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Duxbury Tercentenary commemorative medal

Golden coin, Tercentenary, Duxbury, Massachusetts (front view)Golden coin, Tercentenary, Duxbury, Massachusetts (back view)






Duxbury Tercentenary commemorative medal, 1937
Gold-plate and metal
Gift of Fred Potter, 1976.010.001

Coming on the heels of the grand celebration of the 300th anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims in 1920, Duxbury commemorated its tercentenary birthday with a similar albeit smaller scale in 1937. It capitalized on its own Pilgrim legacy by showcasing its historic sites and creating granite markers to memorialize places such as the homesite of Myles Standish, the Brewster Lilacs, and the site of the First Meeting House. This commemorative medal (or coin) features the Myles Standish Monument and  the John Alden House, sites relating to two of the most popular Duxbury Pilgrim founders.


Printed program for Duxbury Tercentenary 1937 map of Duxbury with cartoon featuresRelated Object: Tercentenary Program, July 1937, Ink on paper, DRHS Collection.

The multi-day tercentenary festival occurred from July 3-5th in 1937, and included parades, baseball games, foot races and more. Programs, like this one, would highlight the course of events throughout the weekend and feature local ads especially for hotels welcoming guests for the tercentenary. In addition to public events, Pilgrim related homes were open to visitors. These included the Alden House, the Standish House and the Gershom Bradford house, the latter two of which were still privately owned.

The Tercentenary committee chose to use the map created by Beulah Locke Sherbourne on the cover of the celebration’s program. The original map is an interpretation of the shoreline of Plymouth, Kingston, and Duxbury featuring popular tourist sites, or historical moments in the three towns’ histories. Beulah Locke Sherburne (1888-1942), an artist and designer, lived in Lexington, MA but summered for many years in South Duxbury.


Black and white photo, woman and man dressed like pilgrims with wagon drawn by oxenRelated Object: Photograph of a Pilgrim Parade, July 1937, Silver gelatin print, DRHS Photograph Collection, PDAL.2014.012.

During the Duxbury Tercentenary celebration included a parade on July 5, 1937. Many of the floats depicted historic events in the towns history. The Duxbury Garden Club’s entry shows a newly married Pilgrim couple portrayed by Russell Belknap and Ruth 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.
All objects, text and materials in this digital exhibition are owned or copyrighted by the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society and may not be reproduced, copied or distributed without permission. © 2020, Duxbury Rural & Historical Society. All Rights Reserved. Please contact 781-934-6106 for more information.