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Summary Article: Plymouth
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Town and county seat of Plymouth County, in eastern Massachusetts, situated on Cape Cod about 55 km/34 mi southeast of Boston; population (2000 est) 7,700. It is surrounded by a larger urban area, with a population of around 50,000. Founded by the Pilgrims, who arrived in the Mayflower in 1620, it was the first settlement by Europeans in New England. Of great cultural significance to the US people, Plymouth attracts over 1 million tourists every year.

Plymouth Rock is said to be where the Pilgrims landed. The National Monument to the Forefathers (1889), at 25 m/82 ft tall, is the tallest granite monument in the USA. ‘Plimoth Plantation’, an open-air museum, contains a reconstruction of the Pilgrim village of 1627, the Wampanoag American Indian settlement, and the Mayflower II, a recreation of the original ship, which was built in Brixham in England in 1956 and sailed across the Atlantic in 1957. Early industries included fishing, trading, and whaling. Mills and rope works were set up in the 19th century.

Plymouth was named in 1614 after the town in Devon, England, by Captain John Smith. It is the oldest continuous European settlement in the USA (Jamestown, Virginia and St Augustine, Florida are older, but both failed). There are 18 entries on the national register of historic places, including the Court House (1749), the oldest wooden courthouse in the USA and now a museum. There are also several historic churches, and a hall with Pilgrim relics and historical paintings.

Another attraction is the Cranberry World visitors' centre.

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

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