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That's it? That's Plymouth Rock?

Posted by Joe Allen-Black  August 15, 2011 08:27 PM

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I wish I hadn't built up Plymouth Rock to be more than it was. But after decades of talking about it while tracing my hand into a turkey for Thanksgiving, I was expecting something grand.

My husband and I had a day when we just felt like driving somewhere, so on a whim we headed south to see The Rock.

Plymouth RockWhen we found The Rock's location, which is under a Lincoln Memorial-esque structure on the bay, I thought the area looked kind of small as we approached. When we got there, I looked down on a rock smaller than my television. I thought, "meh."

I wanted something that really brought home what the Pilgrims went through or maybe something that taught me a layer of history I hadn't thought of. Really, I would have settled for something at least big enough to look like someone could have landed on it.

Instead, it was a small rock with a questionable background, a lame little plaque, and a bunch of bystanders all asking the same question I was: "Really? That's it?"

Don't get me wrong: I thought Plymouth was very nice, and the Mayflower II was outstanding. I want to go back to Plymouth again, eat at the restaurants, and try some of the candy shops. The Rock, however, was a big letdown.

I wonder if I felt this way because of the buildup. Disney sets aside time to talk about the Plymouth landing in the American Adventure at Epcot, so it HAS to be something big. Every American history book I had in school discussed this single location in the world with reverence.

In my head, I pictured something like Georgia's Stone Mountain, circled by cute Pilgrim-themed statues, each wearing a hat with a buckle on it.

Or something like the majestic Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown, the tallest all-granite structure in the United States with a spectacular view from the top and a great museum that pays homage to the vital Mayflower Compact. It's jaw-dropping and informative.

Maybe there was no way for one little rock to compete with all that.

Have you been? Am I being too hard on Plymouth Rock?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

About the author

Joe Allen-Black left the flat landscape and temperate climes of Florida, where he was a reporter and web producer, for the peaks, valleys, and mercurial weather of New England. Joe, More »

Follow Joe on Twitter at @joe_allen_black

He can be reached by e-mail at

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