Plymouth, Massachusetts

Plymouth, Massachusetts

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Town of Plymouth
nickname = America's Hometown
motto =

imagesize = 250px
image_caption = "Town Square" in 1910

mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location in Plymouth County in Massachusetts

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Massachusetts
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Plymouth
established_title = Settled
established_date = 1620
established_title2 = Incorporated
established_date2 = 1670
established_title3 =
established_date3 =
government_type = Representative town meeting
leader_title = Town

leader_name = Mark Sylvia
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
government_footnotes = [cite web|url=|title=Town Departments: Town Manager's Office|accessdate=2007-07-30|publisher=Town of Plymouth]
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 347.0
area_total_sq_mi = 134.0
area_land_km2 = 249.8
area_land_sq_mi = 96.5
area_water_km2 = 97.2
area_water_sq_mi = 37.5
population_as_of = 2000
settlement_type = Town
population_total = 51701
population_footnotes = [cite web|url=|title=2000 Population census for Plymouth town|accessdate=2007-07-30|publisher= United States Census Bureau]
population_density_km2 = 207.0
population_density_sq_mi = 536.0
elevation_m = 57
elevation_ft = 187
elevation_footnotes = [Gnis|618349|Town of Plymouth. Geographic Names Information System. Retrieved on 2007-07-31.]
timezone = Eastern
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = Eastern
utc_offset_DST = -4
latd = 41 |latm = 57 |lats = 30 |latNS = N
longd = 70 |longm = 40 |longs = 04 |longEW = W
website = []
postal_code_type = ZIP Codes
postal_code = 02360
area_code = 508 / 774
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 25-54310
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0618349
footnotes =

Plymouth (historically known as Plimouth and Plimoth) is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. It is the largest municipality in Massachusetts by area. [cite web|url=|title=Plymouth History|accessdate=2007-09-13|publisher=WickedLocal Plymouth] The population was 51,701 at the 2000 census, with an estimated 2008 population of 58,379. [cite web|url=|title=Town of Plymouth Population Projections|accessdate=2008-03-21|publisher=Town of Plymouth] Plymouth is one of two county seats of Plymouth County, the other being Brockton.GR|6 It is named after Plymouth, Devon, England, which is, in turn, named for the mouth of the river Plym. [cite web|url=|title=Plymouth|accessdate=2007-08-10|publisher=Cornwall Guide]

Plymouth is best known for being the landing site of the "Mayflower" and the Pilgrims. Founded in 1620, Plymouth is the oldest municipality in New England and one of the oldest in the United States.cite web|url=|title=What are the oldest cities in America?|accessdate=2007-08-11|] It also is the oldest continually inhabited English settlement in the modern United States. The town has served as the location of several prominent events, the most notable being the First Thanksgiving feast. [cite web|url=|title=First Thanksgiving Day Feast|accessdate=2007-08-10|] Plymouth served as the capital of Plymouth Colony from its founding in 1620 until the colony's dissolution in 1691.cite web|url=|title=THE COURT HOUSES OF PLYMOUTH|last=Briggs|first=Rose T.|accessdate=2007-08-10|publisher=Pilgrim Hall Museum]

Plymouth is located approximately 40 miles (63.4 kilometers) south of Boston in a region of Massachusetts known as the South Shore. Throughout the 19th century, the town thrived as a center of ropemaking, fishing, and shipping, and once held the world's largest ropemaking company, the Plymouth Cordage Company. While it continues to be an active port, today the major industry of Plymouth is tourism.cite web|url=|title=Plymouth, Massachusetts (MA) Economy and Business Data|accessdate=2007-08-11|] Plymouth is served by Plymouth Municipal Airport, and contains Pilgrim Hall Museum, the oldest continually operating museum in the United States. As one of the country's first settlements, Plymouth is well-known in the United States for its historical value. The events surrounding the history of Plymouth have become part of the mythology of the United States, particularly those relating to Plymouth Rock, the Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving.


Pre-colonial era

Prior to the arrival of the Pilgrims, the location of Plymouth was a village of 2000 Wampanoag Native Americans called Patuxet. [James Loewen, "Lies My Teacher Told Me", Simon & Schuster: New York, 1995, ISBN 0684818868, pp. 90-91] However, beginning in 1617 a great plague afflicted coastal New England. Likely transmitted from British and French fishermen to Indians on the shore, it killed between 90 and 95% of the local inhabitants. The near disappearance of the Wampanoag from the site not only left their cornfields and other cleared areas for the soon-to-arrive Pilgims to occupy, but also meant that the Indians were in no condition to resist the arrival of the colonists. [Loewen, 1995, pp. 80-86]

Colonial era

Plymouth has played an important role in American colonial history. It was the final landing site of the first voyage of the "Mayflower", and the location of the original settlement of the Plymouth Colony. Plymouth was established in 1620 by the English settlers known as separatists who had broken away from the Church of England, believing that the Church had not completed the work of the Protestant Reformation. Today, these settlers are much better known as "Pilgrims," a term coined by William Bradford. [cite web|url=|title=Pilgrims: Plymouth Its History and People|accessdate=2007-07-14|publisher=Historical Reference Center]

The Mayflower first anchored in what would become the harbor of Provincetown, Massachusetts on November 11, 1620. The ship was headed for Virginia, but eventually reached New England.Philbrick, Nathaniel (2006). Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War. New York: Penguin Group.] There are varying theories as to how this happened. They include: violent storms threw the ship off course; a navigation error; the Dutch bribed the captain to sail north so the Pilgrims would not settle near New Amsterdam; and the Pilgrims on the Mayflower, who comprised only 35 of the 102 settlers aboard the "Mayflower", hijacked the ship to land far from Anglican control. The Pilgrim settlers, realizing that the party did not have a patent to settle in the region, subsequently signed the Mayflower Compact. [Philbrick (2006) pp 41] The Pilgrims went on to explore various parts of Cape Cod, but soon a storm and violent skirmishes with local Native Americans forced the migrants to sail westward into Cape Cod Bay. The Pilgrims eventually came across the sheltered waters of Plymouth Harbor on December 17. The appealing protected bay led to a site in the present-day Harbor District being chosen for the new settlement after three days of surveying. The settlers officially disembarked on December 21, 1620. It is traditionally said that the Pilgrims first set foot in America at the site of Plymouth Rock, though no historical evidence can prove this claim. [Johnson, Paul (1997). A History of the American People. New York: HarperCollins.] The settlers named their settlement "Plimouth" (also historically known as "Plimoth", an old English spelling of the name) after the major port city in Devon, England from which the Mayflower sailed. The area had previously been explored by Captain John Smith, a leader of the Jamestown settlement. Smith explored parts of Cape Cod Bay in 1614, and is credited with naming the region which would become the future Plymouth Colony as "New Plimouth." [cite web|url=|title=Passengers on the Mayflower: Ages & Occupations, Origins & Connections|author=Patricia Scott Deetz|coauthors=James F. Deetz|work=The Plymouth Colony Archive Project|year=2000|accessdate=2007-07-11]

Plymouth faced many difficulties during its first winter, the most notable being the risk of starvation and the lack of suitable shelter. From the beginning, the assistance of Indians was vital. One colonist's journal reports:

We marched to the place we called Cornhill, where we had found the corn before. At another place we had seen before, we dug and found some more corn, two or three baskets full, and a bag of beans....In all we had about ten bushels, which will be enough for seed. It is with God's help that we found this corn, for how else could we have done it, without meeting some Indians who might trouble us.Loewen, 1995, p. 91]
Along with ransacking the food stores of Indians, the colonists also raided the houses of the few Indians who had survived the plague, as well as robbing Indian graves. Even greater assistance came from Samoset and Tisquantum (better known as Squanto), an Indian sent by Wampanoag Tribe Chief Massasoit, as an ambassador and technical adviser. Squanto had been kidnapped in 1614 by an English slave raider and sold in Malaga, Spain. Having learned English, he escaped slavery and returned home in 1619, only to find the inhabitants of his village Patuxet dead from the plague. Teaching the colonists how to farm corn, where and how to catch fish, and how to make other necessary items, he was instrumental in the survival of the settlement for the first two years. Squanto and another guide sent by Massasoit in 1621, Hobomok, also helped Plymouth set up trading posts where the Pilgrimas could trade Indians for furs and pay off the cost of establishing the colony. [Loewen, 1995, pp. 92-93] Chief Massasoit later formed a Peace Treaty with the Pilgrims. Upon growing a plentiful harvest in the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims gathered with Squanto, Samoset, Massasoit, and ninety other Wampanoag men in a celebration of food and feasting. This celebration is known today as the First Thanksgiving, and is still commemorated annually in downtown Plymouth with a parade and a reenactment. Since 1941, Thanksgiving has been observed as a federal holiday in the United States. [cite web|last = Wilson|first = Jerry|title = The Thanksgiving Story|work = Holiday Page|publisher =|date = 2001|url =|accessdate = 2007-07-31] [cite web|title = History of Thanksgiving: A Timeline|publisher = |date = 2006|url =|accessdate = 2007-07-31]

Plymouth served as the capital of Plymouth Colony (which consisted of modern-day Barnstable, Bristol, and Plymouth Counties) from its founding in 1620 until 1691, when the colony was annexed by the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Plymouth holds the unique distinction of being the first permanent settlement in New England, and one of the oldest settlements in the United States. [cite web|url=|title=Timeline: United States of America|accessdate=2007-08-21|publisher=BBC News]

19th century

In the 1800s, Plymouth remained a relatively isolated seacoast town whose livelihood depended on fishing and shipping.cite web|url=|title=Town of Plymouth, Established 1620|accessdate=2007-07-14|] The town eventually became a regional center of shipbuilding and fishing. Its principal industry was the Plymouth Cordage Company, which became the world's largest manufacturer of rope and cordage products. The company was founded in 1824. [cite web|url=|title=Cordage Company: Storied Past|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Cordage Commerce Center] At one point, the longest ropewalk in the world, a quarter-mile (0.4 km) in length, was found on the Cordage Company's site on the North Plymouth waterfront. It thrived into the 1960s, but was forced out of business in 1964 due to competition from synthetic-fiber ropes. [cite web|url=|title=Records of the Plymouth Cordage Company (Coll. 133), History of the Plymouth Cordage Company|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Mystic Seaport] The refurbished factory, known as Cordage Commerce Center, is home to numerous offices, restaurants and stores. [cite web|url=|title=The Property, Property Highlights|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Cordage Commerce Center]

Modern history

In the last 30 years, Plymouth has experienced rapid growth and development. As in many South Shore towns, Plymouth became more accessible to Boston in the early 1970s with improved railroads, highways, and bus routes. Furthermore, the town's inexpensive land costs and low tax rates caused the population to explode. Plymouth's population mushroomed from 18,606 residents in 1970 to 45,608 residents in 1990, a 145% increase in only 20 years. The population has continued to expand in recent years. While Plymouth has already surpassed several Massachusetts cities in population, the town is still officially regarded as a town, as it has not been re-chartered as a city. Nevertheless, Plymouth has emerged as a major economic and tourist center of the South Shore.


The latitude of Plymouth is 41.95833. The longitude is -70.66778.GR|1 [cite web|url=|title=Plymouth|accessdate=2007-08-11|] According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 134.0 sq mi (347.0 km²): 96.5 sq mi (249.8 km²) of it is land, and 37.5 sq mi (97.2 km²) of it (28%) is water. Plymouth is geologically part of Cape Cod, but the 1914 completion of the Cape Cod Canal separated it from the rest of the Cape's towns.

With the largest land area of any municipality in Massachusetts, Plymouth consists of several neighborhoods and geographical sections. Larger localities in the town include Plymouth Center, North, West and South Plymouth, Manomet, Cedarville, and Saquish Neck.

Plymouth makes up the entire western shore of Cape Cod Bay. Landwise, it is bordered by Bourne to the southeast, Wareham to the southwest, Carver to the west, and Kingston to the north. It also shares a small border with Duxbury at the land entrance of Saquish Neck.cite web|url=|title=Plymouth Massachusetts 1890|accessdate=2007-08-10|publisher=Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890] Plymouth's border with Bourne makes up most of the line between Plymouth and Barnstable counties. The town is located roughly convert|44|mi|km southeast of Boston (it is almost exactly convert|40|mi|km from Plymouth Rock to the Massachusetts State House) and equidistantly east of Providence, Rhode Island. [cite web|url=|title=Plymouth, Massachusetts: Nearest cities|accessdate=2007-08-11|]

Plymouth has many distinct geographical features. The town's Atlantic coast is characterized by low plains, while its western sections are extremely hilly and forested. Plymouth contains several small ponds scattered throughout its western quadrant, the largest being the Great Herring Pond (which is partly in the town of Bourne). A major feature of the town is the Myles Standish State Forest, which is in the southwestern region.cite web|url=|title=Myles Standish State Forest|accessdate=2007-08-11|publisher=Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation] Cachalot Scout Reservation, operated by the Cachalot District of the Narragansett Council of the Boy Scouts of America, lies adjacent to the state forest lands. There is also a smaller town forest, as well as several parks, recreation areas and beaches.

Plymouth has nine public beaches, the largest being Plymouth Beach. Plymouth Beach guards Plymouth Harbor and mostly consists of a three-mile (5 km) long, ecologically significant barrier beach. Clark's Island, a small island in Plymouth Bay, is the only island in Plymouth. It is off the coast of Saquish Neck and has no inhabitants.


Plymouth's climate is humid continental, which is the predominant climate for Massachusetts and New England. Due to its location on the Atlantic Ocean, humidity levels can be very high year-round. Plymouth's coastal location causes it to experience warmer temperatures than many inland locations in New England. [cite web|url=|title=USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map|publisher=US Department of Agriculture - The United States National Arboretum|date=March 2, 2006|accessdate = 2007-01-19] Summers are typically hot and humid, while winters are cold, windy and often snowy.

Plymouth's warmest month is July, with an average high temperature of 82 °F (24.4 °C) and an average low of 60.3 °F (15.7 °C). The coldest month is January, with an average high temperature of 36.8 °F (2.7 °C) and an average low of 16.2 °F (-8.8 °C). [cite web|url=|title=Plymouth, Massachusetts Average Temperature|accessdate=2007-08-09|publisher=Weatherbase]

Much like the rest of the Northeastern seaboard, Plymouth receives ample amounts of precipitation year-round. On average, summer months receive slightly less precipitation than winter months. Plymouth averages about 49 in (124 cm) of rainfall a year. Plymouth, like other coastal Massachusetts towns, is very vulnerable to Nor'easter weather systems. The town is sometimes vulnerable to Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms, which infrequently threaten the Cape Cod region during the early autumn months.
Infobox Weather
single_line= Yes
location = Plymouth, Massachusetts
Jan_Hi_°F = 37 |Jan_Hi_°C = 2
Feb_Hi_°F = 38 |Feb_Hi_°C = 3
Mar_Hi_°F = 46 |Mar_Hi_°C = 7
Apr_Hi_°F = 56 |Apr_Hi_°C = 13
May_Hi_°F = 67 |May_Hi_°C = 19
Jun_Hi_°F = 76 |Jun_Hi_°C = 24
Jul_Hi_°F = 82 |Jul_Hi_°C = 27
Aug_Hi_°F = 80 |Aug_Hi_°C = 26
Sep_Hi_°F = 73 |Sep_Hi_°C = 22
Oct_Hi_°F = 63 |Oct_Hi_°C = 17
Nov_Hi_°F = 52 |Nov_Hi_°C = 11
Dec_Hi_°F = 42 |Dec_Hi_°C = 5
Year_Hi_°F = 59 |Year_Hi_°C = 15
Jan_Lo_°F = 16 |Jan_Lo_°C = -8
Feb_Lo_°F = 17 |Feb_Lo_°C = -8
Mar_Lo_°F = 26 |Mar_Lo_°C = -3
Apr_Lo_°F = 35 |Apr_Lo_°C = 1
May_Lo_°F = 44 |May_Lo_°C = 6
Jun_Lo_°F = 54 |Jun_Lo_°C = 12
Jul_Lo_°F = 60 |Jul_Lo_°C = 15
Aug_Lo_°F = 59 |Aug_Lo_°C = 15
Sep_Lo_°F = 51 |Sep_Lo_°C = 10
Oct_Lo_°F = 41 |Oct_Lo_°C = 4
Nov_Lo_°F = 32 |Nov_Lo_°C = 0
Dec_Lo_°F = 22 |Dec_Lo_°C = -5
Year_Lo_°F = 38 |Year_Lo_°C = 3
Jan_Precip_inch = 4.2 |Jan_Precip_cm = 10 |Jan_Precip_mm =
Feb_Precip_inch = 4 |Feb_Precip_cm = 10 |Feb_Precip_mm =
Mar_Precip_inch = 4 |Mar_Precip_cm = 10 |Mar_Precip_mm =
Apr_Precip_inch = 4.2 |Apr_Precip_cm = 10
Apr_Precip_mm =
May_Precip_inch = 4 |May_Precip_cm = 10 |May_Precip_mm =
Jun_Precip_inch = 3.5 |Jun_Precip_cm = 8 |Jun_Precip_mm =
Jul_Precip_inch = 3.4 |Jul_Precip_cm = 8 |Jul_Precip_mm =
Aug_Precip_inch = 4 |Aug_Precip_cm = 10 |Aug_Precip_mm =
Sep_Precip_inch = 4.1 |Sep_Precip_cm = 10 |Sep_Precip_mm =
Oct_Precip_inch = 4.1 |Oct_Precip_cm = 10 |Oct_Precip_mm =
Nov_Precip_inch = 4.9 |Nov_Precip_cm = 12 |Nov_Precip_mm =
Dec_Precip_inch = 4.6 |Dec_Precip_cm = 11 |Dec_Precip_mm =
Year_Precip_inch = 48.8 |Year_Precip_cm = 123 |Year_Precip_mm =
source=Weatherbasecite web
url=|title=Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States of America|publisher=Weatherbase|year=2007|accessdate=2007-08-09
accessdate = August 2007


{| class="toccolours" align="right" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" style="margin:0 0 1em 1em; font-size: 95%;"USCensusPop
1790= 2995
1800= 3524
1810= 4228
1820= 4348
1830= 4758
1840= 5281
1850= 6024
1860= 6272
1870= 6238
1880= 7093
1890= 7314
1900= 9592
1910= 12141
1920= 13045
1930= 13042
1940= 13100
1950= 13608
1960= 14445
1970= 18615
1980= 33060
1990= 45608
2000= 51701

As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 51,701 people, 18,423 households, and 13,264 families residing in the town; by population it is the third-largest town in Massachusetts, after Framingham and Brookline. It is also the 21st-largest municipality in the state. The population density was 536.0 people per square mile (206.9/km²). [cite web|url=|title=Plymouth, Massachusetts: Population Density|accessdate=2007-08-11|] There are 21,250 housing units, at an average density of 85.1/km² (220.3/sq mi). The racial makeup of the town was 94.82% White, 1.91% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.93% from other races, and 1.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.68% of the population. [cite web|url=|title=Plymouth, Massachusetts: Races in Plymouth|accessdate=2007-08-11|]

There are 18,423 households out of which 36.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.4% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.0% were non-families. 21.7% of all households are made up of individuals, and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.67 and the average family size is 3.16.

In the town the population is spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 98.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $54,677 as of the 2000 census, and the median income for a family was $63,266. [cite web|url=|title=Plymouth, Massachusetts: Estimated Median Household Income|accessdate=2007-08-11|] Males had a median income of $44,983 versus $31,565 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,732. About 4.4% of families and 5.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.1% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.


Plymouth is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a part of the First and Twelfth Plymouth Districts. The town is represented in the Massachusetts Senate as a part of the Plymouth and Barnstable district, which also includes Bourne, Falmouth, Kingston, Pembroke, Plympton, Sandwich, and part of Barnstable. [cite web|url=|title=Index of Legislative Representation by City and Town|accessdate=2007-07-31|] On the state level, primary but shared patrolling responsibility of the town's limited access highways falls upon the Seventh (Bourne) Barracks of Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police. [cite web|url=|title=Station D-7, SP Bourne|accessdate=2007-08-09|publisher=Executive Office of Public Safety (EOPS)]

On the national level, Plymouth is a part of Massachusetts's 10th congressional district, and is currently represented by Bill Delahunt. The state's senior (Class I) member of the United States Senate, re-elected in 2006, is Ted Kennedy. The junior (Class II) Senator, up for re-election in 2008, is John Kerry. On the local level, the town uses the representative town meeting form of government, led by a town manager and a board of selectmen. [cite web|url=|title=Town Departments: Board of Selectmen|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Town of Plymouth, MA] The current town manager of Plymouth is Mark Sylvia. [cite web|url=|title=Town Departments: Town Manager|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Town of Plymouth, MA]

Plymouth has a centralized municipal police force, the Plymouth Police Department. [cite web|url=|title=Town Departments: Police Department|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Town of Plymouth, MA] The town also has a professional fire department, with seven firehouses spread around the town. [cite web|url=|title=Town Departments: Fire Department|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Town of Plymouth, MA] There are also seven post offices for the town's five ZIP codes, with one in the downtown area, one in North Plymouth, one in Manomet, one in White Horse Beach, one near the Plymouth Municipal Airport, one in the South Pond neighborhood, and one near the town forest in "The Village Green" shopping area of "The Pinehills". [cite web|url=|title=Plymouth MA Community Post Offices|accessdate=2007-08-11|publisher=Yahoo Local Pages] [cite web|url=|title=The Village Green, Shops and Services|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=The Pinehills]

The town has a public library, with a branch location in Manomet. [cite web|url=|title=Manomet Branch|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Plymouth Public Library] Both libraries are a part of the Old Colony Library Network, which services 28 libraries throughout the South Shore. [cite web|url=|title=About OCLN|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Old Colony Library Network] Additionally, as a seat of Plymouth County, there are several county facilities located in Plymouth. These include a County farm, the Registry of Deeds, two jails (the Massachusetts Correctional Institution - Plymouth and the Plymouth County Correctional Facility) and the County Courthouse.


Plymouth is an economic and tourism center of the South Shore. The major industry is tourism, with healthcare, technical and scientific research, real estate, and telecommunications also being primary industries. The largest employer in the town is Jordan Hospital.

Plymouth has experienced commercial and industrial success, with the downtown area and North Plymouth each becoming booming commercial centers and a successful Industrial Park opening outside of the town center. A large commercial project titled "Colony Place" located near the Industrial Park was completed in late 2007. It consists of several large retail stores, various chain restaurants, and contains one of the largest outdoor designer outlet malls in the South Shore. [cite web|url=http://|title=Colony Place|accessdate=2008-10-08|publisher=Colony Place] Another large retail development that has recently finished construction off Route 3's exit 5 is "The Shops at 5". [cite web|url=|title=The Shops at 5: Plymouth, MA|accessdate=2007-07-28|publisher=New England Development] The only nuclear power plant in Massachusetts, Pilgrim Nuclear Generating Station is located in Plymouth.

Plymouth has also recently seen the development of several residential projects, the most notable being "The Pinehills", which consists of two golf courses, a country club, a shopping village, and over 1,000 residential units. [cite web|url=|title=Behind the Pinehills|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=The Pinehills] When completed in 2010, it is expected to contain 2,877 homes. [cite web|url=|title=Is this the new New England?|last=Gaines|first=Judith|accessdate=2007-08-07|publisher=Yankee Magazine]


Plymouth operates a large school system, with an enrollment over 8,000 students. The Plymouth School District is one of the largest in the state, operating 14 schools. This is six more schools than the Massachusetts average of eight. [cite web|url=|title=Plymouth South High School|accessdate=2007-08-18|publisher=Public School Review] The school district operates 86 school buses under contract with First Student bus company.

The schools of Plymouth include the Mount Pleasant Preschool, eight elementary schools (Cold Spring, Federal Furnace, Hedge, Indian Brook, Manomet, Nathanial Morton, South and West Elementaries) which serve students from kindergarten to fifth grade, two middle schools (Plymouth Community Intermediate and Plymouth South Middle) which serve grades 5-8, and two high schools, Plymouth North and Plymouth South. [cite web|url=|title=Our Schools|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Plymouth School District] Both high schools play in the Atlantic Coast League, and the two schools share a rivalry with each other. Students who decide to receive a technical education have the option of attending Plymouth South Technical School.

There is also a charter school in the town, Rising Tide Charter School, [cite web|url=|title=About Our School|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Rising Tide Charter Public School] which serves middle school-aged children. Two special education schools, the Baird School and the Radius Pediatric School, are located in the town.

The town has two institutions of higher learning. Quincy College has a campus located in Cordage Park. The Plymouth campus opened in 1991, and the college's main campus is in Quincy. [cite web|url=|title=About Quincy College|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Quincy College] Curry College has a campus at the northern edge of Plymouth Center in the Citizens Bank building. The campus opened in 1994, and the main campus is located in Milton. [cite web|url=|title=Plymouth Campus|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Curry College] While the University of Massachusetts Boston does not have a campus in Plymouth, it offers some courses at another location in Cordage Park. [cite web|url=|title=Plymouth|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=University of Massachusetts Boston]


Plymouth is home to Jordan Hospital, the largest hospital in the southern region of the South Shore. It is the only major healthcare provider in the town. The hospital is a community medical center serving 12 towns in Plymouth and Barnstable counties. It consists of more than 30 departments, with 150 patient beds. [cite web|url= Jordan Hospital|title=Welcome to Jordan Hospital|accessdate=2007-07-14|publisher=Jordan Hospital] The hospital also offers a rehabilitation center in "The Pinehills" region.

While Jordan Hospital is the only hospital in Plymouth, South Shore Hospital operates several offices and physician labs in South Pond. South Shore Hospital, in South Weymouth, is the largest hospital in southeastern Massachusetts. [cite web|url=|title=About South Shore Hospital|accessdate=2007-08-12|publisher=South Shore Hospital]



Plymouth lies along the "Pilgrims Highway" portion of Route 3, which is the major route between Cape Cod and Boston. The town can be accessed from six exits on the highway, which is more than any other municipality along the Pilgrims Highway. Plymouth is also the eastern terminus of U.S. Route 44. The route has changed recently, as a new divided highway section has linked it to Route 3, before heading south and exiting at its old location before terminating at Route 3A, which more closely follows the shoreline and passes through Plymouth Center. Route 80's western terminus is at its intersection with old Route 44. Route 25 goes through a remote section of the town north of Buzzards Bay without an exit. Finally, the short Plimoth Plantation Highway allows easy access between Routes 3 and 3A, with an exit that allows direct entry to Plimoth Plantation's parking area. The highway is north of Manomet and south of Plymouth Center.


Plymouth is one of two termini of the Kingston/Plymouth Old Colony Line of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's commuter rail, providing non-peak service to Braintree and as far north as Boston's South Station. [cite web|url=|title=Commuter Rail Maps and Schedules|accessdate=2007-08-20|publisher=Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority] The Plymouth MBTA station is near Cordage Park in North Plymouth, along Route 3A. [cite web|url=|title=Plymouth|accessdate=2007-08-20|publisher=Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority] (The other terminus is in Kingston and has more frequent train arrivals and departures. Its station is behind the Independence Mall.) No other railroad lines pass through the town.


There is a seasonal ferry to Provincetown and several other excursion lines that offer cruises of Plymouth Bay and Cape Cod Bay. The ferry is operated by "Capt. John Boats" and offers one round trip daily from June to September. The ferry leaves from the State Wharf in Plymouth Center. [cite web|url=|title=Provincetwon Ferry|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Capt. John Boats] In addition to the ferry, Plymouth Harbor offers service for harbor excursions, whale watching tours, and deep sea fishing.


The Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Company offers scheduled service to Logan Airport, downtown Boston, Hyannis, and Provincetown. Buses can be boarded at the commuter parking lot at exit 5 off Route 3, behind the McDonald's rest stop. [cite web|url=|title=Terminals and Ticket Agencies|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Co.] The Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA) operates public transportation buses known as the Plymouth Area Link (PAL) throughout much of Plymouth and Kingston. [cite web|url=|title=Plymouth Area Link: Information|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority]


The town is home to the Plymouth Municipal Airport, which lies on the border between Plymouth and Carver. Founded in 1931, it offers scheduled service to the Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, as well as private service. The airport features a local restaurant and gift shop, but does not have an on-site traffic control tower. [cite web|url=|title=History of Plymouth Airport|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Plymouth Municipal Airport]

Barnstable Municipal Airport, in Hyannis, is the closest airport that features scheduled carrier operation. [cite web|url=|title=Plymouth, Massachusetts: Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Plymouth|accessdate=2007-08-12|] The airport offers scheduled flight services to Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Boston and New York City. [cite web|url=|title=Barnstable Municipal Airport: Airlines|accessdate=2007-08-12|publisher=Barnstable Municipal Airport] It is approximately 30 miles (48 km) from Plymouth.

The nearest national and international airport is Logan International Airport in Boston, roughly convert|43|mi|km away. T.F. Green Airport, a state airport located in Warwick, Rhode Island, is about 63 miles (101 km) away. It is considered a good alternative if driving, due to unpredictable Boston traffic and higher parking fees at Logan. However, the airport serves fewer destinations. [cite web|url=|title=Parking Rates|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=T.F. Green Airport]

Points of interest

Promoted as "America's Hometown", Plymouth is a tourist destination noted for its heritage. The town is home to several notable sites.

Plymouth Rock

Plymouth Rock is one of Plymouth's most famous attractions. Traditionally, the rock is said to be the disembarkation site of the Pilgrims. However, there is no historical evidence to support this theory. The first identification of Plymouth Rock as the actual landing site was made in 1741 by 94-year-old Thomas Faunce, whose father had arrived in Plymouth in 1623, three years after the arrival of the "Mayflower". [Philbrick (2006) pp 351-356] The rock is located roughly convert|650|ft|m from where the initial settlement was thought to be built.

Plymouth Rock became very famous after its identification as the supposed landing site of the Pilgrims, and was subsequently moved to a location in Plymouth Center. During the process, the rock split in two. It was later moved to Pilgrim Hall and then to a location under a granite Victorian Canopy, where it was easily accessible and subject to souvenir hunters. The rock was finally moved back to its original location along the town's waterfront in 1921. "Plymouth Rock", a large boulder, now sits under a granite canopy designed by famed astronomical illustrator Chesley Bonestell, who also designed the Chrysler Building gargoyles and contributed to the design of the Golden Gate Bridge. The rock is the centerpiece of Pilgrim Memorial State Park. The park is the smallest park in the Massachusetts state forest and park system, but is also the most heavily visited. [cite web|url=|title=Pilgrim Memorial State Park|accessdate=2007-08-11|publisher=Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation]

Plymouth Plantation

Plymouth Plantation is a living history museum located south of Plymouth Center. It consists of a re-creation of the Plymouth settlement in 1627, as well as a replica of a 17th century Wampanoag homesite. The museum features role playing tour guides, as well as a large crafts center. The Nye Barn, a replica of a 1627 faming homestead in Plymouth, is also part of the museum. The farm features several animals that would have been found in Plymouth Colony, but are very rare in modern times. [cite web|url=|title=The Nye Barn at Plymouth Plantation|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Plymouth Plantation]

The museum opened in 1947 under the guidance of Henry Hornblower II, a wealthy Boston stockbroker who grew up in Plymouth. [cite news | title=Henry Hornblower 2d (obituary) | author=Associated Press | publisher=The New York Times | date=October 23, 1985 | page=B6] The museum originally consisted of the "Mayflower II" and a "First House" exhibit in Plymouth Center, but was expanded into a large fortified town and a Native American village by 1960.

Mayflower II

The "Mayflower II" is a full-size replica of the "Mayflower", the ship which brought the Pilgrims to Plymouth in 1620. It is located at the State Pier in Plymouth Center. The ship is open as a museum about the Pilgrims' historic voyage from Plymouth, England, and is considered a faithful replica of the original "Mayflower". [cite web|url=|title=Mayflower II|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Plimoth Plantation] It is officially a part of Plimoth Plantation.

The ship was built in Brixham, England in 1956, and sailed to Plymouth across the Atlantic Ocean in 1957 by famous mariner Alan Villiers. [cite web|url=|title=The Journey of the Mayflower II|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Plimoth Plantation] The ship is still seaworthy, and routinely takes voyages around Plymouth Harbor. In the year 2007, the "Mayflower II" celebrated the 50th anniversary of its arrival in Plymouth. [cite web|url=|title=Mayflower II: 50th Celebrations|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Plimoth Plantation]

Other sites

In addition to the Plymouth Rock Memorial, several other monuments were constructed in celebration of Plymouth's tricentennial. These include statues of Massasoit and William Bradford, and a sarcophagus containing the bones of the 51 Pilgrims who died in the winter of 1620, which rests atop Cole's Hill.

Pilgrim Hall Museum, founded in 1824, is the oldest public museum in the United States. [cite web|url=|title=Pilgrim Hall Museum: America's museum of Pilgrim's possessions|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Pilgrim Hall] It is located in Plymouth Center. Plymouth also features the National Monument to the Forefathers, which was dedicated in 1889. [cite web| url=| title=Forefathers Monument| author=Plymouth Guide| accessmonthday=May 16 | accessyear=2006| ] Standing at convert|81|ft|m tall, it is the tallest free-standing solid granite monument in the United States. [cite web|url=|title=National Monument to the Forefathers|accessdate=2007-08-11|publisher=Department of Conservation and Recreation (Massachusetts)] Other notable historical sites include the Jenney Grist Mill, a working replica of an original mill built in 1636, as well as the 1640 Richard Sparrow House, the oldest house still standing in Plymouth. At the edge of the town on Route 80 is Parting Ways, a 94 acre site that is notable for containing the remains of four former slaves who fought in the Revolutionary War and their families. [cite web|url=|title=Let Freedom Ring|accessdate=2007-08-11|publisher=Parting Ways Museum]

Myles Standish State Forest, the Commonwealth's second largest state forest, is located in Plymouth. It is a camping and hiking destination, and contains 16 freshwater lakes and ponds. Ellisville Harbor State Park, located in the extreme Southern portion of the town, contains a natural beach inside Cape Cod Bay. [cite web|url=|title=Ellisville Harbor State Park|accessdate=2007-08-11|publisher=Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation] Plymouth is home to 11 public and private golf courses, which include Squirrel Run, Pinehills, and Plymouth Country Club.

Notable residents

*Chris Alberghini, television producer-writer, born in Plymouth [cite web|url=|title=Profile of Chris Alberghini on Famous Like Me|accessdate=2007-08-21|publisher=Famous Like]
*Oliver Ames, Jr. (1807-1877), railroad official, former resident of Plymouthcite book|title = Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896|publisher = Marquis Who's Who|location = Chicago|date = 1963]
*John Bartlett, publisher of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, born in Plymouth [cite web|url=|title=John Bartlett|accessdate=2007-07-31|]
*Amy Lynn Baxter, adult film star, born in Plymouth [cite web|url=|title=Amy Lynn Baxter|accessdate=2008-04-18||publisher=CNET Networks, Inc.]
*David Chokachi, actor, born in Plymouth [cite web|url=|title=About David|accessdate=2007-08-21|]
*Ken Coleman, sportscaster, died in Plymouth [cite web|url=|title=Ken Coleman, Former Red Sox Broadcaster, 1925 - August 21, 2003|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=American Sportscasters Online]
*Thomas Davee, United States Representative from Maine, born in Plymouth [cite web|url=|title=Davee, Thomas|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Biographical Directory of the United States Congress]
*Dave "Phoenix" Farrell, bassist with Linkin Park, born in Plymouth [cite web|url=|title=Phoenix Farrell|accessdate=2007-08-09|publisher=NNDB]
*Peter J. Gomes, preacher and theologian at Harvard Divinity School, former resident of Plymouth [cite web|url=|title=The Reverend Professor Peter J. Gomes|accessdate=2008-04-18|publisher=The Memorial Church of Harvard University]
*Glen Gray, saxophonist, leader of the Casa Loma Orchestra, born in Plymouth [cite web|url=|title="Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra"|accessdate=2007-08-21|publisher=American BigBands]
*Dick Gregory, comedian, activist and nutritionist, current resident of Plymouth [cite web|url=|title=Biography: Dick Gregory for the people... Activist, Philosopher, Anti-Drug Crusader, Comedian, Author, Actor Recording Artist, Nutritionist|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Dick Gregory Global Watch]
*Pee Wee Hunt, trombonist and co-founder of the Casa Loma Orchestra, died in Plymouth [cite web|url=|title=Pee Wee Hunt|accessdate=2007-08-21|]
*Frederic Augustus Lucas (1852-1929), Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences museum director, author of many scientific papers, born in Plymouth [cite web|url=|title=Biography of Frederic Augustus Lucas|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Frederic Augustus Lucas Papers (PP)]
*Aaron Matson (1770-1855), a United States Representative from New Hampshire, born in Plymouth [cite web|url=|title=Matson, Aaron|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=Biographical Directory of the United States Congress]
*Violet Mersereau (1892-1975), silent film actress, died in Plymouth [cite web|url=|title=Violet Mersereau|accessdate=2007-08-21|publisher=Silent Era]
*Gary DiSarcina, former shortstop for the California Angels and manager of the single-A team Lowell Spinners, currently resides in Plymouth.


Since 2001, Plymouth has shared a twin-city status with:
*flagicon|the United Kingdom Plymouth, Devon, United Kingdom [cite web|url=|title=Plymouth and its Twin Towns|accessdate=2007-08-09|publisher=Devon County Council] In addition, since 1990, Plymouth has shared a sister-city status with:
*flagicon|Japan Shichigahama, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan [cite web|url=|title=Sister City Plymouth|accessdate=2007-08-09|publisher=Shichigahama Town Guide]


External links

*wikitravelpar|Plymouth (Massachusetts)
* [ Destination: Plymouth tourism site]
* [ Plymouth Town Website]
* [ Wicked Local Plymouth]

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