A National Historic Landmark
This country estate overlooking Quincy Bay transports visitors to the Revolutionary War era and tells the story of a woman’s work to preserve her family’s history more than a hundred years later. Revolutionary leader Josiah Quincy built the house in 1770. Quincy and his family played key roles in the social and political life of Massachusetts for generations, producing three mayors of Boston and a president of Harvard. In the early 1880s Eliza Susan Quincy made it her life’s work to document the historic significance of her family’s home. She kept journals, inventoried the contents of the house, commissioned photographs of the interior, and persuaded relatives to return heirlooms so that the house could become a repository of Quincy family history.
Among the house's unusual features is its “monitor,” or half-story space above the roof with small windows on all sides. From this prospect Colonel Quincy had a clear view of shipping lanes in and out of Boston Harbor, and during the months leading up to the Revolution, he spent hours watching troop movements. On October 10, 1775, he scratched “Governor Gage sail'd for England with a fair wind” into one of the windows of the monitor roof. That pane of glass was carefully preserved by the family, and is on display at Quincy House today.
Visitors also see two remarkable examples of New England furniture making: a high chest that miraculously survived two fires and a rare mahogany bombé chest that is one of only forty of its kind.
Over a three-year period, with the help of funding from the City of Quincy’s Community Preservation Committee and from an anonymous donor, Historic New England has used 1880s photographs and a historic Quincy family inventory, as well as historic paint analyses, to refurnish the rooms as they were around 1880.
Visit Quincy House
First and third Saturdays, June 1 - October 15
(Closed July 4, 2015)
1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Tours on the hour. Last tour at 4:00 p.m.
Free for Historic New England members and Quincy residents. Become a member.
20 Muirhead Street
Quincy, Mass. 02170
Directions: From the north, take I-93 to Exit 12, Route 3A (Hancock Street) to Wollaston Center. After 2.2 miles, turn left onto Elm Avenue. Turn left at stop sign, following Quincy Historic Trail signs. Jog right to Muirhead Street.
From the south, take I-93 to Exit 19, to Burgin Parkway. At sixth traffic light, turn right onto Dimmock Street. Turn left onto Hancock. Turn right onto Elm Avenue. Turn left at stop sign, following Quincy Historic Trail signs. Jog right to Muirhead Street.
Parking: There is street parking nearby.
Public transportation: MBTA Red Line to Wollaston Station. Turn left on Beale Street, walk one half mile (Beale Street turns into Beach Street after crossing Hancock Street) to Muirhead Street, turn right. House will be on your left.
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