Pilgrim Monument visit taught me a history lesson

View from top of Pilgrim Monument. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

View from top of Pilgrim Monument. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

PROVINCETOWN, Ma. — During my elementary and high school days, I prided myself on being a good student and always especially enjoyed history.

That’s why before we visited Provincetown on Saturday, I was sure I knew where the Pilgrims landed. But I was wrong.

The Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum helped educate me to the fact that the Pilgrims’ fist landing on the Mayflower was in Provincetown in 1620, not Plymouth Rock. It’s also where the Pilgrims signed the historic Mayflower Compact.

I learned all that an more at the Provincetown Museum. I found out what the Pilgrims did for five weeks before the weather and lack of food sources. They sailed to Plymouth and landed again despite what history has always led me to believe about Plymouth being the original landing site.

The Pilgrim Monument is a magnificent 252-foot tower that you are allowed inside and can climb to the top. I did — and despite 116 steps and 60 ramps — and the climb was not that difficult or strenuous. It was also well worth the climb for the view of Provincetown and the harbor.

The Cape Cod Pilgrim Memorial Association built the monument to honor the Pilgrims and President Theodore Roosevelt came to Provincetown to lay the cornerstone in 1907. Officials say the monument and museum both continue to be popular tourist stops.

You can see the Mayflower in the Provincetown Museum. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

You can see the Mayflower in the Provincetown Museum. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

I just wish we were still going to be here Thursday for the Feast of Wampanoag Culture at the monument and museum that will have a feast of fresh oysters, smoked mussels, duck pancakes, johnnycakes, Sassafras tea and more.

“This was a sell out last year and all the rave was that the oysters were the sweetest folks had ever tasted,” said John McDonagh, PMPM Executive Director. “By popular demand, we are once again offering that amazing menu prepared by Wampanoag Chef Jade Galvin, of Sly Fox Den caterers of Mashpee with entertainment from the Wampanoag Nation Singers and Dancers. Our guests can eat, drink and take part in the entertainment while overlooking Provincetown Harbor where the Mayflower made its first landing in the New World and the crew went on to encounter members of the Wampanoag Nation. It is truly the perfect family event paying homage to our nation’s first people.”

A limited number of tickets will be available at the door. Ample free parking is provided.

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