Photo by George Dexter Russell’s Lunch–where the Ipswich clam became king - (Excerpts from a 1972 article in Ipswich Today, published by Donna and Harris Smith) “That delectable delicacy known as the Ipswich fried clam has become a respectable part of nearly every menu from coast to coast. Almost every resident in Ipswich, 70 years of age and older who remembers Russell’s Lunch in Depot Square is […]
Invention of the fried clam, 1916 - (This article is from the New England Historical Society.) On July 3, 1916, Lawrence ‘Chubby’ Woodman invented the fried clam. It was a hot, steamy day in Essex, Mass. Chubby Woodman and his wife Bessie had opened a small concession stand on Main Street two years earlier. On weekends they sold small grocery items, homemade potato chips […]
Clamming on Cape Ann Clamming on Cape Ann - Shep Means hosts the show On The Waterfront at Cape Ann TV. On Episode 1, he goes digging for soft shell clams.
Discovery of native American shell heap on Treadwell’s Island, 1882 - Early in September 1882, Mr I. J. Potter, owner and publisher of the Ipswich Chronicle, called the attention of the officers of the Peabody Academy of Science to a shell heap which he had observed on the shore of Ipswich River on Treadwell’s Island, formerly known as Perkins Island. In one spot at the depth […]
Joppa Flats, Newburyport - In the late 19th Century, clam shacks proliferated along a stretch of the Merrimack River in Newburyport known as Joppa Flats, providing clams to the Boston area. Photos in this slideshow were provided by Laurie Jarvis Short. Visit her Joppa Flats page on Facebook.
Clam Battle! (Life Magazine, July 16, 1945) - An article from the July 16, 1945 Life magazine: Last Summer, as their forefathers had for 300 years before them, the people of Ipswich and Rowley were making a comfortable living out of the rich juicy clams from the briny marsh along the Parker River. Last winter they suddenly discovered a proclamation posted on their land. […]
The Clammer - by Beverly Perna.  Photos of Tom Pappas are by Terry Unger for the People and Place project.  It had to be a tough decision to hang up the clamming fork after a lifetime of use. Tom Pappas, who will be 90 in December, did that finally last year. “I physically couldn’t do it anymore,” he said. […]
Soffron Brothers Ipswich Clams - Thomas, George, Stephen and Peter Soffron and their sister Virginia were the children of a couple who moved from Greece to Ipswich, to work in the mills. Whether the brothers ever worked in the mills is uncertain, but in 1932 they started digging clams for the local market, working out of the family farm on […]
Adrift on a Haystack legend Rowley Adrift on a Haystack, 1876 - A remarkable northeasterly storm on the 4th of December, 1786 caused most of the salt hay along the North Shore to be set afloat and lost in the tide. Samuel Pulsifer and Samuel Elwell, both of Rowley were digging clams on the flats in Plum Island Sound and got caught in the storm. The Rev. Ebenezer Bradford […]

One thought on “Clam Stories

  1. Thanks to Chubby Woodman for frying the first clam! My Grampy Harvey Graham was a clam digger in Ipswich.

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