As First Lady to the 2nd President of the United States and mother of the 6th President, Abigail is one of the most respected and influential women of the early revolutionary period of American history. Built in 1685, the Abigail Adams Birthplace was home to this exceptional woman for the first twenty years of her life until she married John Adams in 1764. It has survived two relocations and restoration work was recently completed. Tours are available on the second Sunday of the month from May to November. Private tours arranged by appointment.
Built in 1731, the Old House at Peace field became the residence of the Adams family for four generations from 1788 to 1927. It was home to Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams; First Ladies Abigail and Louisa Catherine Adams; Civil War Minister to Great Britain Charles Francis Adams; and literary historians Henry and Brooks Adams. The vast collection of original artifacts inside the Old House greatly assists the park’s interpretive staff to relate the Adams family’s legacy of service to their nation.
John Quincy Adams had requested in his will that a fireproof structure be constructed separate from the house for his books and papers. In 1870, a medieval style Stone Library was designed. Considered America’s first Presidential Library, it contains more than 12,000 books including the Mendi Bible, given to John Quincy Adams by the Amistad slaves that he defended in front of the Supreme Court after his presidency. Following a tour, you may wish to stroll the Old House grounds which include the Carriage House (1873), a historic orchard and an 18th-century style formal garden, containing thousands of annual and perennial flowers.
The John Adams and John Quincy Adams Birthplaces are the oldest presidential birthplaces in the United States. John Adams was born in the salt box house located only 75 feet away from the birthplace of his son John Quincy Adams. Young John and his bride Abigail started their family, the future President launched his career in law and politics, and it was here that he, Samuel Adams and James Bowdoin wrote the Massachusetts Constitution. This document, still in use today, greatly influenced development of the United States Constitution.
Begin your Adams experience at the park Visitor Center and view the new park movie, Enduring Legacy: Four Generations of the Adams Family. Access to the three historic houses and Stone Library is by conducted tour only and available on a first-come, first-served basis. A trolley transports you on your full park tour and returns you to the Visitor Center in about 2 ½ hours. Free validated parking is offered in the adjacent Presidents Place Parking Garage accessed via Saville Avenue.
Known as the “Church of the Presidents,” this historic church was built from Quincy granite in 1828 with funds provided by John Adams. Tours of the church include a visit to the Adams Family crypt; the final resting place of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and First Ladies Abigail and Louisa Catherine Adams; and visitors can view their memorial tablets, the baptismal record of President John Adams and sit in the pew of President John Quincy Adams.
On June 17, 1775, Abigail Adams and her seven year old son John Quincy walked the short distance from their farm to the top of Penn’s Hill, where they observed the smoke and fire of the Battle of Bunker Hill. The cairn, an ancient form of commemoration, was erected by the Daughters of the Revolution in 1896. The cairn’s stones came from private properties and historic sites. During historic preservation work in 2008, a time capsule was discovered.
Built in 1844, old City Hall is one of the oldest functioning seats of government in the country. Its academic Greek Revival architecture has been described as one of the outstanding examples of mid-century classical American design. Unusual in both its monumentality and in the severity of its granite detail, these features may be attributed to its architect Solomon Willard, who was instrumental in the development of the granite industry in Quincy. Historic Preservation work is currently underway.
Historically significant as the site of the original building and cemetery of the First Church of England in Braintree, the oldest Episcopal parish in Quincy, and the second formed in Massachusetts (the first being King’s Chapel in Boston), this historic cemetery has 200 gravestones.
The earliest surviving home of the Quincy family, this house was built in 1686 by Edmund Quincy and greatly expanded and remodeled in 1706 displaying the evolution of colonial architecture. The house welcomed Benjamin Franklin as a guest and had frequent visits from young lawyer John Adams. The childhood home of Dorothy Quincy, who became Mrs. John Hancock; the second President of the Continental Congress, first signer of the Declaration of Independence and the first Governor of Massachusetts. John Hancock was born two blocks away at 8 Adams Street, where the Adams Academy building now stands. The Colonial Dames recently contracted with Blackburn Building Conservation to restore Hancock’s chariot and it is available for viewing during tours. Built in England in 1777 and captured by Americans at sea, the chariot was later presented to Hancock, who used it as his vehicle. In the 19th century, the wheels were removed from the chariot, and it was converted into a horse-drawn sleigh. Open for tours limited Saturdays and Private group tour arrangements available by request. Please call 617-742-3190 for reservations.
From 1630 to 1854, Quincy’s most illustrious residents and civic leaders were buried here; Henry Adams, the first Adams to live in Quincy and ancestor of John Adams; Colonel John Quincy, for whom the city is named; patriot Josiah Quincy, Veterans of the Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. The memorials offer a chronicle of gravestone art from colonial winged skulls and cherubim, to Federalist classical motifs, to Quincy’s 19th century role as the national center for granite quarrying and carving. View our Google maps to take a virtual tour or use for a self guided walking tour.