The weekend tour season at the Royall House and Slave Quarters in Medford begins Saturday, May 17 and continues every Saturday and Sunday through October 26, with guided tours at 1, 2, and 3 p.m. for a modest admission fee.
In the eighteenth century, the Royall House and Slave Quarters was home to the largest slaveholding family in Massachusetts and the enslaved Africans who made their lavish way of life possible. Architecture, household items, and archaeological artifacts bear witness to the intertwined stories of wealth and bondage, set against the backdrop of America’s quest for independence. The Slave Quarters is the only remaining such structure in the northern United States, and the Royall House is among the finest colonial-era buildings in New England.
The museum will host its annual free Community Open House on Saturday, May 31, from noon to 3 p.m. Guides stationed in the mansion, in the Slave Quarters, and on the grounds will recount the site’s history and answer visitors’ questions.
On Saturday, May 31, the Royall House and Slave Quarters will also present “One Minute’s Freedom: The Story of Mum Bett” to introduce school-aged children to the brave woman who helped end slavery in Massachusetts. Storyteller Tammy Denease brings to life the remarkable heroine known as Mum Bett who successfully sued for her freedom in 1781. Performances at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. will be 45 minutes long. Admission is free, but reservations are required. Visit RoyallHouse.org or call 781-396-9032 to register.
These programs are co-sponsored by Historic New England and supported in part by a grant from the Medford Arts Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
The Royall House and Slave Quarters is located at 15 George Street, Medford. On-street parking is available and the museum is located on the 96 and 101 MBTA bus routes. Please note that there will be no tours on Saturday, October 4.
– Submitted by Tom Lincoln, Director