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Welcome to
Adams National Historical Park

Adams National Historical Park - BEST Massachusetts Places to Picnic

135 Adams Street
Quincy, MA 02169-1749

By Phone:
Visitor Information (617) 770-1175
Headquarters (617) 773-1177
Curator (617) 773-1177

GPS: 42.256389, -71.011389

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Adams 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 volumes. 

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 pounds. 

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.

Administrative history

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.

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