Our History

History Underfoot

Here, the past is a vivid and inspiring part of the present. The story that began during the last ice age and continued through the colonial times now arrives at this vibrant new age of Plymouth, Massachusetts. Within the ancient “kettles and kames” and one of the great forests of the Eastern Seaboard, a reverence for historic uses of the land informs everything we do. Preserving both the remarkable legacy and dramatic beauty that make this place so special.


Kettles and Kames

It would be a bit of an understatement to say that The Pinehills didn’t spring up overnight. In fact, it was about 25,000 years ago that the last great glacial ice sheet in this part of the world carved out the valleys (“kettles”) and knobby hills (“kames”) that we enjoy today as the rugged landscape of The Pinehills. The tall trees appeared many centuries later. It takes time to make something great.


Sacrifice Rock

In fact, one monument to the area’s first residents remains to this day. On the east side of Old Sandwich Road lies a boulder with a small marker stating that it is a “Manittoo Asseinah” or “Sacrifice Rock.” A sacred place for small offerings to ensure a safe journey. And to this day, you will still see offerings on top of the rock — pine boughs, pine cones, small pebbles — left by travelers.


Old Sandwich Road

For thousands of years, this land was the home and hunting ground of several Native American tribes. Old Sandwich Road, the oldest unpaved road in continuous use in the nation, was originally a native trail through the forest.


Horatio "Race" Wright

1818-1895. A well-known sportsman and a favorite of gunners and fishermen. Horatio Wright lived for some time in the Cornish Tavern, now known as The Rye Tavern. No more gunners hereabouts. Just people who like good food.


Plant and Wildlife Diversity

Walk into the forest that now gives this place its name, and you’ll be greeted by a rich diversity of plant and animal life. This natural beauty is what inspired us to preserve as much as possible. Nearly two-thirds of our more than 3,000 acres will remain natural and recreational open space.

Telegraph Hill

Telegraph Hill

One of the highest points in The Pinehills once served as the ideal place for Native Americans to send and receive smoke signals. To reach the hill, both Native Americans and colonists would hike along Old Sandwich Road. In 1939 a 48’ tower was built for fire detection. Residents climb it nowadays for spectacular views all the way to Plymouth Beach and Provincetown in the distance.

Welcome Center

The Summerhouse

33 Summerhouse Drive   •   Plymouth, MA 02360
Open by appointment Wednesday–Sunday, 10am–4pm

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