The Monument

1614 Monument on Dedication Day, August 14, 2014

1614 Monument - 3D Rendering (Barker Architects, Concord, NH)

Monument Facts
  • Dedicated August 14, 2014 at Rye Harbor State Park, Rye, NH
  • The 1614 Monument is constructed of four pieces of granite quarried from Swenson Granite Works in Concord, NH
  • The granite weighs 18 tons
  • The tip of the obelisk is 17' 2" in height, which is 16' 14" inches high — get it? 
  • The monument features four 3' by 3' panels
  • The front panel features a bronze reproduction of the Smith Map — enlarged to 26 inches height from the original map size of 12 inches tall
Inscriptions on the other three monument panels read as follows:

John Smith (1580 - 1631)

In 1614 Captain John Smith, who seven years earlier was a founder of the Jamestown Settlement, returned to America and 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 Iles.” While that name did not endure, with the consent of King James I, “Admirall” Smith named this region “New England.”

Origins of New England

John Smith’s map and widely read book “A Description of New England” detailed the region’s teeming fishing banks, abundant game, clean rivers, vast forests and native people. The book had a major influence in the subsequent wave of English migration to these shores. The map guided the Pilgrims to “Plimouth” in 1620 and led John Winthrop to the “The River Charles” and the founding of Boston in 1630.

Isles of Shoals

Six miles from this Point lie the Isles of Shoals. Possibly named for the bountiful “schools” of fish surrounding them, the nine islands were home to a prosperous fishing community for over 150 years. On Star Island, two other obelisks were erected on anniversaries of the 1614 voyage. In 1864 a monument was built to honor John Smith, and in 1914 a 46.5-foot monument was dedicated to Reverend John Tucke.

The monument also features an engraving of the compass rose from Smith's Map, which is oriented to the north and east.