Friday, February 1, 2013
Pilgrim Hall Museum reopens today with a yearlong special exhibition titled “I’ve Been There,” featuring souvenirs of Pilgrim Plymouth.
1. The Plymouth Antiquarian Society invites the public to a free tour of Burial Hill at 1 p.m. the first Saturday of each month (except January). Dr. Donna Curtin will lead the Feb. 2 tour, “Love Stories of Plymouth: A Burial Hill Valentine.” Learn about love and romance in old Plymouth and hear stories of some of the town’s most star-crossed couples. Tours meet at the main Burial Hill stairway; no reservations are required for individuals and families. Participants may traverse steep and slippery slopes; wear appropriate shoes. Severe weather may cancel tour; updates will be posted on the Plymouth Antiquarian Society website. For a full listing of upcoming tours, visit www.plymouthantiquariansociety.org. For more information contact pasm@…
Friday, August 10, 2012
A Duxbury native claims he saw the sea monster that tales say Daniel Webster saw, and in the same place off the Gurnet.
- LOCAL CONNECTIONS
Friday, August 10, 2012
By John C. Flanders, Newington, Conn. Thoreau’s journal entry of June 14, 1857 describes a Sea Monster sighting off of the coast of Duxbury, Massachusetts By Daniel Webster and his boatman Seth Peterson. Having some of Daniel Webster’s property in my family I feel a connection to Daniel Webster and some of his close friends, My dad bought Webster’s Boathouse from the Peterson family. They were descendants of Daniel Webster’s original boatman and lived across the street from my uncle Charlie, who used to joke about fixing up my 90-year-old grandmother with the elder Peterson with the nickname Vinegar. My grandmother would laugh and tell him to shut up. Along with the boathouse came the lobster traps and buoys which Dad and I fished with …
Monday, July 30, 2012
Learn a bit of history quickly in 'History Half-Hours" at the 1749 Courthouse in Town Square.
Monday, July 30, 2012
The public is invited to attend a series of mini-lectures on local history to be held this summer at the 1749 Court House in Town Square. Each “History Half Hour” will feature a topic related to Plymouth history. Lectures will be held from 7 to 7:30 p.m. each Tuesday, and are free and open to the public; no reservations required. In this week's half-hour, historian Peg Baker will discuss the sailors buried at Burial Hill. There have been a few serious wrecks off the coast of Plymouth over the past 400 years, including the General Arnold, not to mention that most of the original European settlers came by boat. The 1749 Court House is the oldest wooden courthouse in America, and today serves as a municipal museum of Plymouth history, …
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
High Street disappeared in the dust of ages.
If you stand at the side of the Ryder Home and look northeast up the hill toward the waterfront, you can see the site of an old road, High Street, that disappeared during urban renewal in the 1960s. Like buildings, streets come and go, but usually some trace remains. Some of Plymouth’s roads date back to Native Wampanoag paths, while others were laid out by the early colonists as the town grew. High Street dates back to c1800, when two of Plymouth’s leading citizens, Dr. James Thacher and Judge Joshua Thomas, experimented with land speculation. The New England economy was growing in the early years of the 19th century from a combination of industry and coastal shipping. As the population increased, more houses were built. The two men took…
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
The urban renewal projects of the 1960s leveled most of the houses on the eastern end of Summer Street, but one house survived.
If Plymoutheans from 150 years ago walked through town today, they would be confused by what they saw. Not only have two entire areas been torn down and rebuilt (the waterfront and the Summer/High Street neighborhood), but several houses have been moved from their original locations. Moving buildings was not uncommon in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Streets were widened and owners moved their structures back from the road. In other cases, when property was sold for a new use, people often purchased the buildings on the lot and moved them to a new location. Perhaps the best-known relocated building is the Hedge Antiquarian House, now on Water Street. It used to stand on Court Street, but was moved a block over when the lot it stood …
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Boston may have its Common, but Plymouth has its Training Green.
For almost 400 years, the green space just south of Town Square had been used for the public benefit—from training militia to grazing cattle, from temperance lectures to art shows. While its appearance has changed a bit over the centuries, it remains a welcoming green space for people to walk, play Frisbee, or just sit on a bench in the shade. The Training Green first appears in the town records in 1711, when the selectmen officially set the plot of land aside. Since 1620, the colony and then town government strictly controlled the allotment of land. By the early 18th century, the town was growing rapidly, and the selectmen decided to review town-owned land. The plot between what is now Sandwich and Pleasant streets was public, …
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Bartlett's Familiar Quotations has been printed continuously since the native Plymouthean first published it in 1855.
Do you know which Plymouthean is most frequently quoted? Not William Bradford or any of the Pilgrims, but John Bartlett, author of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. John Bartlett (1820-1905) was born in Plymouth to William and Susan Thacher Bartlett. As a boy he grew up in the family home on Courthouse Square, on the south corner of Russell and Court streets. His grandfather, Captain Joseph Bartlett, built the stylish Federal-period house on the north corner, which is still standing. A contemporary of Plymouth historian William T. Davis, Bartlett attended Plymouth High School, located on School Street near Town Square. It’s amazing to think that the school produced two young men with such encyclopedic minds—Bartlett for literature, and Davis…
Saturday, August 6, 2011
That summer trip to the amusement park actually has some history behind it!
As summer draws to a close, you may be planning a last family trip to a theme park. Today we may enjoy (or not!) roller coasters that could keep up with cars on the highway while traveling upside down, but the idea of amusement parks is hardly new. In the 1890s, electric trolley systems sprang up all over the country, providing a democratic form of transportation to cities and towns across America. During the week, workers and schoolchildren used the trolleys. How to get people to ride on the weekends? Build family parks! Almost all of the early amusement parks (also called trolley parks) were built by street railway companies. Trolley parks flourished in the early 20th century. Usually located near a lake, river or ocean, they featured …
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Travel Back in Time with the Wednesday Patch Passport to discover the history and roots of Plymouth.
While sitting on a sand bar on Cape Cod for five weeks in November of 1620, the Pilgrims decided it was high time to find someplace with basics needed for survival. A crew in a small boat explored the coast for weeks before deciding on a small protected harbor just north of the Cape. The men, women and children boarded the Mayflower and sailed west, where they founded Plymouth Colony. Plimoth Plantation is a replica of how the original settlement in Plymouth or "America's Hometown" appeared, complete with historic interpreters. Visitors to the Plimoth Plantation's village and the actual Town Square in Plymouth can piece the time puzzle together. The settlers built shanties on the ground of the original town, knowing they would eventually …
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Following the clues to connect one of America's most famous industrialists to Plymouth.
How many historians does it take to link a famous industrialist with Plymouth? In this case, three. Recently I ran across a box of booklets on Plymouth history containing an odd thing—a memorial to industrialist/engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915). I’d run across him in history class—he was a pioneer in the field of scientific management, known for his time studies to find the single most efficient way to complete a task in a factory or steel mill. But what did Taylor have to do with Plymouth? According to the author of the memorial, in 1912 Taylor “was living in a pleasant house situated directly on the shore of Cape Cod Bay, only a mile or two from Plymouth Rock. I believe it was the home of his wife's family, Mrs. Taylor …