John Adams Birthplace, Quincy, Massachusetts (3)

The birthplace of President John Adams at 133 Franklin Street in Quincy, on October 15, 1929. Image courtesy of the Boston Public Library; photographed by Leon Abdalian.

The scene in 2019:

As with the photo in the previous post, the first one here was taken in October 1929 by Leon Abdalian, an amateur photographer whose works included a number of images of historic landmarks around the Boston area. He immigrated to the United States from Armenia as a child in 1896, and for many years he worked as a conductor for the Boston Elevated Railway, while also becoming an accomplished photographer. Assuming the date is correct, he took this photograph five days after the one in the previous post, and it features a similar angle of the John Adams birthplace, except this one is shown directly facing the front of the house, and without any costumed interpreters standing out front. Incidentally, this photo was taken exactly two weeks before “Black Tuesday,” the date of the stock market crash that would lead to the Great Depression.

By the time the first photo was taken, the house was already more than 200 years old. It was built in 1722, and John Adams was born here in 1735. It remained in his family until 1940, when it was sold to the city of Quincy, along with the neighboring John Quincy Adams birthplace. Both houses are now owned by the National Park Service, and they comprise part of the Adams National Historical Park, which also includes the Peacefield mansion elsewhere in Quincy. Not much has changed here with this house except for the exterior color. It was painted in the first photo, but now has unpainted clapboards, which likely better reflects the historic appearance of the house.

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