Plimoth Patuxet Celebrates 75th Anniversary

The Mayflower II passing through the Cape Cod Canal earlier this week on its return voyage to Plymouth Harbor. Dave Read

PLYMOUTH – This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Plimoth Patuxet Museums, and several initiatives, programs and events are on the calendar this year to celebrate the milestone.

Despite several changes over the decades, including the growth from a single historical reproduction house to more recent changes such as the organization’s new name, Director of Collections and Special Projects Tom Begley said the overall mission has never changed.

“One of the constants in this museum’s history that has actually never changed really is our unwavering commitment to our education mission and the delivery of public history,” said Begley.

“For us that’s an accomplishment unto itself, that after 75 years the museum has this goal of presenting history in an immersive living environment and we continue to do that to this day.”

Begley said that the museums has had a number of accomplishments over the years that they are looking to highlight and expand upon in the future, including the museum’s indigenous programs, the Mayflower II exhibit, and further developments into the online sphere.

“Our many layered historical landscape here in Plymouth, it’s an essential part of our museum’s story and educational mission: telling the history of these communities, both indigenous and colonial who made their homes along the coast here. How they interacted, both conflict and collaboration throughout the 17th century,” said Begley.

Governor Charlie Baker also recognized the museums as part of its 75th anniversary, celebrating it as a leading cultural and economic asset to Massachusetts.

Begley said an economic study by Harvard Community Action Partners found that the museums supports over 700 jobs and generates roughly one quarter of the Plymouth tourism economy.

Other celebration events planned for this year include a series of mini-documentaries on the religious experience of early Plymouth residents, programs highlighting the archaeology of the museums, and notable moments in the museum’s history being showcased on social media. 

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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