Introduction to Plymouth, Massachusetts
Plymouth, Massachusetts, in Plymouth county, is 34 miles SE of Boston, Massachusetts. Plymouth Rock is well known for being the final landing location of the renowned Mayflower ship and the Pilgrims. "Plimoth" is the old English spelling for the community. It's the oldest town in New England and one of the oldest in the nation. It's situated in the "South Shore."
Plymouth features an active port. Tourism is the primary industry for the historic town. Healthcare, technical/scientific research and telecommunications are important factors for the economy. The Atlantic coast portion features low plains and the western area has a hilly and forested landscape. Plymouth has numerous beaches. The climate is regarded as humid continental. The town has become popular with retirees and people who commute to Boston. Outside of downtown, Plymouth includes numerous distinct villages.
The Wampanoag Indians, known as the Patuxet, were the original inhabitants. A terrible plague occurred in approximately 1617 which killed approximately 90% of the Indians. The plague was possibly brought to the area by the British and French fishermen. Plymouth was the last landing site for the Pilgrims and their Mayflower ship. It was the first settlement for the Plymouth Colony and served as the capital. The town was established in 1620 by the English known as the "separatists," also called Pilgrims.
At the request of Massasoit, the Wampanoag Tribe Chief, an English speaking Indian named Squanto was a major help in teaching the Pilgrims how to produce important items, grow corn and offered fishing techniques and showed them the primary fishing locations. He was a major factor in their survival. In 1621 the well known first Thanksgiving took place with the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians. During the 19th century fishing, shipping and rope making were flourishing. The Plymouth Cordage Company was the world's largest producer of rope and cordage products. Ship building also became a prominent industry.
Plymouth Historic Sites
- Plymouth Rock Monument, according to tradition is the site of the last landing of the Pilgrims.
- Pilgrim Hall Museum is regarded as the oldest continually operating museum in the nation.
- Plimoth Plantation features a replica of the Plymouth Settlement and a re-creation of the Wampanoag community.
- The Mayflower II is a full-sized re-creation of the historic Mayflower ship which transported the Pilgrims to Plymouth.
- Coles Hill features a sarcophagus which includes the bones of Pilgrims that died during the winter of 1620.
- Hedge House Museum is a Federal style home.
- The National Monument to the Forefathers is one of the tallest free standing solid granite monuments in the nation.
- Jenny Grist Mill is a working re-creation of a grist mill used in the early days.
- The Jabez Howland House features historic furniture and artifacts and is known to be a former residence of Pilgrims.
- Burial Hill is one of the oldest cemeteries in the nation.
- 1749 Court House and Museum features notable artifacts from Plymouth's history and is regarded as the oldest Courthouse made from wood in the country.
- Mayflower Society House is a notable mansion and includes historic furnishings and relics.
- Pilgrim Hall Museum showcases artifacts of the Pilgrims.
- 1670 Harlow Old Fort House Museum is a working museum.
Other notable attractions include the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra, the Waterfront Festival, Golden Gull Studios, Kusmin Art Gallery, the scenic Plymouth Colony Winery and concerts on the Waterfront.
Myles Standish State Forest is popular for camping, bicycle riding, fishing and hiking and features numerous lakes and ponds. Ellisville Harbor State Park features a notable beach situated inside Cape Cod Bay. Golfing enthusiasts enjoy the local courses including the well known Waverly Oaks Golf Club, the Plymouth Country Club, Pinehills and Squirrel Run. Whitehorse, Plymouth Long, Scusset and Duxbury beaches are enjoyed by residents and visitors. The scenic Ellisville Harbor includes a barrier beach. Wale watching and deep sea fishing are popular with visitors.
Plymouth Higher Education
The town is home to Quincy College and Curry College.