The Real First Thanksgiving: Booze, Guns and Colonial Landscaping

We all know the story of how Thanksgiving Day started, right? Some nice, polite Pilgrims landed at Plymouth and met some nice, polite Indians (we say Native Americans these days) and they had a nice, family meal together with turkey, stuffing, potatoes and pumpkin pie.

Well … not exactly.

Here’s how historians tell it:


The Pilgrims had been at the Plymouth colony for a year, since landing in November 1620. A few colonists went out hunting for geese and ducks and bagged enough bird to feed everyone for a week.

The next thing they knew, nearly 100 of the Wampanoag people (a.k.a. Pokanokets) showed up wanting in on the action. They were enough to outnumber the colonists about two to one.

This made the Pilgrims a little nervous.

They had no reason to be, though. It turned out the Wampanoag were a pretty cool people who, over the next few days, brought venison, fish, eels, shellfish (not the Thanksgiving fare we usually imagine) and beer (which, depending on your family, might be a little more familiar). They didn’t have many buildings so they ate together on the ground or sitting on barrels.

Then they started in on the liquor. Soon enough they were on their feet, three sheets to the wind, firing guns and running foot races, just having a good old time. (Depending on your family, that part might sound REALLY familiar).

These diverse groups bonded despite barely speaking each other’s language and made a treaty that lasted more than 50 years.

Interestingly, if it weren’t for one unique feature of the area, the Pilgrims might never have settled there and this famous shindig might never have happened.


What drew the Pilgrims to this place was that a group of native villagers who had lived there before had already cleared much of the land, making it easier to plant and build.

Fun fact: If the native peoples had not previously cultivated that land to make it hospitable, the Pilgrims would not have settled there and the First Thanksgiving wouldn’t have happened.

Another fun fact: Nobody’s going to want to come to your place either if you don’t do something about your property!


We know you’re excited about doing exactly what the first Pilgrims did: cook a feast, have a bunch of people over, drink beer (or soda), run foot races (or at least watch football) and shoot some guns (or … something).

But first you’ve got to get your little homestead ready for the big day. If you don’t want to make your Thanksgiving guests trudge through muddy piles of wet leaves, brush, briars and weeds to get to your front door, better break out that rake.

When you’re done, let that sore back remind you that a little planning goes a long way. Call Clean Cut now to get ahead of next year. We’ll start with snow removal, end with next year’s fall cleanup, and take care of everything in between.

You’ll be thankful you did.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Clean Cut Lawn & Landscape
7415 W Jackson St
Muncie, IN 47304-9759
(765) 759-8575

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