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Quincy (pronounced /ˈkwɪnzi/ KWIN-zee) is a city in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. It is a major part of Metropolitan Boston and is Boston's immediate southern suburb. Its population in 2010 was 92,271, making it the 8th largest city in the state. Known as the "City of Presidents," Quincy is the birthplace of two U.S. presidents — John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams — as well as John Hancock, a President of the Continental Congress and the first signer of the Declaration of Independence.
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- Map of Quincy MA USA
- Colonial Period to the Revolution
- Post Revolution
- Asian population
- Higher education
- Public primary and secondary education
- Private and alternative education
- Public libraries
- Supplementary education
- Highways and roads
- MBTA rail and other commuter services
Map of Quincy, MA, USA
First settled in 1625, Quincy was briefly part of Dorchester and Boston before becoming the north precinct of Braintree in 1640. In 1792, Quincy was split off from Braintree; the new town was named after Colonel John Quincy, maternal grandfather of Abigail Adams and after whom John Quincy Adams was also named. Quincy became a city in 1888.
For more than a century, Quincy was home to a thriving granite industry; the city was also the site of the Granite Railway, the United States' first commercial railroad. Shipbuilding at the Fore River Shipyard was another key part of the city's economy. In the 20th century, both Howard Johnson's and Dunkin' Donuts were founded in the city.
Colonial Period to the Revolution
Massachusett sachem Chickatawbut had his seat on a hill called Moswetuset Hummock prior to the settlement of the area by English colonists, situated east of the mouth of the Neponset River near what is now called Squantum. It was visited in 1621 by Plymouth Colony commander Myles Standish and Squanto, a native guide. Four years later, a party led by Captain Wollaston established a post on a low hill near the south shore of Quincy Bay east of present-day Black's Creek. The settlers found the area suitable for farming, as Chickatawbut and his group had cleared much of the land of trees. (The Indians used the name Passonagessit ("Little Neck of Land") for the area.) This settlement was named Mount Wollaston in honor of the leader, who left the area soon after 1625, bound for Virginia. The Wollaston neighborhood in Quincy still retains Captain Wollaston's name.
Upon the departure of Wollaston, Thomas Morton took over leadership of the post, and the settlement proceeded to gain a reputation for debauchery with Indian women and drunkenness. Morton renamed the settlement Ma-re-Mount ("Hill by the Sea") and later wrote that the conservative separatists of Plymouth Colony to the south were "threatening to make it a woefull mount and not a merry mount", in reference to the fact that they disapproved of his libertine practices. In 1627, Morton was arrested by Standish for violating the code of conduct in a way harmful to the colony. He was sent back to England, only to return and be arrested by Puritans the next year. The area of Quincy now called Merrymount is located on the site of the original English settlement of 1625 and takes its name from the punning name given by Morton.
The area was first incorporated as part of Dorchester in 1630 and was briefly annexed by Boston in 1634. The area became 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 Col. John Quincy in 1792, and was made a city in 1888. In 1845 the Old Colony Railroad opened; the Massachusetts Historical Commission stated that the railroad was "the beginning of a trend toward suburbanization". Quincy became as accessible to Boston as was Charlestown. The first suburban land company, Bellevue Land Co., had been organized in northern Quincy in 1870. Quincy's population grew by over 50 percent during the 1920s.
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. Iron Furnace Site (also known as Braintree Furnace), from 1644 to 1653.
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. Amongs these were 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 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, reputed originator of the famous Kilroy Was Here graffiti, was a rivet 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.
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) is land and 10.1 square miles (26 km2) is water. The total area is 37.60% water.
Although Quincy is primarily urban, 2,485 acres (3.9 sq mi; 10.1 km2) or fully 23 percent of its land area lies within the uninhabited Blue Hills Reservation, a state park managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. This undeveloped natural area encompasses the southwestern portion of Quincy and includes the city's highest point, 517 foot (158 m) Chickatawbut Hill. Other hills within Quincy include Forbes Hill in Wollaston, Presidents Hill in Quincy Center and Penns Hill in South Quincy.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 92,271 people, 38,883 households, and 42,838 families residing in the city, making it the ninth largest city in the state. The population density was 5,567.9 people per square mile (2,025.4/km²). There were 42,838 housing units at an average density of 2,388.7 per square mile (922.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 65.5% White, 4.6% African American, 0.16% Native American, 24.0% Asian (15.6% Chinese, 3.2% Vietnamese, 2.6% Indian), 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.85% from other races, and 1.76% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.6% of the population. 33.5% were of Irish (making Quincy the most Irish American city in the entire United States), 12.7% Italian and 5.0% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 77.1% spoke only English, while 8.0% spoke Chinese or Mandarin, 2.6% Cantonese, 1.9% Spanish, 1.5% Vietnamese and 1.3% Italian in their homes.
There were 38,883 households, out of which 20.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.7% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.2% were non-families. 37.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 3.03.
In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 17.5% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 36.1% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 91.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $59,803, and the median income for a family was $77,514. Males had a median income of $51,925 versus $44,175 for females. The per capita income for the city was $32,786. About 7.3% of families and 9.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.7% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.
As of 2010 Quincy has the highest per capita concentration of persons of Asian origin in Massachusetts. As of 2003 about 66% of the Asians in Quincy are ethnic Chinese, giving the city one of the largest Chinese populations in the state. There is also a community of persons of East Indian origins, with most of them working in information technology and other skilled professions. There is also a growing number of people with Vietnamese origins in the area as well as they make up the second largest Asian American group in Quincy.
In 1980 there were 750 persons of Asian origin in Quincy. Most of the Asian immigrants coming in the 1980s originated from Hong Kong and Taiwan. In 1990, Quincy had 5,577 persons of Asian origin, with 143 of them being of East Indian origin. The number of Asians increased to 13,546 in 2000, with about 9,000 of them being ethnic Chinese, and 1,127 of them being ethnic East Indian. The latter group grew by 688%, making it the fastest-growing Asian subgroup in Quincy. Around 2003 most Asian immigrants were coming from Fujian instead of Hong Kong and Taiwan. At that time Quincy had a higher Asian population than the Boston Chinatown. The overall Asian population increased by 64% in the following decade, to 22,174 in 2010. Quincy's Chinese population increased by 60% during that time period.
Historically Quincy residents traveled to shops in Chinatown, Boston, but by 2003 Asian shopping centers became established in Quincy. By 2003 New York City-based Kam Man Food was establishing a supermarket in Quincy.
As of 2000 about 50% of Asians in Quincy own their own houses; many who rent do so while saving money for down payments for their houses. 65% of the Chinese were homeowners while only 10% of the East Indians were homeowners. As of 2003 slightly more than 2,500 Asian Americans in Quincy were registered to vote, making up almost 25% of Asians in the city who were eligible to vote.
In the 1980s some racial tensions, including violence, between whites and Asians occurred, and at the time the city did not employ any Asian police officers, leaving the Asian population to feel a lack of trust in the police. By 2003 the racial tensions had been greatly reduced, and the Quincy Police Department at that time had Asian officers.
By 2003 Quincy Asian Resources Inc. planned to establish a newsletter for Asian residents. In 2011 Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, Inc. (BCNC; 波士頓華埠社區中心) executive director Elaine Ng stated that the center would begin to offer services in Quincy. The number of persons using BCNC services residing in Quincy increased by almost 300% in a period beginning in 2004 and ending in 2005.
Quincy is divided into numerous neighbourhoods with individual histories and characteristics.
During its history Quincy has been known as a manufacturing and heavy industry center, with granite quarrying dominating employment in the 19th century and shipbuilding at Fore River Shipyard and Squantum Victory Yard rising to prominence in the 20th century. The recent decades have seen a shift in focus to several large employers in the financial services, insurance and health care sectors of the economy. Quincy is the location of the corporate headquarters of several firms, including Boston Financial Data Services, the Stop & Shop supermarket chain, Arbella Insurance Group and The Patriot Ledger, publisher the South Shore's largest regional newspaper.
Other major employers with offices in Quincy are State Street Corporation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Boston Scientific. TACV, national flag carrier airline of Cape Verde, has its United States corporate office in Quincy. Icelandair has its North American headquarters in the city as well.
Data is from the 2009–2013 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.
Quincy has a strong mayor government. The incumbent mayor, Thomas P. Koch, has served since 2008; he is the 33rd mayor of the city. Mayors in the city were elected to two-year terms. In 2013, the city's voters opted to extend the mayoral term to four years, beginning after the 2015 election.
In addition to the mayor, the city has a nine-member city council. Six councilors are elected to represent Quincy's wards, and three are elected at large. Councilors serve two-year terms. The city also has a school committee with seven members — the mayor and six members elected to staggered four-year terms.
Quincy is represented in the Massachusetts State Senate by Democrat John F. Keenan. Four members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives represent Quincy: Bruce Ayers, Tackey Chan, Daniel Hunt, and Ronald Mariano. Each representative is a Democrat, and Mariano is the majority leader in the House.
Quincy is home to various educational institutions, public and private, including one early childhood education center, one Montessori school, one Catholic school, one college preparatory school, two colleges, Eastern Nazarene College, a private liberal arts and sciences college, and Quincy College, a private, localized college, two public high schools, five public middle schools, and 12 public elementary schools. In the 19th century, the city became an innovator in progressive public education with the Quincy Method, developed by Francis W. Parker while he served as Quincy's superintendent of schools. Four years after its implementation, a state survey found that Quincy students excelled at reading, writing, and spelling, and ranked fourth in their county in math.
The city is home to Eastern Nazarene College, a college of the liberal arts and sciences located in Wollaston Park. The college relocated to the area in 1919 from its original location in Saratoga Springs, New York, where it was established as a holiness college in 1900. Quincy College, a community college in Quincy Center, operates under the auspices of the City of Quincy. The college is unusual in this respect, as it is the only one of Massachusetts' 16 community colleges to be run by a city rather than by the state. It is one of only two colleges in the United States organized this way.
Public primary and secondary education
Public education at the primary and secondary levels is managed by Quincy Public Schools, a system that includes one early childhood center, eleven elementary schools, five middle schools and two high schools.
Private and alternative education
Private and alternative education institutions for children in preschool-8th grade include Quincy's three Catholic schools - Sacred Heart, St. Ann and St. Mary. Because of declining enrollment and the ongoing economic crisis, the three merged to form the Quincy Catholic Academy, which opened in September 2010, at the site of the Sacred Heart school. The Woodward School for Girls is a non-sectarian college preparatory day school for girls in grades 6-12 Campus Kinder Haus (CKH) is operated by the Eastern Nazarene College on its Old Colony campus. The Adams Montessori School is open for children of preschool through elementary school age
For a number of years, the Fore River Apprentice School was operated at the Fore River Shipyard to teach its students how to work in the shipyard.
The Thomas Crane Public Library serves as the public library system of Quincy, Massachusetts.
Peter Jae established the Quincy Chinese Language School, which offers supplementary education for Chinese children, in 1988. As of 2003 it holds Cantonese language classes for 150 students at the Sacred Heart School in North Quincy on Saturday mornings. The school at one time had 400 students but the school reduced itself in size when a lack of qualified teachers occurred.
The Chung Yee School is another Chinese school in Quincy. As of 2008 the headmaster is Harry Kwan, who originated from Hong Kong. That year the school had 100 students and charged $100 ($111.24 adjusted for inflation) per child per month for Chinese language and culture after school classes. It was first established around 1996. The school was briefly closed by the Quincy Police Department in November 28, 2008 due to a lack of Massachusetts state and local government permits. After the state and municipal authorities cleared the school of allegations of child abuse, it was scheduled to reopen that year.
In December 2002 the Vrindavana Preservation Society established the Vaisnava Academy which caters to Quincy's East Indian community and offers courses for children. Subjects include the Hindi language, Indian dance and music, and yoga.
As part of Metro Boston, Quincy has easy access to transportation facilities. State highways and the Interstate system connect the Greater Boston area to the airport, port, and intermodal facilities of Boston. Due to its proximity to Boston proper, Quincy is connected not only by these modes of transportation but also to the regional subway system, operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), known locally as "The T". The four subway or "T" stops in Quincy, which are on the MBTA's Red Line, are North Quincy Station, Wollaston Station, Quincy Center Station, and Quincy Adams Station.
Highways and roads
Interstate 93 and U.S. Route 1 travel south to north concurrently through Quincy beginning in the southwest, where the Quincy–Randolph border bisects the median between the northern and southern halves of the Exit 5 cloverleaf at Massachusetts Route 28. Following a route around the southern extent of the Blue Hills Reservation, this I-93 and US 1 alignment is along the former southern section of Route 128. The highway travels along a wooded wetland region of the Reservation, entering Quincy completely just beyond Exit 5 and then crossing into Braintree as it approaches the Braintree Split, the junction with Massachusetts Route 3. Weekday traffic volume averages 250,000 to 275,000 vehicles per day at this intersection, the gateway from Boston and its inner core to the South Shore and Cape Cod.
As Route 3 joins I-93 and US 1 at the Braintree Split, the three travel north together toward Boston around the eastern extent of the Blue Hills Reservation, entering West Quincy as the Southeast Expressway. The expressway provides access to West Quincy at Exit 8 – Furnace Brook Parkway and Exit 9 – Bryant Avenue/Adams Street before entering Milton. The Furnace Brook Parkway exit also provides access to Ricciuti Drive and the Quincy Quarries Reservation as well as the eastern entrance to the Blue Hills Reservation Parkways.
Principal numbered state highways traveling within Quincy include: Route 3A south to north from Weymouth via Washington Street, Southern Artery, Merrymount Parkway and Hancock Street to the Neponset River Bridge and the Dorchester section of Boston; Route 28, which travels south to north from Randolph to Milton along Randolph Avenue in Quincy through a remote section of the Blue Hills Reservation; and Route 53, which enters traveling south to north from Braintree as Quincy Avenue, turning right to form the beginning of Southern Artery in Quincy Point before ending at the intersection with Washington Street/Route 3A.
In addition to the Blue Hills parkways, Quincy includes two other Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation parkways. Furnace Brook Parkway travels east from I-93 through the center of the city from West Quincy to Quincy Center and Merrymount at Quincy Bay. There the parkway meets Quincy Shore Drive at the mouth of Blacks Creek. Quincy Shore Drive travels in a northerly direction along the shore of Quincy Bay through Wollaston and into North Quincy, with much of its length abutting Wollaston Beach, then turns in a westerly direction upon intersecting with East Squantum Street and continues to meet Hancock Street at the Neponset River Bridge.
As for Quincy's other important city streets, Hancock Street begins at the southern extent of Quincy Center and travels north to Dorchester as a main commercial thoroughfare of Quincy Center, Wollaston and North Quincy. Washington Street enters the city at Fore River Rotary after crossing Weymouth Fore River and continues to Quincy Center, ending at Hancock Street. Along with Quincy Avenue and Southern Artery, other heavily traveled streets include Newport Avenue, which parallels Hancock Street to the west on the opposite side of the MBTA railway, Adams Street heading west from Quincy Center to Milton, and West and East Squantum Streets in the Montclair and North Quincy neighborhoods. Other streets are discussed in several of the neighborhood articles listed above.
Boston's Logan International Airport is accessible via MBTA Red Line connections at South Station, directly on the MBTA commuter boat (see below) or by motor vehicle using Interstate 93 or surface roads to the Ted Williams Tunnel.
MBTA rail and other commuter services
Subway service is available on the Red Line of the MBTA from four stations in Quincy: North Quincy, Wollaston, Quincy Center, and Quincy Adams. Commuter rail service operates out of Quincy Center. Both services serve South Station in Boston with connections to MBTA Commuter Rail and Amtrak intercity lines. Buses are also available for transportation in Quincy, including private bus lines and several lines provided by the MBTA. Most of the MBTA routes funnel through the Quincy Center station, which is the principal hub south of Boston for all MBTA bus lines. The southern bus garage for the MBTA system is adjacent to the Quincy Armory on Hancock Street.
Quincy was a major terminal for the commuter boat system that crosses Boston Harbor to Long Wharf, Hull, Rowe's Wharf, Hingham, and Logan Airport. The commuter boats, which were operated by Harbor Express under license by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, docked at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy Point. Service ended in October 2013 after a water main break damaged the sea wall and wharf. Temporary repairs would have cost $15 million; permanent repairs $50 million. In 2014, the MBTA made the decision to permanently end the service and sell the land.
Quincy has had brief flirtations with professional sports. The Quincy Chiefs of the minor league Eastern Basketball Association (the predecessor to the defunct Continental Basketball Association) played a single season in 1977-78, and was coached and managed by former Boston Celtics executive Leo Papile. The Chiefs finished 12-19 in third place, and lost in the playoffs to eventual league champion Wilkes-Barre. Quincy's professional baseball team, the Shipbuilders, competed in the New England League in 1933, recording a 12-6 record before moving to Nashua midseason. The final season of the Boston Minutemen of the North American Soccer League was played at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Quincy, in 1976, finishing 7-17.
The Real Boston Rams of the soccer 4th division Premier Development League, an affiliate club of the New England Revolution, has played in Veterans Memorial Stadium since 2014.
Quincy has had several football teams in the semi-pro Eastern Football League over the years. The current club, the Quincy Militia, played its inaugural season in the EFL in 2009. Founded in 2009 by long-time Quincy resident Vaughn Driscoll, new owners came into the team picture in 2013. Militia games are played July – October with home games at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday nights.
Quincy's only college sports program is the "Lions" of Eastern Nazarene College, in the DIII Commonwealth Coast Conference of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). Games are played at Bradley Field and the Lahue Physical Education Center on-campus, or at Adams and Veterans Memorial Fields in Quincy.
Quincy's high school sports programs are in the Patriot League: the DIII Fisher Division "Red Raiders" of North Quincy High School and the DIIA Keenan Division "Presidents" of Quincy High School, who are rivals. Quincy also hosted the youth baseball Babe Ruth League World Series in 2003, 2005 and 2008. High school baseball and Babe Ruth League games are played at Adams Field. High school football is played at Veterans Memorial Field.