Lovingly called America’s Hometown, the city of Plymouth is a hub of American culture, history, and folklore. It is located 40 miles south of Boston. Being the landing place of the Mayflower, Plymouth is the site of one of the earliest settlements of Europeans in North America. This is where the history of New England started in the US. This pleasant oceanfront city is dotted with many colonial and heritage structures along with a number of museums and parks. It has a laid-back ambiance to it and is ideal for a weekend visit where you can soak in the charm of its colonial flavor. Here are the top attractions that Plymouth has to offer to its visitors.
- Burial Hill
The Burial Hill Cemetery is located about a block south of the Pilgrim Memorial State Park. The hill was originally the site of a fort built by the Pilgrims in 1621. The fort was not only for protection but also a meeting place for the settlers. It was in the last quarter on the 17th century that the site was made into a burial ground. There are contradictory reports as to who was the first person to be buried there. However, what we do know that a number of passengers from the Mayflower, the ship from England that arrived with the first settlers, are buried at the Burial Hill Cemetery.
- Plymouth Rock
The Plymouth Rock has gained immense historical significance as it was claimed to mark the site where the English settlers first set foot in North America in 1620. It was not until 1741, 121 years after the arrival, that the first claim was made by Elder Thomas Faunce. Since then, the rock has become a part of American history and folklore. The year 1620 is inscribed on the rock face. Originally, the rock was believed to have weighed 20,000 pounds, but with pieces being broken, sold, and chipped off, it weighs a third of the original. The rock broke in half in 1774 while trying to haul it the Town Hall. It has since been joined but the crack is still visible.
- Plimoth Grist Mill
Plimoth Grist Mill is the exact recreation of the Jenny Grist Mill from 1636. Plimoth is fully operational and grinds corn the same way the original mill used to grind grains from the settlers. The 14-foot grinding wheel is powered by the neighboring Town Brook. The reconstructed mill was built in 1969 and was acquired by the Plimoth Foundation in 2012. Currently, the mill is open for tours where one can see from close quarters how grist mills used to work in the 17th century. Visitors can even contribute to various workings of the mill during the tour.
- Jabez Howland House
The Jabez Howland House on Sandwich Street is one of the most historically significant attractions of Plymouth. It is the only remaining house in the city which was resided by the Pilgrims. The house was built by Jabez Howland, son of Pilgrims John and Elizabeth Howland. The senior Howlands used to spend the winters in this house. The house went through various stages of disrepair over the years but was restored to its 17th-century look. It is now a museum complete with 17th century artifacts and furniture. The Jabez Howland House is open for tours from Memorial Day until Columbus Day.
- Richard Sparrow House
The Richard Sparrow House is not only the oldest house in Plymouth, but also one of the oldest wooden buildings in the US. It was built around 1640 by Richard Sparrow, a settler who arrived in North America in 1633. This 2-story house by Town Brook was built on a 16-acre tract of land that was granted to Sparrow. It was one of the grander residences from that period. Currently, the Sparrow House has been transformed into a house museum. An extension of the house is used as an art gallery showcasing American handicrafts.
- Mayflower Society House
The Mayflower House is a significant historical landmark in the city of Plymouth. It is located a stone’s throw from the Pilgrim Memorial State Park. The mansion was built in 1754 by a loyalist named Edward Winslow, great grandson of Edward Winslow who was a Pilgrim. The house, which has now been converted to a museum, has a rich history of 3 centuries so it is highly recommended to take a guided tour.
- National Monument to the Forefathers
The National Monument to the Forefathers was erected in 1889 to commemorate the Pilgrims who arrived in North America in the 17th century. The 81-foot tall monument is considered to be the largest granite monument in the world. The monument is a part of the Pilgrim Memorial State Park. It was originally known as the Pilgrim Monument. Incidentally, a 252-foot tall granite tower named the Pilgrim Monument was erected in 1910 in Provincetown in neighboring Cape Cod to mark the site where the Mayflower made its first stop before sailing to Plymouth.
- Mayflower II
The Mayflower II is an exact replica of the Mayflower, the ship which sailed from England to North America in 1620 with European settlers. The replica was made in England in 1956. In 1957, it set sail from Plymouth in England across the Atlantic to the US to recreate the journey of the Mayflower. Mayflower was kept at the port area and was open for tours to the public. However, after major restoration in 2016, it is now supposed to make only limited appearances.
- Pilgrim Hall Museum
The Pilgrim Hall Museum on Court Street opened in 1824, making it the oldest continually running public museum in the US. The museum is housed in an impressive building with a façade that resembles a Greek Revival-styled temple. It went through major restorations and renovations in 2008 to get a more state-of-the-art look. The museum, as the name suggests, traces the journey and lives of the Pilgrims, the first settlers from England in North America. It has in its collection many priceless artifacts from the 17th and 18th centuries that are associated directly with the Pilgrims.
- Plimoth Plantation
Plimoth Plantation is an open-air living history museum located near the northeastern coast of Plymouth. It was established in 1947 to recreate the original settlements of the European settlers in the 17th century, complete with actors in period costumes. The recreations were done based on paintings, documents, and artifacts from that period. The plank fencing along with the mud and straw huts reflect the harsh conditions that the English settlers faced when they first arrived here. No wonder almost half their population perished by the first winter. A separate section of the museum also has a recreation of the Native American settlements before the Pilgrims arrived.
Originally posted 2017-09-05 06:37:18.