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William Hickling Prescott House

The upstair sitting room at Gibson House

William Hickling Prescott House Review

Now a modest but engaging house museum, this 1808 Federal structure was designed by Asher Benjamin, and was the home of noted historian William Hickling Prescott from 1845 to 1859. Today, in addition to the museum, it's the headquarters for the Massachusetts Society of Colonial Dames of America, which offers tours. Some rooms are furnished with period furniture, including the former study with Prescott's desk and "noctograph," which helped the nearly blind scholar write. (He was blinded in one eye by a flying crust of bread during a food fight at Harvard.) Ask about Prescott's secret staircase, which allowed him to escape into his study when bored by guests in the parlor. The house also has a fine costume collection.

Updated: 11-12-2013

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