Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pilgrim Monument at Provincetown, Mass

Scott’s Thanksgiving-themed trifecta of continues to another monument which honors Pilgrims. Click on photo above to get a closer view of the details and differences of these souvenirs.

“Another monument associated with the Pilgrims is the Pilgrim Monument located in Provincetown, Mass. It is where the Pilgrims first set foot on the soil of America (even though Plymouth Rock gets all the glory) and spent five weeks exploring the tip of Cape Cod before sailing on to where Plymouth Colony would be founded. The Cape Cod Pilgrim Memorial Association was founded in 1892 with a purpose is to commemorate the Mayflower Pilgrims’ first landing in the New World in November 1620. Also, the association commemorates the Mayflower Compact, which established the rule of law for the new land. With $92,000 raised for construction, the association decided to base the monument’s design on the bell tower or campanile of the Torre del Mangia in Siena, Italy. Architect Willard T. Sears designed what is still the tallest, all-granite structure in the United States at 252 feet. The Monument’s cornerstone was laid on August 20, 1907 by President Theodore Roosevelt in a grand Masonic ceremony. Roosevelt traveled to Cape Cod for the ceremony by way of his home in Oyster Bay, Long Island on the presidential yacht, coincidentally named the Mayflower. By August of 1909, the monument was almost completed, except for the interior steps and ramps. This stair/ramp system was patterned after those in the campanile at San Marco in Venice, Italy. The San Marco had collapsed in 1902 and was being rebuilt at the same time the Pilgrim Monument was taking shape. The dedication in 1910 was held on August 5, the same date the Pilgrims set sail for America. On the day before the ceremony, the Atlantic Fleet of the U. S. Navy sailed into the harbor. Early that morning, President Taft was taken by carriage to the monument, and at 11 o’clock the dedication ceremony took place. Souvenir versions of the monument were made soon after the dedication. Many of the early versions are lead with bases showing part of the hill the monument is built upon. Some of these early versions were painted to reflect the way the real monument looks. There have been many different versions and sizes over the years. Currently, a Bates and Klinke pewter version for sale that is highly detailed and well worth the money. Spoontiques, a manufacturer and distributor of gifts and collectibles, currently has a 2 1/2" tall version as well. Planning for the 100th anniversary celebration of the tower has begun, with many events proposed in the coming year. It is no doubt that not only does the Pilgrim Monument serve as a reference point for sailors, but for landlubbers and souvenir building hunters as well.” –Scott.

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