Tag Archives: statues

Easter In The Park (Boston Public Garden, Boston, MA)

Date Of Visit: April 21, 2019

Location: Boston Public Garden, 4 Charles St, Boston, MA

Hours: Open daily sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There are several parking garages in the area and limited street parking

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: flowers, sculptures, swan boats, trees, statues

Website: Boston Public Garden

Summary: The Ducklings were dressed in their Sunday bests as people thronged to Boston Public Garden to enjoy an unseasonably warm day at the park.

The Dressing of the Ducklings has become an Easter tradition for some time.

But, they are not only dressed up for the Easter holiday.  The ducklings, which were installed in 1987, have also been seen wearing jerseys of the home sports teams, particularly during the playoffs or other important points of the season.  They are also dressed up for other holidays or days of interest, most notably Mother’s Day.

The book “Make Way For Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey is the inspiration for these sculptures.  In the book a pair of mallards  decide to raise their family on an island in the lagoon in Boston Public Garden. Oh, sorry spoiler alert.

The ducklings are a favorite of the children who like to play with, and sometimes on, the statues.

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The ducklings aren’t the only sculptures at the park.

At the Arlington St entrance, there is a larger than life statue of George Washington.  The 22 foot granite statue stands on a 16 foot pedestal making the total height of the statue and pedestal 38 feet.

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Built by Boston painter and musician Thomas Ball, the statue took 4 years to complete.  Because of shortages of bronze casting due to the Civil War, it would not be completed until 1863.

The real beauty of the park is more natural.  Countless trees, flowers and plants adorn the park.

The views at the park are some of the most beautiful in Boston.  You may see the lagoon that I mentioned above where the ducklings are said to have resided.

I was surprised at how many people were at the park on what I thought would be a “family holiday” for most.  Seeing all of the people dressed to the hilt, I do think many people came to the park after their morning obligations were completed.  These visitors were having fun celebrating the day.

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This creative lady took the opportunity to paint at the park.

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Birds and other wildlife are abundant at the park. Fittingly, I did see a few mallards there.

Some animals are so used to seeing and interacting with humans they will eat from your hand.

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Dogs and even a cat were at the pet friendly park.

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Maggie, an 18 month old Aussiedoodle (Australian Toy Poodle), had fun retrieving a miniature sized ball.

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This brave cat named Blue, a 6 year old Orange and Siamese cat, went to the park with her mom.

Now the fun part.  How did I photograph this place?  Since I left early before the sun was high in the sky and it was overcast for most of my visit, it was easier than on some of the sunnier days,  For the most part, I shot with a 5.6 or 6.3 aperture. I even went down to 3.5 and 4.0 and I kept my ISO at 100 since lighting wasn’t an issue for this shoot.

I usually use the Aperture Value (or Aperture Priority) setting.  So, I didn’t worrying about controlling my shutter speed.  Until I photographed Maggie, of course.  To capture her motion as she rain I used a 320 shutter setting and I probably could have gone to 500 or higher.  The hardest part of photography, especially for us beginners, can be making sure all of the settings are correct before you click.  I can attest to this.  As I went into, gulp, manual mode I made sure to put my shutter speed at 1,000 to photograph Maggie.  But, I forgot to adjust my other settings.  So, I had a few black images in my LCD screen.  Once I made this correction the photos came out better.  This just goes to underscore the importance of looking at your meter and viewing photos in your screen and adjusting as needed as you shoot.

However, I would caution anyone from deleting files from their memory card.  For reasons that are far too technical for me to explain clearly, you can actually damage your memory card if you try to delete images from your card.  Everyone does or has done it, though.  In fact, I did it just the other day out of habit.  Here’s an article that explains it in greater depth: Why you should not delete images on your memory card in your camera

But, another easier way to explain this is to just say you don’t know what you can do to the image in LightRoom or PhotoShop (more on these applications in a future post).  But, take a look at this photo of Maggie, the dog I photographed at Boston Public Garden.

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I almost used this photo in my post.  But, I thought the other photo showed better motion and was an overall photo especially since this photo was too dark no matter how much I played with the settings in LightRoom.  But, considering what I had to work with it wasn’t too bad.  This is what the original photo looked like on my memory card before I edited it in LightRoom.

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Yes, that’s what the photo looked like on my card before I edited it.  I was so eager to photograph the cute little doggie that I only adjusted the shutter speed and not the aperture (it was at 22 when I took the photo).  I noticed the error and I adjusted my aperture and shutter speed accordingly (the photo I posted in the blog post above was at 5.6 aperture, 320 shutter speed, 160 ISO and 128 mm).  I should have used a faster shutter speed (500 or 1000) and adjusted the aperture as you can see some blur in her legs and a faster shutter speed would have eliminated this.

The main point of me posting those photos is that virtually any photo is salvageable or at least you can “save” almost any photo, unless, of course, it is blurry.  So, please don’t ever delete in your camera!

I didn’t use a lens hood or any other device to limit sun glare since it wasn’t a particularly sunny day.  I did, however, use this when I was photographing the child on the goose sculpture.

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You slip on the lens and it can help to attract the child’s attention.  It also works with some dogs and other pets (and probably even adults!).  Isn’t it cute?  While I don’t sponsor items or advertise items,  I do like and recommend this item.  I will leave the link for this and other knitted “camera buddies” here in case you may want to look into purchasing one.

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I hope all of this info helps

 

 

 

 


Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Part II (Boston, MA)

Dates Of Visits: August 12, 13, 18, 19, 2018

Location: Various locations in Boston, MA

Hours: Open daily, 7 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Cost: Free

Parking: there is some street parking available at some parts of the Greenway (particularly on Atlantic Ave) and several parking garages in the area.  There are also several MBTA train stations within walking distance to the Greenway such as South Station

Trail Size/Difficulty: 15 acres, 1.5 miles/easy

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: flowers,scenic,dog friendly, historic

Websites: Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Overview

Good Historical Overview Of The Greenway Project

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In my first blog post of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, I posted photos of some of the beautiful flowers and plants on the Greenway.  In this installment, I will include photos of the beautiful artwork on the Greenway.

There are several art exhibits on the Greenway.  I figured I would post them in the order they appear on the Greenway.

The first part of the Greenway in this post is at Chinatown near the Lincoln Street Triangle.

Year Of The Dog by Rosa Puno is a nod to the current year of the dog in the Chinese zodiac calendar.  The exhibit has spinning cube-like blocks made of wood on a steel structure that has Chinese words with their translations and excerpts from people in the neighborhood that Rosa collected from people in the neighborhood.

This part of the Greenway has other attractions such as the human-made waterfall and stream and a sitting area where people can spend time together, play games or just play in the water.  Ahh, to  be young again.

The next work of art is a mural that is painted on a building that sits on Atlantic Ave.  The building this mural is changed annually.  Each year, usually in the spring, a new mural is painted by a different artist.

The 70’x76′ mural on the building at Dewey Square is called Carving Out Fresh Options.  It was painted by Shara Hughes.

I was fortunate enough to see the artist working on her mural while I was walking to work in May.

And, of course, the finished product.  During the summer, people lay out on towels or on chairs on the lawn in front of the Greenway which can make photographing it without obstructions challenging.

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There also are historical markers on the Greenway.  Two remnants of the old raised Central Artery highway that once carried traffic over this area.

One of the beams from the original Central Artery is located the building with the mural above.  It is located on Congress and Purchase Streets which is easy to remember by the axiom “people purchase congress.”  Sad but true.  It is easy to miss as I have probably walked past it hundreds of times but never gave it a second thought until I wrote this post.

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A plaque on the beam gives a brief history of the construction of the Central Artery project (built between 1951 and 1959) and fun facts (well they’re facts) such as the number of vehicles which used the highway when it was first built (75,000 vehicles) to the number of vehicles that used it in 1990 when the “Big Dig” began to be planned (200,000 vehicles).

There is another beam from the Central Artery located on Surface Road located on the edge of Faneuil Hall.

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Rumor has it there may be another one on Clinton Street.  But, I couldn’t find it.

Located across from the first steel beam from the Central Artery is Balancing Act by Aakash Nihalani.

The display is broken into two works, Balancing Act I and Balancing Act II.

Balancing Act I represents a tower of six cubes which appear to fall over as the middle one is pulled out of alignment.

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Balancing Act II  shows blocks which are precariously piled up and appear to be ready to collapse.  I think we all can related to this apt description of our everyday lives.

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The works almost seem unreal.  It’s as though they were a mirage or photo shopped into the photo (I swear I didn’t).  Akash just knows how to use colors and  materials.

Way Of The Woods by Daniel Ibanez and Margen-Lab is a tribute to the North American landscapes.  The nine logs are said to transform into contemporary interpretations of these raw natural materials.

The next work of art is an illuminated tunnel-like structure made by Luftwerk called Transition.

It looks a lot more impressive during the evening hours.

Harbor Fog by Ross MIller is an interactive sculpture.  As a person or body comes closer to it it makes noises and generates fog.

The next work of art located on the Greenway is called GLOW.  GLOW is a collection of old neon signs that once illuminated the Massachusetts skies.  The signs are the collection of Lynn and Dave Waller.  Each sign is erected on a concrete block with the name of the city or town it once stood.  The signs are illuminated all day and night, during park hours.  But, as you can see by the photos, they look much prettier during the evening.

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The Siesta Motel on Route 1 North, Saugus, MA, circa 1950 sign looks cool enough during the day, particularly during an overcast day.

But, it looks much nicer during the evening.

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Unfortunately, the lights for the Fontaine’s Restaurant, VFE Parkway, West Roxbury, MA, circa 1952  (I actually ate breakfast there once…after the neon sign was installed wise acres) were not working when I went to visit it during the day and evening.

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European Restaurant, 218 Hanover Street, Boston, 1970.

The remaining signs were all taken during the evening hours to highlight their colorful artwork.

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Bay State Auto Spring, 83 Hampden St, Roxbury, MA, circa 1965

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The neon sign for Cycle Center, Natick, MA, 1956 is one of my favorites.  It lights up and changes colors as the rider pedals.

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General Electric Radio, 240 Blue Hill Ave, Roxbury, MA, circa 1925

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Flying Yankee Restaurant, Route 20 and Route 12, Auburn, MA, circa 1953.

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State Line Potato Chips, Route 20, Wilbraham, MA, c. 1950s

There is also a memorial to the victims of the Armenian genocide as well as the Armenian immigrants and immigrants of all backgrounds that came to the United States and settled in the Boston area.

The Armenian Heritage Park has a maze for people to walk that leads a fountain at the center of the circular path.  Words like science and commerce have been etched in the paths. A plaque near a bench at the park states the park is dedicated to those suffered to preserve the Armenian heritage.

The Abstract Sculpture honors the victims of the Armenian genocide and victims of all genocides as well as our open shores.

The inscription on the sculpture reads:

“Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have offered hope and refuge for immigrants seeking to begin new lives. The park is a gift to the people of the Commonwealth and the City of Boston from the Armenian-American community of Massachusetts. This sculpture is offered in honor of the one and one half million victims of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923. May it stand in remembrance of all genocides that have followed, and celebrate the diversity of the communities that have re-formed in the safety of these shores.”

There is also a statue dedicated to Tony DeMarco.  Who is Tony DeMarco?  Don’t say that too close to the North End of Boston.

Tony DeMarco is a former World Welterweight Champion who grew up in the North End section of Boston, MA.  Despite winning the Welterweight title, the Sicilian born boxer was best known for his slug fests with Carmen Basilio.  He would lose both fights but fought valiantly in both matches.

Gelato, a 4 month old mixed breed dog, also enjoyed the art work on the Greenway.

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Thank you all for stopping by and reading.  In my upcoming third and final installment of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, I will be focusing on some of the entertainment on the Greenway!

Sometimes it seems like your phone’s camera takes better photos then your camera, especially during the evening when you don’t have your tripod.  Click on the link below to access my Facebook page and view more night time photos and videos from the Greenway.  And give the page a “like” while you’re at it!

New England Nomad on Facebook


Wonder Woman Rosey House (Lee, MA)

Date Of Visit: May 31, 2017

Location: 22 Robert St, on the corner of Center St. and Robert St, Lee, MA

Cost: Free

Hours: Accessible everyday, 24 hours a day.

Parking: You can park on Roberts St.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: House decorated with statues, designs and other decorative items

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Most houses are decorated for the holidays, birthday parties or some other celebration.  But, the Wonder Woman Rosey House on the corner of East Center St and Robert St in Lee, MA is decorated all year round.

Without knowing the back story or reason for decorating the home, the house and property may seem crazy or a little bizarre.  However, it is more of a tribute and memorial than some random decorations.  Rosey (or Rosemarie) was the wife of painter and resident of the house, Bob Dupont, a professional painter.  He painted and decorated his home and property as a tribute to her.

The garage next to the house is decorated primarily in red, white and blue.

 

 

The decorations do not stop there at the garage, though.

The house and property are also decorated with decorations and statues ranging from Santa Claus to rabbits.

 

 

I would have loved living in a house like this when I was a growing up.  It looks like a real fun place to experience!

There are many randomly placed decorations scattered around the property.

 

 

The home owner doesn’t seem to mind having visitors.  I wasn’t bothered or questioned while I photographed the area.  But, it is private property.  So, visitors should be respectful of that.

The featured link of the day is another decorated home called The Crazy Christmas House in Coventry, RI.

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Three Sisters Sanctuary (Goshen, MA)

Date Of Visit: June 4, 2017

Location: 188 Cape St (rt112), Goshen, MA (about 45 minutes northwest of Springfield, MA and an hour and a half southeast of Albany, NY)

Hours:  Open 7 days/week, 8:00 am – Dusk

Cost: a $10 donation is suggested.  Children under 12 are admitted free

Parking: The parking area next to Three Sisters can accommodate about 15-20 cars.

Handicapped Accessible: There is limited wheelchair access.

Dog Friendly: Service pets are allowed

Highlights: unique pieces of art in a natural setting

Website: Three Sisters Sanctuary

 

The sign at the entrance to Three Sister Sanctuary states, “Where nature and art merge.”  That’s a pretty apt description of the sanctuary if there ever was one.

Three Sisters Sanctuary is no run of the mill art sanctuary.  Every piece of art is made of rock, plants, water, iron and other parts of the land in its composition.  In fact, sanctuary is a very good way to describe the place.  Three Sisters is more than just a place to look at art or enjoy the beautiful nature which surrounds the sanctuary.  It is a place for reflection, meditation and peace.

 

Richard Richardson, the owner and on site artist at Three Sisters created the pieces of art to foster a feeling of serenity, inner peace and spirituality.

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The name “Three Sisters” comes from Richard’s three daughters.  His three daughters gave him so much joy and happiness he wanted to give this joy and happiness to others through his art.  He says he did not find the garden.  The garden found him.  It helped fill a void in his life and it has brought him a purpose and meaning.

 

Richard’s use of old machines as well as other tools and spare parts is indicative of the unique style of the art at the sanctuary.

 

One thing you’ll notice in Richard’s works are his emphasis on people, particularly children, in his work. Looking at these works of art, you can’t help but stop and consider the effort and creativity it took to create such interesting and meaningful works of art.  It certainly does make you think about the many forms of inspiration and how we express that inspiration.

 

From afar, some of the statues look a little like something might see in a zombie movie.  But, they are all pretty harmless.

 

Keeping with his themes of spirituality and peace, you will also see angels and other spiritual figures.

 


Richard feels the presence of his older brother and his eldest daughter, who he tragically lost.  He says the art and nature both work to provide healing and peace while keeping the spirit of his brother and daughter with him.  Whether you are a spiritual person or not I still think you can at least find inner peace among the statues and other works of art.

 

Another common theme of the art at the sanctuary is the use of animals in his work.  Dogs, horses, butterflies and even a few mythical creatures are a few of the animals and wildlife

 

You may even run into a few real wildlife.  While walking along the sanctuary, I noticed this rather unhappy goose.  Unsure why he or she was making faces and noises at me, I went to take a closer look.  It turns out the mommy or daddy was just being protective.  It seemed appropriate that life would begin here and share in the peacefulness around them.

 

Some of the rocks at the sanctuary are said to give up energy and even be a source of healing.  In fact, if you stand in between some of the bigger rocks, it i said you will feel a certain energy and healing power.  One of Richard’s daughters who was helping him during my visit said she feels rejuvenated after standing next to the rocks.

 

Jut when you think you’re at the end of the art sanctuary, there are pretty cool statues and other works of art at the front of the sanctuary.

 

Richard has succeeded in making a sanctuary that is not only a place for art lovers to seek out unique pieces of work.  He has also helped create a place for people to reflect and find an inner peace.

Three Sisters Sanctuary also provides accommodations for visitors as well as ceremonies on their grounds.  The Nomad’s link of the day is a blog post by Kristin Chalmers.  She recently attended a wedding as the photographer and posted about Nicole And Kilean’s Medeival LARP Wedding At Three Sisters Sanctuary.

 


Irish Famine Memorial (Boston, MA)

Date Of Visit: March 17, 2017

Location: corners of Washington and School St, Boston, MA

Cost: Free

Hours: Accessible everyday, 24 hours a day

Parking:Street parking can be difficult is this neighborhood.  Finding a parking garage is probably the best option.  Also, the Park St train stop on the Red Line is within walking distance (about half a mile) to the memorial.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

While we’re celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day with our green beer and corned beef (pause for the collective yuck) it’s easy to forget about the history of the Irish people and the hardships that brought so many Irish here, especially to New England.

The Boston Irish Famine Memorial is dedicated to the Great Famine that gripped Ireland in 1845.  Potatoes, a main crop in Ireland, stopped growing, leaving many to go hungry and suffer financially as they could not sell their crops.  Mold was the culprit.  Since potatoes were the main crop in Ireland, many of the poor in Ireland suffered from the famine, with about one-eighth of the population dying from hunger or disease related to the famine over the following years. As a result of the famine, Irish immigration to the United States spiked with over 1.5 million Irish arriving on our shores. Boston was one of the main destinations for these new citizens and the Irish remain a prominent part of our community.

Robert Shure’s Boston Irish Famine Memorial displays the pain and, conversely, pride of the Irish people who have suffered so much.  It is a somber, powerful and inspiring display of the suffering and, ultimately, the ability of the Irish to overcome their “troubles”.

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The first statue, located on School and Washington streets, shows three people, presumably a mother, father and child, in the throes of hunger.  Shure was meticulous in his sculpture.  You can see how thin the figures are and, from certain angles, you can actually see the ribs of the figures.

The second sculpture shows three people, presumably the very same family healthy and happy.  Standing up straight and proudly, the family looks happy and healthy.  It is most certainly a sign of how all of us can overcome adversity and how the Irish have been able to withstand so much.

As an aside, I love the diversity of Boston.  Traversing through the memorial, I witnessed people of all walks of life and ethnicities.

A wreath and flower was placed by the Charitable Irish Society at the sculpture of the suffering family and on one of the figures of the memorial to commemorate Saint Patrick’s Day.

A series of 8 plaques encircle the memorial.  One of the plaques, entitled “Let’s We Forget”, gives a nod to the suffering and famines across the globe and how we continue to watch as others starve helplessly.

The bronze and granite memorial was dedicated in June of 1998, marking the 150th anniversary of the famine.

On my way back to the train station, I saw Brig, a beautiful Bull Mastiff.

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Kittery Trading Post (Kittery, ME)

Date Of Visit: January 21, 2017

Location: The Maine Outlet Shopping Center, 301 US-1, Kittery, ME

Hours:Monday – Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (they have extended hours during the holiday season)

Cost: Free

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Parking: There is a big parking lot behind the store

Highlights: large shopping center, wood carvings

Web Site: Kittery Trading Post Facebook Page

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While Maine may be best known for its majestic lighthouses and popular beaches, there are other attractions for the less outdoorsy types.

At first glance, the Kittery Trading Post looks like a group of shops.  It’s easy to make this mistake since the Kittery Premium Outlets are located farther down the same road on US-Route 1.  But, the Kittery Trading Post is one store.The three story building is known as much for its decor as it is known for its wide selection of goods.  Originally geared for the outdoor aficionado, evident by the hunting apparel and accessories, the Kittery Trading Post is so much more now.

Although the store is a lot of fun to browse and shop at, the outdoor attractions may be even more entertaining.

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The National Monument To The Forefathers (Plymouth, MA)

Date Of Visit: November 19, 2016

Location: Pilgrim Memorial State Park, 72 Allerton St., Plymouth, MA

Hours: Sunrise To Sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There is ample parking at the statue and street parking available on Allerton St and on nearby streets

Dog Friendly: Yes

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: Largest solid granite sculpture in the United States,

Web Site: National Monument To The Forefathers

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Mostly known for the tourist attractions Plimoth Plantation and Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Massachusetts is home to another lesser known, but no less impressive attraction.  In  fact, Plymouth is home to one of the largest sculptures in the states.

Clocking in at 81 feet, the National Monument To The Forefathers is the the largest solid granite sculpture in the United States. The granite was quarried in and transported to Plymouth from Hallowell, Maine.

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The monument, also known as the Pilgrim Statue, was created by Hammatt Billings, a Boston architect, illustrator and sculptor.  Billings would never got to see the sculpture in its final stages.  Billings died 15 years into the construction of the monument, or about half the time it took to construct the statue.  After Hammat Billings’ death his brother, Joseph, worked with a group of other sculptors to complete the project.  Dedicated on August 1, 1889, after 30 years of construction, the sculpture was meant to be a memorial to the Pilgrims who settled in the area.

The memorial has several statues within the memorial itself.  Statues representing Liberty, Peace, Tyranny, Education, Wisdom, Youth, Law, Mercy, Justice, and Morality surround the monument.  The monument wwas position to face Northeast towards Plymouth Harbor and, perhaps not coincidentally, towards Plymouth, England.

Faith, the statue at the top of the monument, is 36 feet tall and made of solid granite.  The Faith statue itself is listed as the 32nd largest statue in the entire United States and its territories.  The statue is pointing to heaven with her right hand.  In her left hand she is clutching a bible.

True to its description as a monument to the forefathers, all of the names of the passengers of the Mayflower.  Recognize any names?  Clearly, Massachusetts, as it would be later part of, was not all that progressive jusging by how women were considered “the wife of” the male passengers.

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The park offers grand views of the statue and it is said that before all of the construction and the planting of trees in the area many years, you could see the monument from miles away.  The park allows for some scenic views of the monument.

The memorial is surrounded by a spacious park and there is lots of room to walk your dog.  China, also known as China Doll, a rescued Siberian Husky and Lab mix, was enjoying the park while I was there.  She looks so happy!