Skip to content

Unlikely Stories

Unlikely storiesAs a young merchant, Josiah Quincy made a fortune when one of his ships captured a Spanish ship loaded with gold and silver. He bought this fashionable and expensive high chest first for his home in Boston, and then moved it out to his country estate in Braintree, now Quincy, Massachusetts. The house was consumed by fire in 1759, but this chest was saved.  Josiah Quincy rebuilt, but just ten years later fire destroyed his second house.  Again, the chest was saved.  In 1770, Quincy's third house was built and the high chest was moved into one of the bedchambers.

After Josiah Quincy’s death the chest was passed down to his descendants. Josiah's great-granddaughter, Eliza Susan Quincy, wrote the remarkable story of the chest's survival on a small paper label which she pasted inside one of the chest’s drawer. The high chest has been a treasured family piece for over 250 years as a reminder of its highly unlikely story.

Has your family had any unusual experiences?

Related Activity: Inventory (PDF)

Unlikely Stories