Plymouth points of interest

National Monument to the Forefathers

 

Overview

The 81-foot-tall (25 m) monument at 72 Allerton Street in Plymouth, Massachusetts was commissioned by the Pilgrim Society. The idea for the monument dates back to around 1820, with actual planning beginning in 1850. The cornerstone was laid on August 2, 1859 by the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, under the direction of Grand Master John T. Heard. The monument was completed in October 1888 and dedicated with appropriate ceremonies on August 1, 1889.

Hammatt Billings, Boston architect and artist, first imagined the monument as a 150-foot-tall (46 m) structure similar to the Colossus of Rhodes. Shortly before his death in 1874, Billings reduced the size of the monument, which was to be made entirely out of granite from Hallowell, Maine. The project was then passed on to Billings’ brother Joseph who, along with other sculptors including Alexander Doyle, Carl Conrads, and James Mahoney, revised the design, though the fundamental components remained.

The monument, which faces northeast towards Plymouth Harbor (and roughly, Plymouth, England), is situated in the center of a circular drive and can be accessed from Allerton Street to the east. The plan of the principal pedestal is octagonal with four small and four large faces; from the small faces protrude four buttresses. On the main pedestal stands the heroic figure of “Faith” with her right hand pointing upwards and her left hand clutching a Bible. There are also seated figures emblematic of principles which the Pilgrims founded their Commonwealth upon; going counter-clockwise from the east there are Morality, Law, Education, and Liberty. Each was carved from one solid block of granite and they are all posed in a sitting position upon chairs with high relief sculptures on either side representing minor characteristics. Under “Morality” stand “Prophet” and “Evangelist”; under “Law” stand “Justice” and “Mercy”; under “Education” are “Youth” and “Wisdom”; and under “Liberty” stand “Tyranny Overthrown” and “Peace”. High reliefs in marble representing scenes from Pilgrim history can be found on the face of each buttress beneath these figures. Under “Morality” is “Embarcation”; under “Law” is “Treaty”; under “Education” is “Compact”; and under “Freedom” is “Landing”. There are large panels for records on each of the four faces of the main pedestal.

The front panel is inscribed: “National Monument to the Forefathers. Erected by a grateful people in remembrance of their labors, sacrifices and Suffering for the cause of civil and religious liberty.” The right and left panels contain names of those who came over on the Mayflower. The rear panel, engraved more recently, has a quotation from Governor William Bradford’s famous history Of Plymouth Plantation:

 

National Register

The monument was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 30, 1974. It was looked after by the Pilgrim Society originally, but was given to the Massachusetts government in 2001.[8] The Forefathers Monument and Plymouth Rock make up the Pilgrim Memorial State Park. Even though it was supposed to be national, the Forefathers Monument is not a federal “National Monument” as we think of them today from the Antiquities Act of 1906.

 

Manomet Youth Center

 

Features

The game room at the youth center includes air hockey, Foosball tables, pool tables, bumper pool, and Ping-Pong tables. It is open from 3:00p – 6:00 p.m. Tuesday – Friday, and during school vacation weeks. The center is closed on all holidays. Hours are subject to change.

To be a member of the youth center, children must be a resident of Plymouth or their parents must be taxpayers of the Town of Plymouth, and pay annual membership fee. As of 1/1/21 currently only memberships are allowed inside. There will be no day fee drop ins allowed.The center is open to children ages 7 –14 only!

 

Scholarship Programs

The Manomet Youth Center has been providing a safe and exciting after-school program to the community’s youth for over 30 years. Unfortunately, due to low participation and budget cuts, the program is in danger of having to close its doors during most nights of the week. We believe that the youth of our community need this program so they can stay active, make friends, and feel safe.

We offer a low cost membership fee ($100 for the entire school year) which gives families an affordable option for after school care. Other after-school programs in the area charge families $16 a day per child. In order to help support the Youth Center’s after school program, we recently started a committee. One of the major issues we feel at the Youth Center is that our facility and equipment are out of date. The committee has taken to the community to ask for donations of any kind that could help us purchase new equipment, update our facility, and offset the cost of staffing during the after-school program.

 

 

Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary

This 481-acre property was once a working cranberry farm. The largest freshwater ecological restoration in the Northeast has turned it into Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary, Home to cold-water streams, ponds, forest, and woodlands—all permanently protected and open for everyone to enjoy!

Its previous owners, the Schulman Family—along with the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, and many other organizations—re-created nearly three and a half miles of meandering stream channel, sculpted the land’s surface, and removed nine dams to reconnect the headwaters of Beaver Dam Brook to the ocean for the first time in more than a century. As a result of the collective actions of these collaborators, the entire landscape is now on a dramatic trajectory of change—a spectacle that will play out for decades, and even centuries, to come. Walk the trails to learn about the landscape’s transformation and the importance of habitat protection, ecological restoration, and climate change response.

 

Regulations

All of the land at our wildlife sanctuaries is protected. By conserving these open spaces, Mass Audubon is able to fulfill its mission of protecting the nature of Massachusetts. When visiting, please take note of the following regulations:

No dog walking or horseback riding; please leave all animals and pets at home (service animals welcome)

  • No walking off trail
  • No collecting or picking natural items
  • No bike riding or operating motorized vehicles; day passes are available for powered mobility devices
  • No running, swimming, or camping
  • No operating drones or other remote-controlled vehicles
  • No fishing, hunting, trapping, or releasing of animals
  • No feeding wildlife
  • No smoking

 

Guidelines for Taking Photos

At the sanctuary, we want people to be able to photography the wondrous variety of wildlife in our sanctuaries throughout the state. If you are wanting to use our locations for commercial photography, please review our guidelines and find out how to schedule a time.

 


 

Plimoth Patuxet’s Mayflower II

Come to Mayflower II, Plimoth Patuxet’s reproduction of the tall ship that brought the Pilgrims to Plymouth in 1620, to really get a feel for what the journey was like that started a nation. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Mayflower II is where guests learn about the journey that started a nation.

The Mayflower was a stately vessel measuring 25 feet across and 106 feet in length. She displaced 236 tons of water and was graced with four masts, including a mainmast, foremast, mizzen, and sprit. A total of six sails billowed in the breeze, as visitors walked around her main deck, orlop deck, and half deck.

We definitely encourage our guests to take photos or videos for their own personal use while aboard Mayflower. You don’t need to get permission from any of the staff members, just go ahead and snap away! However, commercial use of these photographs or videos is not allowed without explicit permission from our Public Relations office.

 

Resemblance to Mayflower I

The most striking difference is the grand staircase between the main deck and the lower decks. (In the 17th century, ladders were used). Electric lights shedding light on the dark corners of the lower deck were also not commonplace in the 1600s! There were other minor modifications made to Mayflower to make sure that she would be more accessible, safe, and comfortable for visitors.

 

What was it of Mayflower I?

The exact fate of the original Mayflower is a mystery. The last mention of the ship in records was an assessment of her value in 1624. After that, she seemed to vanish into thin air. There are several places in England that claim to have a piece of the original ship, but there is no historical evidence to back up these claims.

 

Plymouth Antiquarian Society

 

The Plymouth Antiquarian Society was founded in 1919 and is Plymouth’s largest organization dedicated to preserving historic houses and landmarks. We serve as the gateway to Plymouth’s post-Pilgrim history, owning and maintaining three historic houses representing three centuries of Plymouth history: the 1677 Harlow House, the 1749 Spooner House, and the 1809 Hedge House, as well as an ancient Native American site, Sacrifice Rock. Guided tours of our historic homes are available seasonally or by appointment; they tell the story of everyday life in Plymouth from the mid-1600s to the present, with period rooms featuring early American furnishings and domestic artifacts.We offer a full calendar of special events and programs on local history and encourage community engagement with the past. With over 400 active members, we invite anyone with an interest in our mission to join us.

 

Tours

The Plymouth Antiquarian Society is committed to continuously improving its historic sites and collections as educational resources. The Society’s original founders pioneered innovative methods of presenting local history to learners of all ages, with an emphasis on hands-on learning. This tradition endures today. The Society offers a wide variety of group tours and educational programs for adults and children alike, including field trips to historic sites, walking tours, lectures, and programs.

Groups can take a step back in time and learn about daily life in Plimoth Colony at the 1677 Harlow House. Students will tour the 17th century homestead and hear all about the early residents, with a special focus on William Harlow’s trade as a cooper and the everyday activities of his family members. In addition, they will visit our Education Building to engage in some hands-on crafts and historic activities, such as carding, spinning, weaving, and candle dipping.This program runs for approximately 1 ½ hours. We can accommodate up to 50 students on our site at one time. The program can also be tailored to fit curriculum goals for school groups or Scouts groups. If requested, the program can include a walking tour through historic downtown Plymouth.

Our expert guides can customize a walking tour of Plymouth to focus on different themes and historical periods, even when our historic properties are closed. Contact the PAS office to make a reservation for your family or group, and fees will be based on the length of the tour and size of the group.