Plymouth Rock

I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July. The pilar structure in the above photos is what houses Plymouth Rock. The top image was taken last week when Mom, Dad and I took a walk around the Plymouth waterfront. I searched my log of photos and found a shot from 2007 of the rock (bottom image). Not a very impressive shot but if you read the article below you’ll see that there isn’t much of the rock left.

A little history taken from

“According to legend, Plymouth Rock is the boulder upon which the Pilgrims landed when they arrived at the location of their permanent settlement in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620. Most first-time visitors to “the rock” are a bit startled by its smallness. How could such a monumental artifact in American history be so, well… puny?

For starters, the well intentioned residents of Plymouth who first set out to preserve the symbolic rock in 1774 had the unpleasant experience of watching the rock split in two when a team of oxen attempted to raise it. Only the upper portion of Plymouth Rock left the waterfront originally for display in the Town Square.

Souvenir seekers who desired to bring home a “piece of the rock” caused further deterioration until Plymouth Rock was moved to safety inside an iron fence at the Pilgrim Hall Museum in 1834. It had a rough trip to the museum, though, falling off its conveyance and obtaining its distinctive crack 

Remember the bottom part of the rock that was left behind at the waterfront? The Pilgrim Society acquired the other half of Plymouth Rock in 1859, and in 1867, a Plymouth Rock canopy structure was completed at the waterfront to house it. Unfortunately, the canopy was not large enough to hold the whole rock, so a few pieces had to be hacked off and sold as souvenirs. 

Finally, in 1880, the upper chunk was united with the lower piece of Plymouth Rock–cement did the trick! And “1620,” the date of the Pilgrims’ arrival in Plymouth, was permanently carved into the rock.

Plymouth Rock was moved for the last time during the celebration of Plymouth’s tercentenary in 1921 to a new canopy designed by famed architects McKim, Mead and White and built by Roy B. Beattie of Fall River, Massachusetts. Would you believe that the rock broke apart once again during this move to its elegant new digs?

Plymouth Rock, though a bit battered by time, remains a powerful tribute to the courage of the 102 Mayflower passengers who founded the land we know as New England.”



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  1. shirley

    I really like the bottom shot. 🙂

  2. Neat info and pictorial!
    Hope you had a great fourth…watched the amazing fireworks last night with the Boston Pops on the telly-were you there?

  3. Jamie Traynor

    Susan, I was so tired from spending the day at Saquish beach that I ended up going home instead of watching the fireworks (didn’t even watch the Pops on tv).
    Hope you had a great 4h of July.

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