Located in Pilgrim Memorial State Park on the shore of Plymouth Harbor, this simple glacial erratic boulder has become a world famous symbol of the courage and faith of the men and women who founded the first New England colony. Although no historical evidence exists to confirm Plymouth Rock as the Pilgrims’ actual steppingstone to the New World, the then 10-ton boulder was identified as this spot in 1741- 121 years after the arrival of the Mayflower. This claim was made by Thomas Faunce, a 94-year-old church elder who said his father, who arrived in Plymouth in 1623, along with several of the original Mayflower passengers assured him the boulder was the exact landing spot. When the elderly Faunce heard that a wharf was to be built over the rock, he wanted one final glimpse. He reportedly gave Plymouth Rock a tearful goodbye. Whether Faunce’s assertion was accurate oral history or a figment of Faunce's aging mind, we don't know. What we do know, however, is that Plymouth Rock quickly became an American icon and a tangible monument to freedom. Nearly 4 centuries after the arrival of the Pilgrims, Plymouth Rock is viewed by more than one million visitors each year.
Plymouth Rock Facts
The longitude of Plymouth Rock = 70° 40'
The latitude of Plymouth Rock = 41° 57' 30"
The top (visible) 1/3 of Plymouth Rock weighs approximately 4 tons.
The bottom portion (under the sand) weighs approximately 6 tons.
The Rock as it exists today is estimated to be only about 1/3 to 1/2 of its original size - the top half has been dragged around town, broken, chipped away at by 18th and 19th century souvenir hunters.
Learn more about Plymouth Rock here.