The County Street bridge was built in the mid 19th Century and for half a century was the town’s newest industrial area.

County Street bridge, late 19th Century
County Street bridge, late 19th Century

The following story is from Ipswich Yesterday by Alice Keenan, written in 1982.

Ipswich mill on County st.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE — This old photo shows how County Street was once a town industrial center. Eventually the Lower Mill burned down and others closed their doors. Pictured in the background is Turkey Shore Road with Heartbreak Hill in the background. The County Street bridge, in center, was built in 1860.

When we first viewed this picture some years ago we must admit it was a complete puzzlement to us until we discovered the faint lettering that told us it was the Lower Mill on County street. In the background is Heartbreak Hill, totally devoid of trees and not looking at all like the Heartbreak Hill of today.

Closeup from the 1884 Birdseye Map of Ipswich, The County St and Choate bridges are indicated for reference.
Closeup from the 1884 Birdseye Map of Ipswich, The County St and Choate bridges are indicated for reference.
CountyStBridge
In this view from downstream, remnants of the dam on the right still exist. The sawmill is on the left and the Woolen Mill sits on the other side of the bridge.
Sawmill Point is a small park at the south end of the County St. bridge

When the County street bridge was built in 1860 it joined together Cross and Mill streets, which then became County street, and completely obliterated “Falls Island” which stood in the middle of the river and had always been a busy center of industry since Robert Calef built the first grist mill in 1715.

Fulling, saw, grist and woolen mills flourished, and by the time this picture was taken, Amos Lawrence and his Ipswich Mills had taken over the Woolen Mill, expanded it, and that along with the several small enterprises across the street: saw, box and veneer mills, owned and operated by the locals, made this now residential area a very busy and noisy place.

In time the mill burned down, the smaller mills closed their doors, and all that’s left to remind us of that long ago time are the three small houses, facing Elm street, and standing more or less on what was Fall’s Island.

The County Street sawmill
The sawmill at the County Street bridge
Postcard of the sawmill at the County Street bridge
The Woolen Mill was at the northwest corner of the County Street bridge,, but burned down.

View of Sawmill Point from the Great Cove near the intersection of County and Poplar Streets.
View of Sawmill Point from the Great Cove near the intersection of County and Poplar Streets.
View of the County St. mils from the Cove
View of the County St. mils from the Cove

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