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Historic Plymouth Looks To A Future Without Pilgrim

The Plymouth Rock portico looks out across the Plymouth Bay to Rocky Point, the location of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. Photo by Robin Lubbock for WBUR

The Plymouth Rock portico looks out across the Plymouth Bay to Rocky Point, the location of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. Photo by Robin Lubbock for WBUR

Beneath a towering granite pavilion, in the smallest state park in Massachusetts, is an unassuming gray boulder with outsized historic and economic importance: Plymouth Rock.

The Rock draws a million visitors a year. Tourism is a powerful economic engine for Plymouth, employing 4,000 workers and generating $30 million annually in local taxes.

Five miles down the coast is Rocky Point, and the town’s other giant economic engine: Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. Pilgrim is the second-largest private employer in Plymouth. Its approximately 600 workers take home an average paycheck over $100,000 — double the typical wage in town. And the plant pays the highest property taxes in Plymouth.

In May, the nuclear plant is shutting down for good. And Plymouth — known as “America’s Hometown” — will have to adjust to life post-Pilgrim.

Visit WBUR for the full story.