Quincy is a city in Massachusetts, particularly in Norfolk County. The city, which is regarded as the “City of Presidents,” is home to John Adams and John Quincy Adams—former presidents of the United States. John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, and the first signer of the Declaration of Independence and, also spent his childhood days in the city.

The first established settlement in town was recorded in 1625. Quincy became a section of Boston and Dorchester for a few years before it became Braintree’s north precinct in 1640. It separated with Braintree in 1972 and was named to commemorate Colonel John Quincy. In 1888, Quincy became a formal city.

Quincy became the center of a developing granite industry for more than a century. The first commercial railroad in the entire country and the Granite Railway can be found in the city. Creating ships also became an integral part of the city’s growing economy. Dunkin’ Donuts and Howard Johnson’s were both established in the 20th century.

Colonial Period to The Revolution

Moswetuset Hummock was initially settled in by the Massachusett sachem Chickatawbut even before the English colonists came. The hill was located east of the Neponset River, close to what people know now as the Squantum. Commander Myles Standish and Squanto explored the site in 1621. Captain Wollaston set up a post near the Quincy Bay, where they found that the place was ideal for farming. They called the settlement “Mount Wollaston” after their leader. At present, the Wollaston neighborhood has kept its name.

After Captain Wollaston left, Thomas Morton assumed leadership of the post. Morton opposed the Plymouth settlement, whom he accused of tarnishing the colony, drunkenness, and immorality with Indian women. He was later sent back to England but got arrested by the Puritans the following year.

In 1630, the area was incorporated as part of Dorchester. After three years, it was annexed by Boston. In 1640, the area became Braintree with borders to the north of Weymouth and along the coast of Massachusetts Bay.


In 1792, after the American Revolution, Quincy was formally incorporated as an independent town. The establishment of the Old Colony Railroad in 1845 was marked as the beginning of suburbanization in the city. As the economy grew, the population expanded by 50 percent in the 1920s.

One of the most historical firsts in the city was the creation of the Granite Railway in 1826. It was built to carry granite from a quarry in Quincy to Milton. The town was known for its granite industry, and stonecutting became one of its key economic drivers. The town was also the venue of the John Winthrop Jr. Iron Furnace Site—the nation’s first iron furnace.

For many years, ships were built in the city, including “Thomas W. Lawson,” the only seven-masted schooner ever created. Apart from being an important shipbuilding center, Quincy was also integral in the history of aviation. The world’s pioneer airports were located in the Squantum section of Quincy.

The Dunkin’ Donuts and Howard Johnson’s were both established in Quincy. In 1996, Dropkick Murphys began its career in the city. Quincy also hosts the longest-running Flag Day parade, which began in 1952.

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