Alden House Historic Site

Pilgrim Lore


Pilgrim Monuments


Forefather's Monument (Plymouth)
Jenny Grist Mill (Plymouth)
Massasoit (Plymouth)
Myles Standish Monument (Duxbury)
Pilgrim Maiden (Plymouth)
Pilgrim Monument (Provincetown)
Pilgrim Mother (Plymouth)
Plymouth Rock (Plymouth)
  Governor Bradford (Plymouth)


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 Massasoit.

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.


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 site.


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 dedicated.


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 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.