send of the sea, and the swelling hearts of the

~ The Sailing of the Mayflower, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Mayflower II is a reproduction of the 17th-century ship Mayflower, celebrated for transporting the Pilgrims to the New World in 1620. The reproduction was built in Devon, England during 1955–1956, in a collaboration between Englishman Warwick Charlton and Plimoth Patuxet (at the time known as Plimoth Plantation), a living history museum. The work drew upon reconstructed ship blueprints held by the American museum, along with hand construction by English shipbuilders using traditional methods. Mayflower II was sailed from Plymouth, Devon in 1957, recreating the original voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. Mayflower Day celebrates the Sep 16th departure in 1620 of the original ship Mayflower which set sail on a "prosperous wind" for the New World, transporting a group of English families, known today as the Pilgrims, from England to the New World. After a grueling 10 weeks at sea, Mayflower, with 102 passengers and a crew of about 30, reached what is today the United States, dropping anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Mayflower was square-rigged with a beakhead bow and high, castle-like structures fore and aft that protected the crew and the main deck from the elements: designs that were typical of English merchant ships of the early 17th century. ⚓ 🇬🇧 🇺🇸

From the Plimoth Paxtuxet Museum website:

All Aboard Mayflower II! Along with national treasures such as the Statue of Liberty and the Lincoln Memorial, Mayflower is an iconic symbol of freedom. Of the hundreds of ships that made the transatlantic crossing in the 1600s, she is the ship we remember. Three hundred years later, on June 13, 1957, a full-scale reproduction arrived in Plymouth Harbor, Mayflower II.

Since then, Mayflower II has become the majestic centerpiece of historic Plymouth Harbor, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In many ways, America is the product of the events that happened in Plymouth and Native Patuxet over four centuries ago—the choices made, risks taken, and the adaptation of community structures to new civic realities. Mayflower II tangibly embodies those choices and risks for hundreds of thousands of lifelong learners each year. More than twenty-five million people have stepped aboard her decks to imagine the perils and contemplate the modern impacts of the historic crossing.

This tartan designed by Robert Paterson has the following register notes:

In 1620 a small group of English emigrants sailed across the Atlantic in search of a better life. Their daring voyage aboard Mayflower is part of the founding history of the United States. A second Mayflower was constructed in Devon, England and sailed in 1957 to the same harbour where the Pilgrims landed centuries earlier. Mayflower’s story is intended to be represented within this design. It features the colours of Mayflower II – blue, red, yellow, green, and beige, along with dark blue for the ocean. A special thread count of 16-20-19-57 represents the years that the two historic ships sailed from England to Massachusetts.

Today, Mayflower II is a floating classroom and working vessel. Following her restoration and return to Plymouth in 2020, she was added to the National Register of Historic Places, illuminating that she is a historic ship in her own right.

For more on the Mayflower II's voyage in 1957, click the ship!

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