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Brewster Spoon

two pieces of a 17th century spoon

Puritan spoon, circa 1684
Latten (brass) metal
DRHS Collection, 2013.017.001


This spoon was discovered on the Brewster property (“The Brewster Lilacs”), which is owned by the Duxbury Rural and Historical Society. It was recovered during an archaeological dig overseen by Craig Chartier of the Plymouth Archaeological Rediscovery Project in 2012. There were a number of 17th century items discovered, understood to have been used by Brewster descendants living on the property.

This property is located on Marshall St. and was included in William Brewster’s landholdings in Duxbury, which was originally comprised of 80 acres on Standish Shore. Around 1634, he built a house at the location, possibly upon the marriage of his son, Love.

William Brewster was born circa 1568 in Scrooby, England. After traveling to America onboard the Mayflower with his wife, Mary and two of their children, Elder Brewster was a respected and honored member of the new community, acting as its religious leader. He was granted land in Duxbury in 1632. He farmed the land, although his primary residence continued to be in Plymouth.

The property housed generations of Brewsters, and later, Soules, descendants of Mayflower Pilgrim George Soule. The name “Brewster Lilacs” comes from the prominent tree on the property. Local, oral tradition states that the lilacs were brought in the 17th century from Holland. The property was purchased in 1948 by the DRHS, from Howard and Flora Brewer.

In 2012, an archaeological test pit examination was conducted on the site, recovering more than 17,000 items. These include Native American artifacts and objects relating to the Brewster and Soule families including several from the 17th century confirming the c. 1634 house.


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Digging Duxbury

The quest for archaeological evidence of the Pilgrim past began with an 1833 dig, one of the earliest in U.S. history.

Coming to a Pilgrim Town

Coming to a Pilgrim Town

Duxbury’s Pilgrim history, combined with the town’s natural beauty, initiated a tourist boom.

Collecting in a Pilgrim Town

Collecting in a Pilgrim Town

The tourism boom brought another enterprise, the creation and sale of Pilgrim-themed souvenirs.

Lasting Legacy

Duxbury's Lasting Legacy

Duxbury never forgot its Pilgrim origins. How could it? The names continue to generate interest today.
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