Built as a country estate in 1770, Quincy House was originally surrounded by fields and pasture overlooking Quincy Bay. Its architectural details, including a Chinese fretwork balustrade and classical portico, befit the status of the man who built it, the Revolutionary leader Colonel Josiah Quincy. For generations, the Quincys, like the Adamses, to whom they were related, played important roles in the social and political life of Massachusetts. The family produced three mayors of Boston and a president of Harvard. Much of the historical information pertaining to the house and family was documented in the early 1880s by Eliza Susan Quincy. She kept journals, inventoried the contents of the house, commissioned photographs of the interior, and persuaded relatives to return heirlooms so that the house could become a repository of Quincy family history.
The house offers tours and educational programs.