Exploring Boston’s Lesser-Known Museums


Boston is home to a number of notable museums. While some gain a great deal of attention from residents and visitors alike, others are not so well known and do not receive the traffic they deserve. To that end, here is a look at some of the most underappreciated museums in and around the city that you might want to consider visiting.

Ancient and Honorable Artillery Co.

With roots that date back to the 1630s, the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Co. boasts a collection of military memorabilia that spans a few eras. The museum is also home to books, tankards, plates and other objects. The museum is located across from the elevator to the fourth floor of Faneuil Hall. It is free to the public and open on weekdays from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm.

The Battle Of Bunker Hill Museum

Located just across the street from the Bunker Hill memorial and monument, the Battle of Bunker Hill Museum chronicles the 1775 battle between colonial and British forces with an emphasis on pre-20th century history. The museum, which is free to enter and operated by the National Park Service, is located in Monument Square in Charlestown.

Boston Fire Museum

Dedicated to the Boston Fire Department, the Boston Fire Museum boasts all manner of firefighting equipment and vehicles along with historical photos. The building itself is an old firehouse that dates back to 1891. The museum, which is located at 344 Congress Street, is free to the public.

Museum of African American History

Charting the story of African Americans in New England spanning from colonial times to the 19th century, the Museum of African American History was once the African Meeting House dating back to 1806. The building itself remains the oldest standing black church edifice in the country. The museum, which is free to the public, is located at 46 Joy Street.

Nichols House Museum

Situated near the State House and the 54th Massachusetts memorial, Nichols House Museum depicts life in Beacon Hill in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Housed in an 1804 Federal townhouse designed by Charles Bulfinch, the museum was named after its last owner who passed in 1960 and bequeathed the building to the city. Admission to the museum, which is located at 55 Mount Vernon Street, is $10 per adult. Kids under 13 are admitted for free.

Warren Anatomical Museum

Previously owned by a Harvard medical professor, the collection within the Warren Anatomical Museum features approximately 15,000 artifacts and cases. Among these are the skull of Phineas Gage who lived for a dozen years after an iron rod shot passed through his skull. The museum is free to the public.

West End Museum

Dedicated to Boston’s West End, the West End Museum chronicles the transition of the enclave spurred by renewal efforts in the 1950s and 1960s. Serving as a cautionary tale to overzealous city planners, the museum also offers a look at the roles that immigrant groups played in the rise of the city. The museum, which is free to enjoy, is located at 150 Staniford Street in Boston.

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