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Plymouth in Plymouth County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Brewster Gardens

Pilgrim Trail

 
 
Brewster Gardens Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Connors, June 10, 2020
1. Brewster Gardens Marker
Inscription.  

Brewster Gardens
Brewster Gardens was created in 1921-1923 through the imagination, dedication and persistence of several Plymount women as part of the Plymouth's Tercentenary celebration of the landing of the pilgrims. It encompasses the original garden plot that was granted to Elder William Brewster in 1620. The Pilgrims settled here because of the abundant availability of fresh water of Town Brook and the many springs as well as the thatch that grow along the edges that would provide necessary roofing material for houses. At the time of the landing of the Pilgrims, high course tides extended the harbor all the way to the Marker Street Bridge area. Prior to the park’s development, this area had become a pond (Barne's Mill Pond) that was overgrown, silted in and swamp-like with several dilapidated buildings around its edge. This area had supported the very earliest of industries that provided for the day to day needs of the small Plymouth village. Today, Brewster Gardens links the waterfront and the downtown business district and forms the beginning of the Pilgrim Trail Greenway that follows Town Brook inland to its headwaters
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at Billington Sea in Morton Park.

The Town Pond in a view looking east from Market Street Bridge, c. 1895. From left to right are Fuller’s Drug Store (45 Market Street), the Standish Grounds Armory, the chimney of the Plymouth Electric Light and Power Company, the Plymouth Foundry and the yard behind the Gale Block on Sandwich Street.

Town Brook
Town Brook is 1.5 miles long and flows from the 259-acre Billington Sea to the ocean. Along its course it drops 80 feet in elevation. The brook was a major contributing factor in the Pilgrims’ decision to settle at Plymouth. The spring-fed brook provided a source of drinking water and herring, (or alewives) for sustenance. With the help of the Wampanoag Native Americans the Pilgrims learned how to fish for herring and used them as crop fertilizer.

River herring are comprised of two species, Alewife and Blueback. Both are classified as anadromous, meaning they spend most of their life at sea, returning to freshwater only to spawn. Alewives are the first to enter freshwater streams in the spring with the blueback following within 3 or 4 weeks.

River herring return to watershed's river system, in which they were hatched. Adults make a spawning run in the spring, the exact time varying with the location and environmental conditions. After spawning, which consists of males fertilizing
A view towards the north of Town Brook and Brewster Gardens from the marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Connors, October 6, 2020
2. A view towards the north of Town Brook and Brewster Gardens from the marker
eggs which the females have broadcast into the water columns, the adults return to the sea. Eggs hatch in 3 to 4 weeks and the young fish utilize the freshwater habitat as a nursery area-until migrating to the sea, usually in the fall of that year.

Pilgrim Trail
The trail running alongside Town Brook was originally a portion of a Native American path know as the Namassakeeset Trail. As it had been for the Native Americans, Town Brook became the life thread of the Pilgrims from the very earliest days of their arrival on the Mayflower. This dependence on Town Brook continued as the first industries in Plymouth were established during the 1760's. Several dams were built along the brook's mile and one-half course to harness the water power to drive machines that produced anchors, tacks, nails, shovels, and textiles over a period of more than two hundred years. Fish ladders were built at every dam to allow the passage of river herring to Billington Sea to spawn and then return to the ocean. These industries thrived until the Civil War, slowly disappearing, as waterpower could no longer meet the demand of industries. Old mill sites can be seen at several points along the brook. The Pilgrim Trail follows Town Brook from Brewster Gardens to Morton Park und Billington Sea.

The Town Pond in a view looking west from the Water Street Bridge to the Market
A view of Town Brook to the south image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Connors, June 10, 2020
3. A view of Town Brook to the south
Street Bridge, c. 1890. The tidal pond, formed by damming Town Brook at Water Street, was becoming increasingly noxious from pollution by 1900. (Note the smoothness on the south bank of the brook.) The Main Street Extension bridge divided the pond in 1905, and the pond was filled in to create Brewster Gardens in 1924.

 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1620.
 
Location. 41° 57.329′ N, 70° 39.733′ W. Marker is in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in Plymouth County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Water Street and Union Street, on the left when traveling north. The marker is along the pedestrian Pilgrim Trail near the first bridge west of Water Street along the south bank of Town Brook. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Plymouth MA 02360, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Pilgrim Maiden (within shouting distance of this marker); 1630-1930 (within shouting distance of this marker); Joseph Tribble House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); First House Built by the Pilgrims (about 300 feet away); The Common House (about 300 feet away); Site of an 1621 House (about 300 feet
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away); William Bradford (about 400 feet away); Capt. James Bartlett House (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Plymouth.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 13, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 13, 2020, by J. Makali Bruton of Accra, Ghana. This page has been viewed 240 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on June 13, 2020.   2, 3. submitted on June 13, 2020, by J. Makali Bruton of Accra, Ghana.

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Apr. 22, 2024