Known as the site of the PIlgrims' first landing, the coast of Plymouth, Massachusetts, is home to the iconic Plymouth Rock. Residents and tourists alike were both shocked and saddened to find it vandalized.

The famous Plymouth Rock was covered in bright red graffiti sometime during the night on Sunday, February 16. Visitors discovered the damage on Monday. The only legible message seems to be "508" and "MOF" as possible references to the 508 area code for central Massachusetts.

Plymouth Rock, graffiti

Courtesy of WCVB

If you've never seen it in person, Plymouth Rock is out in the open, surrounded only by a structure of pillars and a roof. There is a railing around it and you can look down to see it, which means the vandals had to have jumped down into the pit in order to deface the stone. Because the site is right on the beach, it is open year-round, 24 hours a day. 

Plymouth Rock

Courtesy of See Plymouth, Photo by Jack Costello

In addition to the writing on Plymouth Rock, the Pilgrim Maiden statue was also vandalized with paint, as well as a nearby stone bench and several scallop-shaped art installations.

The town manager of Plymouth, Melissa Arrighi, had this to say:

Local police are investigating this crime, and crews are already beginning the painstaking work of removing the graffiti. Don't let this deter you from putting Plymouth on your bucket list; it is a beautiful coastal town, full of history and walkable trails around the many local landmarks. 

For more information about visiting the town of Plymouth, visit the See Plymouth website.

Have you seen Plymouth Rock and the other coastal landmarks? Tell us your thoughts on this news in the comments.