From the proposal form for the South Green to be included in the National Registry of Historic Districts, submitted by Margaret E. Welden for the Ipswich Historical Commission in 1978: “The South Green dates from 1686, when the town voted that the area be held in common, and it has fulfilled various community needs. Cattle were gathered here to be driven to outlying pastures. All adult men reported monthly to the Green for military training. Above all, the South Green was the educational center of Ipswich. In fact, it was first known as the School House Green.

The Ipswich South Green

As early as 1636 a Grammar School was established in Town. Ezekiel Cheever, famous New England educator, came to Ipswich in 1650 as schoolmaster. The first schoolhouse was built on the corner of Poplar and County Road. by 1652 and Cheever taught there until 1660. The Grammar School remained in this location until 1704, when it was moved to the new Town House on Meeting-House Green. In the mid-18th century Madam Rogers, wife of Samuel Rogers, kept a school for young ladies in her home at the north end of South Green. In 1794 the Grammar School moved back to the area into a new building on the corner of County and Argilla Roads. From 1828, the South District of town shared the building for its own school, and in 1836 the Grammar School merged with a new English High School. That merger brought radical changes in the scope and purpose of the Grammar School, and many residents marked that date as the passing of the ancient school. The second district school moved to a new building nearby at Payne and Poplar Streets about 1850, and the High School left the old South Green building in 1874.

Today the South Green is no longer the educational center of Ipswich. The boundaries of the South Green essentially ware determined when the Green was set aside by the town 300 years ago, and today they remain nearly the same. The Heard House marks the Northwest corner, then the boundary line runs south to Saltonstall Creek, crosses County Rd., then runs north to the Sweeney Tavern, which marks the northeast corner. The line then runs east to the northwest starting point. The boundaries were predetermined by the structures in the area.” The following is from Ipswich Yesterday by Alice Keenan, written in 1982. “The South Green is a most fascinating microcosm, the people who lived there and the structures that ring it — 17th Century, Georgian, Federal and Greek Revival — a fragile link to the Ipswich that was — and a nagging and constant reminder of the precious heritage that we have inherited and more times than not, use so carelessly. south_green_1840_1200 We remember seeing a picture of the Green, painted about 1840, and being struck by the beauty and complete serenity of the scene. Two riders canter by the house, the lady, ramrod straight in her side-saddle, her feathered hat and elegant skirted riding habit reminding us of a time romantic. Her gentleman companion, faultlessly turned out, wears his fawn riding suit with an air of careless elegance. Down the street, in front of the Giddings house and store on the corner of Argilla Road, two ladies walk arm in arm, deep in conversation. Five enormous elm trees line up on the western side of the Green, and underneath a chaise is being drawn by two sleek horses. SouthCh1908The Colonel Baker house looks much the same as it does today, minus of course, the office ad­dition built by Dr. Pallotta. Next door one can glimpse the Aaron Smith house, and further down the old Walley-Dana manse that many of us can still remember. Across the Green stands the old Swasey Tavern, three storied, and looking as elegant as only a Georgian mansion can — this before it was so sadly “Victorianized.” And, gleaming ghostily in the background, the focus of the picture — The South Parish House — newly built, columned and pristine, and now gone forever. Here near the Green lived the Rev. Nathaniel Ward, author of “The Body of Liberties” and “The Simpler Cobbler of Agawam,” his house on the east side of the Green. Cotton Mather tells us that Ward had inscribed over his fireplace, “Sobrie, juste, pie,” (soberly, justly, piously) and afterwards added “Laete” (gladly). Close by lived his son-in-law, Dr. Giles Firmin. SCommon2 Across the way lived the Honorable Worshipful Richard Saltonstall, son of Sir Richard, whom on his arrival, was immediately honored with public office. Deputy to the General Court in 1636, and although one of the elite establishment, disagreed violently with his peers, standing alone in his opposition to such important and controversial items as life tenure for “a certain number of magistrates” and “single-handed and alone lifted his voice like a great trumpet in the Great and General Court” against the stealing of slaves “as contrary to the law of God and Country,” and demanding the imprisonment of the officers of the ship that had stolen them. The brook that halved his generous grant was known for generations as “Norton’s,” but is now and forevermore “Saltonstall’s Brook.” south_green_wet That famous schoolmaster, Ezekiel Cheever, lived near the corner of Poplar street and kept the school-house nearby. He labored here between 1650 and 1661 before moving on to Boston and its Latin School. The Rev. Nathaniel Rogers, pastor of the First Church from 1638 to 1655, the first of the long line of Rogers to shepherd the Puritan flock, lived to the rear of the Colonel Baker house, “sundry remains” being found when a water line was dug to “the Gables” in 1846.

As time passed, more houses were built, the mansion of John Heard in 1799, and the tone of the South Green already established, remained. Augustine Heard always had his eye out to acquire, move or tear down those houses surrounding the Green, already perhaps crumbling, in an effort to enhance and preserve. the park-like setting he so admired. He bought the property of Daniel Cogswell when that 1816 house and store was partially destroyed by fire, moved the store-house from the area adjacent to the present location of the Whipple House, and set it up next to the South Side Cemetery where he put it to use as a barn.

The Whipple House before the gables were added. The Waly-Dana House is just out of the photo on the left side

The old Crompton Inn, built in 1693, the favorite stopping off place of Judge Sewall for a helping of “roast fowle”—and later the home of Colonel Choate, the builder of the bridge, was torn down in 1836 and the land sold to Heard. Its neighbor, the 1740 Walley-Dana House that used to sit in front of the Whipple House was bought by the Heritage Trust in the mid-1950’s and taken down. The old house, weak with age, had been eyed by the telephone company as perfect site for a new office building. Thankfully, the Trust came to the rescue and the area was opened up to reveal the Whipple House in all its glory. The telephone company had to be content with buying another old house further down County Road, moving it to the back of the property and erecting the present telephone building. The Whipple House has been around, too. Originally it stood down on Depot Square, close by Saltonstall street, and in 1927 it was moved to its present location — the land the generous gift of the Crane family. A delightful picture of the 17th century structure, squarely in the middle of the Choate Bridge, looking for all the world like it was wedged in to stay, is a particular favorite.

The Waly-Dana house once sat where the front lawn of the Whipple House is now

It was the building of the second Meeting House of the South Parish in 1837 that pulled the South Green into focus and finally opened up a clear view down the Green and the old Bay road. The old Meetinghouse that stood directly in front of the new was pulled down, the old Rust House moved down County Road and the 1727 Colonel Nathaniel Wade House that stood guard on the southern end of the old “trayning field” could be plainly seen. Across the way from the Wade Manse, the South Side burying ground, owned jointly by the First and South Parishes stood silent sentinel on the land conveyed by Dr. John Manning in 1773 and again in 1795. The civic minded Dr. Manning sold the town more land for widening the road and extending the training field. In time, in 1859, the town would acquire ownership of all the church owned burial grounds, “their conditions often in deplorable neglect and a notable improvement in the cemeteries resulted.”

Gate to the cemetery at the South Green
Gate to the cemetery at the South Green

It seems everybody was improvement minded. In 1892, a civic minded group, and we rather suspect that the Rev. Waters and the Appletons were among its leaders, prevailed upon the town to fill and grade the South Green “where a fine lawn was established.” Flower beds were planted and maintained “by the South Side people, and bordered by the splendid elms became a thing of beauty.” Eventually the town assumed the care of the Green and for many long years it remained “a thing of beauty. ”

The view heading up South Main Street from the South Green in 1910
The view heading up South Main Street from the South Green in 1910

Today, alas, things are sadly different. The South Green or School House Green or trayning Field–all part of “that microcosm of social and architectural history of the town” seems rather lost and forlorn–coming to life once a year for a carnival-like affair–and forgotten until the next. Let’s hope that when we’re handing out birthday gifts during our 350th celebration we don’t forget the South Green–and maybe, once more, it will become “a thing of beauty” that it deserves.”

south_green_1834_map
Closeup of the South Green in the 1834 map of Ipswich

Houses in the South Green Historic District

Below is a comprehensive list of houses included in the proposal the South Green National Historic District. The Year Built column is based on the most current research by the Ipswich Historical Commission. The Name field links to pages about each house.

Address Historic name of house Year Built
68 County Rd Calvin Locke’s Folly 1835
72 County Rd David Giddings 1828
76 County Rd Asa Wade 1831
78 County Rd Samuel Wade 1831
82 County Rd Brown – Manning 1835
83 County Rd Rust-Rogers-Brown 1665
84 County Rd Rev. Moses Welch 1829
85 County Rd John Wade 1810
86 County Rd Brown-Burnham 1775
88 County Rd Nathaniel Wade 1727
90 County Rd Capt. William Wade 1822
96 County Rd 2nd Church Parsonage 1860
2 Poplar St Swasey Tavern 1700
5-7 Poplar St Dr. John Calef 1671
30 South Main Old Town Hall 1833
36 South Main Hall Haskell 1795
59 South Main . Philomen Dean 1716
54 South Main Heard Museum 1800
69 South Main Samuel Dutch 1723
1 S Village Green John Whipple 1653
3 S Village Green Aaron Smith 1776
7 S Village Green Colonel John Baker 1761
11 S. Village Green The Gables 1838

Walking tour of the South Green Historic District

This tour of the South Green Historic District in Ipswich, Massachusetts as described in the National Register of Historic Places. We begin at the Ipswich Visitor Center. View a map of the tour at the end of this document. Read more about the South Green National Historic District
The Hall Haskell house, 20 South Main Street is the Ipswich Visitor Center. Charles Hall, a mariner bought the land in 1800. It was used as a store below, residence above, and sold to Mary Haskell in 1825. The roof was later changed from hip to gable, and the property became part of the Heard estate. In the 1980′s the house was in bad condition and came close to being demolished by the town. It was saved due to the efforts of Vivian Endicott and other local citizens who raised funds and restored the house. The visitor center is open throughout the summer months.
Upper Falls and Dam: Before dams were built here there was a natural waterfall referred to as the Upper Falls which marked the head of the tide. Millions of herring, shad, salmon and alewife swam upstream each year to their spawning grounds. In 1674 Nathaniel Rust and Samuel Hunt were granted permission to set up a “wear”, stone walls that funneled fish into cages. This third dam on this site was built in 1880 to power the mills that produced Ipswich lace and hosiery. The picture on the left is an artist’s recreation of the falls hidden behind the dam, provided by the Ipswich River Watershed Association.
Ipswich Riverwalk Footbridge: The river bank from the mill dam to where the Choate bridge stands today was marshy past Blacksmith Samuel Ordway’s shop, so early settlers forded the river here, and later the first of several foot bridges was built. A plaque tells the story of the mills, and a planter at the end of this bridge honors Faith Lamb Bryan, wife of the founder of the Quebec Labrador Foundation Atlantic Center for the Environment and a long-time member of the Ipswich Historical Commission.
South Main Street: Early Urban Planning: In March 1692 several persons petitioned “to have liberty granted them to build shops upon ye bank by ye river side”. The Selectmen laid out this stretch of land in twenty-three small lots and granted them to as many individuals with the conditions that they not encumber the highway, make provision for drainage under the buildings, that each person “provide paving four foot wide all along before ye said buildings for the convenience of foot travelers, and erect posts to keep horses from spoiling the same”. It was stipulated by the Town that the lots extend no farther into the river than “ye low water mark”, thus giving this view the nickname “Little Venice”.
The Philomen Dean house, 59 South Main is on the right after crossing the footbridge. Philemon Dean was a constable of Ipswich, served under Maj. Samuel Appleton in King Philips War, and died in 1716 long after the death of his wife and one of his twin sons. This Georgian style house was built by his surviving son Philemon Dean Jr. who bought the land from blacksmith Ordway’s widow. Philemon Dean Jr. was one of the petitioners for a new church at the South Green and for the new stone arch Choate Bridge to serve people on that side of the river. The house was sold in 1827 by auction to Theodore Andrews, a lace manufacturer and became known as the “Lace Factory.” A wing on the north side housed the lace machines.
The Samuel Dutch house, 69 South Main Street: In 1723 Samuel Dutch built this house and purchased a 2/3 interest in Nathaniel Saltonstall’s saw mill standing on the south side of the river, plus 2/3 of the dam. Use of the river’s water was conditional, limited to “when the water runs over any part of the dam in said river.” In 1742 He sold his house, twenty-four rods of land and sawmill to inn-holder John Treadwell, who continued the mill operation. The front of the house is a Federal-era addition attached to the original gable-roof 2nd period home.
The Heard house is a Federal style structure built in 1795 by wealthy John Heard. Before the Revolutionary War he had invested in the rum factory on Turkey Shore Road along the river bank where they unloaded barrels of West Indies molasses, and he later helped start the Ipswich Mills. His son Augustine Heard owned clipper ships and competed with those of Salem and Boston in the China trade. Augustine retired to Ipswich and started the Ipswich Manufacturing Company in 1828 with Joseph Farley, building a new dam and the Old Stone Mill. The Heard house was purchased in 1936 by the Ipswich Historical Society and now houses the Ipswich Museum.
A small park sits in the foundation of the Old South Church which burned in 1977. Near this spot lived the Rev. Nathaniel Ward, a solemn and judgmental man who was the minister of the church at Meetinghouse Green for three years. He wrote a code of laws for the colony known as “The Body of Liberties” which contained seeds of the Declaration of Independence. The miller Richard Saltonstall Jr. was also a nearby resident. An important citizen of the town, he denounced the heinous act of stealing black slaves from their homelands as contrary to the law of God and Country. Painting by Ipswich artist Johanne Cassia.
The Alexander Knight House is a re-creation of an early English-style timber frame house from 1657 as described in Ipswich town records. Alexander Knight and his wife arrived fairly wealthy but their lives took several bad turns including the death of a child in a fire. By 1656 he was indigent, working as an indentured servant. The town took mercy and voted to provide him a piece of land at the bottom of Town Hill where the John Appleton house now stands. This exhibit was built with traditional tools, materials and construction methods of the First Period complete with a stone foundation, timber frame, wattle and daub chimney, water-sawn white oak boards and thatched roof. Jowled posts, girts, and braces were fitted to form an end wall., after which plates, studs, joists, principal rafters and purlins were pegged in place to complete the frame.
The Whipple house is a National Historic Landmark owned by the Ipswich museum. The oldest part of the house dates to 1677 when the military officer and entrepreneur Captain John Whipple constructed a townhouse near the center of Ipswich. The Whipple House has the original frame, large fireplaces, summer beams, wide board floors, and gun-stock posts. Originally at the corner of Market Street and Saltonstall Street, the Ipswich Historical Society saved the house from destruction, restored it, and then moved it over the Choate Bridge to its present location in 1927. Tours of the Whipple House are available by inquiring at the Heard House.
The South Green dates from 1686 when the town voted that the area be held in common. Cattle were gathered here to be driven to outlying common pastures. It was first known as the School House Green; the Grammar School building was at the corner of Poplar and County Roads. The 17th century houses of Nathaniel Ward, schoolmaster Ezekiel Cheever, Reverends John and Nathaniel Rogers and Richard Saltonstall are gone but the Green still retains its historic appearance and is surrounded by Second Period homes.
The Jimmy Appleton memorial at the head of South Green was erected by Francis Appleton in honor of his son who died of leukemia at the age of 16 in 1915. From the time that Samuel Appleton arrived with his family in Ipswich in 1635 a long lineage of family members have served the town. Samuel Appleton the senior was granted land at what is now Appleton Farms on Bay Road, open to the public under the Trustees of Reservations. His son Samuel Appleton commanded a 100-man company in the “King Phillip’s War” against the brutal renegade Indian chief Metacomet. Brothers Captain John and Major Samuel Appleton, Rev. John Wise and several other leaders of the town were arrested and held in Boston jails for their opposition to edicts by Governor Andros infringing liberties and creating new taxes.
The Federal-style house at 3 South Village Green was built in 1776 by Aaron Smith, a clockmaker who apprenticed to Richard Manning, an early pioneer in the trade. Aaron Smith was engaged in metal-working before the American Revolution and was therefore prevented from joining the battle at Bunker Hill, since his services were needed for the manufacture of bayonets. Several generations of the family continued in the clock-making trade in Salem. These collector’s items are now valued at $10,000 and higher.
Col. John Baker house, 7 Village Green: Col. John Baker inherited Argilla Farm from his father John but chose to live closer to town. He built this substantial house on the South Green in 1761 on land originally given to Nathaniel Rogers, the second minister in Ipswich. Baker took an active part in the leadership of the town as a justice of the Sessions Court and a Feoffee of the Grammar School. He joined others in speaking out against the British Parliament in steps that led to the Revolutionary War. Col. Baker’s Regiment marched to the battle of Lexington in 1775. The house features spacious rooms, handsome Georgian paneling and has a preservation agreement with the Ipswich Historical Commission.
The Gables is behind the John Baker House. This fascinating Gothic Revival house was designed by mathematician David Baker in 1846 as an upscale lodging for lawyers in town for the Ipswich court. He was unable to repay the money he borrowed from the Heard family, who took possession and kept it in the family through the early 20th century. Nellie Huckins purchased it from the Heards, and ran the Gables Tea Room from this house.
The Old South Cemetery is between the South Green and the Ipswich River. A walking trail extends down the slope to the river and continues downstream to Sally’s Pond near the Whipple House. The cemetery was used from 1756 until 1939 with a few interments since then. In the late 1790’s Dr. John Manning sold land to the town for the purpose of widening the road for the convenience of the public; eighty eight square rods to enlarge the cemetery; and “from a desire of accommodating the Town with a more convenient training field,” gave the land now known as the South Green for the nominal sum of five shillings. Adult men in the 17th and 18th Centuries reported monthly to the Green for military training.
The Nathaniel Rust House is a short distance past the Green at 83 County Road. Built between 1665 and 1690 the asymmetrical 5 bay façade supports its 17th century dating while its pilastered entry and modillion cornice represent Federal period alterations. The house originally occupied the site where the South Meeting House later stood. Nathaniel Rust was a tanner and glover whose tanning establishment stood on this location. Asa Brown bought the house and moved it to its present location in 1837.
Cross County Road and reverse course on the other side
The Nathaniel Wade house at 88 County Rd. is the oldest house on the South Green, built by Captain Thomas Wade in 1727. His son Nathaniel Wade trained Ipswich soldiers and led them to war at Bunker Hill. The stairs to the attic are worn by the footsteps of Ipswich Minute Men, who adjourned there for refreshment after drilling on the green. Later Colonel Wade was appointed by General Washington to succeed Benedict Arnold when he joined the enemy, and his vigorous action prevented the loss of West Point to the British. Several members of the Wade family built houses in the 18th and 19th Century along this side of the road.
Rev. Moses Welch house, 84 County Road, Ipswich MA At 84 County Road is the Rev. Moses Welch house, built in 1829. The house has a Federal period doorway with an arched window over the door, and two symmetrical chimneys spaced toward the inside of the house. The bay windows on the front facade are likely a Victorian era addition. The side porch and entry are unusual additions to the style.
Mary Brown -Judith Manning House, 82 County Road, Ipswich MA At 82 County Road is the Mary Brown – Judith Manning house, built in 1835 with an asymmetrical front facade. The solid fan over the front door is a variation on the fan-shaped windows on other Federal-era homes. Like the houses at 84 and 86 County Road, the two chimneys are symmetrical and spaced approximately 4′ from the gable ends. Mary Brown was one of the petitioners for creation of a church nearby on South Green.
Samuel Wade House, 78 County Rd. Ipswich MASamuel Wade built the house at 78 County Road in 1831. Wade apprenticed Benjamin Kimball 3rd as a housewright, so it is likely that Wade built this home. The house has its gable end to the road similar to the Greek Revival style; wide corner board are typical of the Federal era, but the three-bay facade suggests Colonial Revival era architecture. Bay windows are an apparent Victorian modification.
Asa Wade house, 76 County Road, Ipswich MA 6 County Road was the home of Asa Wade, Built in 1831 like the Samuel Wade house next door it also has the gable end facing the street in the Greek Revival style.
The David Giddings house is at 72 County Road on the corner with Argilla Rd. Built in 1828, it has been used as a general store and as a single family home. The four fireplaces, molding and floors are original. David Giddings was born in Ipswich in 1771, a descendant of early settlers. Records indicate he and Bridget Whipple had 8 children and he worked as a tanner. In 1835 a related David Giddings took a stagecoach to Buffalo, boarded a brig to Chicago, then built a primitive boat with a friend and sailed to Green Bay Wisconsin, arriving there with $5 in his pocket. He made his home in Sheboygan, was elected County Judge and to the state legislature. He became wealthy in the sawmill industry and retired on a 500-acre farm in Fon du Lac.
Locke's Folly, County Rd., Ipswich MA The Calvin Locke House at 68 County Road was built in 1836. The size of the house and the tall Greek columns on the front exceeded his resources such that the house came to be known as “Locke’s Folly.” Locke was an overseer in Augustine Heard’s lace factory, the Ipswich Manufacturing Company. It was incorporated in 1828, but due to financial difficulties was sold to Dane Manufacturing in 1846.
The Swasey Tavern, 2 Poplar Street was operated by Major Joseph Swasey. The house and its use as an inn are recorded as early as 1693. President George Washington was offered refreshment there while touring New England. Swasey sold the inn to John Heard, and it became a dormitory for students at the Ipswich Female Seminary, which was located where the Christian Science Church now stands. The Tavern was originally a three-storied hip-roofed mansion, but in the late 19th century it was remodeled with a Second Empire style mansard roof. Swasey was the town clerk and fell dead during Town meeting on April 1, 1816.
Turn right on Poplar Street
At 5 Poplar Street, the John Calef house was built in 1688 by Deacon Thomas Knowlton of Summer St, an old world English carpenter. Dr. John Calef was a surgeon in the “Old French War” and the representative from Ipswich to the General Court. When he voted against the town’s wishes to oppose the Townsend Act creating taxes on tea and other items, an angry mob gathered around his house demanding a show of loyalty to the town. He apologized, ” I am heartily sorry for it; and as I gave my vote in the General Assembly on the 30th of June 1768 contrary to the minds of the people, I beg their forgiveness and that the good people of the Province would restore me to their esteem and friendship again.” He was never forgiven. After the war Calef and his family fled to a loyalist community in St. John, New Brunswick, where he worked as surgeon to the British garrison.
The Heard – Lakeman house at 2 Turkey Road, built in 1776 is one of the original 14 houses with Historical Commission covenants. It has fine raised-field paneling and a handsome Georgian stairway with a turned balustrade. A very unique feature is the arched chimney base, over eleven feet in length and supporting two fireplaces on each side. Many generations of the Lakeman family owned and operated sailing vessels from Ipswich and nearby ports
burnham_houseThe Burnham-Patch house at 1 Turkey Shore Road has one of the original covenants established with the Ipswich Historical Commission. The house was built by Thomas Burnham in 1730 on the foundation of the earlier house he bought in 1667. Heavy quarter-round chamfered framing timbers in the cellar remain from the earlier structure. The large ell on Poplar Street was added in the early nineteenth-century. Burnham was one of three brothers who came to Ipswich in 1635 from England after being wrecked on the coast of Maine. He built a sawmill, was a town selectman and served as Deputy to the General Court from 1683-85. From 1825 to 1847 the house served as a tavern under the ownership of Samuel Day.
Reverse and take a right on County Street
For 200 years the timber frame Choate – Dodge house stood near the corner of Elm and County Streets, now a police station parking lot. In 1963 the town planned to demolish the empty house and replace it with a transformer station. Members of the Ipswich Historical Society saved it from the bulldozer on the day it was scheduled for demolition. The house was dismantled, trucked to Washington and became the centerpiece of “Within These Walls” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
The Benjamin Grant house, 47 County Street was built in 1735. This house has a large center chimney, one room deep front section with a rear lean-to. The 5 bay façade is slightly asymmetrical, typical of earlier period half houses that have been doubled to appear Georgian. In 1863 owner Joseph Ross purchased nearby land along the “lower falls” and erected a water-powered yarn mill, later adding machinery for the production of hosiery and knitting. Ross became wealthy and purchased the old Pillow Lace Factory site on High Street, converting it into the “Ross Mansion.”
Turn left on Elm Street. Elm Street and the upper half of South Main Street are not listed in the National Register but are included in this tour
The Choate Bridge is the oldest double stone arch bridge in America, built in 1764, designed and supervised by Colonel John Choate. A popular tale is that his horse was tethered nearby so that if the bridge collapsed when the wooden arches were removed he might mount and ride out of town, probably untrue. Col. Choate was one of the Judges of the General Sessions Court. After his death, the Court ordered that “Choate Bridge” be engraved on the corner stone. The bridge was widened in 1838 and underwent restoration in 1989.
The Sherborne Wilson house built in 1685 sits just past the Choate Bridge on the left side at 4 South Main Street. Sherborne Wilson apprenticed as a carpenter. Because of the importance of his barrels, he was allowed to cut large amounts of white oak from the town commons. Having some money in his family, Wilson sold his first home and built this one by the river. It is said that his shop was the starting point for Thomas Dennis who became famous for his cabinetry and woodworking.
The Timothy Souther house at 31 South Main Street was built in 1726 and now houses small shops. Souther was one of a dozen residents “warned out” as being undesirable but managed to continue his residence. The house has also been attributed to Isaac Fitts born in 1675, and the property may have once belonged to Arthur Abbot who joined John Winthrop in 1634 as an original settler of the town
The former Baker’s Clothing Store at 37 South Main Street was built in 1828 and has a combination of Italianate and Greek Revival elements. The other Baker’s Store building next to the Choate Bridge burned after the Mother’s Day storm of 2006. The Joseph Manning house next to it was torn down early in the 20th Century to build the town’s first automobile sales and repair buildings, still standing. This building now houses Fiske and Freeman Fine and Early Antiques. Fiske is also the editor-in-chief of the New England Antiques Journal.
Old Town Hall, Ipswich MA

The Old Town Hall. 30 South Main Street, was built in 1833 to be the home of the Unitarians. They weren’t successful in maintaining their membership, and sold this the first Greek Revival building in Ipswich to the town in 1843 for use as a town hall. In 1866, a piece of land on the south side of the lot was purchased, the Town Hall was moved to the center of the lot and remodeled. The lower floor was raised to a second-story level and a new first floor was built. The building is being repurposed as a condominium.

Map of the South Green Historic District

Houses and businesses bordering the South Green National Historic District on South Main, Elm and County Streets but which are not included in other historic districts are added to the map below.