The Nichols House Museum occupies an impressive four-story town house, one of the earliest Beacon Hill structures, constructed in 1804. In 1885, Dr. Arthur Nichols purchased the house for his wife and daughters. Their eldest daughter Rose Standish Nichols, noted landscape architect, writer and suffragist, inherited the house. Miss Nichols owned and cared for the house from 1935 until her death in 1960. Since 1961 the Nichols House Museum has been open to the public as an historic house museum reflecting the domestic life of a typical family of Beacon Hill at the turn of the last century. The house is furnished with priceless possessions accumulated over several generations. The collection includes fine European and American wooden furniture from the 17th-19th centuries, ancestral portraits, Flemish tapestries, oriental rugs, European and Asian art, and works by America's foremost sculptor of the 19th century, Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
Open year-round, the Nichols House Museum welcomes a growing number of international and domestic guests. It provides an active schedule of lectures, programs, and special events for its membership and the community. The Nichols House welcomes a variety of educational groups for tours and programs. These have included after-school Girl Scout troops working on badges, students from nearby colleges and universities, design students, and adult learners who visit the museum under the aegis of the Road Scholar program.