The National Monument to the Forefathers
stands on the summit of Monument Hill on Allerton Street in Plymouth, MA. The people we know today as "The PIlgrims" were called the Forefathers before 1798, and the term long survived in their town pf Plymouth afterward. The heroic figure of
Faith pointing to heaven, her foot on Plymouth Rock, surmounts a massive
granite pedestal. Below are seated figures: Liberty with Peace flourishing under her
protection and Tyranny overthrown by her power; Law, attended by Justice and
Mercy; Education has Wisdom on one side and Youth led by Experience on the
other; and Morality, between a Prophet and an Evangelist, holds the Commandments
in her left hand and the scroll of Revelation in her right
Below the each of the seated figures are four marble alto-reliefs
recall significant episodes in Pilgrim History: the Departure from Holland,
the Signing of the Compact, the Landing at Plymouth and the Treaty with
The granite Monument was designed by the Boston
artist Hammatt Billings and is 81 feet high. The Pilgrim Society laid the
cornerstone in 1859 and finally dedicated the finished monument in August,
1889. The total cost for this tribute to the "memory of the virtues, the
enterprise, and the unparalleled sufferings of their ancestors" was over
$150,000 and came from the Federal Government, the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts, the State of Connecticut and 11,000 individuals.
The National Monument to the Forefathers is
owned by the Commonwealth Of Massachusetts.
The first Pilgrim Grist Mill was constructed
by John Jenny in 1636 and was in continuous operation until destroyed by fire
in 1847. The Jenny Grist Mill reconstruction was accomplished in 1970, and
operates with the same water powered technology used over 300 years ago. Daily
milling produces a fresh supply of cornmeal, wheat and rye flours which are
available for purchase along with scrimshaw, scented candles, unique country
gifts, baskets, decoys, jams and jellies. Admission is free and it is open 6
days a week, closed sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. Click here for website
A historic bronze statue by Cyrus
Dallin (1861-1944) stands near the Sarcophagus above Plymouth Rock on Cole's Hill. It was
erected for the Plymouth Tercenteninary in 1921 by the Improved Order of Red Men in honor of Massasoit, sachem
of the Wampanoags, whose friendship was an important factor in the survival
and development of the Pilgrim Colony.
MILES STANDISH MONUMENT
High atop Captain's Hill, 200 feet above sea
level, stands the Myles Standish Monument, a 116-foot granite shaft crowned by
a 14-foot statue of Captain Myles Standish, military leader of Plymouth
Colony. Begun in 1872, completed in 1898, and refurbished in 1988, the
monument offers a panoramic view of the South Shore—church spires, several
19th-century lighthouses, the five-mile-long Duxbury Beach, Plymouth Harbor,
and the Blue Hills off to the northwest.
This is a Massachusetts state park.
When the building is open, visitors can climb 125 steps to a small viewing
area at the top, but even from the base of the monument the view is
spectacular. Once cleared of trees and underbrush for farming, most of the
park is now a lovely pine grove crisscrossed by walking paths. Picnic tables
are available in the summer. Click here for web
A bronze statue of a young
woman sculpted by H.H. Kitson stands at the edge of a pool in Plymouth's Brewster Gardens. It was presented
to the town by the National Society of New England Women in 1924. It is inscribed: To those intrepid English women whose courage, fortitude and devotion
brought a new nation into being, this statue of the Pilgrim Maiden is
Tallest all-granite spire
in the US located in Provincetown, MA. This monument commemorates
the first American landing of the Pilgrims there on November 21, 1620.
Click here to go to their web site: Pilgrim Monument
THE PILGRIM MOTHER
The granite figure of a Pilgrim woman on the "Memorial to the Women on the Mayflower",
which has come to be known as "The Pilgrim Mother", stands on the waterfront in
a landscaped enclosure near Plymouth Rock. The sculptor was Paul 0. Jennewein.
On the shaft of the fountain that flows
behind the Statue are listed the names of the women of the Mayflower in
whose memory the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution gave
the statue. The inscription reads; They brought up their families in
sturdy virtue and a living faith in God without which nations perish.
Perhaps the most familiar Pilgrim landmark
in America. For an interesting essay on this monument, including its
history, click here: Plymouth Rock. For Massachusetts state park information, click here.
William Bradford (1590-1657) was chosen as second governor of Plymouth Colony in 1621 following the untimely death of Gov. John Carver. He held that post for most of the rest of his life (except for a few years when he was relieved by Edward Winslow and Thomas Prence), and was a guiding force in the success of the little "Old Colony of New Plymouth". Bradford was also the primary chronicler of the colony, and his work, Of Plymouth Plantation, remains our most valuable resource in understanding the history of Plymouth and the Pilgrims.