The Quincy Homestead
34 Butler Road ~ Quincy, MA 02169
Open in 2017: Sunday May 21st
June 3rd, June 17th, July 8th, July 22nd, August 5th, August 19th, September 2nd, September 16th.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
*All tours are free of charge. A voluntary contribution is requested.
Take the Southeast Expressway (Routes 3 and 93) to Exit 8 for Quincy, Furnace Brook Parkway. Continue on the Parkway exactly 2 miles. Turn right onto Hancock Street. Take the first left onto Butler Road. The Homestead is on immediate left.
A National Historic Landmark, the Quincy Homestead is significant for its role in early American history, for its architecture, and for its Quincy family association. The property, located at the corner of Hancock Street and Butler Road, is part of the original land that Edmund Quincy acquired for a farm in the 1630s. The present house, dating from 1686, was enlarged and enhanced over a period of more than 200 years. Its majestic Georgian frontispiece and gambrel roof, with distinctive dormer windows, give the building a stately and substantial appearance.
The Homestead served as a home for five generations of Quincys, one of the leading families of Massachusetts. Their progeny include President John Quincy Adams and Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes. Leading up to the American Revolution, the residence was a meeting place for many American Patriots such as John Adams, Josiah Quincy and John Hancock. The house was also the childhood home of Dorothy Quincy Hancock, the first First Lady of Massachusetts, the wife of John Hancock, the president of the Second Continental Congress, the first signer of the Declaration of Independence, and the first governor of the Commonwealth.
The Quincy Homestead represents three architectural periods. In 1686 the original kitchen area was built. In 1706 extensive additions were made, and finally in the mid-18th century the current form emerged. It is one of the few houses in Massachusetts in which the elements of a 17th-century building are still clearly visible, although they have been surrounded by a later style. The house is an excellent illustration of how architectural styles developed during the colonial period.
A myriad of national themes may be explored at the Quincy Homestead. These include the study of the lives of the settlers in the Massachusetts Colony, the endeavors of the Patriots, the Quincy family, John Hancock, women's issues, portraiture and landscape design.
The Homestead's furnishings provide an intriguing historical record of daily life in a house dating back three centuries. Worthy of attention are three bedsteads dressed with documented treatments and fabric, one of which is a field bedstead with arched tester.
The parlor features wallpaper which was created in Paris around 1790. The design belongs to the Pompeian revival style which exploited the delicate and expressive possibilities of painted wall decoration.
In 1904 The National Society of The Colonial Dames in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts purchased the Quincy Homestead, and then entered into a long-term cooperative relationship with the Commonwealth whereby the Commonwealth would own the property and would be responsible for maintaining the exterior of the house and grounds. The Dames agreed to furnish and maintain the interior of the house and to interpret its important history for visitors. This relationship continues today.
The Quincy Homestead is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.