The Ipswich East End Historic District was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1980.
- View a complete description in the Nomination Report.
- View a walking tour of the East End Historic District
The East End includes the seafaring portion of the original village of Ipswich and offers an architectural history of the town’s development. It was here that the first houses were built in this town where fishing and lumbering were prominent industries. When settlers arrived in the 1630’s, wigwams, huts and hovels were constructed between Town Hill and what is now Town Wharf. The Ipswich River was the town’s avenue to the Atlantic.
Settlement remained concentrated in this area and the town rapidly grew and prospered. Wharves and warehouses were built along the riverbank. Water Street was the site of a custom house, pottery manufacturing, and an ancient tannery. Salt manufacture began in 1652, a brew house was built by 1663, and Moses Pengry established a shipyard in 1673. By 1676 ship building was an extensive industry. The River became the chief highway of commerce as far inland as Falls Island (eradicated when the County St. bridge was built in 1861). Fishing and lumbering became prominent. Staves, clapboards, masts, timbers for houses, and fish were shipped to foreign ports.
The general lack of new building late in the 18th century reveals the economic hardships Ipswich faced at this time. The 1830’s heralded the Industrial Revolution in Ipswich and new buildings followed on the heels of successful textile mills. Lower County St., once pasture land, was improved in 1861 when a new bridge was built, linking the South Green area and the East End. The 1830s was one of the most prosperous periods in Ipswich history. The Industrial Revolution and new buildings followed on the heels of successful textile mills.
Thriving merchants built fine Victorian homes during this era, attesting to the prosperity of the town and the rising middle class. Five Second-Empire homes were built between 1860 and 1870. This marked the final stage of development for the East End. Today the East End is predominantly residential and includes over 60 examples of period architecture contributing to the character of the historic district.
Physical boundaries: The East End is bounded on the north and west by East Street. That street extends from the High-North Main Streets intersection on the west to Jeffrey’s Neck Road on the north, skirting Town Hill. The River and its eastern bank (Turkey Shore Road) form the eastern boundary of the district from Town Wharf to the Green Street Bridge. Green Street is the southern edge of the District, enclosing Water, Summer and Hovey Streets and Agawam Avenue, and a major portion of County Street. The East End is now predominantly residential and includes over 60 fully surveyed historic houses.
Houses in the East End listed by address, house name and date built
- First Period houses date from approximately 1630 to approximately 1725. They were often built as single rooms or “half- houses” with the entry and chimney on one side. These houses were often expanded so that the entrance and chimney would be in the middle, making them resemble later style Georgian homes. Many First Period homes had exposed beams and posts in the ceiling and walls, and featured large cooking fireplaces.
- Second Period houses generally date from 1725 – 1780. They were typically larger, laid out two rooms deep and two full stories high. Typically the front facade had a symmetrical five windows above and four windows below with a central entry door (“five over four with a door”). Woodwork was more ornamental in the Georgian style, featuring classical detailing, particularly around the windows and main doorway. Mansard roofs were also popular in the Georgian era.
- The Federal Period was from 1790 – 1820, when houses were often built 3 stories high with a low-pitched roof, a box shape and trimmed with wide corner boards.
- The Greek Revival style was popular from 1820 – 1850 with classical columns, elaborate gables and decorative door trim.
- The Victorian Era of the late 19th century includes many styles of architecture, including Stick Style, Queen Anne, Gothic Revival, Second Empire, Italianate, Romanesque, Shingle Style and more.
Susan Nelson’s detailed listing for the Ipswich Historical Society is the source of much of the information for dates and descriptions of the houses listed below.
Click on the word Read to view a page on this site for the listed house.
Photos are by Gordon Harris and Patriot Properties. Images and links will open in a new window. Closing that window will return you to this table.
Houses in Bold have preservation restrictions (“covenants”)
East End Walking Tour
This Walking Tour of the Ipswich East End Historical District begins at the Ipswich Town Hall on East Street. Begin by continuing over the bridge toward Turkey Shore Road. Read more the East End and the National Register of Historic Districts.
The Ipswich Town Hall on Green Street was built in 1936 as a high school and has many neoclassical features. The popularity of classical Greek architecture was renewed after the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair displayed historical European architectural styles in the Columbian Exposition. Neoclassical became a dominant style for public buildings nationwide in the 1930’s, inspired by the Beaux-Arts style and featuring classical symmetry, full height porches with columns and a temple front, and elaborate classical decorative ornaments such as dentil cornices.
The Emerson – Howard house at 41 Turkey Shore Road is on land originally owned by Thomas Emerson (an ancestor of Ralph Waldo Emerson) but the first section of the house was built in 1679 by William Howard, a hatter. In his will he deeded the old half of the house to his wife and the new half to his son William. Ipswich artist Arthur Wesley Dow (1857 – 1922) restored the house to prevent it from being demolished and used it as a summer art school from 1891 – 1907. The house has traditional English post and beam framing with the upper section overhanging the lower.
Two nearly identical homes at 43 and 51 Turkey Shore Road are built in the Bungalow Porch Style, an eastern adaptation out of California’s Arts and Crafts movement. The expansive front porch opens the living room to the yard, forming a connection between the home and a view of the river. Prominent round columns and wide window casings on the porch make it an architectural transition to the outdoors. The style is very similar to folk houses in the warmer U.S. south, and in New England many such porches were eventually enclosed
The Austin Measures house at 49 Turkey Shore Road was built in 1874. The low-pitched roof, window hoods and corbels supporting the flat roof portico are of Italianate influence.
Between 1850 and 1870 Isaac Foss built the elegant Gothic Revival Victorian house at 63 Turkey Shore Road. The steep front gables on this home show the influence of a romantic movement in architecture inspired by medieval design, a departure from the classical Federal and Greek Revival styles popular earlier in the century. The vertical wooden decorative pieces are indicative of the “stick” style of Victorian architecture.
At 59 Turkey Shore Road is a Victorian home built by Otis Glover before 1856. The “Stick Style” was briefly popular on houses with balloon framing, applying plain trim boards to soffits, aprons, and other decorative features. Stick-style architecture is recognizable by the relatively plain layout often accented with decorative gables and shingles. The open porch and paneled gable end were features that were continued into the more elaborate Queen Ann homes later in the Victorian era. Glover’s Wharf across the river was used for unloading coal that heated houses in the 19th century.
The Stephen Boardman house at 67 Turkey Shore Road on the corner with Labor in Vain Road was built in 1725. The wide pine board floors in the house are original, and 4 restored fireplaces share a central chimney. Stephen Boardman was born in 1717 in Ipswich, but moved to Stratham, NH where he made a name for himself as an opponent of Tory loyalists and a vocal supporter of the anticipated American Revolution.
A sea captain named McMahon built the large late 3rd Period (Federal era) house at 2 Labor in Vain Road on the corner with Turkey Shore Road in 1832. He expanded it in 1856. Wide corner boards and frieze, low roof pitch and modest styling are typical of the era, while the wrap-around front porch is more typically found in the later half of the 19th Century. Some people say the house is haunted
The tour crosses back over the Green Street Bridge and continues on Water Street
30 Green Street: This is the site of the home of Emma Jane Safford whose mother Emma Mitchell moved here from a Middleboro reservation. Mitchell was a descendant of Wampanoag chief Massasoit who ruled all the land between Cape Cod and Narragansett Bay and formed an alliance with the Pilgrims. Massasoit’s son Metacom, known as King Philip fought a bloody war with the Colonists. Emma Safford’s father was Jacob Safford, the son of former black slaves. She lived her entire life in Ipswich and died in 1958. She was a beloved figure in town. This local hosted summer lodgings for the native Agawam Indians.
4 Water Street, the Jewett house is a Colonial Revival home built in 1849 from the frame of the old First Church. The Colonial Revival movement expressed a renewed interest in the history and culture of the east coast colonies. Reacting to rapid changes that came with industrialism and immigration, it served to strengthen traditional notions of patriotism, culture and moral responsibility
6 Water Street, the Preston – Foster house was built by Roger Preston who immigrated to Ipswich in 1635. The house was sold to Reginald Foster in 1655. It has a typical first-period floor plan in the original front structure, and in the right half are two massive quarter-round chamfered summer beams. The sharp-pitched roof and purlins add additional evidence of the early date. In the first-floor right side room is fine rich-hued and unpainted horizontal feather-edged paneling.
The Harris – Sutton house, 8 Water St: This house is on the site of an early shipyard owned by Moses Pengry. The eastern part of the house dates to 1677 while the western section was constructed in 1715 by Abner Harris, later sold to Ebenezer Sutton. This First Period house received the 2012 Mary Conley Award. The 2 1/2 year project required stripping the house to maintain the post and beam framework. The original layout was maintained and the elements from the original floors, halls, doors, staircases, fireplaces, and even the original nails were re-used.
The Glazier – Sweet house at 12 Water Street is just beyond the turn onto Summer Street. This First Period half-house was built in 1728 by sea captain Benjamin Glazier on land he bought from James Foster. Like many colonial homes in Ipswich it has a “Beverly jog” on the left side. The interior features many period-style furnishings. *Turn left on Summer Street, the oldest adopted “way” in Ipswich, formerly named Annable’s Lane for Ipswich settler John Annable. It connected the dirt path along the river with North Main and Meetinghouse Green, and once was called simply “The Way to the River”.
The James Foster house at 46 Summer Street was built in 1720. The roofline shows that it was once a smaller house, later doubled in size and remodeled to appear Georgian, with two chimneys, dormers and a symmetrical front. He bought this former orchard land from Nathaniel Clark who moved to Newbury.
The Willcomb – Benjamin Pinder house at 43 Summer Street is on the left. 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, a small building and platform for salting and drying fish. He built this house in 1717. The next owner, William Benjamin Pinder was a corporal with Col. Appleton’s company in the ill-fated 1756 expedition against the French at Louisburg, Nova Scotia during the French and Indian War.
The Foster – Grant house at 39 Summer Street on was built in 1717. Inside this well-preserved house are the original summer beams, exposed floor joists, gunstock corner posts, early period pine floors, stairs and railings. On the right side of the street are a number of charming smaller houses built in the late 1880’s in a modest Greek Revival style.
This elegant “high post” 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.
The house at 31 Summer Street was probably built around 1775 and is the rare Georgian on a street 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 windows across and paired chimneys. The decorative brackets under the soffits and porch roof suggest a 19th Century renovation.
27 Summer Street, the Thomas Knowlton house was built in 1688 (First Period). The 2 story timber frame home has traditional English overhangs on the front and sides. Thomas Knowlton Sr. was a cordwainer and a master builder who emigrated from England. Although he was a deacon of the church, in 1659 Thomas Knowlton was among several men in Ipswich who were forced to pay a ten schilling fine because their wives were dressed too fine for their “pecuniary ability”. It was ordered that no person whose visible estate did not exceed £200 should wear gold or silver lace or silk scarves upon penalty of 10 shillings for each offence.
Across the intersection at 9 County St. is the Benjamin Dutch house, built early in the 1700’s. Benjamin Dutch, occupation Tavernier, purchased several properties on North Main Street and in the vicinity of the mill to sell for profit. He and several Ipswich men participated in the Land Bank Scheme of 1740. The Massachusetts Land Bank issued 50,000 pounds of notes without legal authorization, responding to an order by the British government to retire all paper money published in Massachusetts. Parliament outlawed the scheme and in 1742 and 1743 the courts levied an assessment against shareholders to settle the case.
Turn right on County Street.
The Dennis – Dodge house at 10 County Street was built in 1740, the 2nd period. Note the close similarities between the Dennis – Dodge house and the Abraham Knowlton house also on County Street. This house owned by Thomas Dennis Jr. a sailor and continued in the Dennis family for many years. It was later owned by Ignatius Dodge, who operated a shoe-making shop.
The Thomas Dennis house at 7 County Street is a 2 story, end gable, timber frame First Period house built in 1670, one of the oldest houses in town. The 5-bay front block of the house dates to the 1750s, while the rear ell is Dennis’ 17th century home. Thomas Dennis immigrated to Ipswich in 1663. In England he had apprenticed in joinery and set up shop in town. Thomas Dennis was a master woodworker and his ornate carved cabinets sell for over $10,000. He died in 1706. His tombstone at the Old North Burying Ground features a winged skull!
Richard Ringe built the house at 5 County Street in 1718. It was inherited by his son Richard, who sold it to John Pinder. Pinder’s widow Sarah sold the house to William Leatherland in 1799. Phillip Clark bought the house, which is where he served as an undertaker and operated a cabinet shop.
The Stanwood – Willcomb House at the corner of County Street and East Street was built in 1830. Stephen Stanwood erected the building for a wool – pulling (fulling) mill, a cleaning process which makes wool thicker. The sheep grazed on the bare hills above East and High Streets, where there were no trees other than orchards. The mill used water that still runs under Spring Street (known then as Brook Street). In later years the building was a store and the residence of Lewis E. Willcomb. As a condition for allowing the town to pipe water from the spring across his land, Wilcomb’s house became the first with running water .
At the corner of East and Spring Streets is the Francis Jordan house. This lot was owned in 1648 by Francis Jordan, the town-whipper whose salary was 20 shillings a year, and “whose gruesome business it was to wield the lash and lay it smartly upon the backs of evil-doers at the public whipping-post”. Ironically this location was occupied in 1655 by Jeffrey Skelling, a man of questionable character who tasted the lash more than once. The existing house is believed to have been built about 1700, and the foundation of an older house was once visible behind it. The steep gable, small windows and cross plan draw from post-medieval English architecture.
The tour continues right on East Street toward Town Wharf.
The simple but charming small house at 33 East Street was built in 1830 and is known as the Old Store.
Luther Wait House, 35 East Street: This small yellow house was built about 1810 and was once the Essex County jailor’s house, but is better known as the home of Luther Wait. His formal education ended at age 12, and as a young man he fished off of George’s Bank in the summer and repaired shoes in the winter. He served two terms as postmaster between 1890 and 1902. In those days the postmaster also delivered mail by boat to the residents of Great Neck and Plum Island. Wait served on several town boards including the school committee. Between his terms as postmaster he joined tens of thousands in the Klondike Gold Rush.
The small two story three bay colonial at 37 East Street was built in 1834 by Stephen Baker Jr. as a storehouse for his grocery. The lot was also used as a lumber yard. Baker opened a way to the river, constructing a wharf at the end of the lane
The John Harris House at 38 East Street is a Second Period Georgian home built in 1742. The first of the Harris family in Ipswich was Thomas Harris, a fisherman who purchased land in the East Street area in 1665. His son John Harris was deputy sheriff and had the duty of transporting accused witches to Salem for trial. He had a son also named John Harris who was apparently the builder of this house.
The Joseph Hovey house at 42 East Street was built in approximately 1847 and has Victorian elements added.
The Roberts house at 44 East Street was built in 1856 and has an Italianate Period influence. The Ipswich River General Store and Deli is on the right before reaching the Town Wharf.
The Ringe – Lord house at 59 East Street is a one-room-deep early Georgian home built before 1832. It sits in the corner created by the intersection of Water Street and East Street.
The Capt. John Wainwright – Treadwell House at 62 East Street has raised-field paneling and a hand-turned balustrade, and is protected by a preservation agreement. Thomas Treadwell arrived in New England in 1635 with his wife and infant son Thomas. His will in 1671 bequeathed to the junior Thomas his property on “Treadwell’s Island”. To his son Nathaniel he gave half of his “upland house” and the other half to his wife, as well as “the benefit of the keeping of four Cows and six sheep plus the firewood from the pasture.” Nathaniel Treadwell sold the property to John, son of Col. John Wainwright who built this house in 1727.
Across East Street from the Wainwright – Treadwell House is the Ipswich Town Wharf. In March 1633 John Winthrop Jr. the Governor’s eldest son led an expedition to the Indian village of Agawam. Ninety percent of the native population had been decimated by a plague. The settlers’ first houses were “wigwams, huts and hovels” built against this hillside. The wharf became the site of extensive shipping in the first two centuries. In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries the ship Carlotta carried passengers to and from the Necks. Today the wharf is used for recreational boating. * The Walking Tour turns back along Water Street. Two more First Period houses are further out on East Street:
Across from the far end of the Wharf parking lot is the Hodgkins – Lakeman House at 76 East Street. William Hodgkins came with his father William from England in 1640 and settled in Ipswich. The third William Hodgkins was born in 1668 and built this house in 1690. The house came into the possession of Solomon Lakeman who sold it in 1734 to his brother Archelaus. The Hodgkins, Perkins and Lakeman families intermarried and owned properties throughout the area around the wharf in the East End Historical District
At the corner with Jeffreys Neck Road is the Perkins-Hodgkins House, 80 East Street. The timber frame original structure has been greatly expanded in recent years. Notable are the cellar joists, which are laid sideways instead of with the long side up, a construction style found in the early 1600′s. The house was rebuilt in 1709 after the original 1640 home was burned by Jacob Perkins’ servant Mehitabel Babrooke who dropped ashes from her pipe on the thatch roof setting it on fire. She was found guilty of “extreme carelessness if not willfully setting the fire” and was sentenced to be whipped and to pay damages to Perkins. This house is protected by a preservation agreement with the Ipswich Historical Commission
Beyond is Jeffreys Neck Road, named for William Jeffreys who was already living on the Neck when John Winthrop Jr. and the colonists arrived in 1632. Not a Puritan, he was ordered to leave and compensated for his land. Although not in the East End Historic District, the following houses on Jeffreys Neck Road are quite important in the history of Ipswich.
The 1694 Paine House at Greenwood Farm on Jeffreys Neck Road is now a Trustees of Reservations property. This saltbox is an outstanding First Period (1620–1725) home which housed three generations of the Paine family including Robert Paine, a former minister and later the foreman of the 1692 Grand Jury that brought indictments in the Salem witch trials. From 1916, Greenwood Farm was a summer retreat for the Robert G. Dodge family. When floor boards were removed in the rear of the building, a cellar was discovered which served as a milk room.
The Ross Tavern is now located at Strawberry Hill (also called the Wendell Estate) on Jeffreys Neck Road, across from Greenwood Farm. The structure was built in 1690 in downtown Ipswich and moved in 1735 to the south east side of the Choate Bridge where it served as a tavern, store and boarding house. It was greatly enlarged over the years. In 1940 it was disassembled and the original First Period frame was restored and rebuilt at its present location
Across the harbor from Town Wharf at 8 Agawam Street is the Martha Newmarch – Hannah Spiller house, built in 1800. This house originally belonged to Zacheus Newmarch and was bequeathed by his granddaughter Martha Newmarch “singlewoman” to Hannah Spiller, daughter of her late sister Hannah Newmarch. * The extended tour continues on Water Street from Town Wharf
Captain Samuel York built the large hip-roof house at 36 Water Street in 1715 after selling two smaller lots on East Street. The 2 story, L-plan house has a nearly symmetrical 5 bay facade. The interior and exterior reflect a long progression of 18th and 19th century alteration. The house became the property of Benjamin Averill in 1793 and continued in the family for many years.
Jabesh Sweet built the house at 32 Water Street on a quarter acre lot in 1713. This location was reputed to be haunted by the ghost of pirate Harry Maine who lived nearby. All the ministers of the Town assembled there one day and prayed, and the uncanny doings ceased. Harry Maine and a gang of outlaws called “wreckers” would build bonfires on the beach to lure ships to the shore at night, then plunder their wrecked vehicles. Legend says that as punishment Harry was chained to the Ipswich Bar and forced to shovel sand for eternity. When waves crashed over the sand bar during storms, locals would say “The Devil is raising Old Harry”.
The Harris – Stanwood house at 28 Water Street was built in 1696 by John Harris and passed on to his descendant Thomas Harris. It was purchased by John Stanwood in 1809. The house was expanded in the 19th and 20th centuries, including the side addition with a bay window facing Water Street. Ornamental gardens grace the yard. * The extended tour turns right on Hovey Street.
The B. Ellsworth House at 6 Hovey Street was built in 1870 by a son of Susan Treadwell and Benjamin Ellsworth. The senior Benjamin Ellsworth was appointed keeper of the Ipswich Range lighthouse on Crane Beach by Abraham Lincoln in 1861 and remained in the post until his death in 1902. He was responsible for several rescues of shipwreck victims during his long stay. Three sons of Keeper Ellsworth fought in the Civil War, including Captain Thomas Ellsworth who received a medal of honor.
Turn right on Hovey Street
The John Kendrick House at 3 Hovey Street was the winner of the 2002 Mary P. Conley preservation award. Built in 1665, it is protected by a preservation agreement between the owners and the Ipswich Historical Commission. Protected elements include all front and side exterior features of the building, chimney, central frame and roof including primary and secondary members, wooden architectural elements including doors, paneling, molding, stairs, windows and frames, and other early detail of the 17th century house and its 18th century additions.
From Hovey Street retrace your steps to the corner of County Road and East Streets.
Polly Dole house: This salt box house was built in 1720 and has elements from a previous house built in 1686. It has a large front living room with a low ceiling, wide board floors and a “walk-in” fireplace. The long “summer beam” in the middle of this room is suspended by a cable to the peak of the roof. The left side is smaller than the right, suggesting that it may have been originally built as a “half house” on the right side and the left addition added later. The house was built for Deacon John Staniford (1648-1730) and his wife Margareet. The house was later sold to two women, Polly Dole and Lucy Fuller. John Updike who lived in the house in the 1960’s said it had a living room so large that people supposed the house had originally been an inn
The Moses Fellows house at 22 East Street is dated 1790. Moses Fellows lived from 1755 to 1846, fought in the Revolutionary War Battle of Bunker Hill and even crossed the Delaware with General George Washington. The house was apparently remodeled in 1873 to include ornate Greek Revival and Victorian elements
The Dodge house at 18 East Street is an early 2nd period home built in 1725. This house is protected by a preservation agreement between the owners and the Ipswich Historical Commission. Protected elements include the front and side facades including the Beverly jog, center brick chimney and original fabric of the four fireplaces, wide board pine floors, and major members of the frame.
Lakeman – Johnson house, 16 East Street: Built about 1835, this is a good example of Ipswich’s typically conservative response to Greek Revival architecture, resembling a traditional 2 story, end gable wood frame house. It has an Asher Benjamin derived door frame at the center of its symmetrical 5 bay façade. Benjamin was an American architectural writer whose designs combined Federal style architecture and the Greek Revival style, a classical appearance popular throughout New England until the Civil War. The house has a preservation agreement with Historic New England
The Baker-Samuel Newman house at 14 East Street was built in 1725 and is a 2nd Period 2 story, end gable half house with a Beverly jog. Mr. Newman was the town clerk and wrote a book, “Remembrances of Ipswich”. After moving to Danvers he developed a very successful grocery enterprise and was active with the Essex Agricultural Society. This house is protected by a preservation covenant between the owners and the Ipswich Historical Commission. Protected elements include front and side facades, the Beverly jog, window frames and front door, wide pine board floors and major frame members.
The Nathaniel Harris house at 10 East Street is a Georgian style house built in 1819 on a section of land from the Baker Newman property next door. Harris’ tombstone at the Old North Burying Ground shows that he died at the age of 54 in 1831, but his widow Elizabeth Staniford lived into her 90’s. The county laid a pipe connecting a spring on this land to the house of corrections on Meetinghouse Green. It was later supplemented with a well.
8 East Street, the Matthew Perkins house was built around 1709 on orchard land with a timber frame and techniques common in England during the 17th century. It has overhangs on the front and side, a rear lean-to, an elaborate central pilastered chimney and one of the best Jacobean staircases in New England. In 1702 Captain Perkins’s company was sent to fight the French in Maine, and he commanded a larger expedition to Port Royal, Nova Scotia in 1710. In 1723 he owned a tavern “on the road to Jeffreys Neck”. This house was the winner of the 1991 Mary Conley Preservation Award. It was once believed to be the John Norton – Rev. Thomas Cobbet house which stood nearby but was torn down between 1812 and 1818.
The Sadie Stockwell house at 7 East Street was built in1888. It is an excellent example of the Victorian “Shingle Style” of architecture. Such houses are typically asymmetrical with roof sections of different pitch, turrets and bays with a minimum of trim, and shingles wrapping the house. The bold colors are a Queen Ann influence. Ornamental corbels (brackets) provide support for the steep overhangs.
6 East Street, the Daniel Russell house was built in 1818 on the site of the former John Norton – Rev. Thomas Cobbet house, and is said to have the old well from the original house in the cellar. The Rev. John Norton was the teacher of First Church in 1638, succeeded by the Rev. Thomas Cobbet the last Oxford-educated minister in Ipswich. Although a former parishioner claimed he would rather hear a dog bark than hear Rev. Cobbet preach, the Reverend was respected and renowned for his prayers. At the outset of King Philip’s war, an Arosaguntacook Indian chief named Mugg who was a leader in the battles in Maine (known as the Eastern War) stopped in Ipswich to negotiate with Rev. Cobbet, whose own son was being held captive by his tribe. Mugg continued to Boston, having been promised safe passage, to negotiate a peace treaty with the British. Instead they threw him in jail and Mugg became a bitter enemy.
4 East Street, the Old Methodist Parsonage was built approximately 1830. A close look at the building reveals that the original structure was almost identical to 6 East Street on the right, with similar chimneys in the same exact location. A Beverly jog was added on the left, and the house was greatly altered with Federal, Italianate and Victorian flourishes, including the transom over the doorway, pilasters, corbels and bay windows. Both houses have additions on the rear.
The 1750 Cordwainer’s shop on the south side of East Street has a frame saved from a building across the Ipswich River and moved to the Day-Dodge house property by historic house remodeler James Hidden, who recently died at age 49. The exterior is entirely clad in white oak, the choice wood of early builders. A cordwainer is a person who makes shoes of fine leather as opposed to a cobbler who makes and repairs shoes
The Day-Dodge house at the corner of North Main and East Streets was built in 1737. This unusual double house has two entrances and two asymmetrical fronts joined at a greater than 90 degree corner. The two halves of the house came to be owned by several members of the same family. The name comes from Nathaniel Day, who owned the property in 1737, and Isaac Dodge, who bought the other section of the house in 1762. The connection between the two men the widow of Nathaniel who married Isaac.
At the head of North Main at 2 East Street is the Robert Jordan house built in 1863, a fine example of Italianate Victorian architecture. The rear of the property once featured terraced land used for orchards and the short-lived silkworm/silk industry of the1800s. Interesting architectural features of the house include the “belvedere” on the main roof, and a curved front stairway. The house originally had a wrap-around porch. A fine brick house once sat in the location of the driveway but was torn down by Harry Brown, owner at that time of the “Olde Manse” next door. *
The tour turns left on North Main, then rejoins the East End shortly on upper Summer Street .
At 3 Summer Street is the Benjamin Kimball House, a 1729 2 story, end gable building with a center chimney. This house is protected by a preservation agreement between its owners and the Ipswich Historical Commission. The Benjamin Kimball house is First Period but has been altered with Georgian and Federal influences. Originally it was a two-room one-story house. For 50 years this house was the home of Harold Bowen who wrote the series “Tales of Olde Ipswich.”for the Ipswich newspaper.
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.
The Thomas Treadwell house at 7 Summer Street was built in 1740, the 2nd period. The Treadwell family in Ipswich dates back to settler Thomas Treadwell in 1635. The names Thomas and Nathaniel were frequently chosen in subsequent generations. The widow of Thomas Treadwell retained 1/3 of the rooms in the house and part of the land under the right of dower. After her death Samuel Stone was able to purchase the balance of the house and land.
The Daniel Glazier House at 9 Summer Street was built in 1845
At 10 Summer St is the Charles C. Cotton house built in 1838. The wide frieze board under the eave is indicative of the Greek Revival period while the front alignment and symmetry suggest the Colonial Cape style of architecture. Cotton conveyed the house to Foster Russell in 1841. It is now owned by Ipswich Selectman Charles Surpitsky.
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 expanded. The L on the left side appears to be a modification of a Beverly Jog. The Hoveys were among the original settlers of Ipswich. Nathaniel Hovey Sr. was born in Ipswich in 1668 but lived only to the age of 28, about the time of the birth of his son Nathaniel Jr. in 1696. The property on Summer Street belonged to the younger Hovey
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.
Ezra W. Lord built the house at 14 Summer Street in 1850. The prominent portico distinguishes this house from a typical Georgian-style home of the previous century.
Jonathan Pulcifer House, 15 Summer Street This house was built in 1718. Original architectural features have been re-exposed by the owners, including beams & posts, summer beam, and gunstock posts.
An innovation of the Greek Revival period was building homes with the narrower front gable end facing the street to represent a temple-like façade. The houses were usually painted white and featured dark green shutters. This house at 24 Summer Street built in 1870 has faithfully retained its Greek Revival appearance.
The tour turns right on County Street
A couple of houses down on the left from the corner of County and Summer Streets is the 2nd period Abraham Knowlton house at 16 County Street, built between 1725 and 1750. Captain Abraham Knowlton was the son of Thomas Knowlton, also a jointer and cabinetmaker. The woodworkers fraternity in 18th century Ipswich included the Dennis and Knowlton families whose homes we are viewing. Abraham Knowlton in 1727 built the elaborate Rev. Nathaniel Rogers Mansion at the beginning of High Street known as the “Old Manse”
Across from the Abraham Knowlton house is the Rev. Levi Frisbie house at 15 County Street. The Rev. Frisbie, pastor of the First church purchased the property, took down an old house and built this house in 1788. The house remained in use as a parsonage for many years. Since that time it has been enlarged and remodeled to be distinctly Federal in appearance.
On the corner of County Street at 12 Green Street is one of the oldest homes in town, the Andrew Burley house built in 1688, with later Georgian features added. The structure served as Smith’s Tavern from 1760 to 1790. The house is now barely viewable from the road due to overgrown shrubbery
Turn left on Green Street and return to the Ipswich Town Hall
End of Tour