Nathaniel Treadwell - Hale house, N. Main St., Ipswich MA
Nathaniel Treadwell house, 52 North Main St. today

This house at 52 North Main St. in Ipswich was built in 1796. The building has been used in the past as a general store and currently as a single family home. The Ipswich assessors site lists the construction date as 1759.

The Ipswich Historical Commission named this the “Nathaniel Treadwell – Hale House.” Nathaniel Treadwell III was a captain in the militia, owned several lots on North Main Street, and was known as “Landlord Treadwell” because he ran an inn further down North Main Street. His wife Hannah was known as “Landlady Treadwell.” The name Nathaniel Treadwell was also passed through many generations of the family. However, it appears that Nathaniel Treadwell never lived in this house, and the appropriate name for the house is worthy of more consideration.

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1980 photo from the MACRIS site

According to Thomas Franklin Waters the dwelling was not built earlier than 1799. (page 353, Vol. 1, “Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony”). Waters recorded that John Hodgkins sold a piece of land to Nathaniel Treadwell 3rd on Feb. 8, 1799 (163:272). Hodgkins had himself come into ownership only in 1796 (164:222).  On the lot which Treadwell bought of Hodgkins, he seems to have built a store, as is evident from his deed of sale to Joseph Hale, March 5, 1799 although only a month after his purchase. Joseph Hale lived here for 32 years.

The heirs of Joseph Hale sold the land, store and a house to Ebenezer Burnham, October 21, 1831. Ebenezer Burnham sold the same to another Joseph Hale, of a later generation, October 18 1851, but the second Joseph Hale lived here for only three years.

There is a stone cooking hearth in the basement of the house, and there are stories that an owner had two black servants living in the basement who cooked food for the family and sent it upstairs with a dumbwaiter (which still exists, hidden in the walls).

This house is protected by a preservation agreement between the owners and the Ipswich Historical Commission. The address is listed as 60 N. Main but changed to #52 when the town adopted Enhanced 911. Donald Oakes grew up in this house and is a descendant of Amos Haskell of Gloucester. Haskell was a privateer during the American Revolution, and took part in the expedition to Quebec.  Leonard and Beverly Oakes established the preservation agreement with the Ipswich Historical Commission.

Protected elements include:

  • Exterior facade facing southeasterly on North Main
  • Central frame including primary and secondary members
  • 18th Century chimney
  • Wooden architectural elements including the stairway, paneling, doors and other molded detail inthe front and rear halls
  • The wooden architectural elements, including the paneling, mantlepieces, doors and other molded detail and their surfaces in the rear cellar kitchen of the dwelling

treadwell-hale-preservation-agreement