Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: our highlight of Day Four was time spent in the family crypt of the second and sixth Presidents of the United States, John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams, along with their respective wives. I’d mentioned their crypt was in the basement of the United First Parish Church in Quincy, MA.
This, then, is that church. The body proper dates back to 1639, but the current building was erected in 1828, funded by President Adams himself.
One of the perks of being a regular contributor to churches back in the day: assigned pews. Note the tiny sign cautioning anyone not named Adams to step off. As with 99% of all modern church attendees, you’ll note they refrained from calling dibs on front-row seats.
United First Parish remains active to this day, officially as a Unitarian Universalist congregation. No services on weekday mornings, obviously.
The view from the podium is slightly intimidating if you role-play to yourself, “The leader of the free world is expecting sage spiritual wisdom from me every single week of your career. Where do I even begin? And if he doesn’t like the sermon, does he have the power to revoke my 501(c)(3) status?”
Outside stands a statue of Abigail Adams and li’l John Quincy, decades before he would follow in his father’s footsteps.
In addition to the aforementioned crypt, the church basement contains a selection of 18th-century memorabilia. If you squint and bring a magnifying glass, you can decipher the calligraphy used in these baptism records, whose inductees include President Adams and famous Declaration signer John Hancock.
This weather vane was once perched atop the church, and still bears authentic artillery damage as a reminder that the 18th century wasn’t entirely an era of peace and religious transformation.
To be continued!
[Link enclosed here to handy checklist for previous and future chapters, and for our complete road trip history to date. Thanks for reading!]