Liberty Tree - Plymouth, MA
Posted by: silverquill
N 41° 57.343 W 070° 39.869
19T E 362053 N 4646199
Quick Description: Planted to commemorate the bicentennial of the United States, this Liberty Tree is located in the heart of Plymouth, Massachusetts, where the first Pilgrims landed in 1620 aboard the Mayflower. The tree is on the left and to the back in this photo.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 2/17/2012 5:27:50 PM
Waymark Code: WMDR4X
There is probably no greater historic than this for a Liberty Tree, on Leyden Street (Town Square)purported to be the oldest street in the United States. At the west end of the street is seen First Parish Church
, the fifth church, dating from 1899, built on this site, tracing its lineage back to the 1606 Covenant in Scrooby, England, and the separatists who had been exiled to Leyden, Holland, and finally made the pilgrimage from Plymouth, England, aboard the Mayflower, anchoring below here in Cape Cod Bay.
To the North of this tree is the Church of the Pilgrimage, built in 1840 by a group who had seceded from First Parish in 1801 to preserve the Trinitarian heritage of the original Scrooby Covenant from the liberal leaning James Kendrick who had just been installed as pastor and eventually, led the remaining congregation into the unitarian camp, divisions that swept New England at the turn of the 19th Century. Ironically, both churches are widely divergent from the faith of their forefathers. First Parish is affiliated with the Unitarian Universalists, and Church of the Pilgrim is associates with the ultra liberal United Church of Christ.
On the south side of this liberty tree is the 1749 Courthouse, the oldest wooden courthouse in the country and the longest continually used municipal building, now housing a museum, but beautifully restored and preserved.
Behind First Parish Church is Burial Hill. As the highest point, it was the location of the first fort and meeting house built in 1621 with a commanding view of Plymouth Harbor and Cape Cod Bay to the east and the territory surrounding it. Later it came to be used as a cemetery and many early settlers are buried here including Governor William Bradford, and allegedly the Indian friend Squanto. One of the largest grave markers is for Thomas Cushman, who came aboard the Fortune as a 14 year-old lad and served as presiding elder of the church for 42 years, and his wife Mary, who was the last survivor of the original Mayflower passengers. The last burials took place here in the early 1950s.
Another, less glorious piece of history is also commemorated here, the murder and dismemberment of the Indian leader Metacomet whose head was said to have been impaled on a stick and placed on display here for twenty years, ending the so-called King Philip's War. (The commemorative plaque is visible in the foreground of several photos).
There is a public parking lot nearby.
A picture of the location you are visiting. Including your GPS is not required--unless you use that as a [optional] signature item.
As a suggestion, please include your own thoughts and narrative about the waymark. Please, include any more information as you can that is applicable to the location.