Monday, July 25, 2022

Day Three of the "Path of the Pilgrims" Tour by the GSMD

 Click here to see Day One of the tour:   

Click here to see Day Two of the tour:  

Day Three - The Aptuxet Trading Post in Bourne, Massachusetts, Provincetown, Corn Hill, First Encounter Beach, Cove Cemetery in Eastham, and the Forefathers Monument in Plymouth, Massachusetts - see below

Day Four  

Day Five  

Aptucxet Trading Post, Bourne, Massachusetts
Wampum was the currency of choice at Aptucxet
in the 17th century

Interior of the Aptucxet Trading Post

The Aprucxet Trading Post is a replica of the building erected in 1627 by Plymouth Colony in what is now the town of Bourne.  It was built for trade with the native Wampanoag people and with traders from the Dutch colony in what is now New York state.  The building was contructed according to descriptions in journals and archaeological digs in the area.  The building is situated on the Cape Cod Canal, but in the 1600s this was the banks of the Manomet River.  

The interior of this two room structure replicates the trading post.  There are also displays about the Wampanoag people from this area, and information about wampum, which was the trade item of choice between the Dutch, English and Wampanoag.  They also traded items for corn, beans, fur, and other items for survival and to repay debts to the English companies that financed the Plymouth Colony.  The colonists also operated the Cushnoc Trading Post in what is now the town of Augusta, Maine.  Several of my Mayflower ancestors were instrumental in establishing this trading post - Myles Standish, Isaac Allerton, and John Howland.  
Provincetown, Massachusetts

We ate lunch here, of course!

A Mayflower window over the door of the Mayflower Cafe

Next our tour took us to the tip of Cape Cod, the town of Provincetown, Massachusetts.  This is where the Mayflower made landfall after 66 days at sea.  The ship moored in Provincetown Harbor after failing to navigate the shoals off Cape Cod.  The passengers wrote and signed the Mayflower Compact here, establishing a New England settlement and forming a civil union while they waited for a new patent (permission to settle outside of the original plan near the Hudson River).  

We had time to explore Provincetown and have lunch, before boarding a trolley for a short tour.  The tour gave us a great history of the town, and some of the neighborhoods built over the last 400 years.  I especially liked learning about the fishermens' homes that were floated off the sandbars to line the streets near the harbor.  We had a chance to view the harbor with its breakwater and lighthouse.  Except for a few buildings, it probably looked like it did back in 1620.  

Our tour took us to view the Pilgrim Monument.  This 252 foot tower was dedicated in 1910 to honor the Pilgrims' landing in Provincetown.  It is visible from Plymouth (on a clear day) and from all over Cape Cod.  Years ago Vincent and I climbed to the top, all 116 steps and 60 ramps.  This time we did not climb!  Trivia fact:  President Teddy Roosevelt laid the cornerstone in 1907, and President Taft led the dedication ceremony three years later. There is a museum at the base of the tower, too.  When you are in Provincetown, just look behind the town hall for the funicular to the top of the hill where the tower is lcated. 

The Mayflower Compact was signed here in Provincetown Harbor

The Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown

Corn Hill Monument, at Corn Hill Beach
in Truro, Massachusetts

The inscription at Corn Hill monument

After visiting Provincetown, we went to Corn Hill Beach in Truro, Massachusetts.  This is a lovely beach, considered one of the nicest beaches on Cape Cod.  At the public parking lot you will find this little fenced in enclosure with a marker acknowledging the place where the Pilgrim explorers found a cache of Indian corn in November 1620.  According to Bradford's journal, they did not know if they should steal the corn, but decided to take it because they were starving after the long voyage from England.  This is a controversial part of the Pilgrim story.  Not only because of the theft of the seed corn, but also because the corn was NOT FOUND IN THIS SPOT!

The actual spot where the corn was found is up the hill on private property.  The road to this hill is a private road.  So the first monument (photograph above) is as close as possible to the real spot.  However there is a very small marker on the actual spot, owned by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants who maintain a right of way.  Since we were all members, we took tools to clear out, weed, and visit the monument! 

Tools for maintaining the "real"
Corn Hill marker

Yours truly at the site of the actual corn cache found
on Corn Hill.  It is hidden behind overgrown vegetation. 

The small Corn Hill Marker before clearing the vegetation

The stone is now visible due to everyone helping
to clear the weeds, branches and vegetation. 

Vincent and I hard at work clearing Corn Hill

The monument at the very windy
First Encounter Beach, Eastham, MA

The First Encounter marker

First Encounter Beach

After Corn Hill we went to see First Encounter Beach.  This is the site of another controversial event between the Nauset people and the Mayflower passengers.  The Nauset members of the Wampanoag nation were very wary of the new English men who had arrived in 1620 because several years earlier some of their tribe members had been kidnapped and taken as slaves to Europe (including Tisquantum "Squanto").  When the Pilgrims and the native people met on this beach, arrows and bullets flew but no one was hurt.  The Nauset retreated and the English went back to the Mayflower.  Fortunately, by the spring of 1621 the relations between the two groups improved. 

We were here at First Encounter Beach on a very windy day.  The tide was low, and there were few visitors even though this beach, like Corn Hill Beach, is a very popular site for swimming and boating. It was easy to imagine how it looked in 1620.  

Cove Burying Ground, Eastham, Massachusetts 

The gravesite of Mayflower passenger Constance Hopkins Snow
died 1677 Eastham, Massachusetts

The gravesite of Giles Hopkins, Mayflower passenger,
died 1690 Eastham, Massachusetts 

The gravesite of Joseph Rogers, Mayflower passenger,
died 1673 in Eastham, Massachusetts

While we were in Eastham, we also stopped at the Cove Burying Ground, where three Mayflower passengers are buried.  This cemetery dates to 1646.  There are no 17th century markers surviving, but descendants of the passenger interred here have placed memorials.  See the link below for a listing of burials here, including the Mayflower passengers Constance Hopkins Snow, Giles Hopkins, and Joseph Rogers.  

The National Monument to the Forefathers
Plymouth, Massachusetts

A detail on the monument showing the Mayflower Compact

One of the panels on the monument lists the Mayflower passengers

Our last stop for the day was the National Monument to the Forefathers, on Allerton Street in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  This is a solid granite monument standing 81 feet tall.  It was erected by the Pilgrim Society, and dedicated in 1889.  It was deeded to the Massachusetts government, and the monument and Plymouth Rock are both part of Pilgrim Memorial State Park.  It is not a federal or national park. 

It was nice to visit this monument near sunset.  The most popular part of the monument with our tour group was the panel listing the Mayflower passengers.  Everyone wanted to find the name of their ancestor or ancestors!

For the truly curious:

The Aptucxet Trading Post:   

Provincetown, Massachusett Tourism:   

The Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown:   

Corn Hill Beach, Truro, Massachusetts:  

First Encounter Beach, Eastham, Massachusetts:  

Cove Burying Ground, Eastham, Massachusetts:  

A listing of burials at the Cove Burying Ground:  

National Monument to the Forefathers:  


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Day Three of the "Path of the Pilgrims" Tour by the GSMD", Nutfield Genealogy, posted July 25, 2022, ( accessed [access date]).  

1 comment:

  1. Wow, thanks it appears this is as close as I will ever get. Thank you for the posting cousin.