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North of Boston/Merrimack Valley welcome guests to historic homes

290 Argilla Road Ipswich, MA, 01938 Phone: 978-356-4351

Grand summer estate of Richard T. Crane Jr., this Stuart style mansion is now a National Historic Landmark. It is set atop the mile-long rolling lawn with a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean. Castle Hill hosts tours of the Great House, a July 4th celebration, concerts, and nature programs.
Hours: Grounds: year-round, daily, 8 a.m. to sunset; tours May through October.
Admission: Grounds, $5-$8 per car; The Great House, adults, $12; children, free.

61 Market Street, Unit 1C Lowell, MA, 01852 Phone: 978-459-6150

America started here.

The number and importance of preserved and centuries old homes, sites and cultural attractions in the region - many on the National Historic Register - is staggering. Living history finds you around every corner. From Lexington to Lowell, trace the earliest beginnings of America. Colonial treasures from the revolutionary era start with the Lexington Battle Green and the oldest war memorial in the country and extend to Minute Man Park and the old North Bridge from which the shot heard round the world was fired. Dotting the landscape are the households, gardens and final resting places of American patriots, founding families and literary giants. Discover secret sites in basements, attics, and crawl spaces in walls and fireplaces along the underground railroad.

Gropius House (1938)

68 Baker Bridge Road Lincoln, MA, 01773 Phone: 781-259-8098

Walter Gropius, founder of the German design the Bauhaus, was among the most influential architects of the 20th century. He also taught architecture at Harvard University in Cambridge. Modest in scale, the house was a revolutionary design. It combined traditional New England wood, brick, and fieldstone with materials rarely used in building homes, including glass block, acoustical plaster and chrome. The house and its surrounding landscape were planned for maximum efficiency and simplicity of design. Property of Historic New England.
Hours: June 1 - October 15, Wednesday-Sunday; October 16 - May 31, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tours on the hour. Admission is charged.
Admission: Adults, $15; seniors, $12; students, $8.
Information: www.historicnewengland.org

Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site

244 Central Street Saugus, MA Phone: 617-233-0050

Founded in 1646, the site features the original blacksmith's shop and ironworker's home. The blast furnace and forge are reconstructed to be historically accurate.
Hours: April 1-October 31, daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; November-March 31, closed.
Admission: Free.
Information: www.nps.gov/sair/

Seamen's Bethel

15 Johnny Cake Hill New Bedford, MA Phone: 508-992-3295

This location was built in 1830 and is supposed to have been described in Herman Melville's Moby Dick.
Hours: Memorial Day through Columbus Day, daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Free.
Information: portsociety.org

Fort Sewall

Front Street, Route 114 Marblehead, MA Phone:

This historic fort offers a scenic view of Marblehead Harbor. The headland, which is a public parkland, hosts annual Revolutionary War re-enactment encampments and other public programs.
Hours: Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset/
Information: http://essexheritage.org/sites/fort_sewall.shtml.

Codman Estate (1740)

34 Codman Road Lincoln, MA, 01773 Phone: 617-994-6690

Tis country seat was a powerful force in the lives of five generations of the Codman family. Today, the interiors are richly furnished with portraits, memorabilia, and art works collected in Europe, showing the decorative schemes of every era, including those of interior designer Ogden Codman Jr. The grounds feature a hidden turn-of-the-century Italian garden with perennial beds, statuary, and a reflecting pool. Property of Historic New England.
Hours: June 1-October 15, second and fourth Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: $2.50-$5.
Information: http://bit.ly/UV0hBk.

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm (1690)

5 Little’s Lane Newbury, MA, 01951 Phone: 978-462-2634

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm welcomes kids and families and offers fun and educational activities for everyone. The site has a 17th-century manor house that offered a country home for wealthy Newburyport businessmen. Also on the site are nature trails and a picnic spot in maple groves. Nature walks, family events, and lectures are presented year-round. Museum shop. A National Historic Landmark.
Hours: June 1 to October 15, Thursday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Grounds open year round, sunrise to sunset.
Admission: $4-$5.
Information: http://bit.ly/mOJyOW.

Lowell National Historical Park

246 Market Street Lowell, MA Phone: 508-970-5000

In the 19th century, the city of Lowell was a thriving center of the industrial revolution. This park allows visitors to experience this history, complete with a restored mill, multi-media exhibits, walking tours and summertime barge and trolley rides in the canal. Park properties include the Visitor Center, 246 Market Street; the Mill Girls and Immigrants Exhibit, 40 French Street; the Boott Cotton Mills Museum, 115 John Street (admission is charged); the Moody Street Feeder Gatehouse, Merrimack and Dutton streets; and the Norther Canal Walkway, adjacent to 175 Aiken St. and/or Mammoth Road/School Street Bridge
Hours: Hours vary by location and by season. Check museum website for hours of operation.
Admission to Boott Cotton Mills Museum: Adults, $6; youth age 6-16 and students, $3; senior discount; children age 5 and younger, free.
Information: www.nps.gov/lowe/

Rocky Hill Meetinghouse

4 Old Portsmouth Road Amesbury, MA, 01913 Phone: 978-462-2634

This property preserves an excellent example of an 18th-century meeting house, particularly its interior. Rocky Hill Meeting House was located along the only road that crossed the Powow River (via ferry) and led to the Salisbury Point and thereafter to Portsmouth. George Washington stopped here for a meet-and-greet on a journey in 1789. A Historic New England property.
Hours: Open only a few days every year; call of check website for open dates.
Admission: Free.
Information: http://bit.ly/VnNesi

Witch House

310 1/2 Essex Street Salem, MA Phone: 508-744-8815

This historic house was the home of a judge who presided over the witchcraft trials.
Hours: Open seasonally. Call ahead or check website for hours.
Admission: Self guided house tours, Adult, $8.25; seniors, $6.25; children age 6-14, $4.25. Prices are $2 higher for guided tours.
Information: www.witchhouse.info.

Cogswell's Grant (1728)

60 Spring Street Essex, MA Phone: 978-768-3632

This 18th-century farmhouse, summer home of collectors Bertram and Nina Fletcher Little, houses their celebrated collection of American folk art, which they assembled over a period of nearly 60 years. Paintings, dressers full of redware, painted furniture, scrimshaw, wood carvings, decoys, sculptures, hooked rugs and other textiles are showcased throughout. Museum shop. A National Historic Landmark. Property of Historic New England.
Hours: Open June 1-October 15, Wednesday-Sunday,11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Fee charged. Consult website or call ahead.
Information: http://bit.ly/VjTnJC.

Buckman Tavern

1 Bedford Street Lexington, MA Phone: 781–862–5598

In this old lodging, built 1710, minutemen gathered early on April 19, 1775, preparing to fight an approching British expedition in Lexington. This headquarters of the minutemen also was one of Lexington’s busiest 18th-century taverns. Tours are available seasonally. Property includes Buckman Tavern, Hancock-Clarke House, and Munroe Tavern.
Hours: Open daily April through Thanksgiving weekend, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission: For all houses on the property, adults, $12; youth age 5-16, $8; for one house, adults, $7; children, $5.
Information: http://lhsoc.weebly.com/buckman-tavern.html

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

Bedford Street (Route 62) near Monument Street Concord, MA Phone: 978-318-3233

A beautiful garden cemetery. Buried here are the Alcott sisters, Ralph Waldo Emerson, artist Daniel Chester French, Nathaniel Hawthorne and William David Thoreau.
Hours: Daylight hours.
Admission: Free.
Information: http://bit.ly/10vCCYH

Phillips House (1821)

34 Chestnut Street Salem, MA, 01970 Phone: 508-744-0440

In 1821, construction of this Federal-style mansion began on Salem's fashionable Chestnut Street as the home of Captain Nathaniel West. The housse contains a family collection that spans five generations and blossomed during Salem's Great Age of Sail. Property of Historic New England.
Hours: June-October, Tuesday-Sunday; November-May, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tours every half hour. Closed most major holidays. Visit the Carriage House for a self-guided tour, available late April through mid-November.
Admission: Adults, $5; seniors, $4; student, $2.50.
Information: http://bit.ly/l59m93

Orchard House

399 Lexington Road Concord, MA Phone: 978-369-4118

In this 19th century home, Louisa May Alcott lived and wrote Little Women. Tours are offered.
Hours: November 1-March 31, Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sunday, 1-4:30 p.m.; April 1-October 31, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sunday, 1-4:30 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $9; seniors age 62 and older and college Students, $8; youths ages 6-17, $5.
Information: www.louisamayalcott.org.

Salem Heritage Trail

This self-guided walking tour highlights Salem's important and historic contribution to American history. Sites include: House of the Seven Gables, the Peabody Essex Museum, Ropes Mansion (1727), the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, the Salem Witch Museum, Stephen Phillips Memorial Trust House, Witch Dungeon Museum, the Witch House.
Information: http://www.salemweb.com/guide/tour/

174 Liberty Street Concord, MA Phone: 508-369-6993

The starting point for the American Revolution happened here. Visitors will enjoy tours, exhibits and talks. Sites include the Minute Man statue and the North Bridge, site of the first shot fired in the Revolution.
Hours: The grounds are open year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Parking lot gates close at sunset. North Bridge visitor Center, 174 Liberty Street, Concord, is open daily. Winter hours, from late November to March 30, are 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; regular hours, from April 1 to late November, are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Minute Man Visitor Center, 250 North Great Road, Lincoln, is open April 1 through late November. Hartwell Tavern opens in late May; closes in winter.
Admission: free.

Coffin House (1678)

14 High Road Newburyport, MA, 01951 Phone: 978-462-2634

The Coffin family lived in this house for more than 300 years; the dwelling is a marvelous display of home life in rural New England. The building originated as a simple residence in the post-medieval style. Tristram Coffin and his family lived in three rooms, and their few possessions and furnishings are on display here.
Hours: June 1-October 15, first and third Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: $2.50-$5.
Information: http://bit.ly/VWrnJB

Longfellow's Wayside Inn

72 Wayside Inn Road (Route 20) Sudbury, MA Phone: 978-443-1776

The Inn that inspired Longfellow's Tales of a Wayside Inn. It has been restored to its 18th century original appearance. The Inn has three rooms with exhibits of objects pertaining to colonial life in a rural farming community and artifacts pertaining to the family who operated the inn and tavern from 1716 to 1861.
Hours: daily, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; guided tours also are offered.
Information: www.wayside.org.

Concord Museum

Cambridge Turnpike at Lexington Road Concord, MA, 01742 Phone: 978-369-9763

Exploring historic Concord? Begin at the Concord Museum!

Concord’s remarkable past is brought to life through artifacts from an outstanding collection, self-touring galleries, period rooms, audios and hands-on activities. Highlights include the Exploring Concord film and engaging Why Concord? history galleries; a nationally-significant collection of Concord-made clocks, silver and furniture; Revolutionary War artifacts including the famous Revere lantern; American literary treasures in the Thoreau Gallery and the study of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great spokesman for individualism and self-reliance. A visit to the Concord Museum provides an inspiring introduction for an exploration of this famous community. Open daily year round.

161 Washington Street Marblehead, MA, 01945 Phone: 617-631-1069

Beauty and history

This 1768 Colonial Georgian mansion was built for a wealthy merchant and ship owner, and it exists now exactly as it did then. The house has a good assortment of early American furniture, including examples by Boston, Salem and Marblehead cabinet makers. Decorative arts from the 18th and 19th centuries include ceramics, silver, mirrors, clocks, and textiles. The site also features exhibits of military and maritime items, antique children’s toys and furnishings.
Hours: June through October, Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Fee charged.
Information: marbleheadmuseum.org/LeeMansion.htm

Mary Baker Eddy House

23 Paradise Road Swampscott, MA Phone: 781-599-1853

Home where Mary Baker Eddy formulated her ideas, which later led to the founding of the Christian Science Church.
Hours: May 1-October 31; Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday 1-4 p.m.
Admission: Suggested donation of $5; children under age 12 admitted for free.
Information: http://bit.ly/MIeD8H

Schooner Ernestina

State Pier New Bedford, MA Phone: 508-992-4900

This schooner was built in 1894, and was used as a vessel for immigrants and exploration of the arctic. The ship now offers sails and educational programs.
Information: www.ernestina.org

Abbott Hall (Marblehead City Hall)

188 Washington Street Marblehead, MA Phone: 781-631-0000

This Victorian town hall is the setting for one of the most recognized paintings in America: The Spirit of '76.
Hours: Normal business hours.
Information: www.marblehead.org/

Munroe Tavern

1332 Massachusetts Avenue Lexington, MA Phone: 617-674-9238

On April 19, 1775 -- the day the American Revolution began, this tavern was the headquarters for General Earl Percy. Tours are conducted. Property includes Buckman Tavern, Hancock-Clarke House, and Munroe Tavern.
Hours: Open daily, Memorial day-October 28; open weekends March 31 through Memorial Day; noon-4 p.m. with tours hourly.
Admission: For all houses on the property, adults, $12; youth age 5-16, $8; for one house, adults, $7; children, $5.
Information: http://lhsoc.weebly.com/munroe-tavern.html.

Beauport, Sleeper-McCann House

75 Eastern Point Blvd. Gloucester, MA, 01930 Phone: 978-283-0800

Beauport is a labyrinth of rooms decorated like stage sets, each with a different historical theme. You will find a sea captain’s room, with ship’s log and telescope at the ready, an early American kitchen, and a white dining room overlooking Gloucester Harbor. Folk art, colored glass, and curiosities fill the house. Programs include tea on the terrace and specialty tours. Museum shop. A National Historic Landmark. Property of Historic New England.
Hours: June 1-October 15, Tuesday - Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tours on the hour.
Admission: Adults, $10; seniors, $9; students, $5.
Information: http://bit.ly/pjieG3

The Wayside

455 Lexington Road Concord, MA Phone: 978-369-6993

Built in the 19th century this home had some famous residents: The Alcotts, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Margaret Sidney. The house is part of the Minute Man National Historic Park.
Hours: The Wayside will remain closed through 2013 for repairs.
Information: http://1.usa.gov/sTLycW

House of the Seven Gables

115 Derby Street Salem, MA Phone: 978-744-0991

The House of the Seven Gables was built by a Salem sea captain and lived in by three generations of his family before it was sold in 1782 to Samuel Ingersoll. His daughter was a cousin of the author Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Hawthorne’s visits to the house are credited with inspiring his 1851 novel, “The House of the Seven Gables.” The Gardens at The House of the Seven Gables replicate Colonial era plants and garden uses. Visitors to the house may take a guided tour of the mansion, visit to Nathaniel Hawthorne's birth house (which was moved to this property), Kid's Cove, three-season gardens and a unique Museum Store. Tours offered daily.
Hours: Open daily, all year, except the first two weeks of January. Hours vary by season. See hours of operation.

1 Jackson Street Lawrence, MA Phone: 508-794-1655

Park describes the history of this early industrial city and its immigrant workers

At this living history site, visitors can see the mills and boarding houses of one of the country's first planned industrial cities. Interactive exhibits in a genuine and a restored mill workers’ boarding house describe lives of generations of immigrant mill workers, along with the story of the Great Strike of 1912, a major piece of this country’s labor history. The Bread and Roses Festival on Labor Day is an annual highlight. Guided tours are offered.
See full description of Lawrence Heritage State Park

Stonehurst, The Robert Treat Paine Estate

100 Robert Treat Paine Drive Waltham, MA, 02452 Phone: 781-314-3290

Designed by Henry Hobson Richardson and Frederick Law Olmsted, Stonehurst is the only museum devoted to these two pioneering figures in American architectural and landscape history. In addition to early modern interiors that presage those of Frank Lloyd Wright, visitors can enjoy the Olmsted-designed grounds and woodland trails.
Hours: Grounds open year-round sunrise to sunset.
Admission: General admission, $3; guided tours: adults, $7; seniors and students, $5; children, free.
Information: www.stonehurstwaltham.org.

Old Manse

269 Monument Street Concord, MA, 01742 Phone: 978-369-3909

Overlooking the North Bridge, this National Historic Landmark was built in 1770 by the Rev. William Emerson. His grandson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, drafted his essay "Nature" while living here. Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne lived here from 1842 to 1845. The house contains 200 years of family furnishings.
Hours: Grounds: Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Walk-in tours offered May 29-October 31, daily except Monday, noon-4 p.m.; November and December, Saturday and Sunday, noon-4 p.m. Closed to walk-in tours from January 1 to mid-February. Tours by appointment can be booked ahead any time.
Admission: Grounds open for free. Tour fee is $5-$8.
Information: http://bit.ly/1atTcL

Stevens-Coolidge Place

139 Andover Street North Andover, MA, 01845 Phone: 978-682-3580

The house’s collections include Chinese porcelain and other Asian artifacts, American furniture, and American and European decorative arts. Landscape includes a perennial garden, a kitchen and cut flower garden, a rose garden, a French potager garden with a unique brick serpentine wall, and a greenhouse complex.
Hours: Gardens are open year-round, daily, 8 a/m/ to sunset. Gardens are most vibrant mid-June though September. House tours are currently not available.
Admission: Free.
Information: http://bit.ly/2WBhL.

Gore Place

52 Gore Street Waltham, MA Phone: 617-894-2798

Gore Place is the early 1800s estate of Massachusetts Governor Christopher Gore. The mansion has been called the Monticello of the North and architectural historians consider it to be the most significant Federal period mansion in New England. The mansion and its farm are available for guided tours year-round. A calendar of events includes the April Sheepshearing Festival and the summer music series, Concerts in the Carriage House.
Hours: The mansion is shown by guided tour only, Monday through Friday at 1 p.m. and Saturdays at noon, 1, 2 & 3 p,m.
Admission: Adults, $12; children age 5-12, $6.
Information: www.goreplace.org.

Pioneer Village: Salem in 1630

Forest River Park, Shore Avenue Salem, MA Phone: 508-745-0525

Visitors will enjoy this restored Puritan settlement, complete with costumed guides. The village, on three acres, contains various structures: dugouts, wigwams, thatched roof cottages, and the Governor's Faire House. Culinary and medicinal gardens and a blacksmith shop demonstrate 17th-century colonial life.
Hours: Consult village website.
Admission: Adults, $6; students and seniors, $5; children under age 6, free.
Information: http://www.pioneervillagesalem.com/

53 South Main Street Ipswich, MA, 01938 Phone: 978-356-2811

The house was built in the 1650s and moved to its present site in the 1920s. With more than 60 authentic Colonial flowers and herbs, the garden in front of the Whipple House represents a traditional housewife’s garden of the 17th century. The plantings are made up mostly of herbs that would be used in cooking and for medicinal purposes.
Consult Ipswich Museum for visiting opportunities.