Joseph Fellows house, Fellows Rd.,Ipswich

Joseph Fellows house, 44 Fellows Rd., Ipswich (1734)

The house at 44 Fellows Rd. is listed by the Ipswich Historical Commission as having been constructed in 1734 by Joseph Fellows Jr. The downstairs framing is exposed, showing rough-sawn pine beams and framing of a utilitarian construction. The stairway and upstairs of the house have casings and trim apparently from the 18th Century.

Fellows Road was known in early days as Fellows Lane, and is where William Fellows, who settled in Ipswich in 1635, is believed to be buried. Joseph Fellows, Jr. was born in 1678, the son of Joseph Fellows, Sr. and Ruth Fellows. His siblings were Mary Brown and Abigail Fellows. Joseph Fellows Jr. and his wife Sarah had two sons, Joseph Fellows and Benjamin Fellows. He died on September 8, 1762.

Thomas Franklin Waters wrote about the Joseph Fellows estate in Vol. 2 of Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.”

“In the ancient way, now known as Fellows Lane (*Fellows Road). Richard Saltonstall owned a forty acre ox pasture, which extended to Mile Brook. Thomas Firman owned a large pasture adjoining Saltonstall’s, which he sold to Thomas Low and Edward Bragg in 1647.

Joseph Fellows, son of William, began to purchase land here in 1681, and in due time acquired the Saltonstall and Firman pastures, and land owned by Nathaniel Jacobs. His son, Joseph, greatly enlarged the farm, until it included most of the land on both sides of the road. Generations of the Fellows line had their homes on various portions of this great domain.”

Map of Candlewood in Ipswich ma

In the 1909 book “Candlewood, an Ancient Neighborhood,” Waters describes the home and location of the estate of Joseph Fellows Jr.

  • John Brown, son of John Jr. sold a small lot to Joseph Fellows June 13, 1732 (Salem Deeds, Book 67, Page 113). The deed following it describes a lot transferred from William Fellow to Joseph Fellows.
  • Dec 12, 1734: “Joseph Fellows son of Joseph (3) a tailor known as Joseph Jr. received from his father by gift or purchase 2 acres, bounded southeast and northeast on John Brown west and south on the homestead, always reserving a cart path through the premises. (Ipswich deeds 72: 258).
  • March 1756: Joseph Fellows’ father conveyed him an acre adjoining and another acre near the sheep pasture (Ipswich deeds 101:279). “He built his house on this spot, a small low dwelling still standing and owned in recent years by Thomas Roberts and Samuel M. Haskell…..We have identified (the Joseph Fellows lot) with the 20 acre field now owned by Mr. John H Brown.” (*Thomas Roberts is shown as the owner of a house on this lot in the 1872 map, but the description of a “small low dwelling” does not match the current structure.)
  • William Fellows, 6 son of Isaac, 5 sold to Capt.’ Joseph Gardiner of Boston, Oct. 27, 1832 (268: 14). Capt. Gardiner bought 3 acres adjoining of Ebenezer Cogswell, part of the old Nathan Brown farm, Jan. 4, 1737 (296: 294). Capt. Gardiner sold the house and 11 acres to Thomas Roberts, of Gloucester, shoemaker, Aug. 26, 1837 (302: 91.) Thomas and John Roberts bought of Tristram Appleton, 10 acres, part of the old Nathan Brown farm, including the cellar of the ancient dwelling, April 10, 1861 (620: 297). John Roberts and Sally sold to Samuel M Haskell, June 11, 1890 (1283: 514). It was sold under foreclosure of mortgage to John H. Brown, April 9, 1901 (1637: 277) who conveyed to Alphonso M. Knowlton and Frank C. Richardson, April 10, 1901 (1637: 279)

Waters’ detailed study of subsequent deeds to members of the Fellows family indicates that the Joseph Fellows house was inherited by more than one descendant, and was thenceforth owned and sold as two separate halves of the house in subsequent deeds.

  • Dec 25, 1826: John P. Lakeman purchased from Lanley and Franci, “the Wainwright lot and west half of the house” (Salem Deeds book 245 page 75).
  • The 1832 Ipswich map shows a house at this location, owned by John B. Lakeman.
  • In February, 1836 John B. Lakeman sold to his neighbor John Brown Jr. “in consideration of the sum of $350.00….one half of a certain dwelling house, being the westerly half thereof…with a small piece of land under and adjoining, bounded westerly by the heirs of John Brown deceased, being the same which was conveyed to me by Langley Brown and Francis Brown, and which was formerly owned by Abraham Brown. Also a certain piece of land containing 20 acres with a barn and other buildings thereon. (previously conveyed by the same parties).” (Salem Deeds book 289, page 56)
  • May 11, 1836: An execution was levied on Lakeman and his estate was sold to John Brown Jr (Salem Deeds book 289, page 56).
  • Joseph Gardner deeded to Thomas Roberts, August 26, 1837:Salem Deeds Book 302, Page 91
  • Samuel Haskell sale to George Wigglesworth, July 2, 1890, Salem Deeds book 12823, page 515
  • The 1910 map shows the property as belonging to J. H. Brown. A house and barn are shown on Fellows Road but not set back in this location.

The above maps and deeds appear to relate to this property, but it is not clear that they all include this house.

The John Brown Farm

After passing through multiple owners, the house lot again became part of the John Brown farm and estate. The lot at the intersection of Fellows and Candlewood Roads was assigned in the mid-17th Century to John Brown. His descendant Josiah Brown built the house at that location, 56 Candlewood Road in 1812. For over two hundred and forty years after John Brown bought the farm, it remained by inheritance in the Brown family through successive generations. The Brown family extended the great farm on Candlewood beyond Chebacco Rd into Hamilton.

Candlewood Rd., Ipswich Ma

On the east side of the Bay Road, the great tract of pasture, tillage land, meadow and swamp, bounded by the Bay Road, Essex Road, the Candlewood Road, Fellows Lane and Lakeman’s Lane (*now known as “Parson’s Way) was a part of the Common land of the Town, and when the great area of Common lands was divided into Eighths in 1709, it became part of the division known as the South Eighth and was known as The Inner Common of the South Eighth. About 1720, the proprietors of the Inner Common apportioned individual shares, division lines were run and individual titles were then established.

*From Candlewood, an Ancient Neighborhood in Ipswich, Massachusetts, written by Thomas Franklin Waters, with genealogies of John Brown, William Fellows, and Robert Kinsman)

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