A GENEROUS gift was given to the Pilgrim Hall Museum from the estate of Frederick and Mary Steinway. Mr. Steinway was a descendant of the Pilgrims, and Mrs. Steinway was a longtime supporter of the museum. On behalf of all of us thoroughly interested in all things Pilgrim -- THANK YOU most kindly!
Pilgrim Hall is a wonderful museum. The most interesting exhibit for me at the time was the remains of the Sparrow-Hawk – a small boat that sailed from England to Virginia in 1626, yet was pushed north by storms. It landed on Cape Cod, and the Plymouth Pilgrims assisted the passengers and crew for several months before sending them south toward Virginia.
There it was in the back of the museum, against the wall. I was excited at the idea of touching something that the Pilgrims themselves had touched. My hand lifted and began to reach out when my better judgement caught hold. I went back to the desk and politely asked if I may just touch (ever so gently) one of the timbers of the Sparrow-Hawk. The cheery, white-haired museum volunteer politely responded, "No. That would set off our alarms." Embarrassed, I turned about. As I walked away, she directed me toward a chunk of dark gray stone to my right, near the door. "Everyone may touch that. It is a piece of the original Plymouth Rock," she said proudly.
The Sparrow-Hawk is on exhibit elsewhere in Cape Cod right now. See photos and read more about it HERE.
Governor William Bradford wrote about the Pilgrims' encounter with the Sparrow-Hawk. You may read his account (in his original old English) by clicking HERE.
January 5, 2013