Pilgrim home (photo credit: Wikpedia Commons)

WILLWORK, INC. EXHIBIT & EVENT SERVICES WISHES FOR ALL THE HAPPIEST OF THANKSGIVINGS

WILLWORK – AMONG OTHER SERVICES WE OFFER – IS IN THE BUSINESS OF INSTALLING AND CONSTRUCTING … AND TODAY, HERE … AS IS FITTING AND APPROPRIATE … WE SHARE  INTERESTING INFORMATION ON THE HOMES AND BUILDING PRACTICES OF THOSE WHO ATTENDED THE FIRST THANKSGIVING

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is distinguished for the quality of its labor – and its creativity, ingenuity, work ethic, attention to detail, and professionalism.

Companies and other organizations that range in size from the largest, most established, and most prominent multinationals, to small companies that only recently launched, rely on Willwork for I&D labor, event and show planning and contracting, permanent installation contracting, props, audio-visual production, lead retrieval, data capture … and more.

Willwork has several offices in cities across the U.S.  Its corporate headquarters is in Easton, MA, about 10 miles east of I-95, and about halfway between Boston and Providence.

Actually, and it is whole appropriate and fitting to mention this, here, today, on the cusp of Thanksgiving … our headquarters are approximately 30 miles north of a point on the Atlantic coast where English immigrants arrived on the ship the Mayflower in December of 1620 (after first landing at a place which is present day Cape Cod).

Of the 135 who traveled to the New World, two died at sea, and one child was born, named Oceanus.  Nearly half of those who completed the passage perished in the winter of 1620-21.

In March of 1621, the newly arrived and the first people of the region, the Wampanoag, or Wôpanâak – “People of the First Light” – signed a treaty of mutual protection.

(The town of Easton straddles the ancestral land of the Wampanoag, and many places in Easton and surrounding communities have Wampanoag names.)

Wampanoag wetu, covered in bark for winter (photo credit:  Laura Rulon, Pinterest)

Wampanoag wetu, covered in bark for winter (photo credit: Laura Rulon, Pinterest)

As the weather got better, the settlers (known, then, as “Old Comers,” and who would later – for reasons described in this History.com article – be called Pilgrims) built shelters and a common meeting place, and with the help of the Wampanoag, successfully planted and nurtured and harvested crops.

Inspired by, and thankful for, the bounties and fruits of their first growing season in a new land, the colonists held a three-day harvest celebration (a precursor to the Thanksgiving holiday) – probably in mid-October. The Pilgrims invited members of the Wampanoag to the celebration.  Massasoit, the Wampanoag chief, and 90 of his braves accepted the invitation and attended and participated fully in the event.

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, and with Willwork in the business of – among other focuses and services provided – installing, building, and constructing, we thought it fitting to highlight here today the dwellings of the Wampanog and Pilgrims – what they were composed of, and how they were built.

Interestingly, in those early years living alongside one another, both the Wampanoag, and the Pilgrims, pulled and appropriated their building materials directly from nature, and then fashioned, formed, and placed and connected those materials together to create their shelters.

Yet, for sure, the Wampanoag, again, the first people of the area – and this was evident in their homes – lived more closely and more in harmony with the natural environment.

The Wampanoag constructed round shaped domiciles called wetus that were shaped with tree saplings.  During the warmer months, wetus were covered in cattail mats … and in the cold part of the year, large pieces of tree bark, which afforded better protection from cold, wind, and water than did cattail.  

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Sapling frame of a wetu (photo credit: The Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony: 1620)

As well, in the spring and summer and early fall, the Wampanoag lived in their wetus near the ocean, where they farmed and fished.  As the weather cooled, and winter approached, to employ and garner the shelter of woods, the Wampanoag moved inland and built and occupied larger wetus that were more communal. 

The Pilgrims built English style cottages with timber frames and deeply pitched thatch roofs.  These cottages were about 800 square feet in size, had a fireplace, and often a loft for sleeping.    

To learn more about the structures in which the Wampanoag and Pilgrims lived, and how they were built, please click here to be taken to a page at the website of the living museum Plimouth Plantation.

Another educational and interesting source to learn about Wampanoag and Pilgrim dwellings is found at Scholastic, and can be accessed by clicking here.

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services wishes and hopes for everyone a HAPPY THANKSGIVING.