Adams National Historical Park

Adams National Historical Park

Sights to See


The John Adams and John Quincy Adams Birthplaces are the oldest presidential birthplaces in the United States. In 1735, John Adams was born in the "salt box" house located only 75 feet away from the birthplace of his son John Quincy Adams. In the John Quincy Adams Birthplace, young John and his bride Abigail started their family and the future President launched his career in politics and law. John Adams maintained his law office in the house and it was here that he, Samuel Adams and James Bowdoin wrote the Massachusetts Constitution. This document, still in use today, greatly influenced development of the United States Constitution.

The Old House, built in 1731, became the residence of the Adams family for four generations from 1788 to 1927. It was home to Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams; First Ladies Abigail and Louisa Catherine Adams; Civil War Minister to Great Britain Charles Francis Adams; and literary historians Henry and Brooks Adams. The vast collection of original artifacts inside the Old House greatly assists the park's interpretive staff to relate the Adams family's legacy of service to their nation. Adjacent to the house is the Stone Library, built in 1873, it contains more than 14,000 books that belonged to the Adamses. Following a tour, you may wish to stroll the Old House grounds which include a historic orchard and an 18th-century style formal garden, containing thousands of annual and perennial flowers.

The Stone Library, is home to over 14,000 volumes. John Quincy Adams had requested in his will that a fireproof structure be constructed separate from the house for his books and papers. In 1870, a medieval style Stone Library was designed, which was a true departure from the colonial style of architecture maintained by the first two generations and continued in the servants' wing. This was the first of many alterations upon the landscape which reflected the elegant taste and style of the third generation.