Most people remember Plymouth as the landing place of the Pilgrims in 1620 and as the first permanent English settlement in New England. However, this late 19th-century view documents an historic town that transformed itself from a small coastal port into an industrial town with a diversified base.
As if recalling the Mayflower's approach from the sea across Cape Cod Bay, the artist views the town from the northeast looking inland toward the southwest. Using this perspective, he emphasizes not only the harbor and waterfront activities, but also centrally positions Town Brook, where six major industrial complexes were located (identified by the numbers 22-25, 29, 30).
Reinforcing the importance of manufacturing to the town's livelihood, the artist also includes vignettes of six factories along the lower margin. These inset views, along with the factories identified in the legend, indicate that the town's industrial activity focused on iron foundries, tacks and rivets, boots and shoes, and woolens.
As a reminder of the town's historic past, the legend also identifies three monuments Faith Monument (now known as National Monument to the Forefathers), Soldier's Monument, and Plymouth Rock (numbers 6-8). Other cultural relicts surviving from the Pilgrim past include the Pilgrim Memorial Hall and the Pilgrim Church (numbers 1 and10).