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Standish Pipe Stems

Pipe Stems from the home of Myles StandishPipe stems, circa 1670
DRHS Collection, TR 690

Pipe stems excavated at the homesite of Captain Myles and Barbara Standish by Reverend Benjamin Kent in 1832. The sticker “159” correlates with Kent’s handwritten “museum” list that reads “159 Pipe stems – the Capt and Hobamock were loving smokers.” Hobamock was a Wampanoag that was a close friend of Captain Standish and lived in Plymouth Colony for some time. These pipe stems were handed down through the Kent family before being acquired by the Duxbury Rural and Historical Society in 2020.

In 1832, Reverend Benjamin Kent, the minister at Duxbury’s First Parish Church, conducted a rudimentary archaeological dig at the site of the Myles Standish homestead. He found a number of items which he displayed at his own, small museum of curiosities.

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.


Hand written list of museum objectsRelated Object: Kent’s Museum List, Collection of the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society, Drew Archival Library, Bradford Family Collection, DAL.MSS.024

Catalog list of the almost 500 objects in the museum created by Reverend Benjamin Kent and kept in a small museum on Tremont Street, between 1827-1833. Kent solicited local mariners to bring items back from their voyages abroad to be put on display. There were also 16 objects found by Kent during his dig at the Myles Standish homesite in 1832.

Kent was the minister of Duxbury’s First Parish Church from 1828-1833. His wife, Eleanor Bradford, was a Pilgrim descendant.


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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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