1749 Courthouse Museum - Plymouth, MA
Posted by: silverquill
N 41° 57.334 W 070° 39.874
19T E 362046 N 4646182
Quick Description: This is the oldest wooden courthouse and longest used municipal building in the United States, now a museum of history.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 2/15/2012 10:47:39 PM
Waymark Code: WMDQRY
THE TOWN HOUSE OF PLYMOUTH
ON THIS SITE UNTIL 1749 STOOD
THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE
OF THE OLD COLONY
IN THAT YEAR THIS BUILDING WAS ERECTED
BY THE COUNTY FOR A COURT HOUSE
IT WAS USED JOINTLY BY THE COUNTY
AND THE TOWN UNTIL 1820
AND THEN BECAME THE PROPERTY OF THE TOWN
AND HAS BEEN EVER SINCE USED AS A TOWN HOUSE
This historic building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is located below the First Church of Plymouth and the Burial Hill cemetery where the first Pilgrims were laid to rest, and across from the historic Church of the Pilgrimage.
The museum is free, but open only during the regular tourist season. There is a public parking lot adjacent to the building. It is Audio Stop 14 on the "Pligrim Path" walking tour.
From Destination Plymouth:
"The 1749 Court House is a museum right in the center of Plymouth that is free and filled with interesting items from Plymouth's history. It is the oldest wooden Court House and the longest used municipal building in America. The 1749 Court House was originally built for the joint use of the county and the town of Plymouth. The town used it during those periods the circuit court was not in session.
When the new courthouse was built in 1820, the town purchased this building for the sum of $2,000 and from that time until the early 1950's, virtually every town department has had its office there. The building was restored and opened to the public as a museum in 1970. The museum houses a fire engine from 1828, the town hearse, items from Parting Ways settlement, display of gifts from Plymouth's sister city Schigahama, and panels featuring the recent local history book Beyond Plymouth Rock.
It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The 1749 Court House is steps away from historic Burial Hill, The First Church, Brewster Gardens, and Leyden Street."
THE TOWN HOUSE OF PLYMOUTH
Being within the boundaries of the Summer-High Street Urban Renewal
Project, this building was condemned by the Town of Plymouth as being
not fit for human habitation due to structural weaknesses. As a result,
the building was in danger of being demolished. However, because of
its historical significance and as a result of new Federal Historic
Preservation legislation, the Plymouth Redevelopment Authority was
successful in gaining approval from the United States Department of
Housing and Urban Development to expend project funds to provide for
Complete restoration of the Court Room, offices and interior structures.
Funds for the restoration of the exterior were made available by
vote of the Town in March 1966, and by public contributions.
Restoration activities were carried out by the Plymouth Redevelopment
Authority and the 1749 Courthouse Committee during the period 1967-1970.
PLYMOUTH REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
CLIFFERD E. SAMPSON, CHAIRMAN
MAHLON W. WALKER
EDWARD B. MACCAFERRI
RUSSEL T. FRY
RALPH L. DREW
A.V. BATTISTA. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
1749 COURTHOUSE COMMITTEE
ALLEN D. RUSSELL, CHAIRMAN
HAROLD A. BOYER
JOHN P. RYAN, ESQUIRE
HONORABLE HUGH R. MARAGAY
LEONA ASKER, SECRETARY