John Adams Birthplace
John Adams Birth Home
|NRHP Reference #||66000129|
|Added to NRHP||October 15, 1966|
|Designated NHL||December 19, 1960|
The John Adams Birthplace is a historic house at 133 Franklin Street in Quincy, Massachusetts. It is the saltbox home in which the second President of the United States, John Adams, was born in 1735. The house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is now administered by the National Park Service as part of the Adams National Historical Park, and is open for guided tours.
Description and early history
The house is a 2-1/2 story wood frame structure, sheathed in wooden clapboards. There are two main rooms, one on either side of a central chimney, on each of the two floors, and there are two further rooms in the leanto section on the first floor. The main facade is three bays wide with the entry in the center. The doorway is framed by pilasters and topped by an entablature and triangular pediment.
The land on which the house sits was first owned by William Needham, who built a house on the property c. 1650. The oldest portion of the present house, the southeastern side, was probably built around 1681, although there is evidence it was built on the foundation of the older house, and may include some of its parts. The asymmetry of the main facade suggests that the northern side of the house was added later. The leanto section, which gives the house its saltbox appearance, was added sometime before 1720, when the house was purchased by Deacon John Adams, Sr. His oldest son John was born in the east room in 1735.
Upon the Deacon's death in 1761, the house passed to his second son, Peter; the younger John received the house next door, where his son John Quincy Adams was born in 1767. Peter lived in the house with his mother until 1768, when he married. In 1774 he sold the house to his brother John, who rented it out after their mother died in 1780. In 1803 John sold both houses to his son, who lived in the house of his birth, and rented this one out. The house was occupied from 1810 to 1818 by John Quincy Adams' son, Thomas Boylston Adams.
Both houses remained in Adams family ownership, and were rented out until 1885, when most of the surrounding farmland was sold off. After sitting vacant, Charles Francis Adams, Jr. authorized the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution to use the use as meeting space. This they did until the chapter folded in 1950. The Adamses sold the house to the City of Quincy in 1940, which turned administration of the property over to the Quincy Historical Society (which had earlier taken over the adjacent house) in 1950. The two houses are now part of Adams National Historical Park, and are administered by the National Park Service. They are open for guided tours.
- Peacefield, the major Adams house in the national park
- List of National Historic Landmarks in Massachusetts
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Quincy, Massachusetts
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- "John Adams Birthplace". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-11-16.
- Polly M. Rettig and Charles E. Shedd, Jr. (March 5, 1975) National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: John Adams birthplace, National Park Service and Accompanying 2 photos, exterior, from 1974.