The Shirley-Eustis House

The Shirley-Eustis House Shirley Place is the only remaining house built as a residence by a British Colonial Governor in the United States. Built in 1747, Royal Governor William Shirley's Georgian mansion is one of the only remaining country houses in America built by a British Royal Colonial Governor.
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The home later belonged to William Eustis, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and was the site of the 1824 fete for the Marquis de Lafayette. Tours are available year-round by appointment. During our summer season (Memorial Day-Columbus Day) we also offer guided tours of the historic home Thursdays through Sundays from 1-4 pm. Additional parking is available behind the Ralph Waldo Emerson School (now Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter school) directly across from Shirley Place.

Operating as usual

03/14/2020

Special Announcement: In order to assist the Commonwealth's efforts to contain Covid-19 the buildings and grounds of Shirley Place will be closed to tours through at least April 24th. All scheduled events and programs have been cancelled or postponed until that time. Please check our website for updates.

Exciting day for SEHA! It just released its first major publication....the reissue of the late eminent historian John A....
02/20/2020

Exciting day for SEHA! It just released its first major publication....the reissue of the late eminent historian John A. Schutz's William Shirley, King's Governor of Massachusetts. The beautiful 420 page Expanded Edition of the classic 1961 biography includes new material by the late author and contributions by historians Robert J. Allison, the late William Pencak and Michael H. Gorn. A Book Launch event is scheduled for sometime in September at the Mansion.

Exciting news! SEHA has acquired Gilbert Stuart's portrait of William Eustis. Deaccessioned by the Metropolitan Museum o...
11/04/2019

Exciting news! SEHA has acquired Gilbert Stuart's portrait of William Eustis. Deaccessioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the painting was purchased on October 8th at an auction conducted by William Doyle Galleries, Inc. of New York. The Association is thrilled that it was able to seize a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring the portrait back to Boston and to the Roxbury mansion William and Caroline Eustis once owned. An official unveiling will take place in the spring of 2020.

Thank you Members HistoryAtPlay/Judith Kalaora and J.Archer O'Reilly III for donating your talent to SEHA this past Sund...
10/01/2019

Thank you Members HistoryAtPlay/Judith Kalaora and J.Archer O'Reilly III for donating your talent to SEHA this past Sunday! Judith's performance of Deborah Sampson is not to be missed. The event was made even more special by the play's opening introduction by General Henry Knox. Photo credit: Matthew A. Dickey. For more information about HistoryAtPlay visit www.HistoryAtPlay.com or call 617.752.2859

Thank you Tufts FOCUS program for including SEHA on your community service projects list! This past Saturday first year ...
08/27/2019

Thank you Tufts FOCUS program for including SEHA on your community service projects list! This past Saturday first year incoming students Cecilia Adams, Christina Beane, Nancy Healy, Marwah Kiani, Jeremy Newman, Jack Robinson, Lilah Silverman and Sabrina Wen, led by Upperclassman Emma Tombaugh, helped with our never ending landscaping chores. Following their volunteer work they were treated to a private tour of the Mansion.

Our summer tour season ended on a special note this afternoon as we welcomed San Francisco resident Jaima Dwyer back to ...
08/25/2019

Our summer tour season ended on a special note this afternoon as we welcomed San Francisco resident Jaima Dwyer back to Shirley Street. Jaima lived next door to the Mansion as a child and was very happy to finally have the chance to visit. We hope you come back again soon Jaima!

Last chance for a Saturday afternoon tour! Our 2019 summer schedule ends on August 24th. Visit the Mansion at 1:00, 2:00...
08/22/2019

Last chance for a Saturday afternoon tour! Our 2019 summer schedule ends on August 24th. Visit the Mansion at 1:00, 2:00 or 3:00 p,m. Be sure to stroll our beautiful grounds and orchard before or afterwards.

Our summer of Saturday afternoon tours will soon be over. Visit August 17th or August 24th at 1:00, 2:00 or 3:00 p.m.
08/17/2019

Our summer of Saturday afternoon tours will soon be over. Visit August 17th or August 24th at 1:00, 2:00 or 3:00 p.m.

Come explore the Mansion. Beautiful Georgian and Federalist features abound. Tours every Saturday through August 24th at...
08/02/2019

Come explore the Mansion. Beautiful Georgian and Federalist features abound. Tours every Saturday through August 24th at 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. Free for SEHA members and Blue Star families. All others $5 to $8. Photo credit: Tina Rodocker.

Some fun scenes from yesterday's Shirley Place Historic Landscape Lecture & Tour...Master Gardener Mary Lou O'Connor and...
07/30/2019

Some fun scenes from yesterday's Shirley Place Historic Landscape Lecture & Tour...Master Gardener Mary Lou O'Connor and some of our guests, Floral Artist Estela Rosario with her beautiful creations, our gorgeous gardens and cupcakes! Thank you all who helped and participated. Photo credits Frederic C. Detwiller and Tina Rodocker.

Join us for the Shirley Place Historic Landscape Lecture and Tour this coming Sunday, July 28th at 2:00 p.m. Optional Ma...
07/23/2019

Join us for the Shirley Place Historic Landscape Lecture and Tour this coming Sunday, July 28th at 2:00 p.m. Optional Mansion tour 12:45 to 1:30 p.m.

Our Master Gardeners and floral designer have been very busy preparing for our July 28th Historic Landscape Lecture and ...
07/11/2019

Our Master Gardeners and floral designer have been very busy preparing for our July 28th Historic Landscape Lecture and Tour. They want everything to look perfect for the special event. Thank you Mary Lou, Marian, Amy, Dyan, Althea and Estela. Madam Eustis would be so pleased!!

Wishing our members and friends a very Happy Fourth of July. No tours this coming Saturday but Shirley Place will once a...
07/04/2019

Wishing our members and friends a very Happy Fourth of July. No tours this coming Saturday but Shirley Place will once again be open to visitors on July 13th at 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 p.m.

It was gardening galore at Shirley Place today. While MA Master Gardeners Mary Lou, Althea and Dyan heavily pruned our l...
06/27/2019

It was gardening galore at Shirley Place today. While MA Master Gardeners Mary Lou, Althea and Dyan heavily pruned our lilacs, a team of six from the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department Community Works Program cleared our ivy beds of massive amounts of weeds. Thank you all!

Last Saturday's tours brought a wonderful visit from a former Shirley Street neighbor. Marion was a small child when she...
06/22/2019

Last Saturday's tours brought a wonderful visit from a former Shirley Street neighbor. Marion was a small child when she lived next door to the then empty and severely deteriorated mansion in the early 1960's. She was delighted to discover it had been fully restored in 1985 and to finally be able to explore its interior. Tours tomorrow, Saturday June 22nd, at 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 p.m.

On this day in 1745 the French surrendered to New England Colonial forces on Cape Breton Island following the Siege of L...
06/17/2019

On this day in 1745 the French surrendered to New England Colonial forces on Cape Breton Island following the Siege of Louisburg. The Siege was one of the most important battles of King George's War. The expedition was organized at the suggestion of the Royal Governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay William Shirley and its success largely credited to his energy and enthusiasm. Shirley would go on to build his country estate in Roxbury in 1747 and be appointed Commander-in-Chief of all British forces in America in 1755.

On this day in 1775 Revolutionary War surgeon William Eustis tended to casualties during the Battle of Bunker Hill. Amon...
06/17/2019

On this day in 1775 Revolutionary War surgeon William Eustis tended to casualties during the Battle of Bunker Hill. Among those killed on Breed's Hill was Patriot Joseph Warren, friend and medical teacher of William Eustis. According to British General Thomas Gage, Dr. Warren's death was "worth the deaths of 500 men".

Painters' Progress....our shutters are nearly rehung. Governor Jeanne Richardson took these photos on Friday, June 14th....
06/16/2019

Painters' Progress....our shutters are nearly rehung. Governor Jeanne Richardson took these photos on Friday, June 14th. Thank you to all who made this major exterior repair project possible.

When you visit the Mansion be sure to take a close look at the countless beautiful architectural and decorative features...
06/14/2019

When you visit the Mansion be sure to take a close look at the countless beautiful architectural and decorative features found within its many rooms! Guided tours tomorrow, Saturday June 15th at 1:00, 2:00 or 3:00 p.m.

The Mansion's shutters are freshly painted and are due to be rehung tomorrow. Until then the giant pilasters appear even...
06/13/2019

The Mansion's shutters are freshly painted and are due to be rehung tomorrow. Until then the giant pilasters appear even more prominent. Shirley Place was one of the first houses in America to apply the Georgian architectural feature. Stop by for a tour this Saturday at 1:00, 2:00 or 3:00 p.m.

Born on this day in 1753 William Eustis went on to become a Revolutionary War surgeon, state legislator, United States C...
06/10/2019

Born on this day in 1753 William Eustis went on to become a Revolutionary War surgeon, state legislator, United States Congressman, Secretary of War, Minister to the Netherlands and the 12th Governor of Massachusetts. He died in office in 1825. William Eustis and his wife Caroline Langdon purchased Shirley Place in 1820. Visit their former country estate and experience how they lived in 19th century Roxbury. Guided tours this Saturday at 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 p.m.

Another fun Saturday at Shirley Place! The news is spreading fast about our "hidden gem". Visitors from California, Russ...
06/09/2019

Another fun Saturday at Shirley Place! The news is spreading fast about our "hidden gem". Visitors from California, Russia, the Boston burbs and our own neighborhood kept us busy. Matthew Dickey of the Boston Preservation Alliance checked out the Carriage House with his group of 25 Beer+Mortar Preservation Month tour attendees before heading off for refreshment at Backlash Brewery. You can find Matthew on Instagram @_MADickey

Visit Shirley Place next Saturday, June 15th, at 1:00, 2:00 or 3:00 p.m.

Take a guided tour this Saturday, June 8th, at 1:00, 2:00 or 3:00 p.m.
06/05/2019

Take a guided tour this Saturday, June 8th, at 1:00, 2:00 or 3:00 p.m.

Summer tours have begun. Explore Shirley Place next Saturday at 1:00, 2:00 or 3:00 p.m.
06/02/2019

Summer tours have begun. Explore Shirley Place next Saturday at 1:00, 2:00 or 3:00 p.m.

Lots of smiles at yesterday's Breakfast and Preview Tour for SEHA Members!
06/02/2019

Lots of smiles at yesterday's Breakfast and Preview Tour for SEHA Members!

Shirley Place summer tour season begins today, June 1st!  Throughout the month we will be open to visitors every Saturda...
06/01/2019

Shirley Place summer tour season begins today, June 1st! Throughout the month we will be open to visitors every Saturday at 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 p.m.

With less than 48 hours remaining before our summer season officially begins our Mansion is nearly painted and our beaut...
05/30/2019

With less than 48 hours remaining before our summer season officially begins our Mansion is nearly painted and our beautiful peony gardens preparing to bloom. Join us Saturday, June 1st for a tour of Shirley Place at 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 p.m.

Visitors from California and Georgia, in town for Harvard graduation, included Shirley Place on their historic tour itin...
05/30/2019

Visitors from California and Georgia, in town for Harvard graduation, included Shirley Place on their historic tour itinerary. Our summer tour season begins this Saturday, June 1st at 1:00 p.m.!

Wishing all our Members and Friends a lovely Memorial Day Weekend. The Shirley-Eustis House honors our nation's servicem...
05/26/2019

Wishing all our Members and Friends a lovely Memorial Day Weekend. The Shirley-Eustis House honors our nation's servicemen by participating in the Blue Star Museum program. The Mansion holds a special place in colonial American military history. From 1775 to 1776 it served as barracks and hospital for members of the First Continental Army during the Siege of Boston.

Summer tour season officially begins on June 1st! Every Saturday in June  guided tours will be available at 1:00, 2:00 a...
05/25/2019

Summer tour season officially begins on June 1st! Every Saturday in June guided tours will be available at 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. "General Henry Knox", who traditionally greets our guests on Evacuation Day, is rumored to be making his way to Shirley Place to welcome all those who visit next Saturday.

Many thanks to Haley House and its Executive Director Bing Broderick for generously donating delicious pastries for this...
05/21/2019

Many thanks to Haley House and its Executive
Director Bing Broderick for generously donating delicious pastries for this past Sunday's Mother-Daughter Tea. Also a big thank you to SEHA volunteers who baked treats and made delightful tea sandwiches.

Sunday's Mother-Daughter Tea for members of our local Roxbury community was great fun! Former Executive Director Patti V...
05/21/2019

Sunday's Mother-Daughter Tea for members of our local Roxbury community was great fun! Former Executive Director Patti Violette, now a SEHA Overseer, visited us from New Hampshire and re-enacted Madam Eustis. Current and past Board members mingled with our guests. Our wonderful Events Committee volunteers worked their usual magic and created a special and unique experience for all those who attended.

Last Saturday's Preservation Month Open House brought lots of nice and interesting people to Shirley Place. Many thanks ...
05/16/2019

Last Saturday's Preservation Month Open House brought lots of nice and interesting people to Shirley Place. Many thanks to all who visited and to all who volunteered as guides and event staff! Regular Saturday tours begin on June 1st.

They're back! 2W Painting Inc. has returned. The Mansion is now sporting its first coat of new paint and is looking fres...
05/16/2019

They're back! 2W Painting Inc. has returned. The Mansion is now sporting its first coat of new paint and is looking fresh and beautiful. A tad lighter in shade, the new yellow matches recently discovered early clapboards.

Preservation Month Tour Day is almost here! Join us on Saturday May 11th for free tours of the Mansion at 11:00 am, noon...
05/10/2019

Preservation Month Tour Day is almost here! Join us on Saturday May 11th for free tours of the Mansion at 11:00 am, noon and 1:00 p.m. Our Palladian beauty, which now also wears only the finest of Federal Era fabric, is waiting to be explored inside and out. Although extensively renovated during the Federal Period, many original Georgian features remain. In addition to the Parterre Garden door, they are most visible in the vestibule, Governor Shirley's office, Breakfast Room and 2nd floor rooms above these areas. The Federal elements are equally as exquisite. See you soon!

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33 Shirley St
Boston, MA
02119

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Our Story

A National Historic Landmark, the Mansion was erected in 1747 by William Shirley. Designed by “America’s first Architect”/ Father of American Palladianism, Peter Harrison, it is an architectural treasure. American Architecture vol. 1 1607-1860 notes was it considered to be the finest New England House for the late 1740’s and the “most purely Palladian House in America”. It was remodelled several times between the late 1700’s and 1820. Fully restored to c. 1820 in 1985, “Shirley Place” might best be described as a quintessential Georgian beauty wearing the best of Federal attire designed by Charles Bulfinch.

The only remaining house in America originally built by a British Royal Colonial Governor it has had many owners, including William Eustis, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. William and his wife Caroline Langdon returned the estate to the level of social prominence enjoyed during the Shirley era. In 1824 it was the site of a fete for the Marquis de Lafayette. Tours are available year-round by appointment. Admission is free for SEHA Members, $8 for adults; $5 for students, seniors (65+) and residents of Roxbury and Dorchester. We are a Blue Star Museum. Additional parking is available behind the Ralph Waldo Emerson School (now Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter school) directly across from Shirley Place.

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Comments

thanks to the Roxbury Historical Society for inviting the Shirley-Eustis House to table at their open house on Saturday, February 1 at the Roxbury State Heritage Park.
Pale pink painted daisies are just about the last flowers to bloom at Shirley Place in the fall. We take them for granted in our gardens today, but during Madam Eustis's time, they would have been prized as an exotic import. These are hardy little fellows. They survived last night's hard frost.
Looks like I missed tour season :( Do you have a guess as to what your schedule will be next year? I am trying to visit all the museums in Boston.
Here's an interesting example of how salvaged architectural remains can be exhibited and interpreted. A model perhaps for the future display of the SEH's rich collection of such materials?