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Standish Key

Irong Key from the home of Myles StandishIron Key, circa 1670
DRHS Collection, 2010.063.001

Key excavated from the Captain Myles and Barbara Standish homesite during the James Hall dig in 1856, most likely belonging to the Standish family.

The excavation of the Standish homesite by James Hall in the fall of 1856 is considered one of the nation’s first professional archaeological digs. Hall, an engraver from Boston, was a descendant of Myles Standish. He is credited with making a detailed plan of the site, although his theory about the layout of the Standish house has since been questioned. He dug further than Reverend Benjamin Kent, to a depth to over four feet, and was assisted in the excavation by a number of local men who lived in the vicinity (some of whom may have dug on their own previously). These men included Lyman Drew, George B. Bates and George Sears.

Myles Standish, born circa 1584, was an English military officer hired to accompany the Pilgrims in 1620 as their military adviser. He played a leading role in the administration and defense of Plymouth Colony. He was one of the first settlers and founders of the town of Duxbury. He is buried at the Myles Standish Burying Ground.


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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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