Many professional meetings bring us to Boston Massachusetts, treat yourself to visiting a unique treasure in the heart of the Boston area. John Adams (1735-1826), son of Deacon John Adams and Susanna Boylston, was a fifth generation descendant from Henry Adams, who reached the shores of America from England in 1633. Henry with his wife and eight children was given a grant of forty acres of land not far from where John and Susanna Boylston Adams brought up their three sons, including their eldest, John. He attended Harvard College where he received an A.B. in 1755. After graduation, the future U.S. president briefly taught school in Worcester, Massachusetts. There he was influenced by attorney James Putnam to pursue a career in law. John studied law under Putnam and then returned to Braintree to be presented to the bar.
Today, the Adams National Historical Park serves as a setting to investigate the role that John Adams played in establishing and perpetuating the American democratic tradition. John Adams’ life is vividly interpreted by National Park Service rangers using the three historic residences that comprise the site as unique backdrops to tell the story. Visitors can witness firsthand the environment that shaped the character and ideas of the Adams family and in so doing, arrive at a better understanding of these important men and women. The National Park Service conscientiously preserves these houses and the property around them to provide present and future generations with a window to view an American family who contributed to their country through public service.
The Adams National Historical Park includes three historic houses, the John Adams Birthplace, the John Quincy Adams Birthplace, the Old House at Peace field; the 1870 Stone Library, the 1873 Adams Carriage House, and 12 acres of historic grounds including the formal garden and orchard. Park your car in the parking garage behind the Visitor Center and leave the rest to us! Tours of the park leave from the Visitor Center daily during our open season (April 19 – November 10) and are offered on a first-come, first serve basis. Tours depart the Visitor Center on a trolley which will bring you to the Presidential Birthplaces where you will be dropped off for a guided tour with a Park Ranger. After this half hour tour the trolley will then bring you to the Old House where you will have an hour long guided tour with a Park Ranger. The trolley will then pick you up and return you to the Visitor Center. The houses are old and were built as family homes, not tourist attractions, and some rooms have limited space.
Adams National Historical Park was the home of two American presidents and subsequent generations of their descendants from 1720 to 1927. The family’s experience represented, shaped, and mirrored significant events in the social, cultural, political, and intellectual history of the nation. The park is to preserve and protect the grounds, homes, and personal property of four generations of the Adams family and to use these resources to interpret the history they represent and to educate and inspire current and future generations.
Thomas W. Miller, Ph.D. ABPP is a Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Scientist, Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut and retired service chief from the VA Medical Center and tenured Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky.