NEMA Museums New England

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Museum Profile

Pierce House

Location and directions 24 Oakton Avenue, Dorchester, MA 02122

Pierce House is one of the last surviving examples of seventeenth-century architecture in the city of Boston. Lived in by ten generations of one family, the house documents the building practices and tastes of the Pierces over three centuries. At different times, family members expanded and adapted their house to meet demands for space, function, comfort, and privacy.

The history of the Pierce family highlights important aspects of social history, community history, and New England history. It tells the compelling story of a middling New England family over the course of three hundred and fifty years as they worked hard to provide for themselves and their children. The Pierce family took part in both local and national events; during the American Revolution, Colonel Samuel Pierce participated in the fortification of Dorchester Heights.

Architectural viewports and special lighting highlight many of the rare surviving seventeenth-century features. Of particular interest are beautifully chamfered framing members and a nearly complete exterior wall of original riven clapboards that was preserved by the addition of a lean-to.