The Burnham-Patch House at 1 Turkey Shore Road in Ipswich has one of the original covenants established with the Ipswich Historical Commission. It is believed to have been built in 1730 based on the early Georgian paneling, but in the book “Something to Preserve” it is described as “much more difficult to date than the Heard-Lakeman dwelling” next door. The house appears to have been built on the unbalanced floor plan of an earlier house from the 1670’s, with rooms of varying dimensions. Heavy quarter-round chamfered summer beams in the cellar support the floors above, complete with “lambs-tongue” stops, evidently from a First Period structure. The large ell on Poplar Street was added in the early nineteenth-century, and its beams are supported by slender granite posts. The house’s early period stairway and railing are shown in the photo below.

Purnham Patch house stairs, Ipswich MA

Thomas Franklin Waters wrote, “The lot on the corner of Turkey Shore Road and Poplar Street was sold by George Giddings to Thomas Burnham, one and a half acres, with Samuel Hunt, north, June 3, 1667. Thomas Burnham sold to his son Aaron, his house and homestead “now occupied by my sons Moses and Aaron,” Dec. 30, 1710. Aaron Burnham and Esther sold to his brother Thomas, Oct. 3, 1720). He conveyed to William Dodge of Wenham, March 18, 1728-9 and he to his son, William, May 1, 1752 (119: 154). Nathaniel Wade, executor of Abraham Dodge, sold the house and one and three quarters acres to John Patch, “reserving Priscilla Dodge, the northwest lower room and kitchen according to the will of her father, William Dodge,” Aug. 4, 1795. Bethiah Dodge, widow, and Abigail Cogswell, widow, sold to Abner Day, “the homestead of the late John Patch, our father, devised to us by will, May 7, 1814. Abner Day sold to Samuel Day, March 14, 1825 and he to Samuel H. Green, Jan. 22, 1847 (whose heirs still owned and occupied in 1900). The oldest part of the present dwelling is of venerable age, but no precise date can be assigned.”

John Patch owned a large farm and house at Castle Hill and Castle Neck but preferred to stay in his “town house.” Abner Day bought the house of the heirs of John Patch in 1814 and kept a well-known tavern, which was known later as the Franklin House, under the management of Capt. Samuel Day.

This house is protected by a preservation agreement signed by the owners. Protected elements include:

  • The exterior frame of the building
  • Central frame including primary and secondary members
  • Wooden architectural elements including doors, paneling, mantelpieces and other molded details on the inner walls of the four rooms of the original 1730 building,
  • Wooden window seats in the second story left bedroom of the original building.
  • View MACRIS
Fireplace and paneling in the Burnham-Patch house
Fireplace and paneling in the Burnham-Patch house
The floors in the oldest part of the house are supported by massive summer beams that were apparently re-used from a previous structure. Note the champhered fluting and "lambs tongue" stop, very unusual framing for a basement.
The floors in the oldest part of the house are supported by massive summer beams that were apparently re-used from a previous structure. Note the chamfered fluting and “lambs tongue” stop, very unusual framing for a basement.
Principal purlin roof construction in the oldest section of the Burnham Patch house
Rafter/purlin roof construction in the oldest section of the Burnham Patch house. The massive rafter beams are trenched through on the back to carry roof purlins, which carry the vertical roof boards