200 feet above sea level, stands the Myles Standish Monument, a 116-foot granite shaft crowned by a 14-foot statue of Captain Myles Standish, military leader of Plymouth Colony. Myles Standish became a popular and well known national hero when Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published his fictionalized poem, “The Courtship of Myles Standish,” in 1858.
The Massachusetts state government, including President Ulysses S. Grant, contributed to the memorial. When the tower is open, visitors can climb 125 steps to a small viewing area at the top. The monument offers a panoramic view of the South Shore-church spires, several 19th-century lighthouses, Duxbury Beach Park, Plymouth Harbor, and the Blue Hills.
It took about 28 years to raise all the money needed to build this beautiful memorial. When it was finally finished in 1898, the 116-foot tall shaft, with a 14-foot statue of Standish at the top, was rivaled only by the Washington Memorial as a U.S. monument to an individual citizen.
Myles Standish was a hero not only in Massachusetts but to the whole nation. With the rapid growth of industrialization and immigration, the decades after the Civil War brought a period of dramatic change for the United States. Many Americans responded by making the founders of the colonial period into national heroes.
Close to the Alden House Museum, The Myles Standish Monument and grounds have been owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts since 1920. Managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, they are open to the public on a seasonal basis where the entire family can enjoy a fun filled day with a little bit of history.