Merrymount is situated just off beautiful Quincy Bay and Wollaston Beach (site of the first Howard Johnson’s ice cream shop in the U.S.) and is one of several sections that make up historic Quincy, MA. It is part of the vibrant City of Quincy, and a short hop to Boston, the Massachusetts state capital. In fact, you can get there by car, train, or high-speed shuttle boat.
The Merrymount area of Quincy was originally inhabited by the Massachusetts tribe of the Algonquin Indians. In 1625, the area was christened ‘Ma-re Mount” (a variation of Mount by the Sea) by Thomas Morton, an Englishman, who was criticized by Captain Myles Standish for his free-thinking ways and not closely following the strict puritan way of life. The Puritans condemned Morton as a drunken libertine, who was more interested in a good time than good government.
In fact, Morton is regarded by some historians as an intellectual and progressive leader who was among the first to accept Native Americans as equals, at least for trading and colonization purposes. Morton was not known for his subtlety, however, and was quite outspoken about his beliefs and opinions of the early puritan governors. Sources say he referred to Miles Standish as ‘Captain Shrimpe’, mocking his small stature.
Things took a turn for the worse for Morton when he erected a Maypole and threw a pagan party for his fellow Merrymount colonists.
This proved too much for Standish and the governors of neighboring towns, who promptly sent him packing back to England. Fortunately, Merrymount remains an integral yet unique part of Quincy, MA – minus the Maypole, but filled with warm and friendly neighbors, friends and families.
The Merrymount Association - Quincy, MA
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