Feb 112014

While we were in Plymouth (think Pilgrims) for lunch a few weeks ago, I dragged poor Chris along with me to snap some pictures of a few historical landmarks.  Yesterday you saw my Mayflower pictures and today it’s the Plymouth Rock.

I live in a neighboring town and I absolutely love living so close to so much history.  Sometimes I take it for granted that the first English settlers actually lived about fifteen minutes from where I live now. I’ve walked past the Plymouth Rock a million and a half times without giving it a second thought (or even a glance as I walked by). But not this day.


Nearly a  million people each year come to see the Plymouth Rock and I think it’s safe to say that almost all of them are shocked to see how small it is.

There’s a reason for that.

The rock that’s on display today is approximately 650 feet from the location of the original rock along the shoreline.

In 1774, the residents of Plymouth attempted to move the rock from it’s original location.  The story goes that as some oxen attempted to lift the rock in order to move it, the rock split in two.  At the time, the bottom portion of Plymouth Rock was left embedded on the shoreline, while the top half was moved to the town square.

Then in July of 1834,  the Plymouth Rock was moved again.  This time, it was moved a few blocks on to the front lawn of the Pilgrim Hall Museum. While pin route, the rock fell from a cart and broke in two on the ground – again.  Once it was on display on the Pilgrim Hall Museum, people would sneak up to the rock and chisel pieces of the rock off as souvenirs.

Back at the harbor, a  canopy was constructed sometime in the 1860’s to cover the lower portion of Plymouth Rock that was still embedded in the shoreline.  Unfortunately, the rock didn’t fit under the canopy, so they chipped some of the rock off and word has it that the big hunk of rock that was taken off was being used on the doorstep on a local historic house. Eventually the piece was reunited with what was left on the shoreline and there you have it.

It’s winter here and it was high tide when I was there, so the rock is partially covered in ice water (and sadly litter that washed up):



But, yeah – that’s it. The original Plymouth Rock was supposedly a 10-ton boulder in Plymouth Harbor.  It’s sad that there is only a little piece of it left.

The rock is on display inside The Plymouth Rock Monument which is located in the Pilgrim Memorial State Park.


I always tell people that I love where I live and all this history practically in my backyard is definitely one of the reasons why.

  92 Responses to “The Plymouth Rock”

  1. That is a good story about the rock never thought it was that huge

  2. great piece of history and thanks for sharing

  3. That’s interesting and never seen photos of it before

    Have a rocktastic week ahead 😉

  4. Hari OM
    Golly, I of course heard of the rock, but this is the first time I recall ever seeing it – thank you for sharing this amazing piece of history with us… and isn’t it true that when we live in a place, we almost always take it for granted. One of the things I have loved about returning to Scotland is that I am doing so with the eyes of a stranger and therefore tourist!! YAMxx

  5. This is an amazing piece of history! It’s sad that it wasn’t regarded as such back in the old days, but at least a piece of it was preserved!

  6. Awesome that you live so close to this historical piece and thank you so much for sharing with us!! 🙂

  7. keep these coming! I am enjoying your historic tour which is in your backyard!
    very interesting details on the rock. I need to brush up on American history!

  8. Well that makes sense…I didn’t know the whole story as to why the rock is so little! Can you imagine trying to chip off pieces of the rock as a souvenir? Like anyone is going to believe THAT is the actual Plymouth rock….lol

  9. Wow I didn’t realize that the rock was actually a rock LOL

  10. I was there many, many years ago. We took my Daughter there just to show her some of the historic sites.

  11. I had so much fun in St. Augustine last summer. There was so much history there. I can understand how you feel and it’s neat that you get to share it with the rest of the world via your blog. 🙂 Thanks for linking on my blog! Enjoy the rest of your week! P.S. When I’m on Word Press, our ministry profile usually shows up, so just to let you know, it’s Tina from Amanda’s Books and More.

  12. I took my inlaws to see Plymouth Rock and the first thing my mother-in-law commented on was how small it was! It’s great living so close to where it all began!

  13. That poor rock!!! It’s gone through so much. Too bad it’s not still intact so we could see what it was like when they originally saw it!

  14. When I saw this for the first time, I was surprised at how tiny it was! Do people still throw dollars and coins down there to make wishes?

  15. I saw it again a couple of years ago and was shocked at how small it was. I also hated seeing litter thrown in there (I remember there being some in there when I went.)


  16. Loads of History there, I was amazed at how small the Mayflower was, could not imagine sailing across the Atlantic packed with people and supplies.

  17. I always pictured it being super huge, so it is really surprising how tiny it actually is! Sad about the litter surrounding it!

  18. That is so neat! Isn’t it funny how you can live next to something so historical or touristy and never actually visit it? There are so many places in my area that I’ve never been to.

  19. You do have a solid piece of history right there (literally and figuratively speaking). 🙂 It’s too bad people thought they could chip away at it. Thanks for sharing its cool story.

  20. Ah yes, Plymouth Rock. I think I heard that someone vandalized it…? If that’s the case-my god! Nothing is sacred in this world anymore.

  21. I never knew that about Plymouth Rock-about it being split so many times. Of course rocks do disintegrate over time anyway-You sure do live in the perfect place for history I can understand why you love it there.

  22. So Jealous! I have always wanted to visit Plymouth Rock! That is so cool! I lost historical landmarks

  23. I love history especially American history. In fact my husband and I both have History degrees. Every time I read posts like this one on your blog it makes me want to plan a family vacation out to the east coast just so we can visit all these amazing places you describe. Thanks for sharing this! Have a terrific day!

  24. How interesting to find out that the Rock is actually a Rock, thanks for the history lesson.
    Have a nice day!

  25. So great to explore your own neighbourhood!

  26. I want to visit Plymouth Rock! It sounds like a lot of fun and very educational. Hopefully I will be able to go someday!

  27. I always love learning more about history. This is such a fantastic part of history.

  28. What an awesome piece of history, my kids will like this post, they’re becoming such history buffs 😉 PS- did you change your About Me pic? Your homepage looks different but maybe I’m losing my mind…

  29. I can’t wait to take my kids there. I went to college in Boston and I never visited, a fact I had to regularly (and shamefully) admit when I moved to the west coast.

  30. My bosses posted pictures of being there a while back. I so wanted to go visit when I was there last time.

  31. I had no idea the rock went through so many transformations. We visit and enjoy historical Williamsburg a few times a year, and hope to take the longer trek to Plymouth Rock someday.

  32. I really thought it was bigger. It really looks small to me.

  33. very cool. I can’t travel so thank you for showing us these photos It’s my little way I get to peek and see new and exciting things while in my pjs.

  34. What a huge amount for a rock to have been through – I’m surprised there is so much of it left 🙂 x

  35. i’m loving this series i’m learning so much and find it so fascinating

  36. Awesome photos! That would be such a great experience!

  37. That is so cool! Its great that you were able to visit a site that has so much historic significance.. Plymouth rock tells a very riveting story !

  38. That’s too bad it’s been broke, and dropped. Such a cool thing to see regardless.

  39. Wow. I was shocked to see how small it was. I am glad to know they were able to preserve some of the rock.

  40. very interesting history about the rock! a real pity that only a small part is left.. but at least that small part is left and it didn’t totally disappear~

  41. Sadly, the only impressive photo I have ever seen of the rock are the ones of the blizzard last year with the waves crashing up into the monument. Thing about Plymouth is there are SO many cool little things, like the gristmill and antique homes that people actually still live in. or the cemeteries and weird old stories. Did you know that Mast road is where they used to get the masts for the ships, or that Bloody pond was named after a FIERCE Indian battle that left the water red? So many cool stories, most of which I know because they have been passed down though MANY generations of Plymouth-ites.

  42. people used to chip away for their own souvenirs of the rock years ago, so it is now in a “protected” area to preserve what is left of it. the rock was vandalized a few years ago- some kids spray painted it with graffiti. it is pretty disappointing when you actually see it.

  43. I can not believe people would actually chisel away pieces of history – what on earth is wrong with people. I love that you are sharing the history of where you live, I am really enjoying seeing it all and learning about it.

  44. Too bad it’s just a mere shadow of its former self. Even so, it’s awfully neat!

  45. weird that i have been to the mayflower and plimouth plantation but somehow have no recollection of ever seeing this rock. i didn’t even know it was in the water! i imagined it standing on a large pedestal somewhere in the middle of town!

  46. I love these kinds of posts, so fun and informational. Thanks!

  47. That must have been a fun adventure! Do you and your family so many trips outside of MA as well?

  48. Very interesting Ms. Robin! You are consistently getting me to google stuff you post. I would love to vacation there some time. {got to deal with my matters at hand first, huh?} So keep posting awesome historical stuff that I can enjoy vicariously. lol

  49. Wow, that is so cool.

    I have been learning so much about the history of our settlers.

  50. I was there and was a bit underwhelmed at the time, LOL. I loved the area. So much rich history to see.

  51. Whao..didn’t know that there was such a story behind the rock. Happy WW

  52. Wow, it is so amazing to see the actual spot where the pilgrims landed. I was just discussing with my students today how the pilgrims came here to escape religious persecution.

  53. Great pictures 🙂 thanks for sharing the history 🙂

  54. I learned something new today. Thanks for sharing!

  55. We took the children to see Plymouth Rock in 1997. I have to admit, I was one of those who was a little surprised to see that it wasn’t very big. It’s still really cool, though. I love historic points of interests. I can’t help, but feel as sense of pride thinking of what our forefathers scarified to come to a new land – so brave! Happy WW!!

  56. It’s amazing to find things like these – thanks for showing us the photos. 🙂

  57. I read your post aloud to the family. Thanks for the history.

  58. You know something- I didn’t realize it was a real rock! Such a New Englander I am:) This looks like a great place to take my whole family!

  59. Quite a piece of history there! I had no idea that the rock had been through such a tumultuous ride. 🙂 It was an interesting story to read – thanks for sharing.

  60. It is always good to brush up on history and visit the places that has made this nation what it is today!

  61. Woah! How crazy!! I’ve heard about the Plymouth Rock since I was a child, but never actually seen it! That’s crazy. I guess I’ve always imagined it as this large rock that stuck up from the ground like a mountain. I can’t believe what it’s become 🙁 Thank you for sharing this!!

  62. I’ve been there twice but, don’t remember a thing 🙂

  63. This is just amazing that you get to see this in person! I have never been up that way but would love to go just to see things like this!

  64. Wow that is cool over a million people visiting such a great part of our history. Great pictures!

  65. This is funny. I didn’t realize it has moved this many times. Thanks for sharing these awesome history facts with us!

  66. When I was a kid I was so mad that the Plymouth Rock was so little. I just did t get the big deal, but it is cool now as an adult!

  67. I learn something new from your blog every single day, that’s why I love it here!!!

  68. I Love All The History Of Massachusetts That’s Where I’m From I’ve Seen It All Many Times It Never Gets Old!!! Thanks For Sharing!

  69. I so want to take my kids to see this, we just learned about this in our homeschooling studies recently.

  70. I always wanted to go there!

  71. We have relatives in Cape Cod, so we often visit there and the other sites, love the area! Everything is so beautiful!

  72. I have always wanted to go there. I will have to make it a priority to visit there with the kids within the next few years.

  73. This is so awesome! Thanks for sharing. I honestly never knew that there was a piece of Plymouth Rock on display. I actually feel silly for not knowing that. Thanks for sharing the story of how it was moved.

  74. This looks like it would be a fun place to take my boys. Educational and fun. Thank you for sharing your adventure with us.

  75. I love visiting historical sites! How fun when they are so close to home!

  76. What an interesting place! You are lucky to have it where you live.

  77. You are indeed a lucky girl to be living somewhere so steeped in stories and history! Thank you for sharing with us 🙂

  78. It is amazing to live so close to such a historical site! I’ve lived in NY my whole life and only visited Ellis Island once – and of course that doesn’t even come close to the time of early settlers! We should all appreciate the history of these places – thanks for sharing!

  79. It was nice to see this place through your eyes. Thank you for sharing it.

  80. Wow I saw the rock in a movie and thought it was a prop! so cool

  81. I love visiting historic sites!!! Thanks for the background on Plymouth Rock – I learned quite a few things.

  82. Loved all your photos- thanks for sharing your trip!

  83. I love all the fun places you get to go to!

  84. We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on us! I just had to say that! Great background story. I would love to pay this a visit one day.

  85. It is sad to see how little of the rock is left, but still really cool that folks can go get a look at a piece of history!

  86. Yeah, they sure have abused that poor old rock.

  87. what a crazy story surrounding the shrinking rock! they should probably wrap it in bubble wrap or something for its next move, lol

  88. So neat to see these pictures! I’d love to be there in person – what a great landmark (literally) of history! Thanks for sharing

  89. Very cool to be able to be where it all happened!

  90. I can easily understand why you love where you live. So much history! 🙂