Did you know that Plymouth Rock is the traditional site where William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims first set foot on the land that would be their new home? In 1744 the rock was split into two parts. The top portion of the rock was moved and displayed in many locations. Eventually in the 1920’s the rock was returned to its original site. You can visit Plymouth Rock, it is part of the Pilgrim Memorial Stake Park in Massachusetts.
We hope that you have a rock-solid day at school today. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.
Historically, the Pilgrims first landed in Provincetown on the tip of Cape Cod in November of 1620. Unable to find a suitable settlement site, the Pilgrims left Provincetown Harbor and traveled to Plymouth Harbor. They came ashore on December 21, 1620, but were unable to start construction on the settlement until December 23rd. The site for Plymouth was chosen for its location, which was easy to defend and had easy to farm land nearby as well as fresh water. The area was named ‘Plymouth’ in honor of the last place the Pilgrims left before crossing the Atlantic Ocean: Plymouth, Devon in England.
There is no mention of the rock in William Bradford’s journal or writings from other Pilgrims; in fact, the first written reference does not appear for more than one hundred years.
In 1741, the town of Plymouth wanted to build a wharf. Thomas Faunce, a child of Mayflower Pilgrims, identified the precise rock the Pilgrims landed on. He insisted that the rock was shown to him by his father and other passengers on the Mayflower. There are doubts as to the accuracy of Faunce’s claim, but the rock he identified was accepted as the traditional landing site of the Pilgrims.
When the rock was moved in 1774 to make way for a new wharf, it was split into two parts, one was left on the shore and the other part was moved to the town meeting house. It was moved several more times, from the meeting house to Pilgrim Hall, then back to the shoreline. The original rock is estimated to weigh about 20,000 pounds. While the top portion of the rock was moved from location to location, many pieces were removed by tourists, organizations, and souvenir hunters. It is estimated that only 1/3 of the top portion of the rock remains.