The Tourists Are Coming!

By Amy Derjue | Boston Magazine |

John Adams: Revolutionary War hero, second U.S. president, and, as far as most tourists used to be concerned, just another wig-wearing dead guy. But then HBO aired its miniseries John Adams in March. Now, with the tourism season in full swing, staffers at the founding father’s birthplace—Adams National Historical Park in Quincy, above—are suddenly straining to accommodate all the new fans.

More than 35,000 people visited during April and May, which is 8,000 more than in the same period last year. The surge has forced supervisory park ranger Karen Yourell to hire 10 additional tour guides, but there’s only so much the park can do. "We don’t want to turn anyone away, but some days it’s difficult to get everyone in the house," Yourell says.

While Adams devotees might be peeved that it took a cable-TV flick to revive interest in the guy, Yourell loves the new attention. It’s just too bad there was no HBO in the 19th century. If there had been, Adams might have managed to get reelected.

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