Quincy Homestead

The Dorothy Quincy Homestead (pronounced /ˈkwɪnzi/) is a US National Historic Landmark in Quincy, Massachusetts. It was originally established by Edmund Quincy in 1686 as an extensive property upon which were built multiple homes. Today, the homestead consists of the Dorothy Quincy House, which has been preserved as a museum and is open seasonally to the public.


The original property covered approximately 200 acres (81 ha) extending from its present location to Quincy Bay and included the Dorothy Quincy House (1686), the Josiah Quincy House (1770), and the Josiah Quincy Mansion (1848). The Josiah Quincy Mansion, located on the property purchased by the Eastern Nazarene College in 1919, was torn down in 1969.

The Quincy family was one of the leading families of Massachusetts in from the 17th century to the 19th century. Descendants included several prominent Edmund Quincys and Josiah Quincys, and John Quincy Adams by virtue of his mother Abigail. They settled in what is now Quincy in the 1630s. The present Homestead was built starting by Edmund Quincy II. It became a meeting place for many patriots such as John Adams, Colonel John Quincy, and John Hancock. Furthermore, it was the childhood home of the first First Lady of Massachusetts, Dorothy Quincy Hancock Scott, wife of John Hancock.


Representing the evolution of over 320 years of American architecture, the Dorothy Quincy House combines Colonial, Georgian and Victorian design. It is one of the rare Massachusetts examples in which the elements of a 17th-century building are still clearly visible although surrounded by later styles. In 2005 the Quincy Homestead was designated as a National Historic Landmark.

The Homestead is owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and operated by The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in a public-private partnership. In 1904, when the property was threatened by encroaching urban development, a citizen drive was established to save the mansion. Led by the Massachusetts Colonial Dames and Charles Francis Adams, Jr., the grandson of President John Quincy Adams, Quincy residents raised funds to assist the Dames in purchasing the estate and creating a distinctive house museum. Looking to the long-term protection and presentation of the property, the Colonial Dames then negotiated a sale-leaseback agreement with the Commonwealth, whereby the Commonwealth accepted responsibility for capital improvements and the exterior preservation of the house, and the Dames agreed to maintain the interior of the home, to beautify it with period furniture and decorative arts, and to interpret its history to the public. This relationship has continued for over a century.

Since 2005, the Dorothy Quincy Homestead has undergone a comprehensive exterior renovation to restore this stately historic building to its former grandeur. The project has included painting the structure, re-glazing the windows, and other major improvements.