One of Duxbury’s most famous citizens would have to be Myles Standish, as evidenced by the great number of places and things named after him in the area. The colonial leader made his home in “the Nook”, which is now known as Standish Shore. In his honor, a 116-foot granite monument was erected on Captain’s Hill in Myles Standish Monument State Reservation, in a spot that was once part of Standish’s farm.
The monument, which is essentially a tower, has 125 steps to the top. After winding your way up a spiral staircase, you are treated to expansive views of the South Shore. On a clear day, you can see as far as Provincetown. You can also view various church spires, lighthouses, Duxbury Beach, Plymouth Harbor, and the Blue Hills. Perched atop the tower, there is a statue of Myles Standish that stands 14 feet tall. He holds the colony’s charter in one hand and points eastward across Massachusetts Bay.
The King Caesar House is a Federal style mansion that was built in 1809 for Ezra Weston II and his wife, Jerusha. Due to his success in the shipping and shipbuilding industries, Weston was known as King Caesar, like his father before him. After changing hands multiple times, the house was purchased by the Duxbury Rural and Historical Society and now stands as a museum. The house is open to the public without reservations during the summer season and is available for tours with a reservation throughout the year.
Also known as Captain Gershom Bradford House, this Federal style home was built in 1807. Captain Gershom Bradford’s wife, Sarah, oversaw the construction of the house while her husband was held captive by the French. Descendants of the Pilgrim, William Bradford, the Bradford family is one of the best documented families in Duxbury. The house remained in the Bradford family until it was donated to the Duxbury Rural and Historical Society in 1968. It is now a museum with original 1840s furnishings of the Bradford family. Like the King Caesar House, it is open to the public, but requires a reservation during the off season.
The Nathaniel Winsor Jr. House is a Federal style mansion that is architecturally significant because there are few of its kind on the South Shore. It was built on a very grand scale for its time and place and was influenced by the designs of Charles Bullfinch and Asher Benjamin. The home was built for Nathaniel Winsor Jr. and his wife, Hannah. A carver of figureheads by trade, Nathaniel Winsor Jr. inherited his father’s thriving fishing fleet and mercantile business, which he expanded and improved. The house was purchased by the Duxbury Rural and Historical Society in 1997 through fundraising efforts. It now serves as the Society’s headquarters, housing offices, and is used for public and private functions.
John and Priscilla Alden were some of the original settlers in Plymouth Plantation and were allotted a share of land in Duxbury in 1628. The foundation of their original house, which was probably built around 1630, can be seen close by the Alden House Historic Site. The house that currently sits on the property was built around 1700, probably by John Alden’s son, Jonathan. The house has been continuously owned by the Alden family and has been operated as a museum since 1960.