From the earliest times, the land along the south side of the riverbank was known as Turkey Shore, but no one knows why. In the mid-19th Century, it was given the “more proper” name of Prospect Street, but by the 20th Century it had regained its colorful original name.
When Roger Preston arrived in Ipswich, he first purchased a lot along the river near what is now the intersection of Turkey Shore and Labor in Vain roads at or near where the Nathaniel Hodgkins house still stands. Thomas Franklin Waters noted that “evidently the neighborhood did not prove popular” and by 1644 every lot had been transferred. The corner of Poplar Street, and the section of Turkey Shore Rd. from Green St. to Labor in Vain have houses dating to the 17th and 18th Centuries. In the early years, the land from Poplar to Green Streets along the hillside was farmland, originally known as “Appleton’s Lot,” although it seemed to change hands frequently. In 1770, John Heard’s rum distillery, which later became a tannery, was constructed near the intersection with Poplar Street. Hunt’s Wharf, later known as Dodge Wharf, was nearby.
Very few houses are shown in the stretch between Poplar and Green Streets in the 1884 Ipswich map. Land on the hillside and along the river bank began to be sold for development at about the time that ships quit coming into the cove to the industries on County Street/ The Green St. bridge was constructed in 1880 as a response to demands from the residents on Turkey Shore, and wholesale development of a late Victorian neighborhood followed. Many of the current houses appear in the 1893 Birdseye map of Ipswich; construction of the new Turkey Shore neighborhood was almost complete in the 1910 village map.
Thomas Franklin Waters, Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Vol. II