The Quincy Museum
Built in 1891, the Newcomb-Stillwell Mansion became an iconic symbol of wealth at the corner of 16th and Maine Streets. Home to Richard Newcomb, and later John Stillwell, the mansion is of Richardson Romanesque Revival architecture, and has been restored on the first level featuring local German craftsmanship, stain-glass windows, 33 curved glass windows, various types of wood, and Victorian furniture including family heirlooms. This 20,000 square foot mansion is currently the home of the Quincy Museum. The home has been a museum since the 1980s and caters to a variety of ages and audiences.
Backstory and Context
On April 10, 1880, Mr. Richard Newcomb purchased the 2.5 acre lot for $11,000. A Greek Revival home sat on the property. Mr. Newcomb had that house demolished to make room for his mansion. The mansion was built of tan colored Berea Sandstone, mined from Amherst, Ohio, in the Richardson Romanesque Revival Style named for Boston architect, Henry Hobson Richardson. Looking from Maine Street, visitors can see the extensive design of the home. The outside features three tower-like structures with alcoves on all three floors. There are also large bay window areas on all three floors that enhance the tower effect.
The mansion contains 14,000 square feet of living space among the three floors.There is also 2,200 square feet of usable space in the attic and 4,600 square feet in the basement for a grand total of 20,800 square feet! The blueprint of the mansion features a large living space that serves as the central area of the home. A formal parlor, den, informal sitting room, dining room, kitchen, and library adorn the first floor and have been restored to the era of the home. The second and third floors were living quarters and storage areas for the family and live-in staff. Currently, the second and third floors house the museum's exhibits and gift shop.
Among the impressive decor and German craftsmanship, are hidden gems like the ornate hardware, gold leaf, and decorative cubby-holes. The home originally had a ballroom on the third floor and a one lane bowling alley in the basement. The house is adorned with time-period pieces as well as pieces from the families that lived here throughout the years. After Mr. Newcomb passed, one of his daughters, Elizabeth, moved into the mansion with her husband, John Stillwell, and raised their family.
Up until 1939, the mansion was a residential home for the Newcomb and Stillwell families. After the family moved out, it served as the headquarters for the American Red Cross for a year, and in the early 1940s, Quincy College now Quincy University, purchased the building and used it as a dormitory for 40 years. In 1981, a local Quincy museum purchased the home and created what is now the Quincy Museum.
Guests can visit the museum April through December. The tour includes all three floors and can be guided or self-guided. Visitors witness a vast array of exhibits all while enjoying the grandeur of the mansion.
Admission fees: $5 for Adults and $3 for children and students (high school-college)
"Newcomb-Stillwell History." Brochure. The Quincy Museum.