Harris-Stanwood house, Ipswich MA

Is Purity Possible?

streetsofsalem

Architectural purity, I mean: there’s no philosophical, spiritual or political rumination going on here. My house is such an assemblage of Federal, Greek Revival and eclectic Victorian styles that I often find myself craving architectural purity: it was “transitional” when it was built in 1827 and it became even more so over the next century as it was expanded and remodeled over the next century. A whole rear elbow ell of outbuildings was attached and then shorn off. Inside straightforward Federal mouldings were replaced with rounded Italianate ones; a simple staircase was replaced with one much more detailed and made of mahogany, and 1920s etched glass was inserted into the original doors. Even its “classic” exterior with flushboard facade was altered: with the customary bay window that pops out nearly everywhere in the later nineteenth century and an elaborate doorway below, and some curvy trim attached to the first-floor windows…

View original post 415 more words

Bungalows of Ipswich

The Eastern Bungalow style was popular between 1910-1940, which included the Depression years. They are an affordable and practical adaptation of California’s Arts and Crafts movement. Full second floors are not a feature of this style, but finished attics are common. The style shares features with traditional well-ventilated folk houses in the warmer U.S. south, with expansive front porches that form a … Continue reading Bungalows of Ipswich

“Kiss of Death” at New England textile mills

The weaver, after loading a new pirn wrapped with thread into a shuttle, drew the loose end through the hole with her breath. Certainly no one connected this habit with the observation, made sometime in the nineteenth century, that weavers were dying of what was then called consumption at a higher rate than the general public.

The Man in Full: Honoring the Life and Times of Ipswich Police Officer Officer Charles B. Schwartz

By Gavin Keenan Retired Ipswich Police Officer and local legend Charles Benjamin Schwartz passed away on January 19, 2017. Charlie had struggled with cancer this last year and as he would say, “Gave it as good as I got.” Although I am relieved for him that his suffering has ended, I’m saddened by the passing … Continue reading The Man in Full: Honoring the Life and Times of Ipswich Police Officer Officer Charles B. Schwartz

Old Salem by Eleanor Ptnam

“Old Salem,” by Eleanor Putnam

In 1886, Arlo Bates published Old Salem, containing five charming stories written by his mother, Harriet Leonora Vose Bates (AKA Eleanor Putnam). I learned of this small, quaint book in a post at The Streets of Salem about Mary Mason Brooks (1860-1915), who republished the book with colorful illustrations. Mr. Bates' introduction to his mother's work begins as follows: It is … Continue reading “Old Salem,” by Eleanor Putnam