Little Neck in the foreground, with Great Neck beyond it
Little Neck is in the foreground, with Great Neck beyond it. In the lower left corner is Steep Hill Beach, and the tip of Plum Island can be seen on the right.

In 1639, two wealthy brothers William and Robert Paine (aka Payne) procured a grant of land in the town of Ipswich from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Ten years later William Paine. In about 1649 Robert offered to “erect an edifice for the purpose of a grammar school, provided the town or any particular inhabitant of the town would devote, set apart or give any land or other annuity for the yearly maintenance of a schoolmaster. Within one year the town granted to Robert Paine, William Paine, Major Daniel Denison and William Bartholomew “in trust for the use of schools” certain lands and appointed eight trustees to manage and regulate “the schools and the affairs thereof.”

Upon his death in 1660 William Paine bequeathed the 27 acres of land on Little Neck to be held in trust forever for the benefit of the Ipswich Public Schools and specified that the land should “be and remain to the benefit of said school of Ipswich forever … said land not to be sold nor wasted.” The trust leased grazing rights to the land to farmers, and turned all the proceeds over to the schools. The trustees became known as the Feoffees (pronounced “feffees”) of the Ipswich Grammar School.

This photo provided by the Ipswich Museum appears to be Pavilion Beach with Little Neck behind it.
This photo provided by the Ipswich Museum appears to be Pavilion Beach with Little Neck behind it.

By the 21st Century, the Trust was leasing cottages that had been built on the land, but was contributing nothing to the schools. By vote of the 2011 fall Town Meeting, Little Neck was sold to the 166 cottage owners for $31 million. The net gain of $25 million became a new Trust to benefit the Ipswich schools.

Little Neck n 1864
Little Neck n 1864
There were no houses on Little Neck in 1890, photo courtesy of Bill George.
Little Neck in 1890, photo courtesy of Bill George.
The Little Neck Store, courtesy of Bill George
The Little Neck Store, courtesy of Bill George
Little Neck in the late 19th Century.
Little Neck in the late 19th Century.
View of Little Neck from Treadwell's Island. Photo by George Dexter, circa 1900.
View of Little Neck from Treadwell’s Island. Photo by George Dexter, circa 1900.

Little Neck, early cottages
Little Neck, cottages
Cottages multiply in the early 20th Century
Cottages multiply in the early 20th Century
The Little Neck Hotel on the left, and the Little Neck store is attached on the right.
The Little Neck Hotel on the left, and the Little Neck store is attached on the right.

Byron's Store at Little Neck
Byron’s Store at Little Neck

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Painting of River Rd. on Little Neck by Nat Siskins
Little Neck and Pavilion Beach in the early 20th Century
Little Neck and Pavilion Beach in the early 20th Century
Poor's clam shack was at Pavilion Beach before Helen's Pavilion.
Poor’s Clam Shell was at Pavilion Beach before Helen’s Pavilion.
Clambake at Little Neck
Clambake at Little Neck
The Ipswich River and Little Neck
The Ipswich River and Little Neck
Photo of Little Neck by David Stone
Photo of Little Neck by David Stone

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little_neck_bridge

Postcard by Ipswich photographer George Dexter, circa 1900
Plum Island Sound Road, looking toward Pavilion Beach and Great Neck
Plum Island Sound Road, looking toward Pavilion Beach and Great Neck

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As of 2012 Little Neck is a private condominium association.
As of 2012 Little Neck is a private condominium association

One thought on “A photographic history of Little Neck

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