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Boston Sights

William Hickling Prescott House

  • 55 Beacon St. Map It
  • Beacon Hill
  • House/Mansion/Villa

Updated 11/12/2013

Fodor's 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.

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Sight Information


55 Beacon St., Boston, Massachusetts, 02108, United States

Map It



Sight Details:

  • $7
  • Tours June–Aug., Wed., Thurs., and Sat. noon–4 and Sept.–May, Thurs. and Sat. noon–4

Updated 11/12/2013


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