“What happened to the Mayflower One?”

“Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor,” by William Halsall, 1882 (Original hangs in Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, Massachusetts, Image via Wikipedia)

Yesterday morning, as we were planning our itinerary for the summer, I asked The Five-Year-Old if she would like to go visit the Mayflower in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The Five-Year-Old: “What’s the Mayflower?”

Mommyo: “It’s the ship the Pilgrims took to get from England to America almost four hundred years ago.”

The Five-Year-Old: “Can we see the actual ship?”

Mommyo: “Well, no. We would visit the Mayflower II. But it’s been built to be exactly like the ship the Pilgrims took, so walking around it should still be pretty neat.”

The Five-Year-Old: “What happened to the Mayflower One?”

I didn’t know, but the iPhone did (naturally). Apparently the original Mayflower was taken to Rotherhithe, London in 1623 and turned into scrap lumber. (Didn’t these people have any sense of history?)

Bonus question from The Five-Year-Old: “Why was it called the Mayflower?”

According to Wikipedia (because of course I didn’t know), in the seventeenth century lots and lots of ships were named Mayflower in honor of the white flowers that bloom on chestnut trees in–you guessed it–May.

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About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, chatting about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.blog, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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4 Responses to “What happened to the Mayflower One?”

  1. It really is a shame they had no sense of history. Saying you want to see the Mayflower 2 just doesn’t have the same ring as saying you are going to see “THE Mayflower”.Oh well.


    • Shala Howell says:

      Yep. The Five-Year-Old is definitely feeling the lack of cachet, which is why I’m keeping to myself the fact that since the Mayflower was such a popular name for ships in the 1600s, in all probability the Mayflower One was more like the Mayflower 25. (Which may also help explain why no one felt particularly sentimental about recycling it for scraps.)


  2. Pingback: “Is that the real Plymouth Rock?” | CATERPICKLES

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