To commemorate Captain John Smith’s historic 1614 expedition and 400th anniversary of the first mapping of the Isles of Shoals, the N.H. Department of Resources and Economic Development will erect a granite obelisk and granite benches on Ragged Neck at Rye Harbor State Park, Rye, NH. The Isle of Shoals 1614 Monument, with a view out to the Isles of Shoals, will be dedicated on Thursday, August 14, 2014. This new historic monument honors the former obelisk dedicated to Captain Smith, which was erected on Star Island in 1864 to commemorate the 250th anniversary Smith’s journey.
Historic Significance: Predates Plymouth Rock
In 1614, Captain John Smith explored and mapped the local coastline from Penobscot Bay to Cape Cod. He was the first European to map the Isles of Shoals, which he named “Smith’s Isles.” While that name did not endure, with the consent of King James I, Smith named this region “New England.” John Smith’s map and 1616 best-selling book “A Description of New England” detailed the region’s teeming fishing banks, abundant game, clean rivers, heavily forested land and native people. The book was a major inspiration in the subsequent flood of English migration to these shores. It was this map that guided the Pilgrims to “Plimouth” in 1620 and led John Winthrop to “The River Charles” in 1630.
See website at www.1614monument.com.