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.