The world of house museums is wildly diverse and a little hard to pin down. That’s part of their charm. It also makes any comprehensive list impossible. Here’s a totally subjective selection that gives a sense of the range of what a house museum can offer.
Novelist Edith Wharton designed this classical revival house herself, based on the principles she described in her 1897 book “The Decoration of Houses”; it boasts three acres of formal gardens.
Boston’s densest neighborhood also contains the oldest house in downtown Boston, though it has been radically remade since the patriot lived there.
The oldest presidential birthplaces in the United States are just down the road from the Old House at Peace Field, where four generations of the Adams family lived.
This 17th-century manor now fosters farm animals in cooperation with the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and offers a variety of hands-on activities.
Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus movement, designed this small but architecturally dramatic house as his family home when he moved to Massachusetts to teach at Harvard in the 1930s.
Louisa May Alcott wrote “Little Women” at a small “shelf desk” upstairs; the majority of furnishings on display were owned by the Alcott family.
Three generations of Willards made clocks in this rural workshop starting in 1766; more than 80 are now on display.
The great suffragist was born in 1820 in this homestead built by her father. It now displays period textiles and furnishings, as well as memorabilia from her life and career.
There are no fewer than 8 (!) Mary Baker Eddy homes in Massachusetts and New Hampshire; she was renting an apartment in this house in 1866 when she experienced a transformational healing that led to the founding of Christian Science.