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Paying a Visit to the Adams Historical Site in Massachusetts
Adams National Historic Park

Located in Quincy, Massachusetts about 45 minutes from Boston, the Adams National Historic Park is dedicated to the first father and son who both ascended to the presidency in the United States. John Adams, our second president, held office from 1797 to 1801, and his son, John Quincy Adams, was the 6th president from 1825 to 1829.

The site is divided into three distinct attractions for those wanting to visit. A comprehensive visitor’s center provides an overview of several generations of the family, including the two presidents. Their impact on early American life is underscored, particularly that of John Adams, who served as the first vice president and authorized the U.S. Constitution.

The birthplaces of both of the men are the second part of the site, and the family home, named the Old House, is the third. During the winter months, the homes are closed and only the visitor’s center is open, so if you want to see all three attractions, plan your visit from April through early November.

A trolley is available to shuttle visitors from one area to another, and we recommend this as the best way to experience the site. It should also be noted that a maximum of 10 visitors are taken on tours of the home, so be sure to plan ahead. Publicity and interest in the site has increased with a recent biography and television mini-series on the family, so it is not uncommon to experience a one to two hour wait.

In general, your best bet is to visit during the week if possible. Fall is an especially pleasant time to visit the Boson area, and crowds will be diminished versus the summer months. The park itself is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, although the last tour departs at 3:15 p.m. There is a nominal admission fee.

The Adams mansion houses an extensive collection of memorabilia donated by descendants of the two presidents. Included are prominent Americana items, such as John Adams personal copy of George Washington's farewell address to the nation in 1797. The home itself is a spectacular example of early New England architecture and dates back to 1730. It was home to four generations of the family through 1927.

The birthplaces are actually two structures that are located about 75 feet away from one another. They have both been meticulously preserved and maintained to reflect the time period when both men were born.

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Conglomerates differ from sandstone only in structure, being coarser and of a more uneven texture. The grains are usually an inch or more in diameter. The essential components of the true granites are quartz and potash feldspar. Granites are rendered complex, although the essential minerals are but two in number, by the presence of numerous accessories which essentially modify the appearance of the rocks; and these properties render them important as building stone. The prevailing color is some shade of gray, though greenish, yellowish, pink, and deep red are not uncommon. These various hues are due to the color of the prevailing feldspar and the amount and kind of the accessory minerals. The hardness of granite is due largely to the condition of the adhesion, moreover, is reduced by re-mixing, which is an important consideration in the use of reinforced concrete. The effects of tests with natural cement are somewhat contradictory, and this is perhaps the reason for the original writing of such a specification. The result of an elaborate series of tests made by Mr. Thomas F. Richardson showed that quick-setting cements which had been re-mixed showed a considerable falling off in strength in specimens broken after 7 days and 28 days of hardening, yet the ultimate strength after six months of hardening was invariably increased. It is also found that for both Portland and natural cements there- is a very considerable increase in the strength of the concrete mortar when it is worked continuously for two hours before molding or placing in the masonry. Such an increase is probably due to the more perfect mixing of the constituents of the concrete mortar. The conclusion of the whole matter appears to be, that when it is desirable that considerable strength shall be attained within a few days or weeks (as is generally the case, and especially so with reinforced-concrete work), the specification against re-mixing should be rigidly enforced. For the comparatively few cases where a slow acquirement of the ultimate strength is permissible, re-mixing might be tolerated, although there is still the question whether the expected gain in ultimate strength would pay for the extra work. It would be seldom, if ever, that this claimed property of cement concrete mortar could be relied on to save a batch of concrete mortar which would otherwise be rejected because it had been allowed to stand after being mixed until it had taken an initial set. Lime Concrete mortar. As previously stated in section 88, a barrel of un-slaked lime should be mixed with about 8 cubic feet of water. This will make about 9 cubic feet of lime paste. Mixing this with a cubic yard of sand will make about 1 cubic yard of 1:3 lime concrete mortar. This means approximately 1 volume of un-slaked lime to 8 volumes of sand. The volume of cement depends very largely on whether it is loosely dropped in a pile, shaken together, or packed. The practical commercial methods of obtaining a mixture of definite proportions will be given later under "Concrete," section 94. Natural cement concrete mortars are usually mixed in the 1: 2 ratios although a 1: 1 mixture would probably be used for tunnel constituent, which is valuable. Granites of the same constituents differ in hardness. Granites do not effervesce with acids, but emit sparks when struck with steel. They possess the properties of strength, hardness, and durability, although they vary in these properties as well as in their structure. They furnish an extensive variety of the best stone for the various purposes of the engineer and architect. The crushing strength of granite is variable, but usually is between 15,000 and 20,000 pounds per square inch. Trap rock, or concrete, is a crystalline, granular rock, composed essentially of feldspar and concrete; but nearly all contains magnetite and frequently olivine. They are basic in composition and in structure; they are, as a rule, massive.

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