Eye on Michigan
Follow us on Twitter for Updates Follow us on Twitter for Updates
  Trails & Bike Routes   Parks & Beaches   City Guides   Free Wallpaper     Home

Historic Locations and Attractions in Plymouth »

The Plymouth area was settled in 1825 by Keziah (Benjamin) and William Starkweather, who registered 240 acres of land at the General Land Office. The area prospered and was incorporated in 1867. Plymouth became a city in 1932.

Plymouth Rock

When the passengers of the Mayflower disembarked and traveled ashore to what is now Massachusetts, they settled near Plymouth Rock and established the Plymouth Colony in 1620. Over the years, the large rock at Plymouth, Massachusetts, was broken into several pieces, either by accident or by souvenir collectors who chipped away at the rock. A small portion of the rock was given to the city of Plymouth, Michigan, as a gift from the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, England.

The rock was originally located at Kellogg Park, near the Wilcox House. The city's version of Plymouth Rock is now located at a corner of Veterans' Memorial Park on Main Street. "PLYMOUTH ROCK" is carved into one side of the rock. There are also plaques attached to the rock to honor the Plymouth soldiers who fought in the Civil War, World War I, and World War II.

Plymouth, Michigan, is a sister-city for Plymouth, Massachusetts, and Plymouth, England.

Daisy Manufacturing Company

The Daisy Air Rifle was born in Plymouth, Michigan. Clarence Hamilton, inventor of a vane-less windmill, established the Plymouth Iron Windmill Company in 1882. He also operated the Plymouth Air Rifle Company, which produced a wooden airgun. On March 6, 1888, Hamilton approached the windmill company with a new all-metal airgun that he invented. He chose to take it to the windmill company since they had the blast furnaces and metal stamping equipment that would be needed to produce the gun. The board members of the company considered the airgun, and when General Manager L.C. Hough test fired the gun and exclaimed, "Boy, that's a Daisy." The phrase "It's a Daisy" was a common compliment at the time, and the airgun was named Daisy.

The Plymouth Iron Windmill Company decided to manufacture the BB gun and offer it as a premium item to farmers who purchased a windmill. By 1895, the popularity of the airgun caused the company to cease producing windmills and change its name to the Daisy Manufacturing Company. The company produced airguns in Plymouth until 1958 when it moved to Rogers, Arkansas.

In 2004, the Daisy Manufacturing Company site at the corner of Hamilton and Union Streets in Plymouth was turned into a housing complex, Daisy Square. A single wall of the the Daisy factory remains, propped up by steel beams. You can see it along the historical walking route, see the maps page for the route.

24th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment

The 24th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment was mustered into Federal service in 1862, and Company C of the regiment was formed with boys from the Plymouth area. The regiment was part of the Iron Brigade in the Army of the Potomac and fought bravely in the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. It suffered the most casualties of any Union Army regiment during the battle. Of the 496 officers and men in the regiment, there were 363 casualties, with 89 killed or mortally wounded. In 1865, the 24th Michigan Infantry was part of the honor guard at the funeral of President Abraham Lincoln. There are several monuments at Veterans Memorial Park in Plymouth that honor those who died during the Civil War and other conflicts.

West of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, there is a monument for the 24th Michigan Infantry on Meredith Avenue. It was dedicated in 1888 by the State of Michigan. A position marker is at the foot of Culp's Hill.

Historic Houses

Plymouth has a few beautiful residences of historical significance:
  • The Curtiss House was built in 1891 by Charles G. Curtiss. The Victorian-style house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Michigan Historic Site. The house is located on Union Street.

  • The Baker House was built in 1875 by Henry Baker, who helped found the Plymouth Iron Windmill Company, which became the Daisy Manufacturing Company. The house is a Michigan Historic Site, and there is a green Michigan historical marker on the front of the house. The two-story brick, Victorian-style house is on Main Street, just south of the Plymouth Library.

  • The Sutherland House is a prefabricated semi-bungalow on Main Street, south of downtown. The house was built for William Sutherland in 1921. A Michigan historical marker is located in front of the house, which is now a law office building.

  • The Wilcox House was built in 1903 by William Markham, inventor of the BB Gun and the cofounder of the Daisy Air Rifle Company. In 1911, George and Harriet Wilcox purchased the Victorian house, which is located on Union Street across from Kellogg Park.

MotorCities National Heritage Area

The MotorCities National Heritage Area was designated by the U.S. Congress in 1998 to preserve the cultural and historic landscape associated with the automobile in Southeastern and Central Michigan.

In the Plymouth area, there are a few MotorCities National Heritage Area markers that describe significant locations from the past. On Farmer Street, there is a marker remembering the Alter Motor Company, which built five-passenger touring cars in Plymouth from 1914 to 1917. At several points in Hines Park, there are markers for the Gunsolly Carding Mill (Gunsolly Mills Recreation Area), the Haggerty Comfort Station (Haggerty West Recreation Area), and Unisys Corporation.

Plymouth Historical Museum

Located in downtown at 155 South Main Street, the Plymouth Historical Museum is an excellent resource for information, historical documents, and artifacts. The museum also has the largest collection of Abraham Lincoln artifacts in Michigan. The Weldon Petz Abraham Lincoln Exhibit opened in 2002 and has been one of the most popular attractions at the museum ever since. A timeline of Plymouth provides visitors with a glimpse of the city's past. The museum also has hosts special exhibits and events during the year.

Michigan Historical Markers

Plymouth has a few Michigan Historical Markers that describe places and people from the town's past. The green markers are designated by the Michigan Historical Commission. The markers are located on Main Street in front of Plymouth City Hall, the Baker House, and the Sutherland House.

A Michigan Historic Site marker is located on the front of the Curtiss House on Union Street.

Other Historical Markers

At Kellogg Park, near a sidewalk that intersects the park, there is a Michigan Legal Milestone marker for the Sherwood v. Walker case, which was tried in the Michigan Supreme Court in 1887. The marker describes a contract case involving the purchase of a cow, named Rose.

At the old depot on Starkweather Street, there is a small plaque that remember the visit by President George H.W. Bush, who spoke at the location on September 26, 1992. The building is no longer used as a depot, but it retains a look of a depot with a Plymouth sign on the end of the building.

Historical Walking Route

You can see many historic locations in Plymouth by using the city sidewalks. You can see Plymouth Rock, the historic houses, and many of the historical markers in the city. For a map of the historical walking route, see the maps page.

Back to the main Plymouth web page.

Trails & Bike Routes | Parks & Beaches | City Guides | Free Wallpaper | Eye on Michigan Home

Copyright © 2015 Eye on Michigan

Comments or questions, please email