June 28, 2013

6/26/13 - Plymouth Rock

Picture this scene from American history:  In 1620, after a long voyage on the Mayflower, the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock...
I imagined Plymouth Rock a formidable hunk of granite sheltering the rocky shore, noble and impressive, a landmark visible from sea, like you'd see on the Oregon coast. HA! HA!  It's a smallish chunk of broken boulder placed on the beach in Plymouth Harbor, protected from tourists by a portico built for the 300th anniversary of the landing. The structure covering it is more impressive than the rock.
And then I learned that they're not sure the settlers climbed off the ship onto a rock in the water. It wasn't even identified until 1741.  When they started to move it to shore, it broke in half. Later when they moved it again, it broke again. They tried sticking it back together (you can see the super-glue), but now it's about a third of the original size of the top.  It's not particularly impressive.  However, it's not the size of the rock, it's the point of the rock.  To prove that, a million people come each year to see where America started . The colonists landed here, and in spite of everything, managed to survive.
And I for one am glad they did!   One of my ancestors, Stephen Hopkins, was a passenger on the Mayflower. (Yes, it is all about ME! It's my blog, after all.) He's probably buried on Burial Hill, but the wooden markers are long gone.
A replica of the Mayflower is usually docked nearby, but apparently is in dry dock right now. I was prepared for it to be smaller than I expected, but I really wanted to see it myself.  (I'm sure it'll be repaired and back shortly after we leave the area.)

To see more pictures of historic Plymouth, here's a link:  Plymouth

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