The Gibson House Museum

The Gibson House Museum The Gibson House is a historic house museum located in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston. Now a National Historic Landmark, the home served as residence to three generations of Gibson family members and their household staff between 1859 and 1954.

Visitors experience the house through a guided tour that interprets class and culture through the stories and objects of the people who lived and worked there. Tours are currently offered through advanced tickets only. Website: thegibsonhouse.org Email: [email protected] Ph: 617-267-6338

Operating as usual

Introducing Olivia Blumenshine, the 2021 summer intern at the Gibson House Museum! Olivia is double majoring in English ...
06/16/2021

Introducing Olivia Blumenshine, the 2021 summer intern at the Gibson House Museum! Olivia is double majoring in English and Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. Her interests in storytelling and Boston history brought her to GHM, where she plans to research the queer Boston literary scene in the time of Charlie Gibson and the Gibson family’s musical compositions. During her time with us, she will also be developing a post-tour satisfaction survey and an interactive Gibson family tree for the GHM website, as well as assisting with collections inventory. Keep an eye out for her blog posts in the coming months!

Introducing Olivia Blumenshine, the 2021 summer intern at the Gibson House Museum! Olivia is double majoring in English and Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. Her interests in storytelling and Boston history brought her to GHM, where she plans to research the queer Boston literary scene in the time of Charlie Gibson and the Gibson family’s musical compositions. During her time with us, she will also be developing a post-tour satisfaction survey and an interactive Gibson family tree for the GHM website, as well as assisting with collections inventory. Keep an eye out for her blog posts in the coming months!

Gibson House Museum founder Charlie Gibson is a fascinating character and his reasons for turning his family home into a...
06/11/2021
thegibsonhouse.org

Gibson House Museum founder Charlie Gibson is a fascinating character and his reasons for turning his family home into a museum are all tied up in his nostalgia for the Victorian past and his romantic heyday. To hear more, register for our upcoming virtual talk with Tripp Evans next Tuesday, 6/15. https://www.thegibsonhouse.org/
#Pride #Pride2021 #pridemonth

a time capsule of domestic life from the mid-nineteenth to early-twentieth centuries

June is Pride Month! This Friday, June 11 we will hold our 'Charlie Gibson's Queer Boston' in-person tour of the museum....
06/07/2021

June is Pride Month! This Friday, June 11 we will hold our 'Charlie Gibson's Queer Boston' in-person tour of the museum. 6.00 to 6.45 pm, $15. Call 617-267-6338 for reservations.

June is Pride Month! This Friday, June 11 we will hold our 'Charlie Gibson's Queer Boston' in-person tour of the museum. 6.00 to 6.45 pm, $15. Call 617-267-6338 for reservations.

Thank you Bonnie of the Garden Club of the Back Bay for taking over planting our urns, now that Carlos can no longer do ...
05/20/2021

Thank you Bonnie of the Garden Club of the Back Bay for taking over planting our urns, now that Carlos can no longer do them. These are spectacular!

Thank you Bonnie of the Garden Club of the Back Bay for taking over planting our urns, now that Carlos can no longer do them. These are spectacular!

Snag one of the remaining spots on our house tours this weekend, and peek into the Gibson House courtyard and coal shed!...
05/14/2021

Snag one of the remaining spots on our house tours this weekend, and peek into the Gibson House courtyard and coal shed! Learn more about the service world in Back Bay and enjoy the good weather at the same time. See you there!
https://www.thegibsonhouse.org/

Snag one of the remaining spots on our house tours this weekend, and peek into the Gibson House courtyard and coal shed! Learn more about the service world in Back Bay and enjoy the good weather at the same time. See you there!
https://www.thegibsonhouse.org/

Announcing our new specialty tour: 'Upstairs Downstairs: Domestic Service at the Gibson House."Saturday May 15, 1 and 3 ...
05/11/2021

Announcing our new specialty tour: 'Upstairs Downstairs: Domestic Service at the Gibson House."
Saturday May 15, 1 and 3 pm
Sunday May 16, 1 and 3 pm.
$15, students and seniors $12. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required.
Explore the lives of the young, Irish immigrant women who worked in domestic service in the Back Bay. On this tour, we invite you to view the Gibson House from a different perspective. We will start in the back alley and move from the working quarters through the rest of the house. Using census records, domestic advice manuals, and the architecture of the Gibson House, this tour explores the work of these women (and some men) and the community they created.

Rarely seen spaces, including the coal shed (the last surviving one in Back Bay) and the fifth-floor servant bedrooms, will be on view.
Additional dates are available this summer through the link below.

*Please note that this tour includes walking up and down six flights of stairs, and that the Gibson House Museum is not air-conditioned.

https://www.thegibsonhouse.org/events.

Announcing our new specialty tour: 'Upstairs Downstairs: Domestic Service at the Gibson House."
Saturday May 15, 1 and 3 pm
Sunday May 16, 1 and 3 pm.
$15, students and seniors $12. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required.
Explore the lives of the young, Irish immigrant women who worked in domestic service in the Back Bay. On this tour, we invite you to view the Gibson House from a different perspective. We will start in the back alley and move from the working quarters through the rest of the house. Using census records, domestic advice manuals, and the architecture of the Gibson House, this tour explores the work of these women (and some men) and the community they created.

Rarely seen spaces, including the coal shed (the last surviving one in Back Bay) and the fifth-floor servant bedrooms, will be on view.
Additional dates are available this summer through the link below.

*Please note that this tour includes walking up and down six flights of stairs, and that the Gibson House Museum is not air-conditioned.

https://www.thegibsonhouse.org/events.

Curious about how 19th century houses worked? This hot water heater stored water, heated by the brick-set range next to ...
05/11/2021

Curious about how 19th century houses worked? This hot water heater stored water, heated by the brick-set range next to it, to be used throughout the house. Learn more on our tour about the domestic staff and work of the house - book your spot for this weekend! https://www.thegibsonhouse.org/

Curious about how 19th century houses worked? This hot water heater stored water, heated by the brick-set range next to it, to be used throughout the house. Learn more on our tour about the domestic staff and work of the house - book your spot for this weekend! https://www.thegibsonhouse.org/

Visitors have often asked what a high chair is doing in the kitchen. Did the servants bring their children to work? In a...
05/09/2021

Visitors have often asked what a high chair is doing in the kitchen. Did the servants bring their children to work? In actuality, live-in servants were expected to remain single. Domestic staff often were young, immigrant women who did not start their own families until after leaving service.
The high chair that is sometimes on display in the kitchen is similar to one that would have been used by the Gibson children. It is an oak Renaissance Revival-style high chair, and it is believed to have been crafted in the vicinity of Boston between 1855 and 1885. The main nursery was on the fourth floor, but the children might have been brought down to the kitchen by staff and kept safe in a high chair such as this one. Learn more about the lives of women who worked in domestic service in the Back Bay during our new specialty tour launching later this month!
#HappyMothersDay

Visitors have often asked what a high chair is doing in the kitchen. Did the servants bring their children to work? In actuality, live-in servants were expected to remain single. Domestic staff often were young, immigrant women who did not start their own families until after leaving service.
The high chair that is sometimes on display in the kitchen is similar to one that would have been used by the Gibson children. It is an oak Renaissance Revival-style high chair, and it is believed to have been crafted in the vicinity of Boston between 1855 and 1885. The main nursery was on the fourth floor, but the children might have been brought down to the kitchen by staff and kept safe in a high chair such as this one. Learn more about the lives of women who worked in domestic service in the Back Bay during our new specialty tour launching later this month!
#HappyMothersDay

Happy Mothers Day!
05/09/2021

Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mothers Day!

This dark corner cabinet is filled with the chambermaid's tools - a rug beater, a lighter for the gas fixtures, and a ca...
05/04/2021

This dark corner cabinet is filled with the chambermaid's tools - a rug beater, a lighter for the gas fixtures, and a carpet-sweeper. Sign up for our new tour and hear the stories of Delia Diamond and Nora Redican, two of the chambermaids who made the Gibson House run.
https://www.thegibsonhouse.org/

This dark corner cabinet is filled with the chambermaid's tools - a rug beater, a lighter for the gas fixtures, and a carpet-sweeper. Sign up for our new tour and hear the stories of Delia Diamond and Nora Redican, two of the chambermaids who made the Gibson House run.
https://www.thegibsonhouse.org/

New House Tour! Upstairs, Downstairs: Domestic Service at the Gibson House.Saturday, May 15 & Sunday, May 16, tours at 1...
05/01/2021

New House Tour! Upstairs, Downstairs: Domestic Service at the Gibson House.
Saturday, May 15 & Sunday, May 16, tours at 1:00 & 3:00 p.m.
$15/$12 students & seniors; space is limited
Pre-registration is required.
The Gibson House Museum is delighted to announce the launch of a brand-new tour which explores the lives of the young, Irish immigrant women who worked in domestic service in the Back Bay. Using census records, domestic advice manuals, and the architecture of the Gibson House, the tour explores the work of these women (and some men) and the community they created.
On this tour, we invite you to view the Gibson House from a different perspective. We will start in the back alley and move from the working quarters through the rest of the house. Rarely seen spaces, including the coal shed (the last surviving one in Back Bay) and fifth-floor servant bedrooms, will be on view.
Additional dates are available throughout the summer; register now to reserve your spot.

New House Tour! Upstairs, Downstairs: Domestic Service at the Gibson House.
Saturday, May 15 & Sunday, May 16, tours at 1:00 & 3:00 p.m.
$15/$12 students & seniors; space is limited
Pre-registration is required.
The Gibson House Museum is delighted to announce the launch of a brand-new tour which explores the lives of the young, Irish immigrant women who worked in domestic service in the Back Bay. Using census records, domestic advice manuals, and the architecture of the Gibson House, the tour explores the work of these women (and some men) and the community they created.
On this tour, we invite you to view the Gibson House from a different perspective. We will start in the back alley and move from the working quarters through the rest of the house. Rarely seen spaces, including the coal shed (the last surviving one in Back Bay) and fifth-floor servant bedrooms, will be on view.
Additional dates are available throughout the summer; register now to reserve your spot.

On this day in 1898, the United States declared war on Spain following the sinking of an American ship in Havana’s harbo...
04/25/2021

On this day in 1898, the United States declared war on Spain following the sinking of an American ship in Havana’s harbor. While fighting only lasted for a few months, America’s military presence in Cuba continued for years. Dr. Freeman Allen, future husband of Mary Ethel Allen, spent fourteen months on the island following the war as an assistant surgeon for the U.S. Army. Dr. Allen and Mary Ethel wrote many letters to each other during their long courtship, some of which were during his station in Cuba. In this 1900 letter from Cuba, Dr. Allen writes to “Ethel” asking why she hasn’t written to him--is she ill, has she abandoned him? She did not abandon him; the letters continued and the couple eventually married in 1911.

On this day in 1898, the United States declared war on Spain following the sinking of an American ship in Havana’s harbor. While fighting only lasted for a few months, America’s military presence in Cuba continued for years. Dr. Freeman Allen, future husband of Mary Ethel Allen, spent fourteen months on the island following the war as an assistant surgeon for the U.S. Army. Dr. Allen and Mary Ethel wrote many letters to each other during their long courtship, some of which were during his station in Cuba. In this 1900 letter from Cuba, Dr. Allen writes to “Ethel” asking why she hasn’t written to him--is she ill, has she abandoned him? She did not abandon him; the letters continued and the couple eventually married in 1911.

We are re-opening for tours this weekend, and busily working behind the scenes to prepare to welcome you back! The dinin...
04/13/2021

We are re-opening for tours this weekend, and busily working behind the scenes to prepare to welcome you back! The dining room table is newly set for spring - we can imagine Rosamond Gibson and her friends enjoying dessert on these French flower plates. Book your tour now!

We are re-opening for tours this weekend, and busily working behind the scenes to prepare to welcome you back! The dining room table is newly set for spring - we can imagine Rosamond Gibson and her friends enjoying dessert on these French flower plates. Book your tour now!

On this day 76 years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt died. World War II was nearing its end, and the president died...
04/12/2021

On this day 76 years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt died. World War II was nearing its end, and the president died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage. Upon learning the news, Charlie Gibson penned a short poem to express his sorrow surrounding the passing of such a revered man. Like he often did, Charlie mailed a copy of his poem to the recipient, in this instance to Harry Truman, who was newly sworn in as President.
The first stanza reads:
Let the bells peal, if there be bells to tell;
They sing so seldom in this rubbled war,
Even with full Victory in store.
Let the drums’ ruffled roll
Accompany his soul.
Martyr to freedom and the cause of peace,
He died to save the world, with war’s surcease,
Rose to new heights on wings of adverse fate,
Turned to prosperity the sinking of the state.

#NationalPoetryMonth

This image is FDR’s grave in Hyde Park, New York, courtesy of the Griffin Museum of Photography.

On this day 76 years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt died. World War II was nearing its end, and the president died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage. Upon learning the news, Charlie Gibson penned a short poem to express his sorrow surrounding the passing of such a revered man. Like he often did, Charlie mailed a copy of his poem to the recipient, in this instance to Harry Truman, who was newly sworn in as President.
The first stanza reads:
Let the bells peal, if there be bells to tell;
They sing so seldom in this rubbled war,
Even with full Victory in store.
Let the drums’ ruffled roll
Accompany his soul.
Martyr to freedom and the cause of peace,
He died to save the world, with war’s surcease,
Rose to new heights on wings of adverse fate,
Turned to prosperity the sinking of the state.

#NationalPoetryMonth

This image is FDR’s grave in Hyde Park, New York, courtesy of the Griffin Museum of Photography.

Today is Take a Walk in the Park Day, and Boston has many great parks to choose from. In fact, the Gibson House is just ...
03/30/2021

Today is Take a Walk in the Park Day, and Boston has many great parks to choose from. In fact, the Gibson House is just a few minutes walk from the Public Garden! Rosamond Warren Gibson could watch from her house as her grand nieces and nephews, who lived nearby, walked to and from the Public Garden. If they were misbehaving, she would be sure to tell her sister, their grandmother, straight away.

Interestingly, the Gibsons summered in Nahant and likely missed much of the nearby park in full bloom. It was the practice of many upper class Boston families to spend their summers away from the city.

Pictured below is a photograph of the Public Garden circa 1880 from the Boston Public Library’s collection.

Today is Take a Walk in the Park Day, and Boston has many great parks to choose from. In fact, the Gibson House is just a few minutes walk from the Public Garden! Rosamond Warren Gibson could watch from her house as her grand nieces and nephews, who lived nearby, walked to and from the Public Garden. If they were misbehaving, she would be sure to tell her sister, their grandmother, straight away.

Interestingly, the Gibsons summered in Nahant and likely missed much of the nearby park in full bloom. It was the practice of many upper class Boston families to spend their summers away from the city.

Pictured below is a photograph of the Public Garden circa 1880 from the Boston Public Library’s collection.

Address

137 Beacon St
Boston, MA
02116

The nearest subway stop is Arlington Street on the Green Line.

Opening Hours

Saturday 13:00 - 16:00
Sunday 13:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(617) 267-6338

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when The Gibson House Museum posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to The Gibson House Museum:

Videos

Category

Our Story

Tours are given on the hour at 1, 2, and 3 p.m.. Wednesday through Sunday. The museum is closed on major holidays. For groups of twelve and more please call for a reservation. 617-267-6338 or email [email protected] website: www.thegibsonhouse.org


Comments

BOSTON FUN FACT FRIDAY GIBSON HOUSE - BOSTON Boston architect Edward Clarke Cabot designed the Italian Renaissance style Gibson House. Located at 137 Beacon Street, in 2001 the residence was awarded a National Historic Landmark distinction. A tribute to the fact that the Victorian era row house’s exterior architecture and interior layout have remained true to their original blueprint. Stately in appearance, the red brick and brownstone exterior is topped with a sloped slate roof. Inside the home visitors receive a glimpse of Boston’s once golden age. Interior highlights include: a walnut wood crafted staircase, mahogany furniture, Japanese wallpaper, imported carpets, paintings and sculptures. Decorative room schemes are personalized with selected family furnishings. In 1859, newly widowed Catherine Hammond Gibson purchased a Back Bay lot for her son, Charles Sr. Her desire was to relocate her family to a quieter part of the city, a further distance from the hustle and bustle of Beacon Hill. The Gibson House was completed in 1860, and marked the second lot built on within (former swampland) the newly developed Bay neighborhood. Regarded as one of the city’s most affluent families, the Gibson’s paid $3,000 to have their new home built. Three generations of the family resided at the estate from 1860 to 1954. The Gibson House & Museum celebrates the family’s legacy and fondness for Boston. Charles Gibson, Jr. long believed his family’s stories and possessions needed to be preserved and shared with all. He wanted the Boston opulence which filled his family’s estate to continue to be a part of the community. Through the efforts of Charles, Jr., the Gibson House is forever safeguarded as a place for the public to enjoy, and a piece of Boston history. Bob Cushing