Welcome to Quincy
Quincy (pronounced /kwɪnzi/) is a city in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. Its nicknames are “City of Presidents”, “City of Legends”, and “Birthplace of the American Dream”. As a major part of Metropolitan Boston, Quincy is a member of Boston’s Inner Core Committee for the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). Its population in 2010 was 92,271, making it the 8th largest city in the state.
Quincy is named for Colonel John Quincy, maternal grandfather of Abigail Adams and after whom John Quincy Adams was also named. The name of the city is pronounced KWIN-zee, following the family’s pronunciation, though it is often mispronounced outside the region as KWIN-see. Quincy is the birthplace of former U.S. Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, as well as statesman John Hancock, fourth and longest serving President of the Continental Congress.
Quincy was first incorporated as part of Dorchester in 1630, and was briefly annexed by Boston in 1634. The area was reorganized as Braintree in 1640, bordered along the coast of Massachusetts Bay by Dorchester to the north and Weymouth to the east. Beginning in 1708, the modern border of Quincy first took shape as the North Precinct of Braintree. Following the American Revolution, Quincy was officially incorporated as a separate town named for John Quincy in 1792, and was made a city in 1888.
Among the city’s several firsts was the Granite Railway, the first commercial railroad in the United States. It was constructed in 1826 to carry granite from a Quincy quarry to the Neponset River in Milton so that the stone could then be taken by boat to erect the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown, Massachusetts. Quincy granite became famous throughout the nation, and stonecutting became the city’s principal economic activity.
In the 1870s, the city gave its name to the Quincy Method, an influential approach to education developed by Francis W. Parker while he served as Quincy’s superintendent of schools. Parker, an early proponent of progressive education, put his ideas into practice in the city’s underperforming schools; four years later, a state survey found that Quincy’s students were excelling.
Quincy was additionally important as a shipbuilding center. Sailing ships were built in Quincy for many years, including the only seven-masted schooner ever built, Thomas W. Lawson. The Fore River area became a shipbuilding center in the 1880s; founded by Thomas A. Watson, who became wealthy as assistant to Alexander Graham Bell in developing the telephone, many famous warships were built at the Fore River Shipyard.
The Howard Johnson’s and Dunkin Donuts restaurant chains were both founded in Quincy. Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys got its start in the city’s Wollaston neighborhood in 1996. Quincy is also home to the United States’ longest running Flag Day parade, a tradition that began in 1952 under Richard Koch, a former director of Parks and Recreation, who started the “Koch Club” sports organization for kids and had an annual parade with flags.
Quincy shares borders with Boston to the north (separated by the Neponset River), Milton to the west, Randolph and Braintree to the south, and Weymouth (separated by the Fore River) and Hull (maritime border between Quincy Bay and Hingham Bay) to the east. Historically, before incorporation when it was called “Mount Wollaston” and later as the “North Precinct” of Braintree, Quincy roughly began at the Neponset River in the north and ended at the Fore River in the south.
Quincy Bay, within city limits to the northeast, is part of Boston Harbor and Massachusetts Bay. There are several beaches in Quincy, including Wollaston Beach along Quincy Shore Drive. Located on the western shore of Quincy Bay, Wollaston Beach is the largest Boston Harbor beach. Quincy’s territory includes Hangman Island, Moon Island (restricted access, and all land is owned by the City of Boston), Nut Island (now a peninsula), and Raccoon Island in the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 26.9 square miles (70 km2), of which 16.8 square miles (44 km2) are land and 10.1 square miles (26 km2) are water. The total area is 37.60% water.