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The Boston Globe

Lifestyle

G cover

One house, two histories in Medford

Years ago, a museum housed in a historic estate focused on its wealthy loyalist founder. Now it’s being recognized for bringing to life the history of slavery in Massachusetts.

MEDFORD — It was more than 25 years ago, but museum educator Peter Gittleman still remembers vividly the first time he visited the Royall House and Slave Quarters, an obscure historic house museum on George Street near Tufts University.

During the mid-1700s, the property — a mansion, slave quarters, and the remnants of a 500-acre estate — had been home to the Royall family, the largest slaveholding family in Massachusetts, and to the more than 60 Africans they’d enslaved. It’s thought to be the only surviving freestanding slave quarters in the northern United States.

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