The Ipswich Historical Commission presented the 2008 Mary P. Conley Preservation Award to Craig and Grace Hanson, owners of the Day-Dodge House, the side facing East St. dating as early as 1720, and further records dating to 1737. The unusual double house is at the corner of North Main and East Streets, with two entrances and asymmetrical bays. Mat Cummings was the architect and Jim Whidden was the woodwright on the project. They concluded that the L facing East Street predates 1720 and is a reused barn or similar structure from around 1640-1660.

Day-Dodge house, North Main Street, Ipswich MA
Day-Dodge house, North Main Street, Ipswich MA

Thomas Franklin Waters recorded the history of this house:

“Col. Wainwright’s heirs sold a lot on the corner of North Main and East Sts., twenty-six rods, to Nathaniel Day, Dec. 12, 1737. In the fashion of his time, when land was still to be had for the asking, Mr. Day made his petition to the Town, that as the Town had granted Mr. Wainwright a lot eighteen or nineteen feet by twenty-four, in 1697, and as he had purchased this of the heirs, as well as a part of the lot extending about seventy feet on said front, and as he was about to build a dwelling, he asked for more room (Town Record 1737). The house was built and stands today in somewhat enlarged form. Nathaniel Day died and his young widow inherited the house. On Nov. 8, 1755, while she was still in her twenty-sixth year, intention of marriage with Isaac Dodge, then twenty-two years old, was published, and the marriage followed in due time. He became a prominent citizen. He was a member of the Committee of Correspondence and Inspection in the Revolutionary war, and attained a considerable property.

Gunstock corner post that James Whidden fabricated and installed as part of the restoration of the Day Dodge House.

Col. Dodge bought the remainder of the Wainwright land, March 20, 1762.He died June 25, 1785, and his widow lived only until Sept. 22nd. Mrs. Dodge retained her ownership in the house and bequeathed the northeast end of the dwelling with land to her daughter Rebecca, the wife of Major Thomas Burnham, and the southwest end to her daughter, Priscilla Dodge, with land in the rear.”

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This house is protected by a preservation agreement. Protected elements include:

  • The two facades facing N. Main and East Streets, plus the attached Ell.
  • Central frame of the original 6 room 1720 dwelling
  • Wooden architectural elements of the front hall facing N. Main St.and the second story corner room, including molding, stairways, paneling, doors, paneling, and mantelpieces.
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Layout of the Day-Dodge house. The corner at North Main and East Streets is greater than 90 degrees.
Post and beam construction in the ceiling of the oldest section of the Day-Dodge house, facing East St.
Post and beam construction in the ceiling of the oldest section of the Day-Dodge house, facing East St.