27 York Street

The Boston-Higginbotham House

The Boston- Higginbotham House at 27 York Street was constructed c. 1774 by Seneca Boston, a weaver and formerly enslaved man. The home boasts more than 200 years of ownership by free Black Nantucketers. It was owned by Boston’s descendants until 1919. In 1920, cook and domestic worker Florence Higginbotham purchased the home. The house, originally a simple lean-to structure, has been altered many times over the years. The Museum of African American History of Boston and Nantucket completed a multi-year restoration of the house and its outbuildings, winning NPT’s 2020 Architectural Preservation Award. The Museum, working with architect Marsha Fader and builder Chuck Lenhart of Sandcastle Construction, made careful decisions to utilize different rooms of the house to emphasize 18th, 19th, and 20th century stories while honoring the full 200 years of African American ownership. Highlights include Florence’s 1920s-era kitchen, complete with her Household Regal Cookstove, found in pieces in the basement and beautifully restored for present-day use, a 19th-century Greek Revival mantelpiece, and 18th-century fireplace paneling. The home will be open to the public while also serving as housing for MAAH interns and visiting scholars. The newly restored Boston-Higginbotham House and outbuildings, together with the African Meeting House, now form a complete campus where centuries of Nantucket’s African American history can be experienced and researched.

Delve even deeper into the house’s history with this recording from the Museum of African American History and WGBH.
Thank you to the Museum of African American History.

The Boston-Higginbotham House and the African Meeting House are recognized as National Trust Historic Sites.