The village buildings and layout reproduce the presumed conditions of 1627, and the people there (actually actors) stay completely in character. As one website notes:
People in historic period costumes carry out their daily tasks which would have been conducted by the occupants of the settlement. Their dialect is recreates the flavor of the period as well.
When we visited there we had a lot of fun interacting with the “residents.” I particularly enjoyed myself, and probably embarrassed my children in the process. We went into one house just around the noon hour, and the residents were getting ready to eat. They told us that they would always sing a psalm before the meal. In fact, they said the plantation leader had rewritten many of the psalms into hymn mode, and would we like to sing along? Well, I need no second invitation to sing, so I joined in. That’s when my children looked embarrassed—Mom, you didn’t have to sing along.
Another house we stopped in was the residence of the village physician. At the time, I worked for the state medical association, so I really enjoyed conversing with the physician. In his garden, he was growing several medicinal flowers, including foxglove.
Foxglove is a flower from which digitalis, used in treatment heart ailments, can be extracted. Thinking myself quite smart, I asked the physician if he had heard of using willow bark to reduce fever and relieve pain. He was totally in character, and asked me whence came this knowledge? I replied, well, it is well known to the Indians that willow bark has these properties. He drew himself up and sniffed his reply—use something on good Christians that comes from savages? We would never do such a thing. So much for me showing off what I knew.
Then came the coup de grace. As we were walking around the village, one of the villagers asked me if I was a good wife. I think I sort of spluttered—well, I try to be. Ah, he said—then you are not a lady or a gentlewoman, but a good wife. Humph—a little light clicked in my brain, and I realized he was asking about mysocial status, not my upright moral character. And then I remembered the Nathaniel Hawthorne story “Young Goodman Brown.”
See, social ranking would have been lord and lady, gentleman and gentlewoman, or goodman and goodwife. So much for social climbing. And I was just a goodwife!
First two photos from Wikipedia; last one from the website http://www.pilgrims.net/plimothplantation/vtour/index.htm