Brave New World - The Life of a 17th Century Indentured Servant

Julia FrieseThis summer marks the 5-year anniversary of one of the longest and most thorough experiments in "time travel" ever to be undertaken. During the winter and spring of 2003, staff from Plimoth Plantation Museum worked painstakingly in Machiasport to re-create the foundation of a 1628 settlement where the Emmy-nominated PBS television series, Colonial House, would be filmed for over four months. In early June of 2003, approximately 20 "city-slickers" from around the country sailed out of Bar Harbor on a tall ship to their destination. Sleeping above deck in the rain and waiting in the fog for 30 hours to row to shore was only the beginning of the adventure for this contemporary group of "colonists."

Julia Friese, now a permanent resident of Maine, will be speaking at the Maine Lighthouse Museum on Saturday, March 21st at 2:00 PM about her experience as an indentured servant on the colony. "We were not asked to be actors," said Friese. "Rather, we were required to live under the conditions that a group of colonists coming to the New World in the early 1600's would have faced. There was a lot of trial and error. We were to follow the rules and norms of the 17th century while etching out a successful business for the supporting company in England. That might sound easy, but try doing it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all the while wearing a corset and the same pair of socks for 7 days in a row." For an independent, modern female, taking on the role of an indentured servant was 180 degrees from everything Julia was used to while living in Philadelphia.

In the presentation, Julia will show excerpts from the television series, have clothing and other personal effects used at the colony on display, and exhibit samples of food items that were the common staples from which most of the Colonial meals were made. Those attending the talk will be able to take home recipes from the cookbook that Julia wrote while on the colony. The presentation is free and open to the public. Seating will be limited to 40 people. The Maine Lighthouse Museum is located at One Park Drive in Rockland. Please call 207-594-3301 or visit the museum's website for more information.