A brief post today, as I’ve been meaning to mention this since we visited the Adams National Historical Park down in Quincy, Massachusetts last weekend.
My wife and I left the Kingdom on Friday for Massachusetts, where we planned to see Eldest Son on Saturday. It had been a while since we visited; we wanted to see the progress he’s made in rehabbing his house and spend some time catching up.
When looking for something to do while there, I remembered that the National Park Service owned both the birthplace houses of John Adams’ family, as well as the Peacefield property later purchased by John Adams. I checked the NPS website, and made reservations for the guided tour. Being a Federal property still suffering from the Crona Plague, masks had recently been re-mandated as Norfolk County supposedly was experiencing high community transmission rates. Whatever. As a history addict, especially Early American history, I wanted to see these places, and should have long before. Our NPS Annual Pass covered the admission, but there was an additional $1 per person fee on the Reservation.gov site where the tours are booked.
We had booked the tour for 10:45 Saturday morning. After arriving at Son’s home at a too-early time in the morning for younger folk, we eventually made our way over to Quincy. My sad use of Google Maps delivered us to the second part of the tour first, so we had to scoot back across Quincy to the Birthplace houses to start in the correct order. We made it- arrived only a few moments before the tour was to begin.
This is not your typical Historical Park. Both locations are in the middle of a large and busy city. Also, due to staffing shortages the NPS trolleys weren’t running, so we had to transport ourselves to each site, and find street parking. Fortunately, they are fairly close together, and there were no issues finding a place for the Jeep.
I’m not going to cover the tours in-depth. I am going to encourage you to visit this park should you ever have the opportunity. The Birthplace homes are extremely well-preserved, and the tour guide we had there was adept at presenting a fair amount of history in a well-delivered storytelling fashion, holding the attention of the audience. I thought it was well done.
The guide at Peacefield was obviously a knowledge monster- he had the history of the property down cold, and knew the biographies of the three principal Adams’, John, John Quincy and Charles and could speak to the history of the artifacts within the house. The tour was excellent, as most of the house is viewable, as well as the adjacent Stone Library. The gardens surrounding the house are also well worth the visit. There are plants there dating from the 1700s.
Touring both properties consumed a bit less than three hours for our group. It was enjoyable, informative and comfortable. I highly recommend this tour, especially for history buffs. This is a great addition to the historical attractions in Boston, as it’s not very far from downtown. In fact, the MBTA (subway) connects Quincy and Downtown Boston.
Here’s the official NPS website for more details. Thanks for stopping by.
It sounds grand. I’ll have to put it on our list of places to visit next time we pop across the pond. Hopefully, by that time, we won’t need to wear masks.
Only required on Federal property as decreed by the powers-that-be, Mike. The mandates are gone in the rest of the Northeast. On a related note, it’s good to see that Europe is opening up and abandoning restrictions. Once the US does the same for returning travelers, we’re thinking of another trip over. It’s been awhile………….