Quincy, Mass. Historical and Architectural Survey

313 Franklin Street

The South Quincy neighborhood is bounded by the MBTA tracks (west), School Street (north), Quincy Avenue (east) and the Braintree Town Line (south). The old Boston-Plymouth Highway followed two important streets in the area, School and Franklin, and it is on Franklin Street that are found the birthplaces of the two presidents, John Adams and John Quincy Adams, around which the Adams Birthplace Local Historic District is formed. This was a residential area and many of the homes belonged to those connected with the nearby granite industry. The earliest houses were along the old Boston-Plymouth Highway with woods and farmlands stretching behind Now the major farms in the area, principally those of Charles Francis Adams and Job Faxon, have been subdivided and there is much commercial activity along Quincy Street, Franklin Street, School Street and the beginning of Independence Avenue.

Noah Curtis, a pioneer in the boot and shoe business in Quincy, built this house about 1795 on part of the property owned by Theophilus Curtis in 1678. At the age of nineteen, Noah Curtis began to make shoes and in 1794 manufactured them for sale. In 1802 boots came into use and Curtis started manufacturing them in 1802. His manufactory was on Penn's Hill so must have been very close to his house, if not attached to it. By the 1850's, the making of boot and shoes was Quincy's main industry with the work allotted by a central manufacturer and performed in the home and workshop. Number 313 Franklin Street remained in the Curtis family until 1958.

Ernest Allen Connally. "The Cape Cod House: an Introductory Study". Journal of the SAH. (M J 1960): 47-56.
H. Hobart Holly. Quincy Historical Society.
H. Hobart Holly. Quincy: 350 Years. 1974, p. 58.
H. Hobart Holly. "Quincy's Granite Hills Were Golden". Quincy History. Spring, 1980.
William S. Pattee. History of Old Braintree and Quincy. 1879, p. 166.602.
Quincy Patriot Ledger, January 7. 1937. p. F-5.
Lester Walker. American Shelter. The Overlook Press. Woodstock, NY. 1981. pages 88-91

There are five Cape Cod residences listed in South Quincy. The Noah Curtis House is the oldest one, dated by Quincy Historical Society Records in the 18th century, 1795. Its age can also be deduced by various visual clues, such as the low granite foundation, the placement of the windows tight under the eaves, the original multipaned windows, the typical symmetrical facade of a Cape Cod house of door framed by two windows (the enclosed portico is a later addition) and the large chimney on the right. The addition of the rear was probably built soon after the original construction. Its 18th century date, its survival as a Cape Cod cottage that has undergone few alterations, its architectural integrity and its relationship to the early economic history of Quincy merits it to be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.