Two days before the birthday of Deb, Sarah, and Garfield the cat.
Deb headed out to work early for an important work meeting. Rebecca went to work. Chris and Ed drove 30 miles to Quincy, MA to visit the Adams National Historical Park. This is the home of John Adams and John Quincy Adams and of later Adams’ generations.
Quincy is also the hometown of the Howard Johnson restaurants/hotels and the original Dunkin Donut store.
We found the visitor center in downtown Quincy despite two directional signs being blocked by tree leaves and no signage about the free parking for the center that was located in the neighboring parking garage. Once there, the staff was quite helpful and we were just in time for the next two hour tour.
A shuttle bus takes you from the visitor center to the two sites. The first is at the birthplaces, two homes next to each other. The homes are on the original sites and are estimated to contain 60% original structure and 40% replacement material.
John Adams was on his way to becoming a wealthy man through his legal practice when he gave it all up to devote his career to public service from pre-revolution to President. It was here that he drafted the Massachusetts Constitution. He spent many of his years away from Abigail traveling as diplomat for the fledging U.S. plus his time in Philadelphia.
The second home site is about two miles away. After John Adams was defeated for a second term, he and Abigail moved to this larger home named Peace Field, which was expanded by later generations. The two presidents never ended up wealthy men but one of John Quincy’s sons married into wealth and the second home is more elaborate.
The two Adams’ were the only two of the first 12 U.S. Presidents to not own slaves. John Quincy also served only one term but was sent back to D.C. as a U.S. Congressman for 17 years. He suffered a stroke on the floor of Congress and died two days later.
Like most families, the Adams’ had their share of heartbreak through the generations but also had an unusually high number of educated and influential descendants. The sites commemorate their impact on U.S. history.
We returned to Deb and Rebecca’s place before the later afternoon thunderstorm pelted the area. There was a bright side. We went out for Deb’s birthday and there was a nice rainbow outside the window of the restaurant. Chris spotted it and pointed it out to us. Soon everyone in the restaurant seemed to be at a window and taking out their cameras for a shot. A pleasant way to end the trip. Tomorrow we fly home.
Ed and Chris June 17th 10 pm