One of the wealthiest China Trade merchants in Boston, Robert Bennett Forbes built this country home for his mother, Mary Perkins Forbes, in 1833. As architect he chose Isaiah Rogers, well known for his design of Boston's Tremont House (1827), the country's first palatial hotel. Although an important example of the Greek Revival style, the Forbes House equally merits attention for the 1870s enlargement by Peabody and Stearns. As originally built, the brick house stood two stories high
Behind the house survive the original carriage barn with a late-nineteenth-century addition and a replica of Abraham Lincoln's log cabin birthplace, built by Miss Mary Forbes in 1926 to house her large collection of Lincoln memorabilia.