"Built in 1681, Old Ship served two purposes: as a Meeting House where civic issues of the day were discussed, and as a place of worship on Sundays. Lively debates over the Revolution, the form American Democracy would take, and local issues such as property taxes, have taken place under its distinctive timber roof. Architecturally, the Meeting House is an example of Elizabethan Gothic style found in the early settlers native Hingham, England. The great curved timbers that support the roof were cut from bowed oak limbs grown in local forest. Axe hewn, no two are exactly alike in dimension. Although it’s still a mystery, the name Old Ship may have been inspired by the unusual roof structure, which resembles the hull of a ship.
The frame and walls of the church stand as built in 1681, within the additions of side galleries in 1730 and 1755. The seats were originally backless wooden benches; the first box pews were installed in 1755. The interior went through a renovation in the Victorian era in which drapes and wallpaper were added and the distinctive boxes replaced with more ornamental curved back pews. Old Ship was restored to its original, understated 17th and 18th century characteristics in 1930, and remains true to that spirit today. For over 300 years, Old Ship has borne witness to every aspect of our growth as a nation. Early Old Ship ministers and prominent local citizens were part of the political and religious debates of their time, thereby helping to influence the evolving social and philosophical fabric of our nation. The simple meeting house design is itself emblematic of the principles on which our country was founded. Hingham is home to this matchless piece of American history, recognized as a National Historic Landmark. The Old Ship Meeting House is a monument to the past, and an inspiration for the future."
The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.