I visited my first and second presidential burial sites some time in the summer of 2003. I was spending the day up with my uncle and his girlfriend in Quincy, Massachusetts. Knowing about my interest in the presidents, they took me to to some of the various places included in the Adams National Historic Park. After touring the birthplaces of John and John Quincy (conveniently located right next to each other), we made our way over to Peacefield, which housed five generations of the Adams family. When we had finished touring the home, their stone library, and the visitors center, we finally drove to the United First Parish Church.
I entered the large granite church eagerly. We ended up skipping the tour of the whole building, and we instead followed the tour guide down the steep, aged steps to the Adams crypt. Before I knew it, there on the left was the locked wrought iron gate that separated me from one of the most famous American families. Now expecting to leave the premises, the guide asked us if we would like to enter. As if we could turn that offer down! Once the guide turned that key, it seemed that he opened a whole new world for me. While the tomb was fairly simple and bland, I was very intrigued as I ran my fingers across the stone sarcophagi. I felt very excited, but I couldn't contemplate the reason. After a few minutes in the crypt, we ventured back up stairs and made our way out of the building. Little did I know that within a years' time I would be all too familiar with graves and crypts.
Unfortunately, as I had not officially taken up my quest yet, we failed to take along a camera. It would be nearly a year before I returned to the Adams crypt.