National Historical Park in Quincy, Massachusetts, preserves the home
of Presidents of the United States John Adams and John Quincy Adams,
of U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain Charles Francis Adams, Sr., and of
the writers and historians Henry Adams and Brooks Adams.
The national historical park's eleven historic
structures tell the story of five generations of the Adams family
(from 1720 to 1927) including Presidents, First Ladies, U.S.
Ministers, historians, writers, and family members who supported and
contributed to their success.
In addition to "Peacefield," home to
four generations of the Adams family, the park's main historic
features include: John Adams birthplace (October 30, 1735), the nearby
John Quincy Adams birthplace (July 11, 1767); the Stone Library (built
in 1870 to house the books of John Quincy Adams and believed to be the
first presidential library) containing more than 14,000 historic
United First Parish Church, where both
Presidents and the First Ladies are entombed in the Adams Crypt are
not now nor have they ever been administered by the National Park
service. The Church is owned by the active congregation of Unitarian
Universalists. The congregation has used its own resources including
its endowments to preserve the building.
In the past 10 years the congregation has
invested almost $2 million to preserve the building for the next
several generations of citizens and members of the congregation.
The Old House was originally constructed in 1731
for Leonard Vassall, a sugar planter, and was used as his summer
house. The house stood empty for some time before it, along with 75
acres, was purchased by Adams on September 23, 1787 for a cost of 600
The Adams's family moved in the next year and
occupied it until 1927, when it was sold to the Adams Memorial
Society. The National Park Service acquired it in 1947, and has been a
National Historic Site ever since.
The house consists of painted brick and wood
structure. Its large rectangular shuttered windows line the facade.
Several dormer windows protrude from the sloped roof. The large
gardens were once generously tended by the Adams as well as the well
landscaped yards. The interior is papered throughout with period
wallpaper of outdoor scenes and floral prints. Busts and portraits
line the walls.
There is an off-site visitor center located
within one mile of the historic structures. Regularly scheduled tours
of the historic homes, are offered in season (April 19 to November
10). The park provides a tourist trolley between sites.
Access to the historic homes is by guided tour
only. Access to United First Parish Church is provided by the
congregation and they ask for a small donation. The National Park
Service does not provide trolley service to the church.
Designated Adams Mansion National Historic Site
on December 9, 1946; it was renamed Adams National Historic Site on
November 26, 1952. On December 19, 1960, the birthplaces of both
presidents were designated as National Historic Landmarks.
As with all historic areas administered by the
National Park Service, the entire historic site was listed on the
National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966.
On December 30, 1970, United First Parish Church
was also designated a National Historic Landmark but is still
privately owned. The historic site was re-designated a national
historical park on November 2, 1998.