We walked to the Pilgrim Mothers Monument where we reflected on the terrible sacrifices the women of the Mayflower, and of the church in Leyden made in order to found the colony and raise families in harsh and unforgiving conditions. Many of them died the first winter. The Pilgrim mothers’ devotion, piety and perseverance was paramount to the expedition’s success in planting a Christian civilization. We gazed on Plymouth Rock as Leo explained its significance. Our pause at the Bradford Monument reminded us of God’s Providential provision of good leadership, without which the enterprise would have foundered. We discussed the providence of God on every hand, even to the Chief of the Wampanoags, Massasoit, with whom the Pilgrims found favor and made a treaty that lasted fifty years.
We looked on the Mausoleum on the top of Cole’s Hill that holds the bones of the Pilgrims who died that first winter — a stirring memorial to the cost of following their call to the New World. We ate lunch at the historic site of the first Pilgrim shelter, now 33 Leyden Street. We were greeted by Beth Perera, whose husband Jerry leads the Leyden Preservation, a group of Christian men devoted to the preservation of the truth regarding the Pilgrims and the values they exemplified.
We walked by the Jenny Grist Mill as Leo again related the importance of the site and of its preservation. We then climbed the steep hill to Burial Hill, the site of the first fort and meeting house and the final resting place of most of the Leyden congregation that made it to America. We ended the day at the Pilgrim Hall Museum where we were warmly greeted by the new curator and given the run of the place till we were satisfied. The magnificent paintings, artifacts, and library are a testament to the folks who have sought to preserve the memory and soul of the Pilgrim colony.