Guide to Historic Plymouth_ Localities and Objects of Interest
Localities and Objects of Interest
Copyrighted, and Published By
A. S. BURBANK
Copyright, 1920, by A. S. Burbank.
Printed by the Memorial Press.
- Beach Point 64
- Burial Hill 49
- Church of the First Parish 48
- Church of the Pilgrimage 47
- Clark’s Island 80
- Cole’s Hill 39
- Compact 82
- Court House 25
- Gov. Bradford’s House in 1621 46
- Gurnet 37
- Harbor 64
- Industries 77
- Landing of the Pilgrims 36
- Leyden Street 41
- Manomet Bluffs 60
- Members of the Mayflower Company 83
- Morton Park 67
- National Monument Frontispiece and page 8
- North Street 33
- Old Fort and First Meeting House, 1621 59
- Old Houses 70
- Pilgrim Antiquities 16-25
- Pilgrim Hall 13
- Plymouth as a Summer Resort 79
- Plymouth High School 73
- Plymouth in 1627 45
- Plymouth Rock 31
- Post Office 44
- Prison 30
- Public Library 74
- Registry Building 27
- The Town 73
- Town Brook 69
- Town Square 46
- Voyage of the Mayflower Shallop 65
- Watch Tower 61
- Watson’s Hill 61
NATIONAL MONUMENT TO THE FOREFATHERS.
“The Pilgrim Fathers—where are they?
The waves that brought them o’er
Still roll in the bay, and throw their spray,
As they break along the shore.”
The introduction of visitors to Plymouth asthey come by rail, is at Seaside, a station inthe extreme north part of the town, at thedividing line between Kingston and Plymouth.As the cars slow up passengers see thebeautiful panorama of Plymouth Harbor spread out beforetheir eyes. At the near left, across the bay appears Captain’sHill, so called from its being the home of Capt. MylesStandish, and on its crest is a monument in honor of thePilgrim warrior, surmounted by his statue fourteen feet inheight. Farther along is seen Rouse’s Hummock, the Americanterminus of the French Atlantic cable. The next prominentobject is Clark’s Island, where the Pilgrims spenttheir first Sabbath in Plymouth. Next to this is the headlandof Saquish, and beyond is the Garnet with its twinlighthouses. Opposite these the bold bluff of Manometthrusts itself out into the bay, while nearer inland the long,thin ribbon of Plymouth Beach runs across the harbor, likean artificial breakwater, to arrest the waves of the ocean.
STANDISH HOUSE, BUILT BY SON OF MYLES STANDISH, 1666.
CAPTAIN’S HILL, DUXBURY.
Few scenes can surpass this in loveliness, if the visitor isfortunate enough to arrive when the tide is in. Although bythe configuration of the land Plymouth Harbor seems tohave been designed for a perfect haven against every windthat blows, unfortunately it is dependent upon a full sea fordepth enough of water to float vessels of large draft to thewharves. With the assistance of the State of Massachusettsa channel 150 feet wide with eighteen feet depth at mean7low water, was opened in 1913 from Beach Point to the finenew stone pier of the Plymouth Cordage Co., and by it thatgreat industrial plant now brings its fibre, for manufacture,direct from Mexico to its mills in steamships of 3500 tonsmeasurement. In 1876 the United States Government duga small channel from Broad channel to the wharves, wherenone had existed. In 1914-15 the Government and Stateco-operated in improving the old “Mayflower channel,” fromdeep water at Beach Point along the inside of the Beachand up Broad channel to the town wharves, so that for theentire distance there is a width of 200 feet and depth of 18feet at mean low water. This allows steamers and lightdraft vessels to land at any time of tide, while at high waterbarges and heavy freight carriers drawing 25 feet or morecan have easy access to the piers. These harbor improvementsaccommodate any vessels that can pass through theCape Cod Canal which opens into the bay 16 miles belowPlymouth and are of great advantage to the Pilgrim port.Other important changes of the water front and harbor maydevelop previous to the tercentenary celebration of “theLanding,” to take place in 1920-21, plans and details forwhich are in charge of a special State Commission.
Immediately upon leaving the station of the New York,New Haven & Hartford Railroad, on arrival in Plymouth,and while traversing Old Colony park to Court street, themain street of the town, the Samoset House is in full viewin the front. Looking towards the Samoset House on theway through the park the first street on its right leadingfrom Court street is Cushman street; and the walk continuedup Cushman street and little northward along Allertonstreet, will shortly bring the visitor to the National Monumentto the Forefathers.
The National Monument to the Forefathers
The corner stone of the National Monumentwas laid Aug. 2, 1859, and the work entrustedto Hammatt Billings who drew the designfor the Monument in all its details. Themain pedestal was put in position in 1876,and in the following summer the statue of Faith was erected.The monument was completed in October, 1888, and dedicatedwith appropriate ceremonies August 1, 1889. It isbuilt entirely of granite, the statues all coming from thequarries of the Hallowell Granite Company of Maine. (Seefrontispiece.)
The idea of building the monument to the memory of thePilgrim Fathers was early entertained in the town, and wasformed into a definite object by the incorporation of thePilgrim Society in January, 1820; which object was keptsteadily in view and prosecuted to successful conclusion.
The plan of the principal pedestal is octagonal, with foursmall and four large faces; from the small faces projectfour buttresses or wing pedestals. On the main pedestalstands the figure of Faith. One foot rests upon Forefathers’Rock; in her left hand she holds a Bible; with the rightuplifted she points to heaven. Looking downward, as tothose she is addressing, she seems to call to them to trust in ahigher power.
THE FIRST TREATY WITH THE INDIANS.
Alto Relief on National Monument.
On each of the four buttresses or wing pedestalsis a seated figure; they are emblematic of the principlesupon which the Pilgrims proposed to found their commonwealth.The first is Morality, holding the Decalogue in herleft, and the scroll of Revelation in her right hand; her lookis upward toward the impersonation of the Spirit of Religionabove; in a niche, on one side of her throne, is a prophet,and in the other, one of the Evangelists. The second of thesefigures is Law: on one side Justice; on the other Mercy.The third is Education: on one side Wisdom, ripe withyears; on the other Youth, led by Experience. The fourthfigure is Freedom: on one side Peace rests under its Protection;on the other Tyranny is overthrown by its powers.Below these seated figures are marble alto-reliefs, representingscenes from the history of the Pilgrims:—the Departurefrom Delft Haven; the first Treaty with the Indians;Signing of the Social Compact; and the Landing at Plymouth.11On each of the four faces of the main pedestal is alarge panel for records. That in front contains the generalinscription of the monument, viz., “National Monument tothe Forefathers. Erected by a grateful people in remembranceof their labors, sacrifices and sufferings for the cause of civiland religious liberty.” The right and left panel contain thenames of those who came over in the “Mayflower.” The rearpanel is plain, to have an inscription at some future day.
The total height of the Monument is eighty-one feet, fromthe ground to the top of the head of the statue of Faith.12The following are some of the dimensions of this greatpiece of work, said, on good authority, to be the largestand finest piece of granite statuary in the world: the heightof the base is forty-five feet; height of statue, thirty-sixfeet. The outstretched arm measures from shoulder toelbow, ten feet one and one-half inches; from elbow to thetip of finger, nine feet nine inches; total length of arm,nineteen feet ten and one-half inches. The head measuresaround the forehead thirteen feet seven inches. The pointsof the star, in the wreath around the head are just onefoot across. The arm, just below the short sleeve, measuressix feet ten inches around; below the elbow, six feettwo inches. The wrist is four feet around. The length ofthe finger pointing upwards is two feet one inch, and isone foot eight and one-half inches around. The thumbmeasures one foot eight and one-half inches around. Thecircumference of the neck is nine feet two inches and thenose is one foot four inches long. From centre to centre ofthe eyes is one foot six inches. The figure is two hundredand sixteen times life size and its weight one hundred andeighty tons. A bolt of lightning ran down the arm and figureAug. 23, 1912, splitting and displacing two blocks ofthe central section. They were restored to position, withouttaking down the monument, by Mr. George W. Bradford, aPlymouth contractor, a feat which reflected much creditupon his engineering skill.
The statue of Faith was the gift of the late Oliver Ames,a native of Plymouth, and its cost was $31,300. The totalcost of the Monument was $150,000, contributed by morethan 11,000 people of the United States and other countries.
PILGRIM HALL, BUILT IN 1824.
Returning to Court street (the mainstreet) from the Monument grounds, andpassing the head of Old Colony park, we soonsee on our left a building with a Doric portico,standing a little way from the street.This is Pilgrim Hall, erected in 1824 by the Pilgrim Societyas a monumental hall to the memory of the Pilgrims.In 1880, without taking down the walls, it was re-roofed andrefloored with steel beams and terra cotta blocks at a cost ofover $15,000 by Joseph Henry Stickney, Esq., a wealthyBaltimore merchant of Boston nativity, who on a casualvisit to Plymouth became so impressed of preserving withthe greatest care the interesting relics of the Pilgrims theredeposited, that he most liberally made this large expenditureto secure these precious memorials from loss by fire.At the same time he provided for better classification andexhibition of the articles, those immediately connected with14the Pilgrims being deposited, mostly in glass cases, in themain hall, while an interesting museum of antique curiositieswas arranged in the room below. Exteriorly, markedimprovement was made by raising the Doric porch to theheight of the main building, and repainting and sanding thewhole front in imitation of stone. Quite a change was madeat the same time in the front area by the removal back tothe Landing-place of the portion of Plymouth Rock, whichfor forty-six years had here been a prominent object.
The hall is kept open daily (including Sundays in the summerseason), at regular hours, for the accommodation ofvisitors, a fee of twenty-five cents being charged. These feesare the only income of the Pilgrim Society, the fund soaccumulated being devoted to the care of the Pilgrim relics,the monuments, grounds, and historic points of the Pilgrimlocality in Plymouth.
To the improvements made by Mr. Stickney, very importantand extensive ones were carried out by the Society inthe periods from February to May 1911, and from December1911 to March 1912, the hall being closed to the public duringthe work. Everything of wood, from the basement tothe roof was removed from the ante-rooms, and also fromthe main hall and the one beneath. With steel beams, terracotta blocks, cement and marble, thorough work was done infireproofing the whole structure, so that the Doric entranceportico, which is separated from the building by a thickbrick wall, now remains as the only