Visit Historical Plymouth
In Plymouth there are many historical sites to visit and historical recreations to experience. Here at Plymouth1620.com we have compiled a list of Historical Sites that we feel are great places to visit on you trip to Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Being one of the more prominent historical landmarks in Plymouth, the Plymouth Rock was one of the first symbols of our nation’s freedom. Apparently, the rock was first identified as "The rock upon which the forefathers first stepped", in 1741, by Tomas Faunce, a 95 year old, third generation elder of the Plymouth Church. There was no previous mention of the rock before then. Even though it was split in half during one of its trips, the Rock has been moved quite a few times. Now it rests in its portico, where thousands of tourists every year gather and observe in awe.
Here lie the remains of many of the original settlers of Plymouth. William Bradford, John Alden, and Priscilla Alden, are some of the people that were buried here over 300 years ago. Burial Hill is also recognized as the site where the Pilgrims first fort was erected, and where they placed their cannons to protect the harbor.
Pilgrim Hall Museum:
Located in Downtown Plymouth is the oldest, continuously operating museum in the United States. First opened in 1824, Pilgrim Hall Museum contains a large collection of artifacts from the original Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Tribe. For more information, including admission fees and hours, visit www.pilgrimhall.org.
The Mayflower II is a replica of the original Mayflower that our forefathers sailed upon to America. Built in England during the 1950's, the Mayflower II was then sailed to Plymouth in 1957 by Captain Allan Villiers, as part of an international goodwill project. Today, the ship rests in Plymouth harbor where many tourists every year, climb aboard and get to tour the magnificent ship.
Directly across from the Plymouth Rock’s Portico, stands Cole's Hill. It was upon this hill that during the first winter the Pilgrims buried their deceased in unmarked graves. On Cole's Hill lies a Sarcophagus containing the remains of those deceased that were buried, and then later washed out of the hill due to rainstorms. At the top of the hill stands a large bronze statue of Massasoit, the Wampanoag chief who befriended the Pilgrims.
Plymouth National Wax Museum:
Located atop Cole's Hill, is the only wax museum in America devoted to the Pilgrims. The museum contains 26 life size scenes detailing the story of the Pilgrims. The museum provides an enjoyable and educational place to stop, while touring Plymouth.
Located on Allerton St., just outside downtown Plymouth stands the National Monument to the Forefathers. Erected in 1889, it is the largest solid granite monument in the United States (81-ft.). It was dedicated to honor the virtues of the Pilgrims: Faith, Liberty, Law, Education, and Morality. Forefathers Monument is also the original prototype for the Statue of Liberty.
Next to Leyden St. and along Town Brook, is what is said to be one of the most serene and relaxing spots in Plymouth. It is along Town Brook where the Wampanoags used to catch the herring that they ate. Also located in Brewster Gardens is the Pilgrim Maiden Statue, dedicated to those women who helped bring our nation into being.
Located where Town Brook meets Spring Lane, Jenny Pond is home to the gristmill that played an important role in the development of the Pilgrim society. The pond itself, is named after John Jenney who built the Pilgrims first gristmill on the site in 1636. However, the original mill was destroyed in 1847 by fire. Today in its place stands a replica that was built in 1970. While visiting, you can see corn being ground in the same fashion that our forefathers did it over 350 years ago.
1749 Court House:
Built in 1749, it originally served as the courthouse for Plymouth County. Today it is recognized as the oldest wooden courthouse in the United States, even though it has been converted into a museum. In addition to having a fully intact courtroom on the second floor, the building houses several of Plymouth's old fashioned horse drawn utilities, including a horse drawn hearse.
First Parish Church:
Seated next to the 1749 Courthouse in Town Square is the great stone church. To date, there have been four churches that have occupied the same spot where the First Parish Church stands today. The first church to be located there was built in 1648. The Parish was first started in 1606 in Scrooby, England and was then brought to America with the Pilgrims. It is the longest continually active congregation in the United States.