Pilgrims’ First Landing Park

Pilgrims' First Landing Park, by David W. Dunlap (2014).

Pilgrims’ First Landing Park, by David W. Dunlap (2014).

A fanciful postcard image of the Pilgrims' first wash day after making landfall.

A fanciful postcard image of the Pilgrims’ first wash day after making landfall.

In the rotary at the foot of Province Lands Road is Pilgrims’ First Landing Park. The First Landing Marker was placed near here in 1917 by the Research Club, a group of Mayflower descendants, based on a conjectural 19th-century map. Ralph Carpenter built an enclosure for the marker in 1947-1948 (pictured, top), with bronze plaques by William Boogar Jr. inscribed with lines from “The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in New England” by Felicia Dorothea Hemans. The plaza was uprooted in 1956. The marker is now surrounded by granite paving stones inscribed with donor messages. Together, they offer a communal narrative of town life in recent years, from the AIDS epidemic to the earliest same-sex marriages in America. Some inscriptions are jaunty enough to coax a smile, others poignant enough to bring a tear.


More than 2,000 buildings and vessels are searchable on buildingprovincetown.com. The Building Provincetown book is available for purchase ($20) at Town Hall, Office of the Town Clerk, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown 02657.

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