According to family tradition, Stephen Kinsman built the house  at 59 Candlewood Rd. in 1752. He bequeathed to his son Jeremiah “all my lands in Walker’s Swamp with the dwelling house and buildings thereon, recorded Dec.27, 1756,  by which time Jeremiah and his wife Sara Harris were living in it.

Jeremiah Kinsman House, Candlewood Road Illustration from Candlewood, an Ancient Neighborhood in Ipswich, circa 1910 shows this house. It was at that time called the “Benjamin Kinsman house” and the name stuck for over a century.

The Kinsman story is conveyed by Thomas Franklin Waters in Candlewood, an Ancient Neighborhood in Ipswich and in Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony:

The Candlewood district was originally known as the “South Eighth” and included Common Land set aside for grazing (” The Inner Common of the South Eighth.” An area was also granted to individual owners from the beginning. Quarter master Robert Kinsman purchased a farm and land from John Fuller. The Robert Kinsman house passed down to Stephen Kinsman in 1714.

fireplace in the Jeremiah Kinsman house, Ipswich MA

Stephen Kinsman and his wife Elizabeth Russell brought up a family of twelve children and dwelt in the old Robert Kinsman homestead until 1767 when he sold his farm, 47 acres and buildings to Samuel Patch in 1767.

Over time Stephen Kinsman purchased a large adjoining tract known as Walker’s Swamp and Walker’s Swamp Island. According to family tradition Stephen Kinsman built this house on “Walkers Island” in 1752. He bequeathed to his son Jeremiah “all my lands in Walker’s Swamp with the dwelling house and buildings thereon, recorded Dec.27, 1756 by which time Jeremiah and his wife Sara Harris were already living in it.

View inside the Jeremiah Kinsman house from the October 1987 View inside the Jeremiah Kinsman house from the October 1987 “Colonial Homes” magazine, 17th-Century houses of Ipswich, MA

Jeremiah Kinsman died in 1818, and his will bequeathed the Walker’s Island farm to his sons Jeremiah and William in equal parts. Either Jeremiah or William or his son William Jr. built the “cottage” next door, which came to be occupied by Rhoda Kinsman and is now known as the Rhoda Kinsman House).

This house is protected by a preservation agreement with the town of Ipswich and the Historical Commission. Protected elements include:

  • Exterior facades, south, north and east
  • Central frame including primary and secondary members
  • Central chimney
  • Wooden architectural elements, including the stairway, paneling, doors, and other molded detail in the front hall.
  • Wooden architectural elements, including paneling mantelpieces, doors and other molded detail of the two front first floor rooms, and two front second floor rooms.