John and Priscilla Alden Family Sites

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John and Priscilla Alden Family Sites
John Alden House in Duxbury, Massachusetts.jpg
John Alden House, 2009
John and Priscilla Alden Family Sites is located in Massachusetts
John and Priscilla Alden Family Sites
Location 105 Alden St., Duxbury, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°2′42″N 70°41′9″W / 42.04500°N 70.68583°W / 42.04500; -70.68583Coordinates: 42°2′42″N 70°41′9″W / 42.04500°N 70.68583°W / 42.04500; -70.68583
Area 2.4 acres (0.97 ha)
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference #


Significant dates
Added to NRHP December 14, 1978
Designated NHL October 7, 2008[2]

The John and Priscilla Alden Family Sites is a National Historic Landmark consisting of two properties in Duxbury, Massachusetts, United States.[3]

According to the Department of the Interior's press release:

The John and Priscilla Alden Sites property consists of the c. 1700 Alden house and the c. 1632 original Alden Homestead site. The property owes it significance to the cultural impact of The Courtship of Miles Standish, a poem about the courtship of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, written by Alden descendant Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and published in 1858. The public embraced the poem. It became one of the most popular national origin stories in American folklore.

The property also is the location of important archeological fieldwork and analysis by Roland Wells Robbins (1908-1987), a pioneer in the field of historical archeology, making the site of national significance in the development in this field. Robbins located and excavated a foundation of the original Alden home in 1960, which yielded nationally significant data that shed light on the lifeways of the first English settlers in North America.[2]

Alden Homestead site[edit]

This property is the site of John Alden's original home, built c. 1632. John and Priscilla Alden first lived in this house; by traditional accounts the house was abandoned around 1653. The building has not survived, and the property is now an important archeological site. It is owned by the Town of Duxbury.

John Alden House[edit]

John Alden House in 1904

The John Alden House is a historic house museum that was purportedly home to John and Priscilla Alden. It is located at 105 Alden Street in Duxbury, Massachusetts. Scholarship variously dates it as built in 1653 according to family tradition, or c. 1700 according to more recent dendrochronology testing of the beams.[4]

Alden was ship's cooper on the Mayflower who arrived in Plymouth in 1620 and later moved to Duxbury. Although not a Pilgrim himself, he was an important figure throughout the period of the Plymouth Colony. This house may have used materials from Alden's earlier house which was nearby.


The sites were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978,[1] and were declared a National Historic Landmark on October 7, 2008.

The Alden Kindred of America, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that owns and preserves the John Alden House.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ a b "Interior Designates 16 New National Historic Landmarks". D.O.I. News Release. U.S. Department of the Interior. 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2008-10-16. [dead link]
  3. ^ Tom McCarthy, Erika K Martin Seibert, Patty Henry, Edward L. Bell, Betsy Friedberg, and Phil Bergen (March, 2007). National Historic Landmark Nomination: John and Priscilla Alden Family Sites / Alden House (DUX.38) and Original Alden Homestead Site (aka Alden I Site, DUX-HA-3) PDF (32 KB). National Park Service. 
  4. ^

Further reading[edit]

  • Levine, Sassaman, and Nassaney, eds. The Archaeological Northeast (Chapter: "An Interdisciplinary Study of the John Alden Houses, 1627 and 1653, Duxbury, Massachusetts: Archaeology and Architecture" by Mitchell T. Mulholland). Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey (1999).

External links[edit]