(For a guide book of Plymouth, see James Baker’s 2008 A Guide to Historic Plymouth.)
Water Street runs along the harbor from Sandwich Street north to Nelson Park.
1741 — Plymouth Rock, Water Street, Plymouth, MA
The Rock was identified in 1741 by the then 95 year old Elder Thomas Faunce. The famous Plymouth Rock is located on the waterfront in downtown Plymouth near where Mayflower II is anchored today. Previously barely visible slightly protruding through a pier it was lifted from its bed in 1774 to be a patriotic symbol. In mounting it on a large wagon it split. The upper piece of the Rock was moved to the Town Square near the Town House where a Liberty Pole had been set up. On July 4, 1834 the Rock was again moved, this time to be placed in front of Pilgrim Hall. Again it fell and the famous crack was the result. The next stop was back by the harbor in 1883 to be placed within a canopy designed by Hammett Billings (q.v.). The “1620” date, which had previously been painted on it, was now carved on. It stayed under that canopy until 1921 when the present canopy was erected (q.v.). The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has erected a marker on a post that reads: PLYMOUTH ROCK / LANDING PLACE OF THE / PILGRIMS / 1620 / COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTTS. See the 1883 and the 1921 canopy entries that follow.
1883 — Plymouth Rock Canopy, Water Street, Plymouth, MA
The Rock was moved once when the 1883 Billings canopy was demolished before the 1920-21 Tercentenary celebration. Both sections of the Rock were lifted from their bed and removed to make way for construction of a new memorial structure. The strain on the boulder caused it to break apart once again, and further pieces had to be removed in order to reunite the sections before it was lowered to the new water level position it remains at today. The present canopy, designed by McKim, Mead and White and built by Roy B. Beattie of Fall River , was donated by the National Society of Colonial Dames in. In 2008 the canopy was restored.
1921 — Tercentenary Celebration, Water Street, Plymouth MA
In August 1921 an estimated 100,000 souls, including President Warren G. Harding and Vice President Calvin Coolidge attended the celebration marking the 300th year of the landing of the Pilgrims. In preparation, the shore side buildings and wharves had been demolished and the area filled in to about its present size. A pageant, costing some $200,000, took place consisting of 1,200 participants, a chorus of 300, and a huge orchestra.
1921 — Granite Bench, Cole’s Hill, Water Street, Plymouth, MA.
The Pennsylvania Society of New England Women donated this bench for the memorial of the Pilgrim's Tercentenary.
1921 — Plymouth Rock Canopy, Water Street, Plymouth MA
The Rock was moved once when the 1883 Billings canopy was demolished before the 1920-21 Tercentenary celebration. Both sections of the Rock were lifted from their bed and removed to make way for construction of a new memorial structure. The strain on the boulder caused it to break apart once again, and further pieces had to be removed in order to reunite the sections before it was lowered to the new water level position it remains at today. The present canopy, designed by McKim, Mead and White and built by Roy B. Beattie of Fall River, was donated by the National Society of Colonial Dames in. In 2008 the canopy was restored.
1921 — Cole's Hill Pilgrim Memorial Tomb, Water Street, Plymouth MA
Known as the "Sarcophagus," this 9'8" x 4'4" x 6'5" granite tomb is the final resting place of the bones of the Pilgrims who died the first winter. Their names are listed on one side. Unfortunately, because the names’ letters are bronze attachments, they, and those on the other three sides, are constantly subject to vandalism. Inside, a plain pine box 24x12x12 inches contains the bones that had been in the top of the old 1883 Billings Plymouth Rock canopy that was replaced this year. The tomb was ordered by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants at a cost of $25,000. The Pilgrim Society eventually assumed its care and upkeep and then passed it to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Sarcophagus is the site of a memorial sunset service during each triennial General Congress of the Society of Mayflower Descendants.
The long East side states: OF THE ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR PASSENGERS / THESE DIED IN PLYMOUTH DURING THE FIRST YEAR. The names of the dead are listed alphabetically in four columns, starting with John Allerton and ending with Elizabeth, first wife of Edward Winslow.
The North side reads: THE BONES OF THE PILGRIMS / FOUND AT VARIOUS TIMES IN / AND NEAR THIS ENCLOSURE / AND INTERRED FOR MANY / YEARS IN THE CANOPY OVER / THE ROCK WERE REMOVED AT / THE TIME OF THE TERCENTENARY / CELEBRATION AND ARE DEPOSITED / WITHIN THIS MONUMENT / ERECTED BY THE GENERAL SOCIEY / OF MAYFLOWER DESCENDANTS / A.D. 1920
The West side reads: THIS MONUMENT MARKS THE FIRST BURYING GROUND / IN PLYMOUTH OF THE PASSENGERS OF THE MAYFLOWER. /
HERE UNDER COVER OF DARKNESS THE FAST DWINDLING COMPANY / LAID THEIR DEAD LEVELING THE EARTH ABOVE THEM LEST THE / INDIANS SHOULD LEARN HOW MANY WERE THE GRAVES. / READER! HISTORY RECORDS NO NOBLER VENTURE FOR FAITH / AND FREEDOM THAN THAT OF THIS PILGRIM BAND. IN WEARINESS / AND PAINFULNESS, IN WATCHINGS OFTEN IN HUNGER AND COLD / THEY LAID THE FOUNDATIONS OF A STATE WHEREIN EVERY MAN / THROUGH COUNTLESS AGES, SHOULD HAVE LIBERTY TO WORSHIP / GOD IN HIS OWN WAY. MAY THEIR EXAMPLE INSPIRE THEE TO DO / THY PART IN PERPETUATING AND SPREADING THE LOFTY IDEALS / OF OUR REPUBLIC THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.
The South side has a part of a quote from William Bradford found in his history Of Plymouth Plantation between his list of passengers and their increasings/decreasings: ABOUTE A HUNDRED SOWLS / CAME OVER IN THE FIRST / SHIP AND BEGAN THIS WORKE / WHICH GOD OF HIS GOODNESS / HATH
1921 — Massasoit Statue, Cole's Hill, Water Street , Plymouth MA
Designed by Cyrus E. Dallin, this bronze statue of the Pilgrims' friend, the good sachem Massasoit of the Wampanoag. A gift of the Improved Order of Red Men, it was conceived in 1911 but, due to the outbreak of World War I, it was delayed by fund raising activities. A duplicate, funded by the Nicholas Morgan Sr. Foundation, stands in front of the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City . Tablet reads: “GREAT SACHEM / OF /THE WAMPANOAGS / PROTECTOR AND / PRESERVER OF THE / PILGRIMS / 1621 / [image of Indian pipe] ERECTED BY THE / IMPROVED ORDER OF RED MEN / A GRATEFUL TRIBUTE / 1921.” The copy in Utah has a pipe in his hand and is missing here. HITHERTOO BLESED; LET HIS HOLY NAME HAVE YE PRAISE. / BRADFORD 1650removed to make way for construction of a new memorial structure. The strain on the, Cole’s Hill, Water Street, Plymouth, MA. The Pennsylvania Society of New England Women donated this bench for the memorial of the Pilgrim's Tercentenary.
1921 — Plymouth Rock Canopy, Water Street, Plymouth MA
The Rock was moved once when the 1883 Billings canopy was demolished before the 1920-21 Tercentenary celebration. Both sections of the Rock were lifted from their bed and removed to make way for construction of a new memorial structure. The strain on the
1922 — Sarcophagus Oval, Middle Street , Plymouth , MA
The General Society of Mayflower Descendants paid over $24,000 for walks and landscaping around the Sarcophagus, including the planting of a linden tree at the south end to correspond with the one already at the north end.
1924 — Pilgrim Maiden Statue, Water Street , Plymouth , MA
A bronze statue of a young woman sculpted by H.H. Kitson stands at the edge of a pool. Dedicated by the National Society of New England Women "To those intrepid / English women / whose courage and devotion / brought a new nation into being, / this statue of the / PILGRIM MAIDEN / is dedicated. / Presented to the town of Plymouth / by the National Society of New England Women / SEP. IV MCMXXIV" The monument is located in Brewster Gardens .
1925 — Pilgrim Mother Statue & Fountain, Water Street , Plymouth , MA
Funded and dedicated by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, this Knoxville Marble statue by sculptor C. P. Jennewein of New York and fountain honors the heroic women of the Mayflower whose names are inscribed there on with the tribute: "They brought up their families, in sturdy virtue and a living faith in God, without which Nations perish." A garden of 17th century herbs was added as an Eagle Scout project in 1997.
1927 — Granite Bench, Cole's Hill, Water Street , Plymouth MA
It is inscribed: IN MEMORY / OF / THE PILGRIM FATHERS AND MOTHERS WHOSE NEW / IDEALISM ESTABLISHED THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF / THE GOVERNMENT OF OUR LAND / PRESENTED BY / THE SOCIETY OF DAUGHTERS OF COLONIAL WARS / COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS / 1927.
1941 — Mayflower Society House, 2 Winslow Street, Plymouth, MA
This house was built in 1754 on land once belonging to Joseph Howland, a son of Pilgrim John Howland. It has been greatly modified and embellished over the years. It was purchased by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants as its headquarters in 1941. Its right side looks across Winslow Street down onto Water Street and the harbor. The house itself is maintained as a museum open to the public and contains a few Pilgrim artifacts such as the Doty lamp. It has notable Dutch tile fireplace surrounds. Its furnishings are appropriate for the house. The Society’s offices and library are in separate buildings behind the house and gardens. It is “the” source of Pilgrim genealogy. Its website: www.TheMayflowerSociety.com.
1957 — Mayflower II, State Pier, Water Street, Plymouth, MA
The reproduction of the Mayflower serves as another important memorial to the Pilgrims. It was a not a government to government gift, but rather a gift of the English people to the American people. It was built in Upham shipyard, Brixham, England. Stopping at Dartmouth and Plymouth, as had the original ship, it completed the voyage, with master mariner Alan Villiers as captain, in 12 days less than the original Mayflower. Its hull is 90 feet but her overall length from boomkin to bowsprit is 136 feet. It is one of the few ships today with hand-sewn flax canvas sails and whose 4½ tons of rigging is largely of natural hemp preserved with pine-tar. It is the largest reproduction Colonial ship not to have an auxiliary engine. It is maintained by the 1627 Plimoth Plantation’s Maritime Artisans Department at annual cost of approximately $350,000.
1961 — Cole’s Hill, National Historic Landmark, Water Street, Plymouth, PA
The designation of Cole’s Hill as a registered National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, was announced at the Annual Meeting of the Pilgrim Society on December 21, 1961. Cole’s Hill is named for James Cole who had arrived by 1633. It overlooks Plymouth Rock and the harbor. It is immediately north of the first street of Plymouth Colony. The bodies of those who died during the first years of the settlement were buried here secretly. It is not believed to have been used for burials after about 1640. In the years that followed skeletal remains were unearthed by washouts and digging were eventually placed in a copper box in the top of the Billings 1883 Plymouth Rock canopy (q.v.). In 1921 they were reinterred in the Memorial Sarcophagus (q.v.). There is a granite post with a tablet that reads: IN MEMORY OF / JAMES COLE / BORN LONDON, ENGLAND 1600 / DIED PLYMOUTH, MASS 1692 / FIRST SETTLER OF COLE’S HILL 1688 / A SOLDIER IN THE PEQUOT INDIAN WAR 1637 / THIS TABLET ERECTED BY HIS DESCENDANTS / 1917.
1982 — Thomas Rogers Memorial Concrete Bench, Mayflower House, Plymouth, MA
The Thomas Rogers Society placed a concrete bench and marker in memory of Thomas Rogers in the garden of the Mayflower House and Museum.
2003 — Elizabeth Tilley Memorial Shallop, Plymouth, MA
On July 8, 2003, the shallop Elizabeth Tilley was christened in Plymouth Harbor, Massachusetts, by Elizabeth's descendant John H. Howland. Named for the wife of Pilgrim John Howland, she is a reproduction of the shallop used by the Plymouth Colony to service its Trading Post at Cushnoc on the Kennebec River (now Augusta, Maine). Built by the Plimoth Plantation under contract from The Pilgrim John Howland Society, she is 38 feet in length and fitted with both oars and sails. On July 28, 2003, she set forth on her maiden voyage, with master builder Peter Arenstam as captain, to reenact the 1628 voyage of the original shallop to Cushnoc, carrying a cargo of corn. In addition to the captain, her latter day crew consisted of 22 members of the Pilgrim John Howland Society, 12 aboard for each day's segment. The voyage, with daily stops for the night and supplies along the way, took eleven days. It would spend the winter in Bath, returning to Plymouth Harbor in the spring of 2004. With members as crew it makes an annual trip to Maine in July.
Unknown — Samoset Memorial Stone and Plaque, Plymouth MA
Circa 1640 —The Richard Sparrow House, Summer Street, Plymouth, MA
The oldest surviving house in Plymouth, it is south of Burial Hill. The house was built around 1640 by Richard Sparrow, an English surveyor who arrived in Plymouth in 1633. He was granted a 6-acre tract of land in 1636 on which the house was later built. Sparrow moved to Eastham in 1653. The Richard Sparrow House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
1898 — First House Site Plaque, Plymouth, MA
The Massachusetts State Mayflower Society affixed a bronze plaque to a house on Leyden Street to mark the site of the first house in the Plymouth Colony. It was called the Common House and served as the first infirmary, church and gathering place. The plaque states: “This tablet is erected by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to mark the site of the first house built by the Pilgrims. In that house on 27th of February, 1621, new Style, the right of popular suffrage was executed and Myles Standish was chosen captain by a majority vote. On or near this spot April 1, 1621, the memorable treat with Massasoit was made.”
1970 — Jenney Grist Mill, 6 Spring Lane, Plymouth, MA
This is a recreation of the 1636 Pilgrims’ first grist mill of John Jenney who came on the Little James in 1623. It had burned down in 1847, is a full functioning mill.
Town Brook/South Side
Circa 1667 — Jabez Howland House, 33 Sandwich Street, Plymouth, MA
The Jabez Howland House is the only existing house in Plymouth where Pilgrims actually lived. The original 17th century two-story timber framed house consisted of the porch, hall and hall chamber. John Howland and his wife, Elizabeth Tilley Howland spent their winters here with their son Jabez and his family. After John’s death at age 80, and the fire that destroyed their Rocky Nook farm, Elizabeth lived here until 1680 when Jabez sold the house. It was a private residence until 1912 when it was purchased for a museum. The property is owned by the Pilgrim John Howland Society.
1677 — Harlow Old Fort House, 119 Sandwich Street, Plymouth, MA
Built in 1677, the gambrel-roofed Harlow Old Fort House is one of the few remaining 17th century buildings in the oldest established town in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It was originally the family residence of settler William Harlow, a farmer, cooper and town official, who also served as sergeant of the local militia and participated in King Philip's War. In 1676, Harlow was granted permission to salvage material from the Pilgrims’ fort-house on Burial Hill to use in the construction of his new dwelling. From the early 19th century, the Harlow House has been notable for the hand-hewn beams attributed to this source. The house, a local landmark for generations, is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places. It is owned by The Plymouth Antiquarian Society.
Court Street (MA Route 3-A)
1769 — Old Colony Club, 25 Court Street, Plymouth, MA
Founded by seven young Plymouth men, it memorialized the Pilgrim fathers by establishing "Forefather's Day" on December 22. During the Revolutionary War the day was not celebrated. It was revived in 1793. The date was eventually corrected to December 21. The club is claimed to be the oldest active social club in the United States.
1824 — Pilgrim Hall Museum, 75 Court St, Plymouth, MA
Built and run by the Pilgrim Society, it is the nation’s only museum dedicated to housing artifacts of the Pilgrims and art depicting Pilgrims. Its collection includes Gov. William Bradford’s chair; the only portrait of a Pilgrim, Edward Winslow; the Bible of John Alden; large history paintings; wills and inventories of Pilgrims; etc. In 2007-2008 it was enlarged with air-conditioning, climate control storage areas, new and accessible restrooms, an elevator, and a new gallery for changing exhibitions. It is the oldest museum in the United States in continuous operation. It is noted for its website www.PilgrimHall.org with images of Pilgrim artifacts and texts of wills, inventories, etc.
1921 — Stained Glass “Triptych,” Pilgrim Hall Museum, 75 Court Street, Plymouth, MA
A triptych believed to be collaboration between the American craftsman Harry Eldridge Goodhue and his son Wright. Goodhue created the first American neo-Gothic stained window. The first panel, “The Plymouth Shore,” depicting a snow-covered shore over which a small window proclaims “THESE / ARE / THEY / WHICH CAME OUT OF GREAT TRIBULATION.” The middle panel, “The Pilgrims,” shows a Pilgrim couple, the mother with babe-in-arms, debarking ashore, the small over-window stating “IN / HONOR OF THE / WOMEN / OF PLYMOUTH PLANTATION” and the third panel, “Religion and Law,” shows three men walking inland, one holding a scroll perhaps representing the “Mayflower Compact” and another holding a Bible. The over-window proclaims “WITH / THEIR / MISERIES / THEY OPENED A WAY TO THESE NEW LANDS. It was funded by the Massachusetts Chapter of the Daughters of Founders and LANDS. It was funded by the Massachusetts Chapter of the Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America whose name is contained across the bottom of the three panels.
Burial Hill was known until about 1698 as Fort Hill because the Pilgrims’ original 1621 fort was sited there. Its crest is 165’ above sea level and is at the west end of Leyden Street (“First Street”) behind the First Parish Church of Plymouth (q.v.). Leyden St. continues down hill to the harbor. Although the earliest stone dates to 1681 it is believed to have become the Colony’s burying ground around 1637, superseding Cole’s Hill. The last burial took place in 1954.
1835 — Bradford Monument, Burial Hill, Plymouth, Plymouth Co., MA.
This was the first monument on a grave site on Burial Hill and was erected in June 1835. A white marble obelisk, it stands 6’ tall on top of granite and marble blocks. A stone taken from the foundation of Rev. John Cotton’s demolished Boston house was included to signify the “uniting in recollection the two colonies,” i.e. Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth. Incised on the monument is “H. F. / William Bradford / of Austerfield / Yorkshire /England / was the son of WILLIAM and ALICE BRADFORD / He was Governor of / Plymouth Colony from 1621 to 1633 / 1635 / 1637 / 1639 to 1643 / 1645 to 1657.” A Hebrew sentence on the north side translates to “Jehovah is our help” and below “Under this stone / rest the ashes of / WILLM BRADFORD / a zealous puritan & / sincere Christian / Gov. of Ply. Col. From / April 1621 to 1657, / (the year he died / aged 69) / except 5 yrs. / which he declined.” Below that is “Qua patres difficillime / adepti sund nolite / turpiter relinquare” meaning “What our fathers with so much difficulty secured, do not basely relinquish.” Another source lists the date of erection as May 1825.
1858 — Cushman Memorial, Burial Hill, Plymouth, MA
This 27’ tall memorial honors Robert Cushman and his son Thomas and was erected by his descendants. Although Robert Cushman was not able to make the 1620 voyage of the Mayflower, it is unlikely that the voyage could have been made without his help. He was the principal negotiator of agreements with the Crown and the London Adventurers and largely responsible for organizing the logistics of the trip. He and his 14 year old son Thomas arrived in New Plymouth aboard the next ship to arrive, the Fortune. His son Thomas, who married Pilgrim Isaac Allerton's daughter Mary, succeeded Wm. Brewster as the colony's Ruling Elder and served for more than 42 years. The Cushman remains were unearthed during the erection of the monument and were buried in boxes within the monument. Robert Cushman is the earliest of the Separatist group to refer to them as “Pilgrims” (1622) for which see the Pieterskerk, Leiden, Holland “died in exile” plaque.
1897 — John Howland's Grave, Burial Hill, Plymouth MA
Memorial Stone, with image of a ship in full sail at the top with a scallop shell on each side, erected by Mrs. Joseph Howland to replace an earlier stone erected in the 1830s by Pilgrim John’s great-great grandson John which listed Elizabeth Tilley as Elizabeth Carver. This stone reads: “Here ended the Pilgrimage of / JOHN HOWLAND / who died February 23, 1672/3 / aged above 80 years. / He married Elizabeth daughter of / JOHN TILLEY / who came with him in the / Mayflower Dec 1620. / From them are descended / numerous posterity. / ~~~ / “Hee was a goodly man and an ancient / professor in the wayes of Christ. Hee was / one of the first comers into this land and / was the last man that was left of those / that came over in the Shipp called the / Mayflower that lived in Plymouth.” / Plymouth Records.” What appears to be a fraction in his death date reflects the inclusion of both old style when the new year started in March and new style dating. John and Elizabeth had moved from Plymouth to Rocky Nook in 1638 and returned to Plymouth in 1672. After John’s death she moved in with her daughter Lydia Brown in Swansea where she died. She was buried in Riverside, RI (q.v.).
1930 — John Alden House Site, Burial Hill, School Street, Plymouth MA
A green patina plaque measuring approximately 20" x 20" on a boulder about ten feet from the street reads: "Site of the house where / John Alden / lived in Plymouth - This stone erected by / his descendants / the Alden Kindred / of America / 1930".
1959 — Howland Children Memorial Stone, Burial Hill, Plymouth MA
The Pilgrim John Howland Society placed a memorial stone to the children of John and Elizabeth Tilley Howland on the Howland lot at Burial Hill. On the front it reads: IN MEMORY OF / THE CHILDREN OF JOHN AND / ELIZABETH (TILLEY) HOWLAND / PILGRIMS OF THE MAYFLOWER / / LIEUTENANT JOHN HOWLAND / CAPTAIN JOSEPH HOWLAND / LIEUTENANT JABEZ HOWLAND / ENSIGN ISAAC HOWLAND / DESIRE (HOWLAND) GORHAM / HOPE (HOWLAND) (HICKS) DICKENSON / LYDIA (HOWLAND) BROWN / HANNAH (HOWLAND) BOSWORTH / RUTH (HOWLAND) CUSHMAN. The reverse says ERECTED BY / THE PILGRIM JOHN HOWLAND SOCIETY / 1958. The stone was actually dedicated in August 1959 at the Society’s annual meeting.
1967 — Elder William Brewster Memorial, Burial Hill, School Street, Plymouth MA
A tall granite monument with a curved top reads: ELDER WILLIAM BREWSTER / PATRIARCH OF THE PILGRIMS / AND THEIR RULING ELDER 1609 - 1644 / OUTSTANDING LEADER OF PILGRIM MOVEMENT / THE FOUNDING OF PLIMOTH PLANTATION / AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF CIVIL LAW AND / RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN THE NEW WORLD / B. AT SCROOBY, ENGLAND, CA 1566-7, / D. AT PLYMOUTH, N.E. CA. APRIL 10, 1644, / A RESIDENT OF PLYMOUTH AND DUXBURY / M. CA. 1589 MARY WENTWORTH OF SCROOBY, / B. CA 1568, 9 D. AT PLYMOUTH CA . / BOTH MAYFLOWER PASSENGERS REST / IN UNKNOWN GRAVES IN PLYMOUTH / POSSIBLY IN OR NEAR BURIAL HILL / ERECTED 1967 / BY THE ELDER WILLIAM BREWSTER SOCIETY. The name given of Brewster’s wife is “not proved to current standards.”
Unknown — Edward Doty Memorial, Burial Hill, School Street, Plymouth MA
Monument about ten feet from School Street reads: "They believed in religious freedom / in honor of / Edward Doty / Passenger on the Mayflower / erected by / Descendants of Eliza Doty Cravath / A pioneer to Utah in 1850"
Unknown — Old Fort Site Memorial, Burial Hill, Plymouth, MA
A memorial was erected by the Honorable Artillery Company of London and the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Mass. The center of the fort’s site was marked by an elm tree planted in 1834 by James Thatcher, M.D., author of the 1835 History of the Town of Plymouth, to “serve to designate its site to posterity.” Alas, posterity was short lived and the site is now marked by a stool-shaped marble marker and a sign.
Town Square is the center of what was the center of the original Pilgrims’ palisade surrounded and diamond-shaped settlement and is at the intersection of Leyden Street (the Colony’s “First Street”) which runs eastward straight down hill to the harbor, and Main Street that runs to the north where it becomes Court Street at North Street. Main Street also runs southward to where it becomes Sandwich Street (MA 3-A) leading to Cape Cod at the northern end of Water Street which in turn leads eastward and then northward along the harbor.
1840 — Church of the Pilgrimage, 8 Town Square (Leyden Street), Plymouth, MA
The schism of 1801 was the first to occur over doctrinal matters in New England. The Church of the Pilgrimage (as it is now named) does not claim a legal or ecclesiastical origin beyond the year 1801. Spiritually and theologically, however, The Church of the Pilgrimage does claim to perpetuate the Trinitarian faith of the Pilgrims. The members of The Church of the Pilgrimage believe that its separation from Unitarian tendencies in 1801 was an act of restoring confidence in the insights of those who first "made covenant" in the hamlet of Scrooby in 1606, adhered to that covenant in Amsterdam and Leyden, and secured its perpetuation in New Plimoth from 1620 until this very day.
On November 24, 1840, a new church edifice was dedicated in Town Square very near the site of the Pilgrims' first Meeting House. From that date the church has been known as The Church of the Pilgrimage, although that name did not become official until May of 1870 when it was adopted by a vote of the congregation. The name given to our church is an extraordinarily appropriate one. The name at once recognizes its spiritual legacy rooted in Scrooby, Leyden, and the Mayflower, while at the same time suggests that the cause, goals, and aspirations of the forebears remain in progress. It is not "The Church of the Pilgrims"; they are contemporary Christians who have owned and continue the pilgrimage toward truth and freedom which the Pilgrims have bequeathed to us as a spiritual legacy. The Church of the Pilgrimage is now a member of The United Church of Christ. (The members of the congregation voted in 1948 to become a part of the formation of the present denominational affiliation. The United Church of Christ, as a denomination, became official in 1957 when the Evangelical and Reformed Churches merged with the Congregational Christian Churches. Although a relatively young denomination, its backgrounds make it the parents of American Protestantism.
1897 — First Parish Church Memorial Window, Pulpit & Plaque, 19 Town Square, Plymouth, MA
Since 1683 a church has been on this site at the top (west end) of Leyden Street and at the foot of Burial Hill. The present church, completed in 1899 as a Memorial Church to the Helen's in Austerfield where Bradford was baptized. There is a memorial tablet at the right of the entrance reading "The Church of Scrooby, Leyden and the Mayflower gathered on this hillside in 1620, has ever since preserved unbroken records and maintained a continuous ministry, its first covenant being still the basis of its fellowship. In reverent memory of its Pilgrim Founders this Fifth Meeting-House was erected AD, MDCCCXCVII." The church has three stained glass windows that depict civil liberty, religious liberty, and a Tiffany window representing the "The Signing of the Compact" memorializing the Forefathers which was given by the New York State Mayflower Society. Religious freedom was so precious it was given the place of honor in this, one of the first churches in the New World. Two other windows by Tiffany depict the Pilgrims’ departure from The Netherlands and the treaty with Massasoit.
At the time of the dedication of the new church in 1899, the Pilgrim John Howland Society presented a pulpit and a tablet. The latter reads: "In Loving Memory of JOHN HOWLAND and ELIZABETH TILLEY HOWLAND his wife of the Mayflower this pulpit is placed in the First Church in Plymouth by their Descendants A. D. 1899."
Pre 1914 — First Spring, William Brewster Lot, 5 Main Street, Plymouth, MA
Before a post office was built at this spot in 1913, the First Spring of the Pilgrims looked as shown in a postcard photo. The arched sign over the spring reads: DRINK HERE AND QUENCH YOUR THIRST / FROM THIS SPRING PILGRIMS DRANK FIRST. On the wall of the house to the right the sign reads: “This Noted Spring Is On The Lot Of Land / Owned And Built Upon By / Elder Brewster 1671 / And Is The Original / Elder Brewster Spring.” The post office building, added to the National Historic Register in 1986, still stands although its function was removed to a new building out of center Plymouth in the 1970s. There is a similar Brewster Spring marker on it.
1918 — First Parish Church Font, 19 Town Square, Plymouth MA
The New Jersey State Mayflower Society donated a baptismal pedestal "in recognition of the great courtesy shown the Society" by the Church.
1978 — John Howland House Site, 16 Leyden Street, Plymouth, MA
In Leyden Street sidewalk a plaque reads: ON THIS SITE / STOOD THE FIRST HOUSE / OF MAYFLOWER PILGRIM / JOHN HOWLAND / THE PILGRIM JOHN HOWLAND SOCIETY / 1978
Unknown — William Brewster House Site Marker, 5 Main Street, Plymouth, MA
Bronze marker mounted on the old Post Office reads: ON THIS SITE / STOOD THE HOUSE OF / WILLIAM BREWSTER / (1566? – 1646) / SPIRITUAL LEADER AND ELDER / OF THE COLONY.
1889 — National Monument to the Forefathers, 72 Allerton Street, Plymouth, MA
Conceived in 1820 with the establishment of the Pilgrim Society as part of their mission, but begun in 1859 and dedicated on August 1, 1889, this 81 foot high monument atop Allerton Hill overlooks Plymouth Harbor. The 36 foot high "Faith," the dominant figure, was designed by the architect Hammett Billings. She is depicted with one foot on Plymouth Rock. Four ancillary figures (Mortality, Education, Law, and Liberty, “the principles upon which the Pilgrim Fathers proposed to found their Commonwealth”) surround her. There are four bas-relief scenes of the Pilgrims’ history. There are four panels: two bear the names of the Mayflower passengers, one as an inscription reading “NATIONAL / MONUMENT / TO THE / FOREFATHERS. / ERECTED / BY A / GRATEFUL PEOPLE / IN REMENBRANCE OF / THEIR / LABORS, SACRIFICES / AND SUFFERINGS / FOR THE / CAUSE OF CIVIL / AND / RELIGIOUS LIBERTY,” and the fourth has Gov. Bradford’s famous quote written in his history Of Plymouth Plantation in 1630 (p. 181): “Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are; and, as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehovah have all the praise.” Care of the monument has shifted from the Pilgrim Society to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
1990 — Edward Doty House Site Plaque, Court and Prince Street, Plymouth MA
On September 9, 1990, The Pilgrim Edward Doty Society dedicated an historical marker on the site of the land grant which Edward Doty received in 1627. The site is located at the corner of Court and Prince Streets just before the present Cordage Mall.
1947 — Plimoth Plantation, 137 Warren Avenue, Plymouth MA
Arguably the ultimate living memorial to the Pilgrims, this living museum founded in 1947, built on ground similar to that of the original Colony settlement, has been reliving the year 1627 for more than half a century. One outreach program brings Pilgrim history to classrooms around the nation. The Pilgrim John Howland Society contributed $30,000 for the construction and maintenance of the replica John Howland house. Reproduction Pilgrim houses of the other Pilgrims and the fort/meeting house are represented. Its website: www.Plimoth.org.
2005 — Recreated John Howland House, 1627 Plimoth Plantation, 137 Warren Street, Plymouth, MA
This was replacement for an earlier building in this recreated village south of the town of Plymouth.
Clarks Island, Duxbury Bay, Plymouth, MA
Clark's Island is a small island located in today’s Duxbury Bay. Its location is often given as in Plymouth Bay. It was named for John Clarke, the first mate of the Mayflower. Apparently this is the “strange island” mentioned in the 1622 Mourt’s Relation and, in Bradford’s 1630-1647 history, where the on December 9, 1620, the settlement search party landed and spent the night. A large rock thereon exceeding 30’ in length and 12’ in height is now known as “Pulpit Rock” because tradition says that it was used by the advance party when, as Bradford wrote, they “gave God thanks for His mercies in their manifold deliverances.” Incised on the rock is: ON THE / SABBOTH DAY / WEE RESTED / 20 DECEMBER / 1620. Today Clark's Island is a part of the town of Plymouth and is reachable by boat from State Pier in Plymouth.