Sepia Saturday - The First Settlers

This postcard keeps record of a stone that was placed in Newbury, Massachusetts to commemorate the spot where passengers first set foot in the "new world." It was then called Newbury Plantation. That name was chosen because most passengers were from Newbury, England.

Most of the early colony names were given to honor the settlers former communities. This is the case in Plymouth, Massachusetts to the south, and Salisbury, Massachusetts, to the north.

When I found this stone it was set exactly in the same place as it was 110 years ago. I was struck by how well kept it was considering how it looks in the postcard view.

The river they had to navigate is a shallow muddy estuary called Parker River. They didn't have navigational charts to show them where the harbors were or how to navigate up river. It was perhaps a hit or miss chance that they chose this particular place to start their new lives.

I couldn't help but think how those settlers first felt after being cooped up on a small ship for five weeks. Imagine how you would feel after taking travelling in a car for just five hours.

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Wendy said…
Interesting comparison between car travel and what our forefathers went through. I've been on the replica ships at Jamestown -- I don't know how they did it!
What a great postcard! You are right ... all that seasickness and everything ship travel must have been something. Plus having to be so committed with no turning back.
Postcardy said…
I have seen pictures of Plymouth Rock many times, but I didn't know there were other rocks commemorating where early settlers landed.
Very interesting! And no, I cannot imagine sailing across the ocean in a small ship. It would be quite the ordeal. Thanks for sharing this great postcard.
Sharon said…
Good post. It would have been dreadful on the ships. Some of the journals that I have read about voyages really portray how dreadful it was for the steerage passengers.
Bob Scotney said…
Having seen replicas of Captain Cook's Endeavour there is no way I could travel on small ships like that and those the settlers took to America. Good to see the stone still in such good condition.
Unknown said…
I have seen Plymouth Rock and was surprised how small it is. Yes toured a replica of the Mayflower. Cannot image what an adventure that was. In my family research some of the members of the families did not make it all the way. Great photo of that historic place.
Alan Burnett said…
Going in search of sites commemorated in old postcards always makes fascinating reading. And isn't it strange that so many of the "important places" identified in postcards 100 years ago have now fallen out of the limelight.
Traveling on those ships must have been awful but how would you like to have a baby on one like my ancestor did? I think it was the only baby born on the Mayflower. His name was Peregrine White.

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