MA Is Home To Several Of The Country's Oldest Landmarks

MA Is Home To Several Of The Country's Oldest Landmarks

As the first spot the pilgrims reached when they sailed to the New World in the 1600s, Massachusetts is home to many of America's oldest landmarks and attractions.

For example, Plymouth is the oldest town, founded in 1620 - 400 years ago! 

Oldest Wooden Jail

The Oldest Wooden Jail In America is the Old Gaol in Barnstable on Cape Cod. It was built around 1690 by order of the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colony courts, and used as the jail for Barnstable County until 1820.

In 1968, the jail was rediscovered and moved to its current location on the grounds of the Coast Guard Heritage Museum. The original structure still stands, and from the outside looks just like an ordinary Cape Cod cottage.

Want to visit? The Old Gaol is open to visitors Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 AM-3 PM from May to November. But watch out, the jail is said to be haunted by former prisoner Goody Hallett.

Find it at 353 Main Street, Route 6A, Barnstable, MA

Oldest Fruit Tree in North America

The Endicott Pear, a European pear tree (Pyrus communis) located in Danvers, Massachusetts is thought to be the oldest living cultivated fruit tree in North America.

It was planted by John Endicott sometime between 1630 and 1649. Endicott was a zealous Puritan and one of the founding fathers of New England. He eventually became governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, a position he held for 16 years. 

Want to visit? The tree is in a gated enclosure behind the Osram Sylvania Outpatient Care facility in Danvers. 

Oldest Newsboy Statue

Colonel William L. Brown, part owner of the first New York Daily News, owned a summer home in Great Barrington, MA. In 1895 he commissioned the first newsboy statue to be built in honor of the hardworking young men who hawked his paper.

The bronze statue sits atop a fountain featuring four fountainheads for dogs, cats, horses (lion's head) and people (devil's head).

Want to visit? The statue is located southwest of town on the northbound side of Hwy 23/41, a half-mile south of its intersection with US Hwy 7.

Oldest Public Elementary School

The oldest free public elementary school in North America is located in historic Dorchester. The Mather School was built in 1639 and named for Richard Mather, an English-born American Congregational minister and Dorchester settler.

The original one room schoolhouse served all grades with a single classroom and teacher. The old Mather School was located where the fire station now sits, but the name and legacy live on with a much larger modern schoolhouse that still educates students today.

Want to visit? The current school is located at 1 Parish Street, Dorchester, MA

Oldest Tourist Attraction In America: Plymouth Rock

We can't leave off the country's first and oldest tourist attraction: the famous site of the pilgrim's first landing in the New World - Plymouth Rock!

While the rock is not much to see today, Plymouth is a beautiful historic town featuring dozens of tourist attractions and activities including the always fun and educational Plimouth Plantation.

Want to visit? The rock is located in Pilgrim Memorial State Park.

Back to blog