Quincy Historical Society at the Adams Academy

8 Adams Street
MA 02169

Quincy Historical Society at the Adams Academy

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Founded in 1893 by local citizens led by Charles Francis Adams, Jr., Quincy Historical Society is dedicated to preserving and promoting knowledge about the full range of Quincy history. It remains a community-based organization even as it deals with topics of national and international, as well as local, interest.

At its home in the Adams Academy Building*, the Society maintains collections of historical archives and artifacts. Its museum and library are open to the public year-round. It offers a variety of publications and programs for the general public and provides instruction on local history in area schools.

* The Adams Academy, a national historic landmark, stands on the site of the colonial house that was the birthplace of the patriot John Hancock and that was later the home of Josiah Quincy Sr. and Josiah Quincy, Jr. That house burned to the ground in 1760.

In 1822 President John Adams deeded properties to the town of Quincy to establish a fund to build a new town church and to found a college preparatory school for boys.

Adams specified that the school be built on the site of the home of Hancock and the Quincys.

It fell to John’s grandson, Charles Francis Adams I, to oversee construction of a building and open the school. The Adams Academy opened in the fall of 1872. The building, by Boston architects Ware and Van Brunt, featured a gothic revival style and a distinctive use of Quincy granite.

Despite distinguished faculty and a reputation for excellence, the school closed in 1908. The Academy building underwent a variety of uses for the next 60 years. In the early 1970s, the Academy became the permanent home of the Quincy Historical Society. In 1994 the Academy was designated a Registered National Historic Landmark, both for its connection to the Adams family and for its architectural significance.



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