Known for being a stepping stone to the colonization of America, Plymouth Rock lies as a memorial to the hardships and triumphs the Pilgrims made during the first winter of their landing in the “New World”. Today this historical rock is surrounded by a magnificent granite structure overlooking the harbor for those seeking to visit.
It is said that the rock that lies at the base of the elaborate memorial was used as a stepping stone for the Pilgrims as they first landed in what was soon to become Plymouth. In the autumn of 1620, the Pilgrims had finally arrived to their destination aboard the Mayflower. As each new settler made their way onto the shore, they stepped upon this very stone.
Although William Bradford’s famous book “Of Plymouth Plantation” that detailed the events of settling the land never spoke of the rock its legacy came about in 1741.
Thomas Faunce was an elder in the Plymouth community and he spoke of the rock being the famous landing place for the colonists. He was born in 1647 and his family had been in Plymouth since 1623. In 1741, when he was 94 years old he led a pilgrimage to the rock to commemorate the great history that took place in the landmark.
In 1774, locals attempted to move the rock to the Town Square of Plymouth. In their attempt the rock split in half and part of the rock remained in its original location. The other portion of Plymouth Rock was moved to the downtown area until 1834 when it was placed in the Pilgrim Hall Museum.
Years later in 1880, Plymouth area residents decided it would be best to return the rock to its natural location. The split portion of the rock was reunited to the main piece and has remained there since. Even now you can still see the crack in the boulder that will forever bear the memory of the attempts to move the historical piece.
Plymouth Rock is free to visit and is located in an easily accessible location which spectacular views of Plymouth Harbor. Just off from Water Street in Plymouth, Massachusetts lies the Pilgrim Memorial State Park.
At this location you can visit Plymouth Rock, Cole’s Hill, Mayflower II, a statue of William Bradford and so much more!
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