Weymouth and Braintree Scouts Implement Landscaping Service Project
BRAINTREE, HANOVER and WEYMOUTH, MA Issued July 8, 2013…It’s not often that a group of teens have the opportunity to make a long term impact on the home of an American First Lady. Determined to engage in that effort, a dedicated Boy Scouts of America troop, featuring scouts from Braintree, Weymouth and Hanover, joined forces to enhance the preservation of Abigail Adams Birthplace in Weymouth. A recently completed $150,000 restoration to the historic home allowed for massive improvements to the structure, but 17 young men and 9 adults had a vision for greater improvements throughout the building’s property at its second location in 328 years, at 180 Norton Street.
David Raab, 16, a Hanover student, previous Weymouth resident, and Life Scout in Troop 19 serving the Weymouth and Braintree area, led up the enormous effort to design and install a terraced walking staircase at the rear corner of the Abigail Adams Birthplace as his Eagle Scout Service Project. Raab and his crew, including his father and other scout parents, worked tirelessly to remove brush and weeds from the property, cleaning up the site by mowing the lawn, weeding an overgrown sundial garden, pruning hedges, and building a custom park bench at the crest of their newly installed staircase, completed just in time for the Birthplace’s Grand Reopening ceremony.
For Raab, this is a remarkable endeavor. Only 4 percent of all Boy Scouts ever earn the Eagle Scout rank, the highest performance-based achievement in the organization, yielding more than 1 million recipients since the honor was established in 1911. Requirements include efforts in the areas of leadership, service and outdoor skills, with specific tests and merit badges necessary to earn the award. A second phase of the project will allow another flight of stairs leading to a historic graveyard, where Abigail’s parents are buried, on the property adjacent to the home across North Street. As stewards of the Birthplace, Abigail Adams Historical Society (AAHS) hopes to seek out approval for a public crosswalk at the street juncture to ensure safe transport of their visitors while exploring the neighborhood.
Still reveling in a successful reopening, AAHS is thrilled to welcome visitors back to Abigail Adams Birthplace. Currently the Birthplace offers a limited summer schedule on alternating weekend afternoons, or private tours arranged by appointment, but plans are in the works to create new programming, development and sustainability (see website for complete details). The completed renovations represent the first complex restoration to the structure since it was originally saved in 1947, when the founding members of AAHS made arrangements to move the home to its current Norton Street location and restore it under the direction of noted architect Frank Chouteau Brown. Home for nearly two decades to a remarkably important figure in American history, the Abigail Adams Birthplace is not only a beloved piece of architecture, but the place where its namesake’s character and ideals were formed, later becoming wife and mother of two American presidents. Abigail’s ideas about government and politics helped shape the policies of her husband. Her advocacy for women’s rights made her a significant figure in American Women’s history. Noted as an extraordinary letter writer, Abigail’s surviving correspondence, including more than 1,200 letters exchanged with her husband John, is a remarkable legacy and a valuable resource for understanding American History.
About Abigail Adams Historical Society
Abigail Adams Historical Society (AAHS) is dedicated to commemorating and educating a worldwide audience about the extraordinary life and time
s of Abigail Smith Adams, Weymouth Massachusetts’ national treasure, and her legacy of service to country; and to preserving and interpreting her birthplace, the place where her character and ideals were formed, as a resource and inspiration for all. AAHS is the steward for the preservation of Abigail Adams’ birthplace and first home, from1744 to her marriage to John Adams in 1764. The Society offers tours of the house and presents programs on this remarkable American, her family, and the era in which she lived. For more information on Abigail Adams Birthplace history, programs and events, email AAHS1947@yahoo.com
, visit www.abigailadamsbirthplace.com
or follow Abigail Adams Historical Society on Facebook.