January 27: Ayer Mansion Tour and Wine and Cheese Reception

Updated November 11: Nearly half the spots have been taken. A private tour of Boston’s Ayer Mansion with the preservation expert leading their current effort, and a wine and cheese reception. Here’s how the organization describes the mansion: “[A] rare surviving example of the residential work of designer Louis Comfort Tiffany. . . . The Ayer[…]

December 2: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

November 11 update: There are three spots left, and these may have been taken by the time you read this. If you want to go, double-check your calendar—there are no refunds for this event—and then register if there’s still space. Take a private tour of the spectacular Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum before it opens to the public[…]

November 11: The Edmund Fowle House

Thanks to Marilynne Roach and the folks at the Watertown Historical Society, we have an opportunity to take a private tour of the Edmund Fowle House. The Fowle House was the headquarters of the executive branch of the Massachusetts legislature for a year and a half at the beginning of the Revolution when Watertown was the de facto[…]

Planning 2018 monthly “behind the scenes” outings

November 10: Updated months as events were finalized. Nearly every month we head to a historic site for a one-of-a-kind experience designed exclusively for people who love history.  Our goal is to raise awareness of little-known institutions and their collections and to gain new insights into established institutions. The outings help both the individuals and[…]

The Old Town House in Marblehead, Massachusetts

August 5: The history and architecture of 17th & 18th Century Marblehead

Please join us as we explore historic Marblehead on a morning walk, lunch, a tour of the Lee Mansion, and an afternoon walk. Come for one or more—or all. When and where 9 am to 11 am: Marblehead 17th Century Walking Tour This walk focuses on the early settlement of Marblehead (up to 1715) and includes a discussion[…]

July 22: Tour of the Fairbanks House with the curator

Built in 1637, the Fairbanks House is the oldest wooden structure standing in North America. Eight generations of the Fairbanks family lived in and added onto the house between 1637 and 1904. The museum is still owned and operated by the family today. Largely untouched and unrestored, the house is considered to be a prime example of colonial architecture.[…]

Postponed: Radicals of the Best Sort: Women and Industrialization in Lowell from 1830 to 1860

Updated June 10, 2017: We are moving this to the fall.  Subscribe to the History Camp Boston mailing list to be notified of the new date, and of other special “behind the scenes” events for history lovers. As a followup to his very popular session at History Camp (“Lowell Mills, Industrialization and the Rising of Women[…]

April 22: Tour and Discussion of Royall House and Slave Quarters

In 1739, Isaac Royall, Jr inherited his father’s brick home in Charlestown (now Medford).  Though the house had already been expanded since being built in 1692 on the site of an earlier John Winthrop house, Royall greatly expanded and remodeled it over the years.  Royall was a wealthy slave trader, and he added a large[…]

March 18 – 19: History Camp Weekend

New this year and taking place as part of History Camp Weekend: On Sunday, March 19, special events for History Camp attendees. In addition to the conference on March 18, these additional activities are being programmed by local institutions. Each will have its own ticket, with ticketing and registration handled by each presenting organization. Refer[…]

February 25: Behind the Scenes at the Museum of Russian Icons

Join us at the Museum of Russian Icons, to learn the story of Russia as told through icons and other cultural artifacts Museum Registrar, Laura Garrity-Arquitt, will lead visitors on a guided tour exploring Russian history and culture from early Byzantine influence through the soviet era. Visitors will have the opportunity to view several objects[…]

January 27: Treasures of the Boston City Archives

Update: Photos! Join us at the Boston City Archives, where we will have the opportunity to view a handpicked selection of treasures with Marta Crilly, Archivist for Research and Outreach. Boston City Archives houses more than 35,000 cubic feet of city records, from poll tax records to school newspapers to the city’s legal files.  Their records[…]

Planning monthly outings for 2017

Thanks to the individuals and institutions who have provided unique opportunities every month for our History Camp Boston group.  The events (below) have been very popular, and most are full several weeks in advance.  (If you’re not on the list to receive e-mail notices when registration opens, sign up for the History Camp Boston list.)[…]

December 11: A History Camp holiday celebration at the House of the Seven Gables

This December, join your fellow history nerds in Salem, for a seasonal celebration hosted by the House of the Seven Gables and Salem Historical Society. We’ll meet at the House of the Seven Gables, then start with a walking tour of the Derby Street Historic District, led by the Historical Society.  Derby Street is an[…]

November 5: Edward M Kennedy Institute for the US Senate, election edition

This election season, we’re going behind the scenes at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is dedicated to educating the public about the important role of the Senate in our government, encouraging participatory democracy, invigorating civil discourse, and inspiring the next generation[…]

September 10: Massachusetts Historical Society, a private exhibition tour

Join us for a special tour of the Massachusetts Historical Society and their latest exhibition on September 10. The exhibition, called “Turning Points,”  looks at moments in American history when everything changed or a process was started that changed everything. Fifteen eye witness accounts, personal records, and items that were present at these moments of[…]

August 6: Fort Andrews, a private tour of Boston’s WWI-era harbor defenses

This summer, join us for a historical island getaway.  In the years between the Civil War and the early Cold War, Boston Harbor was ringed with ever more elaborate coastal defenses, the size and complexity of which peaked during World War I.  The chain of forts surrounding Boston Harbor protected not only the city itself, but[…]

June 25: Boston Light, a 300th anniversary lighthouse tour

  Update: Event photos Founded in 1716, Boston Light is America’s oldest light station and today the last manned lighthouse in the Coast Guard system.  Over the years, the lighthouse was celebrated in a poem by young Ben Franklin, thrice burned by Patriot forces, then blown up by the retreating British.  Since being rebuilt in[…]

May 14: Commonwealth Museum, a director’s tour

The Commonwealth Museum is the public face of our state archives.  On this tour, museum director Stephen Kenney will introduce us to the museum’s permanent collection, which traces the development of rights through a series of period galleries. The museum’s permanent collection includes treasures such as the 1629 Massachusetts Bay Colony charter, the 1691 Province of Massachusetts charter ,[…]

February 27: The Gibson House Museum

Updated Saturday, February 27: We had a great tour today.  Pictures below. Private “behind-the-scenes” servants tour of the Gibson House. Thanks to Michelle Coughlin for helping arrange this. From Michelle: The Gibson House Museum is treasured for the story it tells about upper-middle-class life in Boston during the late-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. Its elegant wallpapers, imported[…]

January 27: Tour of private political memorabilia collection

Updated January 27: We had a great evening, thanks to Scott and to his colleagues.  Photos from the evening are below.   With objects dating to 1844, Scott Ferson has the largest collection of displayed American political posters outside the Smithsonian, and he also has an extensive collection of Ted Kennedy memorabilia.  (Scott worked as[…]

November 28: Gore Place Estate, a directors’ tour of a Federal Period jewel

Gore Place is the 1806 country estate of Massachusetts Governor Christopher Gore. Sometimes called “The Monticello of the North,” Gore Place is one of the most significant Federal Period mansions in New England. Gore Place has offered us a tour of the recently relocated and restored 1793 Carriage House while talking about adapting historic buildings for modern use. This would be followed by a tour of their next big project, the restoration of missing staircases and other elements in the kitchen and laundry areas, which would include a visit to a portion of the cellar which is not usually open to the public. Finally, they would take us on a quick walk through of the living quarters that are part of the usual house tour.