October 8th — We arrived in Cape Cod this morning and have three nights to enjoy the seashore. Neither of us have been here before, so we will do some exploring. First stop: Plymouth Rock.
I guess I was expecting something a little more grand and/or impressive. What is impressive is the history of this hunk. While the Pilgrims arrived here in 1620, the rock wasn’t identified as the Pilgrims’ landing place until 120 years later! By then this thing was smack dab in the middle of a busy wharf with people occasionally sweeping it off, and according to the historical placard, a hammer and chisel were kept nearby for souvenir seekers. No doubt that’s a big reason that in 1620 the rock was three times larger than it is today. Another factor is that it was broken in 1774, moved around a bunch, then reunited with its bottom half in the late 1800’s when “1620” was carved into it, replacing painted numerals.
Finally in 1920, the 300th anniversary of this significant place in the history of America, a new portico was built to protect it more, and mortar helped to stabilize the two halves. Although Plymouth Rock is a lot smaller than what I was expecting, it nonetheless has remained an everlasting icon in our history for nearly 400 years.