Pilgrims and Lighthouses.

Some weekends I start off with a clear goal, identifying a destination, researching it thoroughly, and then creating a new post for this blog. Other weekends, a happy coincidence will lead me unexpectedly to a new destination, and I will gleefully recount the detours and circumstances that formed a new post. Then there are weekends like this one, when Friday, Saturday, and Sunday seem to teem with new experiences, a three day period of non-stop adventure.

With my girlfriend visiting Massachusetts for the past few days, we: stood high atop Boston and looked at a beautiful evening view, visited one of the oldest towns in America, saw an underwhelming national landmark, learned about the Pilgrims, and stopped by a 162-year old lighthouse. Once again, rather than a lengthy narrative, I thought I would again create a photo essay and let the images tell the story of the journey.

Nighttime view of Boston from the Skywalk Observatory.
After dinner on Friday night, we stopped by the Skywalk Observatory in the Prudential Tower for a nighttime view of Boston.
View of Boston at night, facing southward.
The South End of Boston, sprawled out before our eyes. If you want to learn more about the Skywalk Observatory, you can read about it in my post from this summer.
Map of Eastern Massachusetts. A red pin located Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth.
Our Saturday destination: Plymouth Massachusetts and the Pilgrim Hall Museum.
View of Plymouth Harbor from behind wheel of car.
Since she had never seen Plymouth, I took my girlfriend to explore one of my favorite locations in Massachusetts. Founded in 1620, Plymouth is the oldest town in New England, and the ninth-oldest town in the United States.
Plymouth Rock.
Our first destination was Plymouth Rock. As I detailed in a previous post, for all of its reputation, Plymouth Rock is one of the most underwhelming roadside attractions I have ever seen.
View of Plymouth Harbor, with the portico that houses Plymouth Rock in the foreground.
After seeing Plymouth Rock, we walked up a hill to have a better view of Plymouth Harbor. The white portico in the foreground houses Plymouth Rock.
Marker for the first Pilgrim burial ground.
At the top of the hill is a marker… this location is the burial ground of the first Pilgrims. Almost half of the original passengers of the Mayflower died during the first winter in Plymouth.
Hand-painted lobster statue.
As I detailed in a previous visit, the Plymouth Lobster Crawl is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. 29 5′-tall lobster statues have been placed around Plymouth. Each lobster is hand-painted by local artists, and is sponsored by various businesses and organizations.
The Mayflower Society House.
The Mayflower Society House, which is open to visit for anyone who is a descendent of the passengers aboard the Mayflower.
Pilgrim Hall Museum.
Not as exclusive as the Mayflower Society House, Pilgrim Hall Museum is open to the general public, and it tells the story of the first settlers of New England. One of the oldest museums in America, it was built in 1824.
Exhibit on Native American life near Plymouth.
The museum begins with an excellent exhibit on the impact of settlement on the Native American population near Plymouth (the Native American name for Plymouth was Patuxet). 
Iron cooking pot.
The museum houses many artifacts that were owned by the Pilgrims. This cooking pot belonged to Myles Standish, the military advisor to the Pilgrims.
Objects from the Pilgrims include a writing desk, candle holders, a chalice, and a napkin.
Other items owned by the Pilgrims, including a writing desk, candle holders, a chalice, and a platter. The object hanging on the wall that looks like a tapestry is actually a napkin.
Sampler on display under glass case.
A sampler is a demonstration of skill in needlework. This sampler was made by Loara, the daughter of Myles Standish, in 1653. It is the oldest sampler in America. Although it has faded with time, originally this would have been a colorful work of art.
Bradford Patent, framed and behind glass.
The Bradford Patent, one of the original charter documents of Plymouth Colony. This is not a reproduction- the museum has placed the original (nearly 400 year old) document on display.
Massachusetts town charter from 1649.
The town where I live was chartered in 1649, and the original document was also on display in the museum. The land was purchased from Massasoit, the leader of the Wampanoag tribe, for 7 coats, 9 hatchets, 8 hoes, 20 knives, 4 moose skins, and 16.5 yards of cotton.
Great Hall of Pilgrim Hall Museum.
The Great Hall, which displayed many artifacts, including a piece of Plymouth Rock that you can touch (in the background, beneath the large painting).
Card table with embroidered top.
This card table with an embroidered top was owned by Mercy Warren. She and her husband, James Warren, were major figures in the push for independence from England. She was also a direct descendent of Edward Doty, a passenger aboard the Mayflower.
Plymouth Harbor panorama.
We emerged from the museum to darkening skies covering Plymouth Harbor. A winter storm was forecast to begin later that evening, bringing winds and 5″-8″ of snow.
Memorial for sailors from Plymouth. It reads
My girlfriend spotted this memorial for sailors from Plymouth who never returned home.

After a snowy Saturday night, the sun returned again on Sunday, along with warmer temperatures. As we both enjoy visiting lighthouses, we decided to turn our attention to Point Judith Light, a lighthouse in Rhode Island on Narragansett Bay. Built in 1856 after the original wooden lighthouse was knocked over in a wind storm, Point Judith Light is still in use as a navigation aid.

Map of eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. A pin is on the southern coast of Rhode Island, indicating Point Judith Lighthouse.
Our Sunday destination: the southern coast of Rhode Island.
View from behind the wheel of a car on a highway. The sky is blue with a few clouds.
Sunday, sunny skies returned. The roads were dry, but snow covered the grass, the only evidence of the previous night’s storm.
View of Narragansett Bay from behind the wheel of a car.
Arrived at Narrangasett Bay.
Point Judith Light.
Positioned on an active Coast Guard base, the lighthouse is not open to the public. This was as close as we were able to get.
View of Point Judith Light.
The 162-year old octagonal granite lighthouse continues to function as an active navigation aid.
Shoreline of Narrangasett Bay.
We took a walk along the beach, marveling at the rugged coastline.
View of Narrangasett Bay and coastline.
As my girlfriend remarked, each coastline we have seen is dramatically different from the others: the gentle and flat beaches of New Jersey, the soaring dunes of Cape Cod, and the rocky coastline of southern Rhode Island. No two are alike, despite all being relatively close to one another.
2012 Honda Accord coupe in front of Narrangasett Bay.
And of course, a quick photo of my Accord. Now at 99,850 miles, the 100,000 mile mark is closing in!

A city skyline at night, the oldest town in New England, historic buildings, rugged coastlines, an active lighthouse, and lots of driving… this was truly a busy (and enjoyable) weekend! Pilgrim Hall Museum is open seven days a week from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm. The museum is $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, and children can enter for $8. Point Judith Light is closed to the public, but the adjacent park is free and open the public year-round. I hope you enjoyed reading this whirlwind tour, and thank you for coming along on another journey down the open road ahead!

‘Til next time.

4 thoughts on “Pilgrims and Lighthouses.

  1. Haha, I agree with Lynn on Plymouth Rock. I want that old writing desk! Pretty amazing the variety of things that have been preserved for museum exhibition over the years. The painted lobsters are a kind of neat way to showcase local artists’ talent.


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