Summer Street may be the oldest public way in Ipswich, and in the earliest days of the settlement was called Stony Street, or simply “The Way to the River. ” Thomas Franklin Waters wrote that for two centuries it was Annable’s Lane, named after settler John Annable. In the Colonial years, streets tended to be named for topographical features or for who lived on them. By the 19th Century, communities in New England were old and well-established, the origins of the early street names forgotten. Many towns, including Ipswich, renamed their thoroughfares with more universal names. The photo below is the west side of lower Summer Street, with the old road between the house and the current Summer Street. In the earliest years, the east side of lower Summer Street was mostly orchard.
At 3 Summer Street is the Benjamin Kimball House, a 1720 two-story, end gable building with a center chimney. The core of this house, probably a 2 room cape, is believed to have been moved to this location in 1803 and expanded at that time. The Benjamin Kimball house is first period.
The Widow Fuller house at 5 Summer Street was built in 1725. The house may be named after the widow of Captain Fuller who died at sea in 1825 at 35 years of age, leaving her with two infant children, the younger of whom was born four days before his tragic death.
Manning Dodge sold a part of his lot fronting on Annable’s Lane (Summer Streeet) to Daniel Glazier on July 20, 1835. Glazier built his house here soon thereafter, about 1840. While many of the Glaziers went to sea, notably Captain Benjamin Glazier, a payment to Daniel Glazier for “work on railings” suggests that he may have been a carpenter.
The Nathaniel Hovey house at 11 Summer Street was built in 1718, the First Period of construction. The uneven layout of the front suggests that it was originally built as a half house and was expanded. The ell on the left side appears to be a modification of a Beverly Jog.
The Moses Harris house at 12 Summer Street dates to 1848. The gable end of the house faces the street with pilasters surrounding the front door, the roof rakes and cornice returns are wide, and the trim is painted green, all typical of the Greek Revival architectural era.
The Ipswich database tells us the house at 16 Summer St. was built between 1845 and 1856 by Nathaniel Treadwell. There were many Nathaniel Treadwells in Ipswich, dating back to the 17th Century, and the Treadwell family is quite prominent in the history of our town.
An innovation of the Greek Revival period was building homes with the narrower front gable end facing the street on narrow lots. Larger Greek Revival Buildings were to constructed with a temple-like façade. The houses were often painted white and featured dark green shutters. This house at 24 Summer Street in Ipswich was probably constructed in 1880.
27 Summer Street, the Thomas Knowlton house, is First Period, built in 1688. The 2-story timber frame home has traditional English overhangs on the front and sides. The lot on the corner of Summer St. and County St. was granted originally to Humphrey Bradstreet. He sold his house and land to Deacon Thomas Knowlton in 1646.
The house at 31 Summer Street in Ipswich was probably built around 1775 and is a rare Georgian on a street so full of First period and Greek Revival homes. Typical of Georgian Colonial homes it has a symmetrical shape, paneled front door with decorative crown, sidelights and flattened columns on either side, “five over four with a door.”
This elegant Cape Cod Colonial at 37 Summer Street was built in 1825. Like many capes from the Greek Revival era it features a balanced facade, centered door with entablature and corner pilasters, dental molding and elaborate cornice returns.
This timber-framed First Period house was built in 1718 by William Wilcomb at 43 Summer St. in Ipwich. The interior of the home features hand-hewn summer beams, wide plank flooring and the original fireplaces. Out on Jeffreys Neck, William Willcomb operated a fishing stage.
The James Foster House at 46 Summer Street was built in 1720. The roof-line shows that it was once a smaller house, later doubled in size and remodeled to appear Georgian, with the two chimneys, dormers and a symmetrical front. He bought this former orchard land from Nathaniel Clark who moved to Newbury.