Saturday, October 5, 2013

Boston - Day 2: Adams National Historic Park

We were so worn out from our walk along the Freedom Trail on Saturday that on Sunday, September 29, we all slept in before heading to Quincy, Massachusetts, to visit Adams National Historic Park.

The park memorializes the homes of five generations of the Adams family, starting with Deacon John Adams, father of the second President of the United States, John Adams.

The park itself is physically spread out. There are five buildings in the park plus several smaller buildings. We started our day at the visitor center where we viewed a nice documentary film about the four generations of the family who lived in the main house:

President John Adams
President John Quincy Adams
Ambassador to Great Britain, Charles Francis Adams
Writers and historians, Henry Adams and Brooks Adams

Because the park is spread out, we next rode the park trolley to the birthplaces of John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams. Both of these saltbox-type houses are next to each other. John Adams was born in 1735 in the house owned by his father, Deacon John Adams. He grew up there, married Abigail, and they moved into the older house literally just feet away where their son John Quincy Adams was born in 1767. We received guided tours of each of these houses, then boarded the park trolley again.

Next we went to the mansion ("Peacefield") of John and Abigail Adams. But before we toured inside, we first saw the inside of the Stone Library. This was built in 1870 to house John Quincy Adams' historic books - over 14,000 of them! In his last will and testament, he requested the library to be built, to be built of stone, and to be built separately from the main house. He wanted to protect his treasured books from fire! The inside of the library was indeed a sight to behold!

Finally we had a guided tour of the inside of Peacefield where someone of the Adams family lived from 1787 to 1927. Everything inside the house used to belong to someone of the family - all the furniture, the wall hangings, everything. One thing that caught our attention was a personally autographed picture of Theodore Roosevelt. Apparently Brooks Adams was a close friend of his. The house was very large and beautiful inside, just as Abigail Adams insisted.

After our tours were completed, we enjoyed a picnic lunch on the grounds of Peacefield. Even this late in the season, the floral garden was meticulously kept and quite beautiful.

I'll end this blog post with a quote from president John Adams. He wrote this, pertaining to himself, his sons, and his grandsons. Steve and I both feel it somewhat pertains to our family as well:

"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain."

(NOTE: Photography was not allowed inside any of the buildings, so all our pictures are outdoor shots.)