Eustis Estate Museum (1878)

A marvel of the Aesthetic Movement

Milton, Massachusetts

Explore a rare surviving example of late nineteenth-century architecture and design. Designed by renowned Boston architect William Ralph Emerson and built in 1878, the Eustis Estate sits on eighty acres of picturesque landscape at the base of the Blue Hills. Full of stunning, intact architectural and design details, the Eustis Estate is a historic site unlike any other in the Greater Boston area.

Take a self-guided tour of the house and grounds in the order that you choose. The stone mansion includes richly carved woodwork and dramatic stained glass windows. A great hall soars three stories to a decorative trussed ceiling. Newly restored wall treatments present original colors highlighted by metallic paints that glitter and glow when illuminated by ornate brass chandeliers. Learn about the elaborate architecture and interior design as well as the Eustis family, their domestic staff, and the farmhands who cultivated the surrounding fields and greenhouses. In the visitor center, browse the museum shop. Admission includes access to the museum, resource room, and the exhibition currently on view in the second-floor galleries.

Plan Your Visit

Location

1424 Canton Avenue
Milton, Mass. 02186

Days & Hours

Wed. – Sun., May – October
Fri. – Sun., November – April

Self-guided experience:
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Optional guided tours:
11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

(first-come, first-served)

Closed most major holidays.

Admission

$15 adults

$12 seniors

$8 students and children

Free for Historic New England members and Milton residents.

Contact Information

A Starter Home That Became Permanent

Architect William Ralph Emerson designed the 18,600-square-foot mansion for newlyweds W.E.C. Eustis and Edith Hemenway.

of
  • A Starter Home That Became Permanent

    Architect William Ralph Emerson designed the 18,600-square-foot mansion for newlyweds W.E.C. Eustis and Edith Hemenway.

  • Great Hall

    Enter through the Great Hall, which features brilliant red and gold decorative paint and elaborate woodwork.

  • Parlor

    The intricately carved fireplace is the focal point of the large parlor, where the Eustis family received guests.

  • Dining Room

    The dining room has been restored to its 1870s decor. Gold-colored paint glitters in the dancing light of the gas chandelier.

  • Library

    As you explore the house, stop at the second-floor library to browse books on New England history and architecture.

  • Gatehouse

    A beautiful stone gatehouse welcomes visitors from Canton Avenue. Look for it when you visit the museum!

The Eustis Family

On November 7, 1876, twenty-five-year-old Edith Hemenway married twenty-six-year-old W.E.C. Eustis. A year later Edith gave birth to twin sons Frederic and Augustus. Shortly thereafter the couple began to build their family home on land given to them by Edith’s mother, Mary Hemenway. W.E.C. and Edith had a daughter, Mary, in 1885. The family lived on the estate for the rest of their lives.

Mrs. Hemenway owned the large estate to the south of this site, and W.E.C. Eustis’s family lived to the north. The Eustis mansion was the first building constructed on the property in 1878, and was designed by preeminent architect William Ralph Emerson. The property originally comprised more than 250 acres of fields, woodland, and gardens, with four original buildings built between 1878 and 1902.

Two subsequent Eustis generations lived at the estate until it was sold to Historic New England in 2012. It now comprises eighty acres of land, with many of the original outbuildings.

Making a Museum

In 2012 the Eustis family sold the property to Historic New England. The family continued to live at the estate for two more years.

In 2014 Historic New England began an extensive restoration project to transform the home into a museum and study center. The Eustis Estate Museum opened to the public in May 2017.

Landscape History

The Eustis Estate, a largely intact late nineteenth-century country home, sits on more than eighty acres nestled at the base of the Blue Hills. The mansion, built in 1878, was designed by preeminent Boston architect William Ralph Emerson. Its dramatic stone and brick facade is framed by a lovely allée of maples. The allée was a central element of an 1879 Ernest Bowditch-designed landscape plan, which was only partially implemented.

To one side of the allée is a small stone powerhouse with an eyebrow roofline and the year 1902 embedded in the façade with white stones. Nearby is a small pond with garden beds of primarily native plants.

Down the hill, a potting shed survives. It was originally part of a large glass greenhouse that was demolished after World War I when it became too difficult to maintain. The potting shed and a nearby barn are now situated in a rough-cut field across from the mansion house. This bucolic scene reminds us of the estate’s agricultural past.

Two gardens provide spring and summer color to the estate grounds. A wide perennial border wraps around the southeast corner of the house and leads to expansive lawns that slope to a thick screen of hemlock and rhododendron. A second garden in front of the 1892 gatehouse marks the entrance to the estate and is visible to passersby.

Property FAQs

Find out about parking, accessibility, photography policy, and more.

Learn More
  • Do I need to take a guided tour?

    The Eustis Estate Museum offers a rare opportunity to explore a historic house at your own pace, in the order that you choose. Learn about its history and restoration through historic images, videos, and audio content, which you can find on touch-screen kiosks and tablets throughout the museum, or on your own smartphone or tablet. Friendly Historic New England guides are available to answer your questions on both floors of the house and in the visitor center. Traditional guided tours are also scheduled daily at 11:00 am. and 2:00 p.m., and are first-come, first-served.

  • Where do I park?

    There is a large, free visitor parking lot next to the visitor center at the top of the driveway.

  • Is the museum accessible to people with disabilities?

    All museum spaces that are open to the public are accessible. The museum is equipped with a lift for access to the second floor.

  • Can I take photographs at the Eustis Estate?

    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. 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.

  • Where can I get something to eat?

    Water and soda are available in the visitor center. Information on area restaurants can be found in the visitor center as well.

  • Can I host an event at the Eustis Estate?

    Yes. Information of function rentals at the Eustis Estate is available here.

Related to this Property

See Mementos: Jewelry of Life and Love at the Eustis Estate.

Learn More

Access the Eustis Estate tour.

Learn More

Become a member and tour for free.

Learn More