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Mayflower society based in Orange County California


Howland House
Alden House


tmay26.jpg (4311 bytes)1. EXTERIOR VIEW

The Howland House is the only house left standing in Plymouth where Pilgrims actually lived. The original 17th century two story timber framed house consisted of the porch, hall and hall chamber.   In order to attend church during the winter months both John & Elizabeth Tilley Howland spent part of the season here.

During this time Jabez raised the roof and added a back bedroom providing space for his parents. After John's death in 1673 (Age 8O) and the fire that destroyed their Rocky Nook Farm, Elizabeth lived here until 1680 with her son Jabez and his family. The house was expanded with several lean-tos which made it into a large house by 1750.

tmay27.jpg (5419 bytes)2. 1667 LIVING ROOM

You will find that as you tour the house there is a fire place in almost every room. The open fire place was a hazard to colonial women as many were badly hurt or died from burns. This due to the long dresses they wore and attempting to get to the kettles or pots being warmed by the fire. The living room would be one of the main areas for reading by the fire.

tmay28.jpg (5681 bytes)3. THE OLDE KITCHEN

Note the various bowls on the table. Also the many plates and utensils hung above the fireplace. Readily accessible for use while cooking meals. Trammels were used to hold cooking pots. The swing arm or crane made cooking safer for women as they were not required to step into the fireplace to take the pot off the fire.

tmay29.jpg (4633 bytes)4. THE JOHN HOWLAND BEDROOM

This bedroom was used by John Howland when he and wife Elizabeth stayed here during the winter months before John's death and Elizabeth remained until son Jabez sold the house in 1680. At this time Elizabeth moved to Swansea, Rhode Island to live with her daughter Lydia Brown. She died there in 1687(age 80) and is buried outside the Brown family plot. The cradle, spinning wheel, chair and chest at the end of the bed add to the ambiance of the period.

tmay30.jpg (4353 bytes)5. 1750 BEDROOM

The first thing you notice is the ceiling of 1750 is plastered where the earlier rooms showed the beams. Like beds of the period they were canopied. This field bed can be fitted with heavy drapes for warmth and privacy. The curly birch dresser is American Chippendale(1750-1780). Beds were framed with rope strings. In damp weather the ropes had to be loosened and in dry weather tightened in order to keep a firm support for the mattresses. Mattresses were stuffed with whatever was comfortable(i.e. straw, cornhusks). Feathers would have been the best. Often the husband would leave his best feather bed to his eldest son and the second best to his wife.

  totop.gif (646 bytes)All material and photographs on this page are courtesy The Pilgrim Society. These materials are copyrighted and cannot be copied or duplicated without permission of The Pilgrim Society. To visit the Pilgrim Hall Museum web site at please click here


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1999 - 2002 Orange County Colony of the Mayflower Society
Last modified: March 07, 2002