Local city information for Quincy, MA
() is a city in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. Its nicknames are "The 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, and its population as of the 2004 census makes it the 9th largest city in the state. Its name, which comes from that of Colonel John Quincy (maternal grandfather of Abigail Adams after whom John Quincy Adams was also named), is correctly pronounced , though non-locals often mispronounce it as . Quincy is the birthplace of former Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, as well as statesman John Hancock. The population was 88,025 at the 2000 census.
The Wollaston neighborhood is the oldest part of Quincy, first settled by English immigrants in 1625 as Mount Wollaston and renamed Merrymount. Quincy itself later became part of Braintree, was officially incorporated as a separate town 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. Quincy was also home to the first iron furnace in the United States, the John Winthrop, Jr. (or Braintree) Iron Furnace, from 1644 to 1653.
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—originally owned by Thomas A. Watson of telephone fame—and many famous warships were built at the Fore River Shipyard, including the aircraft carrier USS Lexington (CV-2); the battleships USS Massachusetts (BB-59), now preserved as a museum ship at Battleship Cove in Massachusetts, and USS Nevada (BB-36); and the USS Salem (CA-139), the world's last all-gun heavy warship, which is still preserved at Fore River as the main exhibit of the United States Naval Shipbuilding Museum. John J. Kilroy, the originator of the famous Kilroy Was Here graffiti, was a welding inspector at Fore River.
Quincy was also an aviation pioneer thanks to Dennison Field. Located in the Squantum section of town it was one of the world's first airports and was partially developed by Amelia Earhart. In 1910, it was the site of the Harvard Aero Meet, the second air show in America. It was later leased to the Navy for an airfield, and served as a reserve Squantum Naval Air Station into the 1950s.
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.
Of some note, Howard Johnson's and Dunkin Donuts were founded and started in Quincy, and the celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys got its start in Wollaston. The Quincy Mine in Hancock, Michigan, founded in 1846, was named after Quincy because the mine started with significant investment from Massachusetts.
Quincy is also home to the United States' longest running Flag Day Parade, a tradition that began in 1952 under then-Mayor Richard Koch.
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