The Thomas Lord house at 17 High Street in Ipswich features original champfored summer beams, unpainted feather edge paneling in the front rooms and hall, an original saltbox frame, center chimney and five cooking fireplaces with bake ovens and large hearths. The saltbox roof slopes down to one story in the rear. The front entry features the original stairway and paneling. Typical of many early homes, the windows are 6 panes over 9 (cottage style).

This First Period house stayed in the Lord family for generations. The lot was granted to Robert Lord who arrived as one of the first European settlers of Ipswich in 1634 and served as town clerk until his death in 1683. The property was transferred to Robert Roberts and then to Thomas Lord, a cordwainer (shoe maker) who built the early section of this house in 1658. This house remained in the Lord family until the 1860’s.

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The Ipswich Historical Commission provides the following information at the MACRIS site.

“This lot was first granted to Robert Lord, but by 1658 Robert Roberts was in possession, as he sold the land with a house to Thomas Lord, a shoemaker (2:9). The main frame of the present house may correspond to that early dwelling. This oaken frame with simple chamfers encloses a two-room over-two-room house; the leanto is framed in pine, suggesting a later addition. A restoration of the house, beginning in 1949, has exposed the early frame and opened the fireplaces. The original fireplaces with carved backs, made of bricks laid up with mud and clamshells, were found and restored. In the west chamber, the fireplace had never been reduced in size.”

Bev Wanlin added:

“I am descended from Thomas and Alice (Rand) Lord. Thomas, of course, was the son of Robert and Mary (Waite) Lord. Her brother was John Ward, the father of Rev. Nathaniel Ward, according to Charlestown Genealogies and Estates (pg.628). Robert served in various town offices as mentioned by Gordon, including: deputy of general court (1637), committee to adjust town, county and farm boundary lines (1637), clerk of court at Ipswich (1648), court recorder (1649), sealer of weights and measures (1649), clerk of Salem court (1658), empowered to issue executions (1652), marshal/sheriff for Ipswich court (1648-60) [Cutter]. Thomas was a cordwainer.”

Front stairs at the Thomas Lord house
Front stairs at the Thomas Lord house
Massive summer beams are exposed throughout the house
Massive summer beams are exposed throughout the house
Post and beam framing is exposed in the attic as well and shows the scribe marks that the builder used to match the pre-cut tenons and mortises.
Post and beam framing is exposed in the attic as well and shows the scribe marks that the builder used to match the pre-cut tenons and mortises.

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In the summer of 2016, the owners initated a project to replace the window sashes at the Thomas Lord house. The existing windows are 6/9 Cottage style, with no balances or weather-stripping. We have reason to believe that they were installed around 1950. The frames and casings are intact, but the sashes are aged.

We will be replacing them with identical Brosco replacement window sash replacement kits, including modern balances and glazed single panes with energy panels and screens, We are fortunate that BROSCO carries this exact size in cottage style with traditional mullions and glazing. The sashes are slightly narrower to accommodate the balances. We installed the first window as a test to confirm the fit, and it was perfect.

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The BROSCO replacement kits are purchased through John Garth, co-owner of Tedford Lumber in Ipswich. We believe it can be a prototype for appropriate replacement of traditional windows in historic houses. The U-factor for the glass with energy panel applied is .42. While this is not as low as the .28 available with modern double pane glass, combined with the weather-tight balances it will greatly improve the livability of the house while maintaining the most traditional appearance.