Adams National Historic Park
1250 Hancock Street, Quincy, MA, USA
www.nps.gov/adam/index.htm - (617) 770-1175
Adams National Historic Park Quincy Reviews
Adams National Historical Park May 16, 2013
If you love history from the founding of the United States, this is the place to go. The Adams family was one of the most important families of the early days of the US. Two presidents came from this family (John Adams - 2nd President, and John Quincy Adams - 6th President). They had much influence and John Adams was one of the founders of our country. He also penned the longest running constitution for Massachusetts.
The tour I took is 2 hours long and starts at 15 minutes after each hour. You get on a trolley and first visit the birthplace homes (2) of John and John Quincy. There isn't much original inside, but these homes are where Abigail (John's wife) resided during the Revolutionary War while John was traveling.
The trolley then picks you up and takes you to the Old House where you get to tour the house and gardens. This is where the John Adams moved later in his life. This is where he eventually died. This house is much bigger and was expanded by the family to fit their needs.
We then headed back to the Visitor's Center.
I didn't have time to go visit the church where they worshipped and were buried. That will be for next time.
Part of the Boston - May 2013 travel blog
Part of the list US National Parks and Monuments
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Tour the birthplace of Presidents May 13, 2012
Quincy, MA - hometown of both John Adams and John Quincy Adams – bills itself as “the birthplace of presidents,” and thanks to the National Park Service, us voters and visitors can tour those birthplaces.
Adams National Historical Park isn’t a single site, but three sites that include a Visitor Center, the house where John Adams was born, the house where John Quincy Adams was born, the much larger house that several generations of Adams’ called home, and John Quincy’s library.
The tour begins at the Visitor Center where you’ll board a shuttle that takes you to the first site – the farmhouses where John and John Quincy were born. John was born in the “salt box” style house where his father, Deacon John Adams, farmed in the summer and made shoes in the winter. It’s also where John had his first law office. After marrying Abigail, the new Mr. & Mrs. Adams moved 75 feet across the yard to the second “salt box” style house. When your family is your neighbor, you had better hope everyone gets along! And who knew that paint was a sign of wealth? As a person’s or family’s wealth increased, the more rooms they could afford to have painted. John and Abigail eventually had enough money to paint their entire house. It was in this second house that John Quincy was born, and John, his cousin Samuel Adams, and James Bowdoin wrote the Massachusetts Constitution.
Many years would pass before John would once again call Quincy, MA home. After serving as what we would today call the US Ambassador to the UK, John and Abigail knew the simple farmhouse would no longer suffice after living in a London mansion. Sight unseen they purchased what is now known as the Old House at “Peace field.” Three floors, painted exterior, real mahogany paneling…the Old House was quite the step-up from the “salt box” down the road. (George Washington really did eat here.) It would become the residence of the Adams family for four generations from 1788 to 1927. In total, it was home to Presidents John and John Quincy; First Ladies Abigail and Louisa Catherine (the only foreign born first lady); Civil War Minister to Great Britain Charles Francis; and literary historians Henry and Brooks.
Adjacent to the house is the Stone Library. Fearing a fire in the wood Old House would destroy the family’s immense collection of over 10,000 books and papers, John Quincy had the Stone Library built in 1870. Note: this library does NOT contain John’s collection. His library is now housed in the Rare Books & Manuscripts Department at Boston’s Central Library in Copley Square. (http://www.johnadamslibrary.org/)
An easy addition to the tour is a visit to United First Parish Church. Located across the street from the Visitor Center, the church is where several generations of the Adams family worshipped. John, Abigail, John Quincy and his wife Louisa Catherine are all interred in the crypt under the church. The church is home to a functioning parish, so visitors are asked to be respectful of the congregation and plan their visit accordingly. http://www.ufpc.org/historyvisitorprogram/history.html
As mentioned above, Adams National Historical Park encompasses three sites starting and ending at the Visitor Center. To take the tour, head to the Visitor Center (parking is available in a garage behind the Visitor Center) and purchase a $5 ticket. Tours run every 30 minutes (quarter past the hour and quarter to the hour), and you must be on a tour to access the houses and library. A free shuttle service will take you between the sites. Park Rangers meet the shuttle at each stop and serve as tour guides. Plan to spend at least 2 hours on the tour.