Are there restrooms at the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm?
Yes. There are two restrooms, one handicapped accessible, in the visitor center.
Is the museum handicapped accessible?
A tour of any Historic New England property requires a considerable amount of standing and some walking. Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm has not been equipped with handicapped accessible ramps, elevators, or chair lifts. Folding chairs can be provided for visitors who would like to use them during a tour. Visitors with limited mobility may be able to enjoy a first floor tour of the house and grounds. A virtual tour of the house is available to all visitors in the accessible visitor center. Service animals are welcome. We encourage visitors with concerns to call ahead. We are happy to work with you to make your visit an enjoyable one.
Can I take photographs at the museum?
Interior and exterior photography for personal use is allowed at Historic New England properties. For the safety and comfort of our visitors and the protection of our collections and house museums, we ask that you be aware of your surroundings and stay with your guide. Video, camera bags, tripods and selfie-sticks are not permitted. Professional/commercial photographers and members of the media should visit the press room for more information.
When can I visit the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm grounds?
The museum grounds are open daily from dawn to dusk.
How do I become a member of Historic New England and get more involved?
Join Historic New England now and get involved in preserving and celebrating the region's heritage. To join, call the Membership Office at 617-994-5910 or join online. You can reach the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm staff at 978-462-2634 or by-email.
What is inside the house?
The Spencer-Pierce-Little House is set up to represent periods throughout its occupancy, from 1690 to 1986. The first floor is family-friendly, with interactive elements in each room. Adult groups may also view the second floor, with rooms from the 1780s and 1690s.
How do I take a tour?
The Spencer-Peirce-Little tour experience is slightly different than many other historic sites. Because it is important to the families who visit here to have an untimed tour with opportunities to exit throughout the tour, we try to offer the tour best suited to the needs of the group. Visitors can arrive at any time and will be able to access the house within fifteen minutes.
Who are Spencer, Peirce, and Little?
John Spencer was granted a 400-acre parcel in 1635, 230 acres of which make up the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm today. Colonel Daniel Peirce built the stone and brick manor house in 1690. The Little family lived on the farm for 135 years and gave the farm to Historic New England in 1986. There are many other families associated with this farm whose names are not included in this title, but whose stories are told in the house.
When was the house built?
The stone and brick manor house was built by Colonel Daniel Peirce in 1690. The wooden addition and attached tenant house were added in 1700 by Offin Boardman.
When was the barn built?
The barn northwest of the house was built in 1775. The current visitor center is located at the end of a former carriage barn, built c. 1850.
What can I do at the farm if the house is closed?
The grounds of the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm are open from dawn to dusk. Visitors are encouraged to walk, ski, ride bikes and horses, and visit our farm animals. Because we care for farm animals, dogs must be kept under control at all times. Visitors are also encouraged to avoid areas under active agriculture.
Can I use my metal detector here?
Historic New England believes that any artifact recovered with or without a metal detector is an integral part of the site and should not be disturbed. Because of that we do not grant permission for anyone to remove any artifact from a site for any reason.
May I hunt on your property?
Our site is designated for public use and also houses farm animals. We do not allow hunting on our property.
Where did the stones used to make the house come from?
A geologist studied the rocks and determined that they were collected locally, with some likely hauled from the lower end of Plum Island.
What did the farm produce?
The farm has always been a commercial venture, and never just a subsistence farm. Various owners raised a broad range of animals, including cattle, sheep, horses, swine, and poultry. Crops grown here included fruit, vegetables, wheat, and barley, as well as the salt and fresh meadow hay that the farm is known for. In the late nineteenth century, the Little family primarily trained and sold draft horses and had a thriving dairy herd. In the later part of the twentieth century, Dick Walsh grew flowers in the fields behind the barn. The land is currently leased to a variety of farmers who grow commercial crops.