How one house became two

68 and 74 Essex Rd. in Ipswich

Thomas Franklin Waters wrote in “Candlewood” that the lots at 68 and 74 Essex Rd in Ipswich were part of the original grant to Rev. Nathaniel Rogers, who was ordained pastor of Ipswich, Massachusetts, on 20 Feb. 1638, succeeding Nathaniel Ward as co-pastor with John Norton. He died at Ipswich on 3 July 1655, aged 57. As was customary, desirable residents were granted a lot for a house in town, and a larger lot beyond the town commons for a farm. The farm was inherited by Rogers’ two sons, John Rogers who had become president of Harvard College, and Samuel, who received a house and 8 acres (Ips. Deeds 5: 146).

68 Essex Rd., Ipswich MA
The house at 68 Essex Rd. in Ipswich was built in 1832

In March 1832, George W. Heard sold an acre and a half to Levi Brown, who had bought a half acre from his father. The Brown family were prominent settlers of the Candlewood area. He built a dwelling that stands at 68 Essex Rd., and is known as the “Levi Brown house.” Brown quitclaimed to his brother Francis, who sold to Henry S. Holmes, 2 acres and buildings, March 9, 1842 (330: 18). Holmes sold to Willard B. Kinsman, April 1, 1851 (456: 112), who enlarged the 1832 house by building a connected new house facing the highway.

The Patch family of Ipswich was related to the Brown family of the Candlewood neighborhood through marriage. Margaret Patch deeded property with a building thereon to Emily Patch in 1897. The 1910 Ipswich map shows a house just to the east of 68 Essex Road occupied by “Miss Patch.” Emily G., Patch, a single woman acquired the property from her mother Margaret Patch in 1897, and appears to have lived in the house for her entire life. The property was willed to Anne Bell Burrage by the will of Emily G. Patch in 1950.

74 Essex Rd., Ipswich MA
74 Essex Rd. in Ipswich was originally added to the house at 68 Esseex Rd in 1851.
Anne Burrage
Anne Bell Burrage

In 1953, the front part of 68 Essex Rd. was separated from the rear section and was moved to the adjoining empty lot at 74 Essex Rd., purchased by an Anne Bell Burrage, wife of Albert Cameron Burrage Jr. from Neil C. Raymond. The combined Burrage property was referred to as the “Patch Trust.” Mr. Burrage was the son of Albert Burrage, a wealthy industrialist residing in Boston who became president of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in 1921 and was the founding president of the American Orchid Society. In 1933, seven women met at the Ipswich home of Mrs. Albert C. (Anne) Burrage, Jr. and formed the Herb Society of America for the intent of research and study.

The house still standing at 68 Essex Rd. is owned by the Raymond family under the title “Buttonwood Trust.” The 1832 front addition that was moved to 74 Essex Rd. in 1953 or 1954 is the Willard B. Kinsman house.

1832 Ipswich map
1832 map showing the house of Levi Brown.
74 and 68 Essex Rd. in Ipswich when they were two halves of the same house.
68 Essex Rd.
68 Essex Road as the front section was being prepared for its move to #74. The house at #68 was restored and the central chimney was added at that time.
74 Essex Rd. being moved from 68 Essex Rd.
74 Essex Rd. when it was still in front of 68 Essex Rd.
74 Essex Rd. being moved from 68 Essex Rd.
74 Essex Rd. being prepared for the move from 68 Essex Rd.
74 Essex Rd. being moved from 68 Essex Rd.
74 Essex Rd. being moved from 68 Essex Rd.
74 Essex Rd. being moved from 68 Essex Rd.
The front section from #68 Essex Rd. being moved to its new location at #74. The truck is a 1945 Ford pickup.
74 Essex Rd. being moved from 68 Essex Rd.
The house at its new location at 74 Essex Rd. after being moved from 68 Essex Rd.
68 and 74 Essex Rd. in Ipswich
Aerial view of 68 Essex Rd. on the left, and 74 Essex Rd. on the right


Taverner Sparks

Home of Ipswich taverner John Sparks
8 North Main St, the Ebenezer Stanwood House (1747)
Documentation and physical evidence indicate that the left side of 6-8 North Main St. was constructed as early as 1671, and was the home of Taverner John Sparks and his wife Mary. The right side is late First Period.

On Mar. 12, 1637, the General Court of Massachusetts ordered that “every town shall present a man, to be allowed to sell wine and strong water, made in this country; and no other strong drink to be sold.” Taverns were located on all of the main roads leading out of Boston, including the Bay Road, where there were taverns in Salem, Wenham and Ipswich, among other towns.

Until the 18th Century inns and taverns were called an “ordinary” because guests would be served whatever was being prepared that day. The license for keeping a tavern was conditional on being near meetinghouse, for the convenience of reconvening after services to the more comfortable tavern. Also known as “Publik houses,” they served as rest spots for travelers and were where Court was kept into the 18th Century.

Ipswich MA early lot assignments
Early lot assignments on North Main St. Shown for reference is Central St., constructed in the mid-19th Century. John Sparks bought a 2 acre lot in 1670 that has been granted to settler William Fuller.
An old plaque found at Sparks Tavern
An old sign discovered at #10 N. Main St.

Young John Sparks apprenticed to Obadiah Wood, the “Biskett baker” and began his trade in the house of Thomas Bishop, just below where the Ipswich Public Library now stands. Records also spelled his name Spark, Sparke, or Sparkes. He rented the Bishop property for his bakery, and there ran an ordinary, with the license in Bishop’s name. Thomas Bishop’s Publick house was probably where Lydia Wardwell was whipped in 1663 after she was “presented in court for coming naked into the Newbury Meeting House.”

Thomas Bishop died in 1670, and on Feb. 15, 1671, Sparks purchased from Thomas White, two acres that had originally belonged to William Fuller, including a “house, barn, orchard, garden and paddock or inclosure of earable land adjoyning.” (Ips. Deeds 3: 216). At this location, which is today’s 6-8 N. Main St., he established his own business, where he is styled “biskett-baker.”

Responding to a special petition of the citizens that Sparks has been unfairly treated by Bishop, the Selectmen granted license to John Sparks to draw and sell beer at a penny a quart, “provided he entertain no inhabitants in the night, nor suffer any person to bring wine or liquor to be drunk in his house.”

Joseph Felt's "History of Ipswich Essex and Hamilton"
Joseph Felt’s “History of Ipswich, Essex, and Hamilton” (1834)

Sparks perhaps operated at first out of the house he had purchased from White, but it’s almost certain that he constructed a larger building for his ordinary, which seems to have been in the northeast corner of the lot facing the Meeting House. He quickly gained success and kept his hostelry, known far and near, for twenty years. Men of renown tarried about the well-spread board and drink at Sparks’, and soldiers were quartered there during threats of Indian attacks.

As there was no Town House or Court house until the 18th Century, the Ipswich Quarterly Court met at Sparks’ to hear cases. On Center St. in Danvers, Ingersoll’s ordinary served an identical purpose, and according to historian Charles Upham, Ingersoll’s dwelling house was also separate from his ordinary. In March, 1680, the Selectmen of Ipswich ruled that John Sparks’ license for an ordinary be enlarged for retailing wine.

Judge Samuel Sewall kept a diary on his circuits and often stayed at Sparks’:

  • Wednesday Feb. 11, 1684-5: Joshua Moodey and self set out for Ipswich. I lodge at Sparkes’s.
  • Next day, Feb. 12, go to lecture which Mr. Moodey preaches, then I dine with Mr. Cobbet, and so ride to Newbury.
  • At Wenham and Ipswich, as we went, we were told of the Earthquake in those parts and at Salem (Feb. 8), the Sabbath before about the time of ending Afternoon Exercise; That which most was sensible of was a startling doleful Sound; but many felt the Shaking also.
  • Tuesday Feb. 17, I and Brother, sister Stephen Sewall Ride to Sparkes’s by the Ferry, great part in the Snow; Dined with Ipswich Select Men. I Lodged there; the Morn was serene
  • Tuesday, March 18, 1687-8: “Waited on the Judges to Ipswich, Mr. Cook and Hutchinson going up the river. I lodged at Sparkes’s whether Mr. Stoughton and Capt. Appleton came to see me in the evening.”

The Court of Common Pleas, sitting at Ipswich, Sept. 28, 1686, renewed licenses to John Sparks and Abraham Perkins, who succeeded Quartermaster Perkins at his ordinary on High St. “Liberty to sell drink without doors” was granted to Mr. Francis Wainwright, Mr. John Wainwright and Mr. Michael Farley, the Town’s leaders. Having paid for their licenses, Sparks and Perkins proceeded to bring illegal sellers to judgment.

On the 8th of August 1689, Capt. Simon Willard with a company of soldiers arrived, and remained at the inns of Sparks and Perkins until the 2nd of September. The following February, the two taverners petitioned the General Court that they were entitled to more than the proposed three pence a meal, “having already set as low a price as we could possibly do, to wit six pence a meal for dinners and suppers beside the great expense of fyerwood, candle and other smaller matters we mention not,” The soldiers had been “entertained with good wholesome diet as beefe, pork and mutton, well dressed to ye satisfaction of both officers and soldiers who gave us many thanks for their kind entertainment when they went from us.”

Sparks’ license was renewed annually, but in March 1692, “provided he pay his excise duly as the law requires.” In that year, licenses were granted to John Sparks, Mr. Francis Wainwright, Mr. John Wainwright, Francis Wainwright, Jr., Capt. Daniel Wilcomb, Mr. Abraham Perkins, Mr. Goodhue Senior and Mr. Michael Farley, “men of the best character.” The innkeepers were put on notice that they “shall not suffer any unlawful play or Games, in said house, garden, orchard or elsewhere, especially by men servants or apprentices, common laborers, Idle persons, or shall suffer any Town Inhabitants to be in said house drinking or tipling on ye Saturday night after ye sunset or on ye Sabbath day, nor wittingly or willingly admit or receive …. any person notoriously defamed of for theft, Incontinency or drunkenness …. nor keep or lodge there any stranger person above ye Space of one day and one night together, without notice thereof, first given to such Justice or Selectman as above said.’”

On May 1, 1691, Sparks sold 1 1/2 acres of the two-acre lot he had bought from William White twenty years earlier. The buyer was Col. John Wainwright (1649-1708), one of Ipswich’s leading and wealthiest citizens. The deed (Book 12, p. 118) indicates that included in the sale was Sparks’ bake-house and barn, as well as a “messuage” or tenement. It is unclear if the bake-house was the same building as the tavern. Sparks retained his dwelling house on the remaining half-acre of land .

Rachel Clinton
Rachel Clinton, accused of witchcraft

Sparks’ license was renewed one last time in 1692. In April of that year, a summons was issued to several individuals to “Make personal appearance before ye Worshipful Major Samuel Appleton Esq., & ye Clerk of ye Court to be at ye house of Mr. John Sparks in Ipswich on ye 22d Day of This Instant April, at two o’clock afternoon. It’s doubtful that a court session with this many people would be held in the small house that Sparks purchased of Thomas White in 1671. Did he still possess and live in the ordinary? He is no longer referred to as taverner or inn-keeper, but as “Mr.” which was used for men of wealth or esteem.

The summoned individuals were ordered “Then and There to Give in Your several respective Evidences in behalf of their majesties concerning the clearing up of ye Grounds of Suspicion of Rachell Clinton’s being a witch, who is Then and Their to be upon further Examination. So make Your appearance according to this Summons, fail not at your peril,” Ipswich, Dated April 21st, 1692. Damning depositions were made against Rachel Clinton by several Ipswich residents, and the following month she was thrown in the jail, shackled with iron fetters. The Rev. Hubbard of First Church and Rev. John Wise of Chebacco Parish made formal appeals for the accused, and Major Appleton stepped down from the court in opposition to the proceedings.

The Court Record of March, 1693 bears the entry, “John Sparks, ye Tavern keeper in Ipswich, having laid down his license and ye house being come into ye hands of Mr. John Wainwright, license is granted for keeping of a tavern there to any sober man whom Mr. Wainwright may secure.” Mr. Wainwright enlisted the services of John Rogers the saddler, who was licensed to sell drink and keep a public house. Rogers’ “Black Horse inn” was identified in Joseph Felt’s “History of Ipswich, Essex, and Hamilton” (1834) as formerly the inn of John Sparks.

Copy of map drawn in case against Captain Beamsley Perkins
Reproduction of one of two 1717 hand-drawn maps in the case against Captain Beamsley Perkins for “Blocking the way.

On March 12, 1704, Sparks’ wife’s brother John Roper, acting as executor of John Sparks’ estate, sold to Col. Wainwright the remaining half-acre and dwelling house “formerly in possession of Mr. John Sparks, now in possession of Mary, widow of John.” (Ipswich deeds, Vol. 18, p. 16) . The sale included included an additional “two roods (1/2 acre) of ground which I [John Roper] bought of Thomas Metcalf of Ipswich, adjoining the land on which the house stands.” A condition of the sale was that Mary Sparks could remain in the home during the remainder of her life.

On February 6, 1707, Col. Wainwright sold the whole property to Deacon Nathaniel Knowlton (Ipswich Deeds Book 20, p. 145). This deed at this date stated that there were two houses on this lot, a “messuage or tenament now occupied by Thomas Smith, innholder,” and one occupied by the widow, Mary Sparks, “which she is to possess during her natural life, with a garden plot as it is now fenced in, and is situate at the southeast corner of said tenement.” Wainwright died unexpectedly the following year, leaving his wife Christian a widow with children.

Deacon Knowlton’s son-in-law Thomas Smith, “Inn-holder,” was the next to keep a public house in this vicinity. In December, 1710 Knowlton divided the property among family members, transferring to Ephraim Smith, tailor, the son of Thomas Smith, a lot on the northeast side abutting Potter’s lot. (*Waters indicated the Potter lot across from the Meeting House at approximately #14 -18 N. Main St.)

On the same day, Nov. 20, 1710, Knowlton sold to Ebenezer Smith “and his new wife Deborah Knowlton,” a small dwelling bordering on Col. John Appleton. (Salem Deeds book 23, page 22). This “small dwelling” can be identified with the former residence of John and Mary Sparks which Sparks had purchased from Thomas White. In the following deed, Knowlton also granted to John Smith, son of Thomas Smith, “one small tenement or house and land bounded south by land of Ebenezer Smith and northerly by land of Ephraim Smith.” (Salem Deeds book 23, page 22).

John Smith sold to Jacob Boardman, March 28, 1734, “one certain messauge or tenement situated lying and being on the Northerly side of ye Meeting House Hill” …containing about half an acre more or less,” (69: 198).” After passing through several ownerships in short succession, Anthony Loney sold the lot to Nathaniel Treadwell, May 15, 1742 (84:263). The Taverner Smith lot can be identified as a level area in the rear of #12 N. Main Street. Nathaniel Treadwell had opened his well-known inn at #12 N. Main in 1737. It appears from these transactions that Sparks’ tavern was behind Treadwell’s Inn and was being used as a boarding house. It disappears from the records after Treadwell’s purchase.

1717 hand-drawn map indicating the location of houses in this vicinity of North Main Street. It is not clear if the narrow triangle with Taverner Smith’s house to the left is a line, or from a fold in the map. Above it reads, “Pritchard’s lot, now Taverner Smith’s.” Ebenezer Smith purchased the Sparks house in 1710, and enlarged it to its present form. He sold half of the present house to Ebenezer Stanwood in 1740 and in 1748, Smith sold to Ebenezer Stanwood the 20 rod cart path for £12, 10 shillings.


Treadwell's Inn, 12 N. Main St., Ipswich
Treadwell’s Tavern at 12 N. Main St.

Treadwell’s Inn gained the same renown and importance as the earlier Sparks’ Inn. It was once believed to have been the old Sparks’ tavern, but seems certain to have been constructed in the 18th Century. Jacob Treadwell inherited from his father Nathaniel, and his administrator sold to Moses Treadwell, the house and land, “being all that said deceased owned in that place, commonly called the old Tavern lot.”

From this it seems that the Sparks-Rogers-Smith tavern was at or near where the lots at #6, 8, 10 and 12 meet in the rear, which has been greatly filled and grading over the years. Repurposed foundation stones and crude stone steps at that location may be remnants of the old Sparks’ Tavern. Early maps above show a straighter N. Main St., without its present curve. The area of N. Main between the Civil War monument these houses was filled and reconfigured in the 19th Century. We are told that the Town elevated the houses at #12 – 16 N. Main St. by as much as 6 ft., and faced the foundations with granite slabs. They did likewise on a section of High St.

Thomas Franklin Waters wrote: “Following the fortunes of Sparks’ Inn… John Rogers, the saddler, was licensed to sell drink and a public house in 1696, and Mr. Wainwright was ordered at the same Court to procure a suitable tenant to live in the house ‘where John Rogers is now an innholder.’ His inn was called ‘The Black Horse.’ Thomas Smith, Inn-holder, kept a public house nearby in 1707, which came later to John Smith, ‘the Taverner,’ and in 1737 Nathaniel Treadwell opened his inn. Benjamin Dutch, at the sign of ‘The White Boy’ received license, in 1719. (*at the approximate location of #16 N. Main St.)”

The Sparks house

6-8 N. Main St., Ipswich
The left side of the house at 6-8 North Main St. was probably the home of John and Mary Sparks.

Thus the exact location of the old Sparks’ Tavern, obscured by local tradition and debated by historians, seems to have been at the rear of the lot John Sparks purchased of Thomas White in 1671. The will of Mary Sparks was proved July 26, 1712. In the probate court appointment of her executor, Mary’s name is spelled “Spark.” Their residence seems to have been the left side of the house still standing at 6 North Main St.

The “small dwelling house” was transferred by Knowlton to Edward Smith in 1710. Ebenezer Smith purchased it in 1717, and the present house at 6-8 N. Main seems to have taken its present larger form under the Smith ownership. In 1747, Ebenezer Smith deeded half a dwelling house, land, etc. with a line running through the front door, with privilege of a cart-way on the northeast end, and a spring in the cellar, etc.” to Ebenezer Stanwood, peruke maker for £200. Salem Deeds book 90 page 203. The description matches the present duplex structure, which has a cistern in the cellar and a driveway on the right.

Stanwood sold to Daniel Rogers, for £189, Nov. 8, 1766 (Salem Deeds book 120 page 81) His heirs sold the left half of this property to Moses Lord, July 5, 1833 (271: 39), and the right half to Steven Warner, Aug. 21, 1835 (338: 253). In the early 20th Century, the right side of the building had a small pharmacy attached to the front, owned and run by C. W. Brown. In 2014, when the house was renovated, a dilapidated rear ell was removed and was replaced with a large addition. The reconstructed building is still a two-family house.

The Christian Wainwright house

Christian Wainwright house, Ipswich MA
The Christian Wainwright house was between #8 and 12 N. Main St., and was later removed to the corner of Market and Satonstall, where it was demolished at the end of the 19th Century.

Before Ebenezer Smith sold his house to Stanwood, he sold a lot, with fifty feet frontage, to Daniel Tilton, March 1, 1732-3 (68: 149). Tilton sold the lot with “a certain messauge” to Christian Wainwright, June 2, 1741 (80: 295). Her husband, John Wainwright Jr. (1690-1739) had died at age 49 and left his wife Christian with three children. The great fortune left by his grandfather Colonel Francis Wainwright became greatly reduced, and the widow was granted relief by the court to sell various properties in order to care for and educate her children. Her house was in the presently empty small lot between 8 and 12 North Main Street, and can be identified as the house and possibly the tavern of Ebenezer Smith.

Thomas Franklin Waters wrote that in 1845, Joseph Baker bought the Christian Wainwright house and moved it to the intersection of Market and Saltonstall Streets, in order to enlarge his own property, which is described as being the historic old Treadwell Tavern, still standing at 12 N. Main St. The former Christian Wainwright house was being used as a tenement, fell into decay, and was removed by the Ipswich Historical Society after they purchased the Whipple House at its original location on Saltonstall St. The Whipple house was moved to the South Green in 1927.


(*Links to the Salem Deeds site will work only after you initiate a search session.)


6-8 N. Main after a snowstorm
The two chimneys still existed in this photo of 6-8 N. Main after a snowstorm
1980 photo of 6-8 N. Main Street
8 North Main St., circa 1980, from the Massachusetts Historical Commission site. One of the chimneys had been removed.
C. W. Brown’s pharmacy was attached to the house in this early 20th Century photo.
First floor ceiling beams
Summer beam, left downstairs front room during renovation
Beam in the Ebenezer Stanwood house
Empty mortises in the downstairs summer beam in #6 with newer joists from a previous renovation.
Post and beam at 6 N. Main St. in Ipswich
A post and beam at 6 N. Main St. in Ipswich after renovations
Gunstock corner post at 6 North Main St. in Ipswich
Gunstock corner post at #6 North Main St. (left side, which is the oldest). The length and style of the shoulders are unusual for Ipswich, but bear some similarity to the posts in the 1675 Corwin house in Salem and the 1718 house at 5 County St.,
Gunstock post at #8 N. Main
The gunstock corner posts in #8 N. Main are somewhat different from the ones in #6.
beam split marks in 17th Century house
These regularly-spaced marks on joists or beams in #6 N. Main await explanation, but are perhaps from when the logs were split
Corner windbrace in the Stanwood house
Windbrace near the wall that separates #6 and #8 N. Main
Beam and joists at 6 N. Main St.
Beam and joists at 8 N. Main St. after renovations. Unlike #6, these joists are in their original pockets.
Irregular saw marks in joists at 8 N. Main St.
Irregular saw marks on joists at 8 N. Main St.
scalloped drop-in joists
These joists in #8 N. Main are reduced in depth with a graceful arched “scoop” at the joint so as not to reduce the strength of the girder. Reductions with an angled slope are seen on other joists in the house. These pre-1720 joists were meant to be exposed, and are uncommon locally.
"lightning" marks on beams at 8 N. Main St.
Intriguing indentations described as “lightning symbol” on beam at 8 N. Main St.
Unusual "lightning" shaped marks are near several beam joints in #8 N. Main.
Similar “lightning symbol” on another beam at 8 S. Main
This stop-splayed scarf joint in the rear right side of #8 N. Main may have tied a rear ell to the house.
This stop-splayed scarf joint in the rear right side of #8 N. Main may have tied a rear ell to the original house. This particular form of joinery dates to 13th Century England and is still used in timber frame barns.
Exposed rear framing at 6-8 N. Main St. when the previous ell was removed.
Exposed rear framing at 6-8 N. Main St. when the previous ell was removed.
Exposed rear framing at 6-8 N. Main St. when the previous ell was removed.
The original rear framing at 6-8 N. Main St. was exposed when the previous ell was removed. At the far end is a gabled dormer that had been enclosed. Differences in the beams beams indicate that the far side (#6) was constructed at a different time from #8.
Right rear corner post at 8 N. Main St.
Exposed windbrace at 8 N. Main St. Accordion lath is found in the 18th Century.

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Edward Browne House, 27 High St., Ipswich

Edward Browne house, 27 High St., Ipswich MA

This is a mid-to-late 17th Century house with 18th Century additions and refinements. The oldest part of the house at 27 High St. is the east side, which began as a one-room-over-one-room floor plan, built at least in part in the second half of the 17th Century. The first floor east side summer beam and chimney girt have beveled chamfers and flat “lambs tongue stops” found almost exclusively in the 17th Century. By the 18th century, summer beam beading was minimal, as found in the 18th century casings surrounding structural elements in the second floor of this First Period house.

Edward Brown was the original owner of this site in 1639 and died in 1659. His widow survived him and married second, July 1, 1660, Daniel Warner. In his will, also affirmed by hers, the house was left to his son Joseph. Joseph died in 1694, and may also have been the original builder. The “e” in the Edward Browne’s surname was dropped in successive generations.

Architectural elements in the west side and the saltbox shed are indicative of the mid-18th Century, and can probably be attributed to the ownership of John Brown (died 1758) or Daniel Brown (died 1796).

17th Century structural elements (east side)

Summer beam and chimney girt in the east side of the Edward Browne house, 27 High St. in Ipswich
The pine summer beam and chimney girt of the main east room have simple chamfers, similar to those found in the Fairbanks House in Dedham, which was constructed in 1641, and are the primary indicators of the age of the Edward Browne house in Ipswich. Similar chamfers and stops are in the c1700 Caldwell house on High St. and the 1688 Thomas Knowlton house on Summer St. in Ipswich. This summer beam had been recently sanded at the time of this photo.
Georgian quirk molding
Quirk molded casing around summer beam, second floor east side of the Edward Browne house. Often the framing on the first floor of First Period houses was chamfered and finished, while the upper floor was left more rustic. Structural elements in the second floor of east side of the Edward Browne house were probably boxed later, with quirk-beaded boards.
“Cox head hinge” in the east side of the Edward Browne house, identical to broken cocks head door hinge from the Chadbourne site, c 1690.It is unknown if this hinge is original; the other hinge on the same door is a more typical strap hinge.
Quirk beaded post and beam casings
East side bedroom: boxed quirk beaded casings around corner post and girt, from remodeling typical after 1720.

18th Century structural elements

In the mid-18th century the west side of the house was built, completing the common central chimney, two-over-two configuration. Later a rear lean to was added, greatly increasing the depth of the house. Most of the present trim dates to the 18th century and early 19th century. The significant architectural features of this house are protected by an agreement between the owners and the Ipswich Historical Commission

The west side downstairs room inside the Edward Brown house is later than the east side.
The west side downstairs room inside the Edward Brown house is later than the east side.
fireplace in the west side of the Edward Browne house, 27 High St. in Ipswich
Fireplace in the downstairs west side of the house
second floor floorboards and joists in the west side of the Edward Browne house, 27 High St. in Ipswich
joists and floor boards, west side of the Edward Browne house. Wide saw marks on flooring are indicative of 17th and 18th Century power-driven band saws
Paneling and fireplace in Ipswich house
Upstairs west side paneling and fireplace, Edward Browne house. This fireplace appears to be a predecessor to 19th Century Rumford fireplaces.
Fireplace, west side of the Edward Browne house, 27 High St. in Ipswich
Fireplace in upstairs west side of the Edward Browne house
Gunstock post, west side of the Edward Browne house, 27 High St. in Ipswich
Somewhat atypical gunstock corner post, west side of the Edward Browne house
Early colonial wallpaper
Early stenciled wallpaper, discovered in the west side of the Edward Browne house.


Saltbox rafter and purlin framing in the Edward Browne house in Ipswich
Original attic rafters and purlins in the east side of the Edward Browne house are hewn, while the rafters in the west side and the saltbox extension are sawn. The saltbox extension extends from the ridge pole but the original rear rafters remain in the attic, also found in the 1684 Thomas Low house on Heartbreak Road in Ipswich.
Attic ridge pole, Georgian addition to first period house
Rafters and ridge pole in the west side attic of the Edward Browne house
Paneled wall, first period house
Possibly early paneled wall, staircase to attic in the Edward Browne house


Bricks in the large early fireplace in the downstairs east side of the Edward Browne house have been parged with cement, and are no longer observable. The house has a massive stone chimney base, found in the 17th-18th Centuries, although arched brick chimney bases are more typical of the Georgian era. The original fireplace on the oldest (east) side is approximately 7′ wide. Three stages of the chimney construction are clearly visible in the attic.

bricks in colonial house, Ipswich MA
Chimney, attic of the Edward Browne house. In the middle is the early First Period chimney, as determined by the large bricks. On the right are additional bricks relating to the west wing. On the left are bricks for the fireplace in the saltbox addition. Brick sizes in the first half of the 18th Century were smaller.
Bricks in the Edward Browne house
Three generations of bricks in the Edward Browne chimney. Clay mortar was used throughout, and lime mortar above the roofline, as is typical.
The oldest bricks in the core of the Browne house chimney vary up to 2 1/2″ in height
Smoke Chamber, first period hosue
Looking up into the smoke chamber in the second floor roof of the east side of the Edward Browne house, 27 High St. in Ipswich. Used for curing meats, accessible through a door in the second floor, east side bedroom.


The primary characteristics that help determine the age of this house are property assessments of Edward and Joseph Brown, summer beam chamfers in the downstairs east room, variable sized bricks, up to 2 1/2″ tall in the central chimney core. Large clay bricks were used from 1630, but in 1679 the Massachusetts Court ordered that brick sizes be standardized at “9 inches long, 2 1/4″ thick.” A Massachusetts act in 1711 consolidated all previous brick laws and set the size at 9″ x 4″ x 2 1/2″. Re-used early bricks are found in houses constructed into the 18th Century, and between 1750 and 1780, bricks diminished in size despite the law, with the smallest 18th Century bricks being about 7 1/4″ x 3 1/2″ x 1 3/4″.Modern bricks measure about 7 1/2″ x 3 1/8″ x 2 1/8″. Read: “Early Brick Laws in Massachusetts” by Orville W. Carroll


Modern mortar was invented in the 19th Century. Abbott Lowell Cummings wrote in his seminal book, “The Framed Houses of Massachusetts Bay, 1625-1725: “Clay was the only “mortar” in which the bricks of the chimney stack were laid, to the level of the roof at least, and the efficacy of this material is abundantly proved by the soundness and plumb condition of a substantial number of early chimneys…Not until late in the (17th) Century were extensive beds of limestone discovered at Newbury.” Clay mortars continued to be used until the mid-19th century.

Early owners of the Edward Browne house

Early land grants on High Street in Ipswich MA
The Edward Browne lot is on High Street, one of the original land grants in Ipswich, from the book Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Edward Browne (through 1659)

Edward Browne came to Ipswich with the original settlers and married Faith Lord. Although he served as a Marshal of Ipswich, he and several other men were brought to court because their wives were seen wearing finery above their station. Puritan law required one to prove 200 pounds in savings to justify such extravagances. He made his will on 9 Feb, 1659 to his wife, Faith; sons Thomas, Joseph and John; and daughters, but no names mentioned, and his brother Bartholomew of whom he purchased the land on which this house sits.

Thomas Franklin Waters wrote about the Edward Brown house in his book, Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony Volume I: “The Edward Brown lot of one acre (was) southeast from Bradstreet. He had a son John, who resided in Wapping, England, in 1683, when he sold land in the common fields left by his father Edward, (Ips. Deeds 4: 533).

“Edward Browne was of Ipswich, colony of Massachusetts Bay, between 1654 and 1660, and is the same who from 1656 to 1659 bore the title of “Marshall’* Browne, indicating the office he held in the colony. He died February 9. 1659-60, in Ipswich, leaving a will which read, “My will is that after my said wife’s decease my son Joseph shall have and enjoy my dwelling house & appurtenances & privileges belonging there unto, together with all the rest of my land & meadow.” (The Probate records of Essex County, Massachusetts).

The will mentions his wife Faith and his brother Bartholomew, and his estate was appraised at a little more than £250.00. By comparison, the cost of Massachusetts houses constructed during that era ranged from £12 for modest homes to £200 to finer ones (“Prices and Wages by Decade“). His widow survived him and married second, July 1, 1660, Daniel Warner.” (Genealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of Boston and eastern Massachusetts)

2nd Generation Joseph Brown (through 1694)

The widow Sarah Caldwell’s deed to her son Dillingham gives the eastern bound “land formerly Joseph Brown’s.” From the Probate Records, we learn that Joseph Brown (1) died before 1694, and that his estate was divided to his sons, John and Benjamin (Pro. Rec. 313: 559, 560), in 1721.

Joseph Browne, son of Edward and Faith Browne, born about 1639, was a turner, living in Ipswich, where he died September 30, 1694, at night. His estate inventoried two hundred seventy-five pounds five shillings. He married in Ipswich, February 27, 1671, Hannah Asselbie, who survived him. (Interestingly, the value of the estate of Joseph Brown had not improved significantly over that of his father.)

Third Generation, John Brown (through 1758)

Children of Joseph Brown, all born in Ipswich:

  • 1. Joseph, born February 18, 1672-3; was a cordwainer, and still living in 1742.
  • 2. John, March 12, 1674; yeoman and turner; died May 7, 1758. (inherited the house)
  • 3. Hannah, February 26, 1675-6; married before 172 1, Simon Finder; was a widow in 1740.
  • 4. Thomas, December 26, 1678.
  • 5. Elizabeth, married November 5, 1701, John Holland.
  • 6. Lieutenant Samuel, house carpenter ; married Martha Jacobs of Ipswich (published February 21, 1708) ; died August 16, 1763.
  • 7. Benjamin, yeoman and miller; bought three quarters of the Adams and Farley mill, 1732; married Elizabeth, widow of Thomas Foss, and died February 16, 1733-4.
  • 8. Sarah, married Richard Rindge (published 3, 9 mo., 1716) ; was a widow in 1741. (Genealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of Boston and eastern Massachusetts)

Fourth generation: Daniel Brown (through 1796)

John Brown, Turner, granted in his will, proved in 1758, to Elizabeth, his wife, “all the household goods she brought to me, and all the linen she hath made since I married her to be at her Disposal;” to his son John, the improvement of the two lower rooms and the northeast chamber and some real estate; to his daughter Esther Adams, and the children of his daughter Mary Lord, the household goods; and all the residue of real estate to his son Daniel (Pro. Rec. 335: 229). The house, barn and land were valued at £60 (Pro. Rec. 336: 17). Daniel Brown bequeathed the improvement of his property to his widow Hannah, during her life or until her second marriage.

Fifth generation: Daniel Smith (through 1844)

Daniel Brown made his nephew, Daniel Smith, his sole heir. The will was approved, Jan. 4, 1796 (Pro. Rec. 364: 232). Daniel Smith’s will, proved in 1844, provided for the division of his estate among his sons, Daniel Brown Smith, Thomas and Benjamin, and the Probate Record contains this interesting item: ‘Daniel Smith was a Revolutionary pensioner, that he died on the 28th day of January, 1844, that he left no widow, and that he left seven children and no more, viz. Daniel B., Thomas, Benjamin, Polly Lord, Elizabeth Treadwell, Sarah Perkins, & Anna Kimball, and that they all of them are living and each of them is of full age” (Pro. Rec. 412: 315, 310).’

Fifth generation: Thomas Smith

Thomas received the homestead, and occupied it until his death at a great age, when he bequeathed it to his nephew Charles Smith, who removed the old buildings and built his present residence in the rear of the site of the homestead. Daniel B. received a part of the house-lot and built a house upon it, which he sold to his son, Nathaniel P. Smith, March 1, 1866 (707: 16).

Resources and further reading:

Rogers-Baker house, S. Village Green, Ipswich

John Rogers - John Baker house, South Village Green, Ipswich MA

The land on which this house sits was given to Nathaniel Rogers, the second minister in Ipswich. His great grandson Daniel Rogers sold the Rogers homestead, “a certain messauge” to John Baker in 1761 for £160. (110:94). Thomas Franklin Waters believed that Baker built the present house, but it is more likely that he purchased the lot with the home of the recently deceased Rev. John Rogers, and remodeled the inside with Georgian features.

The appearance of the house suggests that it was constructed earlier, but there is no written documentation. The house has an asymmetrical front facade with two over two bays, the left rooms being larger. A single window is on the end of each room. The exterior shows a steep pitched roof with minimal eaves. This style of construction was common during the First Period during the late 17th Century Century and suggests a house constructed between 1680 and 1720.

While many First Period half-houses were double in width with the right and left sides of different proportions, it was also often the case that central chimney First Period houses were constructed intentionally with the “hall” side larger than the “parlor.” In a 1638 letter to John Winthrop Jr., Samuel Symonds gave instructions for how his house should be constructed: “Concerning the frame of the house…It makes no great matter though there be no partition upon the first floor; if there be, make one bigger than the other.” The Rogers-Brown house at 83 County Rd. has a similarly asymmetrical facade, and originally sat nearby facing the South Green. Several Ipswich and Essex County First Period Houses built in the era between 1680 and 1720 share a similar size and configuration.

The original, front part of the house is typical of the timber-framed hall-and-parlor style which began in post-medieval England. In this style, the two adjoining rooms are separated by a massive chimney, the entrance and stairway to the second floor rooms. The larger of the two downstairs rooms is the hall, which is the family room and was also used for cooking before rear additions were added. The smaller of the downstairs rooms is the parlor, a more private living space sometimes used as a bedroom. Because of the different sized rooms, the windows viewed from the front of the house are often asymmetrically placed. Common dimensions for a hall and parlor house were between 16 to 20 feet deep and up to 40 ft. wide for a central chimney house.

Exterior Structural Observations

The outward appearance of the house suggests that the frame of the house was constructed within a couple of decades of the beginning of the 18th Century based on the following observations:

  • Asymmetrical front facade is typical of houses built in the First Period. The Georgian era begins in approximately 1720, and within a short period of time almost all houses were being built with the door centered.
  • The roof pitch is steep, typical of First Period houses. The lack of a significant overhang or cornice is found in houses of the 17th Century.
  • The original house is a single bay deep, the traditional early hall and parlor layout, only 19′ deep, and with a single window at the end on each floor. The layout and size are almost identical to the Rogers and Brown Bed and Breakfast at 83 County Rd. That house was constructed before 1710 at its original location facing the Green, across from the John Baker House. It was purchased in 1750 by Samuel Rogers, and was moved to its present location in 1837 when the South Church was built.
  • The frame appears to be entirely of oak. By the middle of the 18th Century pine was being used more frequently. The earliest timbers were pit sawn, which show irregular saw marks. The saw cuts in the timbers in this house were produced by a saw mill, which were in use well before the 18th Century.
  • The Asher Benjamin front doorway is a Greek Revival alteration, similar to the Hodgkins-Lakeman house at 79 East. St.

Asymmetrical Hall and Parlor Framing

The John Baker house is one room deep with single windows, suggesting that it is an earlier house that was “Georganized” in the mid-18th Century.

On the Historic Ipswich site, First Period houses of Essex County, it’s useful to compare the features of the John Baker house with other asymmetrical central chimney “hall and parlor” houses in surrounding communities and Ipswich, including the Joseph Bolles house, 30 High St., (1722), the Daniel Lummus house 39 – 41 High Street, (1686), the Hodgkins – Lakeman House, 76 East Street, (c1690), the Reginald Foster house, 6 Water Street, (1690), the Nathaniel Hovey house, 11 Summer St. (1718), and the Rogers-Brown-Rust House, 83 County Rd. (1665-1723).

All of the framing is boxed, which probably occurred when John Baker conducted a major aesthetic renovation to provide the interior of the house with fine Georgian features.

The left downstairs room has a recently boxed-in transverse summer beam, usually found on the second floor, or in the halls of single story houses. It would be simple to remove the boards to examine the beam for signs of a chamfer, or to conduct dendrochronology. Abbot Lowell Cummings noted that the distribution of transverse summer beams before 1725 occurred primarily in the area extending from Marblehead through Salem to Topsfield and Ipswich, and is rarely found in First Period houses in other areas.

Fireplaces and Chimney

The massive central chimney is typical of First Period and early 2nd Period houses. By the late Georgian era and in the Federal era it was more common to have two chimneys set in about a couple of feet from the two ends of the house. Cummings wrote that arched brick chimney vaults were invented in the last quarter of the 17th Century, and they are found throughout the 18th Century. The 1680 Ambrose Gale house in Marblehead has an arched brick chimney base. The 1776 Heard-Lakeman house at 2 Turkey Shore Rd. has an unusually large arched chimney base.

The massive kitchen hearth at the rear of the house faced a rear addition shown in an old painting of the South Green. The bricks appear to be of the earlier style. In 1679 the Court at Massachusetts Bay decreed that “the size of bricks be nine inches long, two and one quarter inches thicke, and four and a halfe inches broad.” Today the standard size is 8″ x 2 1/4″ x 3 1/2″.

The bake oven is inside the hearth. Edward P. Friedland, author of “Antique Houses, Their Construction and Restoration” wrote “Bake ovens of the earliest fireplaces appear in the rear wall of the firebox, a location that eventually shifted in the first quarter of the eighteenth century to the more convenient location at the side of the fireplace.” The book, “Something to Preserve” notes that in the 1720 Smith House on Argilla Road, “The large kitchen fireplace is located in the keeping room area in the rear, and smaller fireplaces are in the front areas.”

The First Period Phillip Call house on High Street also has a rectangular and very similar fireplace which previous owner Paul McGinley believed was added in 1725. Large brick hearths are found as early as the 1669 Joseph Wilcomb house, and continued to be used until adoption of the Rumford fireplace in the early 19th century.


The inside of the house has much original material, including Georgian paneling. Fireplace paneling in the two front rooms have wooden doors that cover bake ovens. The kitchen fireplace is in a newer room where an addition was originally added, and has the earlier design of bake ovens inside a massive hearth.

“Eared” moldings around the fireplace and in the door frames of the Baker House are noted around fireplaces in the Heard-Lakeman house on Turkey Shore Rd. and its neighbor the 1730 Burnham-Patch house. Cornice moldings at the Heard-Lakeman house and the Col. Baker house are also very similar.

Kitchen fireplace in the house at 7 South Green St. Brick ovens shifted after the first quarter of the 17th Century to a location beside the hearth instead of inside. The First Period Phillip Call house on High Street has an similar fireplace which previous owner Paul McGinley believed was added in 1720.
Brick vault supporting the fireplaces in the house at 7 South Village Green
Brick vault supporting the fireplaces in the house at 7 South Village Green. The vault is identical to the rare brick vault root cellar at the 1684 Thomas Low house on Heartbreak Rd. The 1776 Lakeman-Heard house at the corner of Poplar and Turkey Shore is said to have a similar massive brick vault supporting its chimneys.

Nathaniel Rogers

In June 1636 Nathaniel Rogers sailed with his wife and family for New England, and was ordained pastor of Ipswich, Massachusetts, on 20 Feb. 1638, succeeding Nathaniel Ward as co-pastor with John Norton. He took the oath of freedom at Ipswich, and was one of a body deputed to reconcile a difference between the legalists and the antinomians. He died at Ipswich on 3 July 1655, aged 57.

August Caldwell in the Antiquarian Papers published in 1881 wrote, “The first Rev. Nath’l Rogers, 1638, built a house where the residence of the late David Baker now stands. A pail of that early Rogers house was incorporated into the house built by Thomas Baker, — the residence for many years of Mrs Mary Ann Choate. A silver cup with the initials N. R. was dug up in laying the foundation of the David Baker house.”

The Will of Rev. Nathaniel Rogers, 1655

The will of the Rev. Nathaniel Rogers, Pastor of the Church at Ipswich, taken from his own mouth, July 3, Anno Domini 1655, was proved in court at Ipswich, 25-7-1655. He reckons his estate in Old and New England at about twelve hundred pounds, four hundred pounds of which ‘is expected from my father Mr. Robert Crane in England. He makes the portion of John, though his eldest son, equal only with the others, viz. Nathaniel, Samuel and Timothy, and gives to each one hundred pounds out of his estate in Old England and one hundred pounds out of his estate in New England. To his son Ezekiel he gives twenty pounds, which he may take in books if he pleases. To his daughter he has already given two hundred pounds. To his three grandchildren, John, Nathaniel and Margaret Hubbard, he gives forty shillings each. To his cousin, John Rogers, five pounds, in the hands of Ensign Howlett. To Elizabeth, Nathaniel, John and Mary, children of his cousin John Harris, of Rowley, he gives twenty shillings each. To Harvard College, five pounds. The remainder he leaves to his wife Margaret, whom he appoints executrix.

John Rogers 1

Although he was never ordained as a minister or trained as a physician, John Rogers ((January 11, 1630—July 12, 1684), the eldest son of minister Nathaniel Rogers, lived in Ipswich most of his life practicing medicine and assisting in the ministry of his brother-in-law William Hubbard, who served as Ipswich pastor for 50 years. He appears to have been the successor owner of the Rev. Nathaniel Rogers estate. John Rogers was appointed President of Harvard in 1682 but died two years later at the age of 54. After the death of President Rogers, his widow came back to Ipswich to live. She was a daughter of Gen. Daniel Denison, and lies buried near him at the Old North Burying Ground in Ipswich. The inscription on the tombstone of President John Rogers in Cambridge reads:

“To this mound of earth is committed a treasury of benevolence, a storehouse of theologic learning, a library of the choicest literature, a living system of medicine, an embodiment of integrity, a repository of faith, a pattern of Christian sympathy, a garner of all virtues, in other words: the mortal remains of the Very Reverend John Rogers, son of the Very Learned Nathaniel Rogers of Ipswich in New England, grandson of Mr. Rogers of Dedham in Old England, whose name is illustrious throughout the world. He was a favorite and deservedly admired President of Harvard College. His immortal part was borne away from us July the 20th, A. D. 1684. His very dust is dear. ‘Tis all we have.”

Major John Whipple was the eldest son of Captain John Whipple Senior, and made his will in 1683. He gave to the wife of the minister John Rogers his slave, Hannah

John Rogers (2)

Salem Deeds (book 10, page 90) filed in 1694 is an indenture providing division of the estate of John Rogers between Samuel, Sarah, and John Rogers (2). The Rogers mansion went into the possession of Rev. John Rogers (1666 – December 28, 1745, age 79), son of the President, and likewise Pastor of the Church. He began his ministry as colleague with Mr. Hubbard in 1686 in his twentieth year, but was not ordained for several years. At the age of nineteen, Martha, daughter of William Whittingham and Mary Lawrence in Boston, married Rev. John Rogers on Mar. 4, 1690, in Ipswich. Martha survived her husband by 14 years, passing away at the age of 88 years, in Ipswich on Mar. 9, 1759.

The two Rev. John Rogers successively continued ownership of the property of Nathaniel Rogers, and a finer house was apparently built on that location by one of them during the late 17th or early 18th Century. When the South Church was built in 1746, the location was stated to be at the South Green “between the homestead of Mr. Jonathan Wade and the homestead of ye late Rev. John Rogers.” Mr. Rogers died of palsy in 1745 in his 80th year, after serving the church as its minister for 56 years. (*ref: Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony Vol. II).

John Rogers (2) conveyed to his son Samuel, “all y’ part of my homestead or old orchard lying before the land that was Mr. Francis Crompton’s, from the South corner of sd Crompton’s land, by a strait line to ye street or highway, about one half acre, with all buildings, trees etc.,” May 6, 1734 (95: 181).

The Will of John Rogers (died 1745)

  • John Rogers gave to “my dear wife Martha Rogers all my personal effects…all my household goods and furniture….one half of my house, gardens, orchards and privileges…for the rest of her natural life.”
  • To his son Nathaniel he gave “half of my dwelling house, out houses….”
  • To his son John he gave “all of my land between Thomas Manning on the North, and (unreadable) Smith on the South, having the river on the west and the highway on the east.”
  • To his son Richard he gave the “easterly part of my orchard aside Crompton’s land.”

Dr. Samuel Rogers

Dr. Samuel Rogers succeeded in the office of Register and continued in office the rest of his life, from August 26, 1762 to Dec. 21, 1772. He was the son of Rev. John Rogers and grandson of President John of Harvard. A Harvard graduate of 1725, he served the Town and Colony in many positions of honor and usefulness, as physician, Town clerk. Colonel of a regiment. Justice of the Court of Sessions and Representative to the General Court. His home was originally opposite the home of his grandfather at the intersection of South Main, County and Poplar Streets, but was moved further down County Rd. to accomodate construction of the South Congregational Church. That house still stands at 83 County Rd.

Daniel Rogers

Deed from Daniel Rogers to John Baker

Daniel Rogers, son and heir of Rev. John Rogers (2): Daniel Rogers was born at Ipswich Mass July 28 1707. He graduated at Harvard College, 1725, and was for many years one of the tutors of the college. In August 1748 he was ordained pastor over a newly gathered Church at Exeter in New Hampshire and in the same year married ) Anna Foxcroft, daughter of Rev Thomas Foxcroft of Boston. He continued his ministry in Exeter until his death on 10 December 1785.

The heirs of John Rogers transferred their rights to the property to Daniel Rogers on Oct. 19, 1748 (Salem Deeds book 84, page 272) Daniel Rogers sold the Rogers homestead with land and “a certain messauge” to John Baker in 1762 (110:94).

John Baker

Col. John Baker’s date of birth is given as Feb. 2, 1721. Me married Eunice Pope on Nov. 4, 1745. Date of death was June 9, 1785. Thomas Franklin Waters wrote,

“The whole western portion of the original Argilla farm seems thus to have come into the possession of John Baker. Colonel Baker died Aug. 1, 1734, aged forty-four, and left the farm to his son John. The latter became a man of large influence and great public usefulness. He was Town Clerk for many years, one of the Committee of Correspondence and Inspection during the Revolution, Colonel of a regiment, feoffee of the Grammar School, and Justice of the Sessions Court, and not least of all, father of twelve children. His town residence was the substantial dwelling on the Heard property, facing the South Green. He took an active part in the leadership of the town, speaking out against the British Parliament in steps that led the Town into the Revolutionary War.”

The extended Baker family owned this side of the South Green. Aaron Smith, who built the house to the right of the Baker house married Lucy Baker. Her nephew David bought and tore down the old Compton Choate Inn that was located on the present site of the Whipple House. Behind the Col. John Baker house is the Gables, a fascinating Gothic Revival home designed by mathematician David Baker and built between 1832 and 1846.

  • Thomas Franklin Waters’ map of original land grants at the South Green, showing that the John Baker lot was granted to Nathaniel Rogers.south_green_1840_lighter

The Col. John Baker house is on the left side, looking in the direction of downtown in this old painting of the South Green

Photo from McClures Magazine about Lucretia Brown and the Last Witchcraft Trial in America. Mary Baker Eddy charged Daniel Spofford with making Miss Brown ill, and that “the defendant “practices the art of mesmerism and by his said art and the power of his mind influences and controls the minds and bodies of other persons for the purpose of injuring the persons and property and social relations of others”.

Col. John Baker House South Village Green Preservation Agreement

This house has a preservation agreement with the Ipswich Historical Commission.

This house is protected by a preservation agreement between the owners and the Ipswich Historical Commission. Protected elements include:

  • Exterior front facade and two end gables of the original building
  • Central frame including primary and secondary members
  • Central chimney
  • Wooden architectural elements in the front hall, front first and second floor rooms of the original building, including mantelpieces, doors, paneling, and other molded detail.

Shown below are two of the fireplaces in the house:

fireplace, Col. John Baker House in Ipswich
Col. John Baker House, South Green Ipswich

Sources and further reading:

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

Joseph Fellows house, Fellows Rd.,Ipswich

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)

Richard Rindge house, 5 County St., Ipswich

Richard Rindge house, County St., Ipswich MA
5 County Street, the Rindge-Pinder-Leatherland house (1718)

The history of this house is complicated. The 1832 and 1856 maps show no house at this location. A house first appears in the 1872 Ipswich map, owned by Ignatius Dodge, the same year that the existing house is believed to have been moved from Summer Street to this location. Deeds show that Ignatius Dodge sold it to Nellie W. and Willis S. Auger in 1891.

Early history of the lot

According to Thomas Franklin Waters’ map of settler land grants, the lot at 5 County Street was granted to or purchased by John Warner. Abraham Hammatt wrote about the Warner family: “William Warner with his two sons, John and Daniel, and one daughter who married Thomas Wells, came from England and settled in Ipswich, in the year 1637.” John Warner owned the lot at the corner of County and East Streets, and also obtained and sold two lots on East St. just past Spring Street. Warner then moved to the settlement in Brookfield in 1660 as one of that doomed town’s earliest settlers. Two of his six sons, Samuel and John, remained in Ipswich.

County Street Ipswich MA
County St. left to right: the Caldwell house at 11, the Benjamin Dutch house at 9 , the Thomas Dennis house at 7, the Rindge-Pinder house at 5, and the home that was constructed on the corner of the George Russell lot at 3 County St. It may be a wing that was added to the William Treadwell house that was removed from the corner of East and Spring Streets

Waters wrote that Robert Dutch was in possession of the lots between Summer St. and East Street by 1660. Part of the land was sold to Thomas Dennis, whose 1670 house still stands at 7 County St. The 1714 home of Benjamin Dutch, son of Robert, also still stands, at the corner of County and Summer Streets.

The 1872 village map identifies a building on this lot as “I. Dodge, Shoe Manufacturing” with an empty lot on the corner. At that time Ignatius Dodge owned and lived in the Thomas Dennis house next door at 7 County St.

Daniel Clark bought the old Rindge house on Summer St. and it was moved to this location, which is where his son Phillip operated an undertaker’s and cabinet shop.

Map of settler land grants as determined by Thomas Franklin Waters
Map of settler land grants drawn by Thomas Franklin Waters indicates that the lot at 5 County St. was part of the John Warner grant.

Visual inspection of the 5 County Street house:

  • The height of the basement is less than 4′, and the stone foundation is capped with bricks and mortar.
  • Exposed massive summer beams divide the front room from the rear in the lower and upper floors, terminating with “lambs tongues” indicating First Period construction. All four interior corners of the house have gunstock posts.
  • Framing in the attic is typical purlin and rafter construction. The roof framing on the north side of the house has repairs that may indicate where the location of the original chimney. Lack of the original fireplace and chimney stack helps confirm that the house was moved to this location. The chimney seen in the photo below extends to the basement, with openings in the lower and upper floors for a wood or coal stove pipe.
  • Wide floor boards in the front room also indicate early construction.
5 County St., photo courtesy of J. Barrett Co. The 1872 and 1896 maps and the 1893 Ipswich Birdseye Map don’t show the house that adjoins it on the corner of East St. The 1910 village map shows the present configuration of houses.
Inside the front room at 5 County St., Photo courtesy of J. Barrett Realty.
Summer beam showing "lamb's tongue"
Summer beam showing “lamb’s tongue” at 5 County St.
gunstock corner post
The upstairs of the house features gunstock posts in the corner framing

Original location on Summer Street

Margaret E. Welden wrote the MACRIS record in 1978 that this house is thought to have originally been located at the homestead of Samuel Dutch on Annables Lane (Summer Street). Richard Rindge, cordwainer, purchased that lot. 38 1/2 rods, bounded northwesterly by Nathaniel Hovey and southeasterly by land of Samuel Dutch, for 24 pounds, 16 shillings in 1718 (Salem Deeds (49:259). Dutch had sold the lot to Hovey earlier in the year and sold the other lot to Jonathan Pulcipher, who built the house still standing at 15 Summer St. in the same year.

This establishes the original location of the Rindge house at 13 Summer Street. It is unknown if this was the home of Samuel Dutch, or if Richard Rindge constructed it after he purchased the Summer Street lot. The antiquity of the framing suggests the possibility that this is an earlier dwelling. Read more about First Period construction.

It is assumed that Richard Rindge built the present structure. A search of the Salem Deeds site finds the following.

  • Richard Rindge et al. made an agreement with Nathaniel Hovey, his neighbor, November 1722 regarding sharing the cost of digging a well and the use thereof. (39: 203)
  • Richard Rindge Jr. sold to John Pinder Jr. “a certain menage or tenament” on Annable’s Lane (Summer St.) on February 5, 1760. The abutting neighbors are listed in the deed as Jonathan Pulcipher, Captain Nathaniel Treadwell, and Nathaniel Hovey, with liberty of the well forever. (163; 23) .
  • John Pinder’s widow, Sarah sold”a certain piece of land” on Annable’s Lane to Wm. Leatherland, Jan. 3, 1799 (Salem Deeds 163:256), and it remained in the Leatherland family until 1872, when Daniel Clark bought the property, bounded northerly by existing land of Daniel Clark, at an auction from the estate of Jacob Leatherland, insane, for $1000 (855:157).

The Rindge house is moved to County Street

Thomas Franklin Waters wrote in the book Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony published in 1915 that Clark’s son Phillip operated a cabinetry and undertakers business in the 5 County St. house at the time of publication, but it is not clear that he maintained ownership of the house.

The house is circled in this closeup from the 1884 Ipswich Village Map. The house at 3 County Street (corner of County and East) was built in the middle of the 19th Century by George Russell, whose extended family lived in or owned the buildings at 3, 5, and 7 County Streets.
The house at 5 County St. in the 1980’s

Discrepancies and Research Notes

Discrepancies between the maps, the history recorded by Thomas Franklin Waters and the MACRIS site have not been resolved.

Waters wrote the following about the location of the house on Summer Street at The book was published in 1905. The problem is that the house he refers to no longer exists at that location he describes. The house standing at that spot now on Summer Street was built in 1872 by Daniel Clark, and served as a funeral home under the ownership of Phillip Clark. That house still stands:

“The next of the original Dutch lots was sold by Richard Ringe, heir of Richard, who had bought in 1718, with a house, to John Pinder Jr., Feb. 5, 1760 (163: 23). His widow, Sarah, sold to Wm. Leatherland, Jan. 3, 1799(163: 256). By order of Probate Court, Chas. A. Sayward as guardian of Jacob Leatherland, insane, sold the property, and it was purchased by Daniel Clark, Feb. 21, 1872 (855: 157). It is now owned by his son, Philip E. Clark, whose cabinet shop and undertaker’s establishment occupies the site of the old house.

Waters wrote that the age of this house on County St is unknown. It seems unlikely that an old house would have been replaced by another old house.

“Robert Dutch was in possession earlier than 1660, as he mortgaged his house and land in that year to Thomas Bishop (Ips. Deeds 2: 45). He sold a lot to Shoreborne Wilson, a cooper, who built a house and cooper’s shop on it, and sold to William Searle May 19, 1663, his lot being bounded by Dutch’s on three sides (Ips. Deeds 3: 133). Searl sold to Thomas Dennis, Sept. 26, 1663 (8: 69) and Robert Dutch sold Thomas Dennis part of his house lot, Nov. 16, 1671 (Ips. Deeds 3:201). John Dennis sold to Charles Smith, a house and thirty rods, Feb. 28, 1791 (156: 91) ; Smith to Jeremiah Goodhue two and a half acres, Feb. 19, 1798 (165: 140) : Goodhue to Jacob Treadwell, May 11, 1807 (180: 188). Eliza Treadwell, daughter of Jacob, married Ignatius Dodge, and her heirs still own and occupy. The age of the present dwelling is not known.”

The information stating that house was moved comes from research by Margaret Welden in the 1978 for the Massachusetts historic house inventory, MACRIS, where we occasionally errors or unsubstantiated history. The information may have been provided by Victoria Sandler, who was the owner at that time. Welden gives page 440 of Waters’s book as her source, which is about the house on Summer Street as I mentioned.

The layout of the book may have confused Welden. The Title of of Page 440 is “Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony” and the top of the adjoining page 441 is “County St. West Side.”

“This house is thought to be one built on the south side of Summer St, by Richard Ringe after he bought property there in 1718 (49:259). William Leatherland bought that house in 1799 (163:256), and it remained in the Leatherland family until 1872. Then Daniel Clark bought the property (855:157) and removed the house to its present location on County St. Like the many early 18th century houses remaining on the south side of Summer St., the Leatherland house is a simple artisan’s dwelling.”

The numbers in parenthesis are the deed book and page, which are online at the Salem Deeds site.


Shatswell house, 90 High St., Ipswich

Shatswell house, 90 High St. in Ipswich MA

The right side of the house at 88-90 High Street in Ipswich is one of the oldest residences in town. It was the home of Col. Nathaniel Shatswell, famous for his command of Union troops during the Battle of Harris Farm during the Civil War.

John Shatswell came to join the Ipswich settlement in 1633 with his wife and four children. He was granted a piece of land and built his original small dwelling, which may still exist. Shatswell was appointed a surveyor of the land upon which other homes were built, and is the earliest person in Ipswich to whom the title of Deacon was given. The family name was often spelled Satchwell and Shatswell in the same documents.

The two adjoining halves of the building are entirely separate properties, and the actual date of construction for either of them is uncertain, with wildly varying historical records that cannot be reconciled. Susan Nelson’s comprehensive inventory (updated and corrected in 2006) for the Ipswich Historical Commission gives a date of 1690 – 1710, based on the 1978 Ipswich Historical Commission inventory for the house, written by Margaret Welden, available on the MACRIS site:

“This lot was owned by Simon Tuttle in the early 18th century, and several late first period features of the house date it to that period. These include unusual horizontal feather-edged wainscotting and West Anglian type framing. The roof has been raised in the rear, but the original rafters survive. One of the upstairs rooms contains mid-18th century raised field paneling on the fireplace wall. The west end of the house was added by Capt. John Lord in the 1820’s, upon his marriage, completing the present elongated structure. Three families then occupied the house, sharing one narrow kitchen.”

The current owners of the northwest section of the Shatswell House believe that parts of the house at 90 High Street could be the earlier Shatswell House, constructed by 1646. The owners are currently reaching out to academic institutions and professionals in the historical community, and plan to have dendrochronology tests done that may verify their findings.

This photo from the late 19th Century identifies the owner as John Edward Lord.

Oral traditions in the Shatswell family include the following, none of which have been substantiated:

An article about Joseph Smith [1783-1881] from the Ipswich chronicle, May 28, 1881, states that in 1806 Joseph Smith married Hannah Lord, took down the original Shatswell house, and just in front of where it stood, he built the left side of this building, adjoining the home of Richard Shatswell on the right. The old original Shatswell house is remembered as having a very flat roof, which was also the case with the Shatswell Planter Cottage, a small outbuilding that sat in the rear of the property, and is believed to be the original small home of John Shatswell. The 14′ x 15′ shed was removed from the rear of the yard around 1950 by Daniel S. Wendel to the Wendel estate on Strawberry Hill. He concluded based on superficial evidence that the shed had been the early home of John Shatswell, and it is now known as the “Shatswell Planters Cottage,” which Wendel dated as 1646. That building, including the roof line, is considerably altered from its appearance when Wendel acquired it.

Town records show that in 1671 the Selectmen granted Richard Shatswell the privilege to fell 1000 feet of boards

The oldest section of the double house may have been built by 1671. John Shatswell died in 1646, and the estate with a house was left to his wife and his son Richard, valued at £100. Town records show that in 1671 Richard Shatswell was granted the right to fell 1000 ft. of board, although the purpose of the lumber is not stated. It could be that he was constructing or repairing the present house or the “Shatswell Planter’s cottage.

The Shatswell-Tuttle Lord house in 1980 from the MACRIS site. The left side is believed to date to 1806, while the right side is Richard Shatswell’s home built by 1671.
Diagram of land assignments to the early settlers, showing the John Shatswell lot

In his will, dated 11 Feb 1646/47 and proved 30 Mar 1647, “John Satchwell of Ipswich though weak in body” bequeathed to “my son Richard” all my houses and land, except part of the twenty-five acre lot from the upper end of the plowed land to the sea, and sixteen acres of pasture beyond Muddy River towards Rowley, which parcells of land I give to “Johan my wife” for her life and to her issue if she have any, and for want of such issue, then to return to Richard “my son his heirs and assigns.” “If Richard shall not marry with Rebecca Tuttle which is now intended then my wife shall have her being in the house … during her life unless she see good to dispose of herself otherwise.” If both Richard and Johan die without issue, then the land remaining should “be equally divided between my brother and sisters’ children that are here in New England.” The inventory of the estate of John Satchwell was not totalled, and included £307 in real estate: “one dwelling house and homestall with barn, cowhouse, orchard yard with the appurtenances.”

It appears that John Shatswell was first granted other lots, one in the vicinity of the South Green close to the home of Dr. Giles Firmin, another on East Street, but for undetermined reasons built his home at this location. Thomas Franklin Waters wrote about this house in the first volume of Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony:

“John Shatswell was one of the earliest grantees, and under date, April 20, 1635, he is mentioned as owning six acres of ground, where his house is built, between Mr. Wade’s house lot east and Mr. Firman’s on the west, Goodman Webster’s lot, northeast. I cannot identify this with the present Shatswell location. This early grant was on the north side of the highway wherever it was, and if another house lot bounded it on the northeast it could not be located on High St. as the lots on the other side of the highway are on the hill side.”

“On the 21 May, 1685, John Day bought one and a half acres and the line was laid, “from said Daye’s fence corner by his brick house,” near Mr. Tuttle’s and Richard Shatswell’s. The Day lot, which still shows the refuse bricks of an ancient brickyard, is probably included in the western part of Mr. John Cogswell’s pasture on the Linebrook Road. It touched on the land of Shatswell and Tuttle.”

Early photo of the John Shatswell house. It was at one time owned by three families, who made common use of a single kitchen.

“Shatswell may have been in possession many years at this time. The estate was divided between the sons John and Richard in 1695, and it was bounded by Brewer’s land east and Mrs. Tuttle’s west. Its later history is given under that of the adjoining lot. The lot, called Mrs. Tuttle’s, adjoining Shatswell on the west was sold by “Stephen Minot of Boston, Stephen Minot, Jr., son of Stephen by Sarah, his wife late deceased, eldest daughter of Francis Wainwright deceased, and Samuel Waldo of Boston and Lucy his wife, youngest daughter of Francis Wainwright,” being “the house and land 2 acres, inherited from Simon Tuttle,” to Francis’ Goodhue, Dec. 6, 1732.”

“Goodhue sold it to Joseph Fowler, Feb. 19, 1745 and the heirs of Fowler sold an acre and a half, probably the whole of the same lot, to Nathaniel and Moses Shatswell, March 25, 1807. It is still owned by the Shatswell heirs. The east end of the house was sold to Capt. John Lord, in 1824. The family tradition is that the original house was burned. When Capt. John, great-grandfather of the John and Nathaniel of today, was to be married, the western end was built, and the three families, who then occupied it, made common use of the single long and narrow kitchen, with its one capacious fireplace. In later years, the three houses to the west have been built on the Shatswell land.”

Closeup from the 1910 Ipswich village map shows the Shatswell house at 88-90 High St., with two auxiliary structures behind it and one just to its southeast in the larger lot. That structure was apparently the early Shatswell Planters Cottage, which was moved to Jeffreys Neck Road in 1946. 

Alice Keeton in her book “Ipswich Yesterday” (1981) gave an unsubstantiated date of 1658 for the Shatswell house:

“(This house) is one of our particular favorites, the old 1658 Shatswell House — and what a fascinating hodge-podge of 17th, 18th and 19th century joining and construction this old place has gone through and endured. The northerly end of the house is considered to be of very early 17th century construction and the old place has been enlarged, raised and pounded into “a very unusual structure growing out of complicated growth” — which is an understatement if we ever heard one. The mid-18th century paneling of “the excellent walls of the right hand and middle chambers” is considered “noteworthy” and all in all the old house is a treasure trove of architectural goodies. 

Hannah Dustin of Haverhill, that fearless heroine of the Indian Wars was born here while her mother was visiting her relatives, the Shatswells. Later she would become famous as that prisoner of the Indians who somehow or other managed to overcome a half-dozen or so of her savage captors, scalp them all, and return to Haverhill to collect a considerable bounty. The mighty Daniel Webster was a descendent of the Shatswells and we’ve all heard of the feisty Madame Shatswell who threatened to blast that nosy Committee of Correspondence to kingdom come for harassing her family and questioning their loyalty during the Revolutionary War. Surely a house of history.”

An old sketch of the Shatswell house (Antiquarian Papers)

John Shatswell’s son Richard married his next door neighbor Simon Tuttle’s daughter Rebeckah. Mark Quilter and his wife Francis lived nearby in a small single-room house. Quilter made his living as a cow-keeper in the common land on the north side of town and seemed to be the object of public insults, which caused Quilter to be overly protective of his authority at home. One March morning in 1664 Rebeckah Tuttle arrived to “sit and work” with Goody Quilter and “to bear her company,” leaving us with an amusing story that has been handed down for generations.

Photos from inside the northwest section of the house during renovation:

Gunstock post in the rear lean-to section on the north side
Gunstock post in the rear lean-to section on the north side
Attic framing shows where the roof was raised when the lean-to was added
Attic framing in the northwest half of the house shows how the roof was raised when the lean-to was added. The original and “new” rooflines are both visible.
Ceiling in the front room, north side
Ceiling in the front room, north-west half
Original paneling in the front room, north side
Original paneling in the front room, north-west half

Remnants of a stick and mud chimney?

In 2016 the owners of the oldest northwest oldest part of the house gutted the downstairs bathroom and exposed the timber floor frame, which sits just above the soil level, unlike the front of the house. In the inside corner adjoining the main house they discovered what appeared to be a foundation composed of mud, clay, small stones and short sticks that had been cut to a uniform thickness and length.

Unusual hardened mud and straw was found when some of the flooring in the rear of the house was pulled up.

This may be the remnants of a chimney from the early Shatswell cottage. Primitive chimneys constructed in the first few years of Ipswich settlement were often of the “mud and stick” variety. Clay was thickly applied to a rude frame filled with a mud and stick compound. The clay chimneys were impermanent to water but highly susceptible to fire, and were thus replaced as soon as practicable by brick or stone. Very few mud-and-stick chimneys survive today.


Even more curious was that the excavated area in the lower left corner of the photo below contained at least a bushel of animal bones, for which we have no convenient explanation. DNA testing may help sort out this mystery.

A building that may be the original Shatswell planters cottage was moved to the Wendell Estate on Jeffreys Neck Road from the Shatswell property in the early 1940’s along with the Lord-Collins house from South Main St. If the date of 1646 is correct, the Shatswell Planters Cottage would be the oldest structure in Ipswich. Recent excavations at the Shatswell house at 90 High St. may have revealed the remnants of a stick and mud chimney from the early building.

In his will, dated 11 February 1646 and proved 30 March 1647, “John Satchwell of Ipswich though weak in body” bequeathed to “my son Richard” all my houses and land, except part of the twenty-five acre lot from the upper end of the plowed land to the sea, and sixteen acres of pasture beyond Muddy River towards Rowley, which parcels of land I give to Johan my wife.”

Richard Shatswell moves in with the Tuttels and is taken to court

From Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County …, Volume 2

  • Symon Tuttle attorney to his mother Joanah Tuttle executrix to her late husband John Tuttle v Richard Shatswell for non-payment of rent due by covenant under his hand bearing date Mar 14, 1653-4 and for not delivering several particular goods in a note annexed dated Mar 19, 1651 signed by Robert Lord f for the court and served by Robert Lord, marshal of Ipswich.
  • Agreement dated Mar. 18 1653-4 between Mrs. Joanna Tuttell and Richard Shatswell for her house and land at Ipswich, the said Joanna Tuttell being attorney to her husband, Mr. John Tuttell now living in Ireland: That from the fourteenth day of the present month said Shatswell should for two years enjoy the dwelling house, barns, orchard, and outhouses of said Tuttell; also all her meadow, marsh and broken up ground within the common fence, paying to said Joanna at her now dwelling house in Ipswich 24li per year in corn at each year’s end; also two and one cow, all of which should be in good condition at the expiration of the time etc. There were also two plow chains and a share and colter, two yokes and half a harrow of which said Shatswell was to have the use. Witnesses: Richard Martyni and Thomas Bornum.
  • Richard Brabrocke deposed that being at the barn of Richard Shatswell with Goodman Bridges and John Apellfford deponent, saw that the bullock was bruised. Richard Shatswell his master said to Wiliam Delower, Now William, you may see the fruits of cruelty. Delower agreed to pay for half of the beast, and said he hoped it would be a warning to him not to beat any so again. Sworn in court Mar. 29, 1659

Richard Shatswell left the house with his two sons John and Richard while he was overseas, but when he returned, he took back control of the property from John, and in 1694 wrote a will stating that if the brothers couldn’t reconcile their differences, the dissenting brother would “take that part of the homestead next Mr. Brewer’s.” This refers to the southeast half of the present structure.

The course of the Bay Road

Sue Nelson wrote that the deed mentions that the house was 32-36 ft from the street, although the house is much closer to High Street now. In the 17th Century this section of High Street, then called the Road to Rowley and the Bay Road may have been centered between the houses on either side of High Street. It continued over what is now Locust Street to Avery Street and Mitchell Road, extending to the end of today’s Paradise Road and joining current High Street Pingrey’s Plain, the location of the Clam Box restaurant.

The curves and hills of High Street were eliminated, and the road was re-routed straight through the wetland where the High School and shopping center are located before 1795, when a map shows the Post Road following today’s High Street. The curve in the road returned when the first bridge was built over the rail tracks.

Antiquarian Papers, Shatswell House

The Antiquarian Papers by Augustine Caldwell provides yet another family history.

Col. Nathaniel Shatswell and the Battle of Harris Farm

Nathaniel Shatswell
Nathaniel Shatswell

Nathaniel Shatswell was born on Nov. 26, 1834 and grew up in the Shatswell home on High St. During the Civil War, he was instrumental in forming the Ipswich companies, and rose to the rank of colonel. In the spring of 1861, Company A and L of the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Regiment were assembled with Ipswich soldiers, and were assigned to protect the forts around Washington, D.C. When the Confederates attacked at Harris Farm during the part of the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse, the First Regiment went into battle. Rebel bullets began to fly, and before long many Union soldiers were dead or injured.

Colonel Shatswell was glazed by a bullet to his head early in the battle, but returned to take command. With blood saturating his coat, Shatswell inspired his fellow soldiers. Although 398 men from the First Regiment were killed early in the battle, Shatswell’s troops drove the Confederates into the cover of the woods. Every time they emerged, the first battalion charged and drove them back, eventually ending with a Northern victory. The Harris Farm battle claimed 1,598 Confederate and Union lives.

After the war, Col. Shatwell worked for a while as the assistant superintendent of the Ipswich House of Correction, but in 1890 Shatwell became the curator of the museum of the Department of Agriculture in Washington D.C. Nathaniel Shatwell died on December 14, 1905, and is buried in the Old North Burial Ground, alongside his wife, Mary White.

General Shatswell owned this cottage on Little Neck. In 1875, General Sutton hosted 67 Ipswich men, all over the age of 70, to an outing at General Shatswell's cottage. Alice Keenan wrote extensively about the event in her book, Ipswich Yesterday.
Nathaniel Shatswell owned this cottage that was dubbed “The Grand Army House” on Little Neck. In 1875, General William Sutton hosted 67 Ipswich men, all over the age of 70, to an outing at General Shatswell’s cottage. A young reporter wrote about the event, “These old men who had seen generations born and die, who lived to talk with the men who had formed our nation, were not idle.” After a hearty dinner and a climb to the top of the hill, they gathered in groups and discussed the deplorable degeneracy of the times.
The Shatswell house on High street.

Sources and further reading:

9 Poplar St., Ipswich

9 Poplar St. Ipswich MA

The house at 9 Popular St. has the vernacular “gable with ell” form that became quite popular from the middle of the 19th to the early 20th Century. Facing the gable end to the street made it possible to build houses with adequate side yardage on small square lots. In the side ell design, the front entryways were generally placed on the side porch rather than the front of the house, distinguishing them from the earlier Greek Revival era.

Ownership of the lot

Captain Ebenezer Caldwell purchased the John Calef house at 7 Poplar Street, along with several acres of land, and built a spacious mansion at 25 Poplar St..

The Captain’s daughter Mrs. Clarissa Caldwell sold a building lot out of the Caldwell land to Mr. William Seward Oct 15, 1873 (Salem Deeds site, Book 895 Page 191) in consideration of $50.00, in which Seward built the house at 9 Poplar St. The house is shown in the 1884 Ipswich map, under the name “W. Seward.”

William Seward died in 1891. In August 1896, Sarah Seward, wife of the late William Seward sold the house to George H. Green (1835-1923). (Book 1487, page 320) for $2500.00 “with a dwelling house thereon.” The 1910 Ipswich map shows the owner as George H. Green, who owned several abutting properties and was president of the Ipswich Savings Bank.

In March 1917, the property was transferred to Hattie Green (Book 2359, Page 485). The estate of Hattie Green sold the combined properties in 1923 to Agnes H. Morey (Book 2575, Page 141). The property was repossessed in the same year by the Ipswich Savings Bank (Book 2575, Page 141). Ownership for the next 30 years has not yet been researched.

Architectural Characteristics

The invention of machine-made nails and the distribution of standardized lumber after the advent of the railroad made balloon framed houses very popular, replacing the labor-intensive mortises and tenons used in post and beam construction.

Architectural books and popular magazines promoted and sold varying designs based on this layout, along with the sale of prefabricated decorative elements. The exteriors of many were embellished with Italianate and Victorian themes. Vernacular Italianate elements in New England include ornamented windows and doorways,wide bracketed roof overhangs and a frieze at the top of the side walls. Inexpensive glass made it possible for Italianate window sashes to be the first to use single or two-over-two glazing. The arched attic window and bracketed lintels over the first floor windows are also common for this era.

Houses with the gable and ell form are found throughout 19th Century neighborhoods in Ipswich. Examples include:

The Mavroides family

On September 4, 1953, local realtors Audrey and Benjamin Davis sold “a certain parcel of land with the buildings thereon…for consideration paid” to William and Theodora Mavroides (Book 4007, Page 497).

Born in Newburyport, Mass. on March 5, 1925, William George Mavroides was the son of the late George and Kiriaki Mavroides of Greece. On April 19, 1953 he married Theodora Geanakos, who he met at a Greek picnic. They settled in Ipswich and were together for 65 years before Dora passed away in 2018. William George Mavroides passed away on July 12, 2019. The Mavroides family continues to own the property, which was transferred by William G. Mavroides to William S. and Kimberly Mavroides in 2014.

#9 and #11 Poplar St. are circled in the 1893 Ipswich Birdseye map.

William Hubbard

The house at 9 Poplar St. is on part of a larger lot that was granted originally to the Rev. William Hubbard (1621 – September 24, 1704). Born in Ipswich, England, he arrived as a teenager with his parents in Boston. He graduated from Harvard and was ordained. 1656, July 4th, 1656 he was “desired to preach for the Society here, as colleague with Mr. Cobbet,” became assistant minister and afterward pastor of the First Church in Ipswich, a post he held until just a year before his death.

An historian, he wrote “A History of New England,” chiefly indebted to the Journal of Governor Winthrop, and “A Narrative of Troubles with the Indians.” His first wife was Margaret , the daughter of the Rev. Nathaniel Rogers . She was a lady of excellent reputation. He had three children, John , Nathaniel , and Margaret , who m. John Pynchon of Springfield . His last wife, Mary , was living in 1710 , when his people administered to her necessities.

Notes by Thomas Franklin Waters, “Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony,” Vol 1, page 477:

“The fine estate, now owned by Mr. Gustavus Kinsman, belonged by the original grant apparently to Mr. William Hubbard. He had erected a house and was dwelling there in 1638 (Ips. Deeds 1:14). His son, William, was a member of the first class that graduated from Harvard College in 1642. He entered the ministry and became the colleague of Mr. Cobbet in 1656; married Margaret, daughter of Rev. Nathaniel Rogers, and made his home in the old homestead. Financial reverses came upon him and he made conveyances of his property to secure his creditors. He was obliged finally, to execute a deed of sale of his “Messuage Tenement . . with the orchard, Garden and pasture behind the same and Cornfield before the same containing by Estimation Seven acres, with other lands,” to John Richards, agent of Major Robert Tompson of London, March 5,
1684 (Ips. Deeds 1: 10; 4: 182).

A century later, Robert Thompson of Elshani, Great Britain, sold Mr. John Heard, the same lot, June 16, 1788 (149: 206). Mary, daughter of John Heard, sold Augustine Heard, her brother, with the barn, called the “Pincin Close” Sept. 1,1838 (329: 233), and Augustine Heard sold the lot, “commonly called the Pynchon lot,” to Capt. Ebenezer Caldwell, on Nov. 1, 1851 (452: 104). Capt. Caldwell erected the spacious mansion and occupied it until his death. His heirs sold to Mr. Gustavus Kinsman. No remembrance of the Hubbard homestead remains, but it is probable from the deed quoted, that it stood on the knoll, on which the present dwelling is built.

Mr. John Heard built the present Heard mansion, next the Meeting House of the South Church, and removed the old Calef house to the corner of the “Pinchem Close.” He sold it, with a quarter acre of land, to Ebenezer Caldwell, April 16, 1803 (179: 280). Samuel Caldwell conveyed this to his mother, Abigail, April 24, 1826 (242: 69). One half of it is still the home of the Caldwell heirs. Mrs. Clarissa Caldwell sold a building lot out of the “Close” to Mr. William Seward, Oct. 15, 1873 (895: 191), on which he erected a residence, next the Caldwell house above mentioned, and on another lot, sold from the ancient Hubbard Close, Mr. George H. Green built the residence next in line.”

Original lot assignments, diagram 5 from Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Vol. 1
Original lot assignments, diagram 5 from Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Vol. 1

Treadwell’s Inn

Treadwell's Inn, Ipswich MA

Written history and oral traditions indicate that the house at 12 North Main St. in Ipswich was built in the early 18th Century as Nathaniel Treadwell’s Inn. In 1737, Captain Nathaniel Treadwell “inn holder” (1700 – 1777) opened this inn. Treadwell bequeathed his “tavern house” to his son Jacob, who continued the business.

Thomas Franklin Waters wrote a history of this house in his book, Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony,:

“Jacob Treadwell inherited from his father, Nathaniel, and his administrator sold to Moses Treadwell, the house and land, “being all that said deceased owned in that place, commonly called the old Tavern lot.” The executors of the Moses Treadwell estate sold the house and land to Joseph Baker of Boston. The heirs of Joseph Baker sold to Mrs. Lizzie G. Hayes (1176. 159), Mrs. Hayes to George K Dodge, July 2, 1888 (1227: 508); Dodge to Mrs. Lois Hardy, May 4, 1897 (1514 11), who transferred to Miss Lucy Slade Lord, the present owner (Shown as owner of this house in 1910).


Thanks to present owner Cathleen Wardley for the above image listing the 1901 deed transfer of the house from Lois H. Hardy to Lucy S. Lord.

In the late 17th Century, the notable Col. John Wainwright had gained possession of several lots on North Main Street. Waters wrote again about Treadwell’s Inn in Volume II:

“The Court Record of March, 1693, bears the entry: “John Sparks, ye Tavern keeper in Ipswich, having laid down his license and ye house being come, as is said into ye hands of Mr. John Wainwright, license is granted for keeping of a tavern there to any sober man whom Mr. Wainwright may secure. John Rogers, the sadler, was licensed to sell drink and keep a public house in 1696 and Mr. Wainwright was ordered at the same Court, to procure a suitable tenant, to live in the house “where John Rogers is now an innholder.” His inn was called “The Black Horse.” Thomas Smith, Inn-holder, kept a public house nearby in 1707, which came later to John Smith, “the Tavemer”, and in 1737 Nathaniel Treadwell opened his inn, perhaps in the same house now owned and occupied by Miss Lucy Slade Lord.”

Cast-iron door in a fireplace wall, Nathaniel Treadwell house

Antiquarian Papers

Augustine Caldwell and Arthur Wesley Dow wrote in the Ipswich Antiquarian Papers that use of the house as a tavern predates Nathaniel Treadwell:

“June 8, 1671: Upon request of some of the inhabitants of this Towne to the Selectmen for John Sparke to have liberty to draw beere of a penny a quart to such as may have need to make use of it. The Selectmen doth Grant him license so to do, provided he observes the orders of the general court not at any time to entertaine any inhabitants n the night, nor suffer any person to bring liquors to drink in his or wine.” The Sparke-Inn still stands–the house of the late Mary Baker. It continued as an Inn till after the Revolution. In Sewall’s day it was the Sparke then Rogers house; In John Adams’ day it was the Treadwell.”

  • The 1872 Ipswich map clearly identifies 12 North Main as the home of Mary Baker.
  • The 1832 map identifies the house at 12 North Main as “Moses Treadwell.” and the house immediately to the north, no longer standing, as “Rogers.”

 They wrote specifically about Treadwell’s Inn:

“Joseph Baker, 1784-1846: Joseph Baker, son of Samuel and Sarah (Holland) Baker, was born in Ipswich, Feb. 29, 1784 and died in Ipswich, March, 1846. He began his mercantile career in Salem, where lie married Mrs. Anna (Stewart) Felt. He removed to Boston in 1815. After a successful business life he returned to his native town, and purchased the house near the Soldiers’ Monument — known as the old Treadwell Tavern. It is perhaps the most historic building in town. It was the principle Ipswich Inn for many generations. Chief Justice Sewall mentions it in his Diary. John Adams, before the Revolution, writes quaintly of the Treadwells who were then host and hostess. Madame Treadwell was a descendant of Gov. Endicott and a convert of Whitfield. She had a copy of Gov. Endicott’s portrait.”

Roof framing in the front, older section of the house shows that it once suffered a fire
Bridled rafters with tenon, ridge beam and purlins in the house at 12 North Main, viewed from attic access in original room.The left is front, older section of roof. The right is the elongated roof of the rear section.
Unusual joinery on the front roof at the intersection of a principal rafter, common purlin, ceiling joist, and what appears to be the remnants of a diagonal brace.
The rear half of the roof was replaced in the 18th Century in order to lengthen the house as a saltbox. The rafters and purlins are less massive than those in the front, indicating changes in roof construction over a period of time.

From “Old Homes of Ipswich,” 250th Anniversary Exercises, 1834

“The first tavern which seems to have found special place in records is the Sparke Inn of 1671. We hear first of Sparke as the tenant of Deputy Thomas Bishop who lived on the Green. John Sparke was succeeded by Mr. Rogers, who had the Sign of the Black Horse. Mr. Crompton followed Rogers. Next we find the name of Taverner Smith who moved into Ipswich from Boxford, and later Taverner Treadwell who is quaintly described in the diary of President John Adams, as Sparke Rogers and Crompton are alluded to in the Judge Sewall Diary. This old Treadwell Inn is now known as the residence of the late Joseph Baker and wife and of his sister Mary who in her young womanhood taught children their ABC’s and young misses how to write and work samplers.”

Originally one room deep, it was later enlarged to the rear, under a raised and lengthened rear roof. Notable second period features include four panel doors, boxed summer beam construction, and a wide muntin window in the ell. The house underwent additional changes in the mid-19th century and the original central chimney was removed.

12 North Main St. is the large white house in this 19th Century photo

Nathaniel and Hannah Treadwell

Nathaniel Treadwell was born in Ipswich, September 10, 1700 and died in Ipswich January 31, 1777. His first wife Mercy died in 1747. His second wife Hannah died July 6, 1792 aged 87 years. He was a captain in the militia and styled gentleman but was known as Landlord Treadwell through keeping the Inn at Ipswich. His wife Hannah was known as Landlady Treadwell. In 1737, Captain Nathaniel Treadwell “inn holder” (1700 – 1777) opened this inn. Treadwell bequeathed his “tavern house” to his son Jacob, who continued the business.

Nathaniel and Hannah Treadwell are buried at the Old North Burying Ground in Ipswich.


D -3 “Erected in memory of Cap’. Nathaniel Treadwell who was born Sep’. 10′, 1700, and having acquir’d and supported the Character, of a prudent upright and serious Christian, died Feb’y. the 1st, 1777, Aged 77 years. Nor wealth, nor Friends, nor Piety can save, One mortal from the all-devouring Grave. Yet Faith and hope in Christ who rose, may sing, Grave! where’s thy Conquest! where Death thy Sting.” (Photo courtesy of Rachel Meyer)


D-7 “In memory of Mrs. Hannah Treadwell, relect of Cap’. Nathaniel Treadwell, who died July 6th, 1792, Aged 87 years. Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord; for they rest from their labours and their works do follow them.”

The address for this house in the 1980’s was listed as 16 Meeting House Green. Photo from the MACRIS site.
First floor framing in the front, older section of the house

John Adams’ visits to Treadwell’s

John Adams visited Ipswich frequently during the 1770’s in his capacity as a lawyer and always stopped at Captain Nathaniel Treadwell’s inn. Thomas Franklin Waters recorded Adams’ allusions to the landlord and other guests at Nathaniel Treadwell’s Inn in his book, Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony

“June 18. 1770 : “Rode with Mr. Barrell to Ipswich, and put up at Treadwell’s. Every object recalls the subject of grief. Barrell, all the way to Ipswich, was like the turtle bemoaning the loss of his mate. “Fine season and beautiful scenes, but they did not charm him as they used to. He had often rode this way a courting with infinite pleasure,” ‘I can’t realize that she has left me forever. When she was well, I often thought I could realize the loss of her, but I was mistaken; I had no idea of it.’ In short, this man’s mournings have melted and softened me beyond measure”

“June 19, 1770, Tuesday morning: “Rambled with Kent ’round Landlord Treadwell’s pastures to see how our horses fared. We found them in the grass up to their eyes–excellent pastures. This hill, on which stands the meeting-house and courthouse, is a fine elevation, and we have here a fine air and the pleasant prospect of the winding river at the foot of the hill.” He “drank balm tea at Treadwell’s” on June 21.

Again on June 22, 1771, he was at Court and spent a week at Treadwell’s Inn.

John Adams
John Adams

June 22, 1771, Saturday: “Spent this week at Ipswich, in the usual labors and drudgery of attendance upon court. Boarded at Treadwell’s; have had no time to write. Landlord and landlady are some of the grandest people alive; landlady is the great-granddaughter of Governor Endicott, and has all the great notions of high family that you find in Winslows, Hutchinsons, Quincys, Saltonstalls, Chandlers, Leonards, Otises and as you might find with more propriety in the Winthrops. Yet she is cautious and modest about discovering it. She is a new light; continually canting and whining in a religious strain. The Governor was uncommonly strict and devout, eminently so in his day; and his great, great-granddaughter hopes to keep up the honor of the family in hers, and distinguish herself among her contemporaries as much.

Thus for landlady. As to landlord, he is as happy, and as big, as proud, as conceited as any nobleman in England; always calm and good-natured and lazy ; but the contemplation of his farm and his sons and his house and pastures and cows, his sound judgment, as he thinks, and his great holiness, as well as that of his wife, keep him as erect in his thoughts as a noble or a prince. Indeed, the more I consider of mankind, the more I see that every man seriously and in his conscience believes himself the wisest, brightest, best, happiest, etc of all mankind. I went this evening, spent an hour and took a pipe with Judge Trowbridge at his lodgings.”

July 2, Tuesday: “This has been the most flat, insipid, spiritless, tasteless journey that ever I took, especially from Ipswich. I have neither had business, nor amusement, nor conversation; it has been a moping, melancholy journey upon the whole. I slumber and mope away the day. Tyng, Tyler, Sewall, Lowell, Jarvis, were all characters which might have afforded me entertainment, perhaps instruction, if I had been possessed of spirits to enjoy it.”

Mr. Adams left Boston again on March 28, 1774, and “rode with brother Josiah Quincy to Ipswich Court, arriving on Tuesday.

March 29, 1774: “Put up at the old place, Treadwell’s. The old lady has got a new copy of her great-grandfather, Governor Endicott’s picture hung up in the house. The old gentleman is afraid they will repeal the excise upon tea, and then that we shall have it plenty; wishes they would double the duty, and then we should never have any more.”

June 19. “Tuesday morning. Rambled with Kent round Landlord Treadwell’s pastures, to see how our horses fared. We found them in the grass up to their eyes;—excellent pastures. This hill, on which stand the meeting-house and court-house, is a fine elevation, and we have here a fine air, and the pleasant prospect of the winding river at the foot of the hill.”

June 30. Friday. “Began my journey to Falmouth in Casco Bay…. Oated my horse, and drank balm tea at Treadwell’s in Ipswich, where I found Brother Porter, and chatted with him half an hour, then rode to Rowley, and lodged at Captain Jewett’s. Jewett “had rather the House should sit all the year round, than give up an atom of right or privilege.”

In his visits to the Ipswich Court during 1776, Adams wrote to Abigail of his concerns about the future:

June 20, 1774, Monday. “At Piemont’s, in Danvers; bound to Ipswich. There is a new and a grand scene open before me; a Congress. This will be an assembly of the wisest men upon the continent, who are Americans in principle, that is, against the taxation of Americans by authority of Parliament. I feel myself unequal to this business. A more extensive knowledge of the realm, the colonies, and of commerce, as well as of law and policy, is necessary, than I am master of. What can be done? Will it be expedient to propose an annual congress of committees? to petition? Will it do to petition at all?—to the King? to the Lords? to the Commons? What will such consultations avail? Deliberations alone will not do. We must petition or recommend to the Assemblies to petition..”

June 25, 1774, Saturday. “Since the (Ipswich) Court adjourned without day this afternoon, I have taken a long walk through the Neck, as they call it, a fine tract of land in a general field. Corn, rye, grass, interspersed in great perfection this fine season. I wander alone and ponder. I muse, I mope, I ruminate. I am often in reveries and brown studies. The objects before me are too grand and multifarious for my comprehension. We have not men fit for the times. We are deficient in genius, in education, in travel, in fortune, in every thing. I feel unutterable anxiety. God grant us wisdom and fortitude! Should the opposition be suppressed, should this country submit, what infamy and ruin! God forbid. Death in any form is less terrible!



Christian Wainwright

The Historical Commission sign that formerly hung on the front of the house identified this as the home of Christian Wainwright, providing the following information on the MACRIS site: “Christian Wainwright bought this lot in 1741 (from Daniel Tilton, bounded southeasterly by country road 53 ft., bounded northeasterly by Nathaniel Treadwell, 80:295) and built the present house.” It was being confused with a house that was moved from its location next door and no longer stands.

The deed history of the Christian Wainwright house was researched by Thomas Franklin Waters in his book, Ipswich in the Mass. Bay Colony, vol. I, p. 347” (bullet points added):

  • “Thus the southwest limit of the original Wm. Fuller grant is determined, and the location of the John Sparks dwelling, which disappeared when Ebenezer Stanwood built the present dwelling (8 North Main).
  • Before Ebenezer Smith sold his house to Stanwood, he had sold a lot with fifty feet frontage, to Daniel Tilton, March 1, 1732-3 (68: 149)
  • Tilton sold to Christian Wainwright, June 2, 1741 (“bounded southeasterly by country road 53 ft., bounded northeasterly by Nathaniel Treadwell, 80:295)
  • In 1748 (June 22), this lot with a house was conveyed by Christian Wainwright, widow of John, to Daniel Staniford, Nathaniel Treadwell, abutting on the northeast.”
  • Dummer Jewett purchased from the estate of Staniford.
  • Thomas Manning, guardian of the widow, Mary Thorndike, sold the house and land to Jacob Lord, Oct. 16, 1820;
  • Lord to Capt. Wm. Haskell in 1826;
  • Haskell to Samuel N. Baker, in 1832 ; (see map below)
  • Baker to the widows, Hannah and Ann Brown, Aug. 21, 1837 (302: 24) ;
  • and they, to Joseph Baker, April 29, 1845. Mr. Baker owned the Treadwell property adjoining. 
  • He sold the house, which occupied the lot, and it was removed to the corner of Market and Saltonstall Streets. It was torn down by the Historical Society, after the corner was purchased.”

The Christian Wainwright house was moved to Market Street, and no longer stands. It would have between #8 and #12 North Main on a small parcel of land with frontage measuring 50 ft.

Location of the Christian Wainwright house before it was moved to Market St.
Location of the Christian Wainwright house in the 1832 Ipswich map, is shown as the S. N. Baker House. According to Thomas Franklin Waters, it was moved to Market St. in 1845 by Joseph Baker. The Moses Treadwell house in the map may have been the original Treadwell’s Inn. The Wm. Heard house sat at the location of the Tyler Building. Central street did not yet exist. The Widow Daniel Rogers lived in the “Ebenezer Stanwood house” at 8 North Main St. A cart path beside the Stanwood house connected to Loney’s Lane between #8 and #12 (the S.N. Baker house). A 50 ft. lot, with an embankment is empty beside the S.N. Baker house at the present 12 North Main Street, and may have once been the site of the Christian Wainwright house.

Christian was the widow of John Wainwright, son of Col. John Wainwright Senior, a man of great wealth who owned a large estate along East Street down to the wharf. He expanded his estate in 1710 by purchasing property that had passed from one of the early settlers, Thomas Treadwell to his son Nathaniel. It was Colonel Wainwright’s will that the estate should remain in the family forever.

John Wainwright Jr. died at age 49 and left his wife Christian with three children. The great fortune left by the senior Colonel Wainwright had been greatly reduced. Her home appears to have been between the house at 12 North Main Street and the Ebenezer Stanwood house at 8 North Main in 1741. She petitioned the General Court in 1743 to take off the entail imposed in the Colonel’s will so that the lands on Jeffreys Neck might be sold to pay for the children’s’ education. The Court granted the petition. Seven years later she sold the house to Daniel Staniford. Thus the wealthy Colonel Wainwright’s estate was dissolved.

Thomas Franklin Waters relates that in 1845, Joseph Baker bought the house that Christian Wainwright had built and moved it in order to enlarge his own property, described as being the historic old Treadwell Tavern:

“Capt. Wm. Haskell (sold) to Samuel N. Baker, in 1832….He sold the house to the widows, Hannah and Ann Brown, Aug. 21, 1837 (302: 24) ; and they, to Joseph Baker, April 29, 1845. Mr. Baker owned the Treadwell property adjoining. He sold the house, which occupied the lot, and it was removed to the corner of Market and Saltonstall Sts. It was torn down by the Historical Society, after the corner was purchased.”

closeup of N. Main Street from the 1856 map. This indicates the Joseph Baker house is 12 North Main, next to the Coburn house, which is the Kaede Bed and Breakfast. The Christian Wainwright house, which he moved sometime after 1845, would have been at the approximate location of the lane between J. Baker and T. Lord.

On page 344, Volume 1 of Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Waters wrote an account of properties that came to be part of the Wainwright lot.

“An ancient footway led from Scott’s Lane across his rear land, up the hill to Loney ‘s Lane. He obstructed this way and forbade travel and the matter was carried to Court. A rude map of the region was drawn and presented to the magistrates in 1717. The original has escaped destruction…and a note appended to this map states that the Perkins lot included the original Proctor and Osgood lots. Dr. John Perkins, son and heir of Capt. Beamsley, sold his estate, reserving an eighth of an acre on Col. Appleton’s line, to John Wainwright, April 13, 1725 (49: 231). This small lot, with other property, the Doctor then a resident of Boston, sold to his son. Dr. Nathaniel Perkins, also of Boston, Dec. 1, 1740 (80: 302).” (See map below)

Screenshot from a 1717 hand-drawn map indicating the location of houses in this vicinity of North Main Street. The text in the paragraph above seems to indicate that the small triangular-shaped lot to the left of Taverner Smith’s is the extension of Loney’s Lane and was at one time in the possession of Col. John Wainwright. If so, Taverner Smith’s house would be #12 North Main Street.

“Wainwright ‘s administrator sold to Richard Rogers, “a dwelling house and land in present possession of Mrs. Cristian Wainwright,” about five and a half acres. May 6, 1741 (80; 302) and Dr. Perkins sold his eighth of an acre to Rogers, Oct. 14, 1741 (80: 303). Rogers, or his widow and administratrix, Mary Rogers, sold the house and a quarter acre abutting on the Heard property, to Samuel Wainwright, son of John, before 1744, though no record of the deed was made.”

“Elizabeth Wainwright, daughter of Samuel, conveyed to Dr. Parker Clark, of Newburyport, her house and quarter acre bequeathed her by her mother. May 1788 (155: 199). She also became the wife of Dr. Clark, who took up his abode in the dwelling thus provided. Dr. Clark sold the house and land to John Baker, Jr., Sept. 15, 1798 (164: 169). His heir, Manasseh Brown, removed the old house to the Topsfield road (Market St.), where it was afterwards burned. The new house erected (on Market St.) is still the property of his heirs, and the estate includes the office building of Hon. Chas. A. Sayward and the dry-goods store of W. S. Russell and Son.”

Waters wrote that the Christian Wainwright house was moved to Market Street, and was later demolished by the Ipswich Historical Society in order to provided a better view of the Whipple House, which at that time sat behind it. The Whipple House was moved to the South Green in the early 20th Century.

 The Agawam House

The former Agawam House on North Main was also once called “Treadwell’s Inn.” Many generations of the Treadwell family had a son named Nathaniel. Nathaniel Treadwell 3rd “innkeeper” bought a house and land from John Hodgkins, Jr. in 1806, built and kept his tavern there until 1818, then sold to Moses Treadwell (son of Captain Nathaniel Treadwell) who continued the business until his death in 1823. The 1806 building was a federal-style structure, but in 1872 it was enlarged and remodeled by Parker Spinney with a 2nd Empire Victorian roof, generous porches and renamed the Agawam House. The building is now unrecognizable, covered in vinyl siding.

Closeup from 1910 Ipswich map shows the home of L. S. Lord, 12 North Main Street. Thomas Franklin Waters noted that Spark’s Tavern was on or near this location (#12, #8, or the former Christian Wainwright house which sat in between).

Spark’s Tavern

It was traditionally believed that Treadwell’s Inn and Sparke’s Tavern had been at the same location. Augustine Caldwell wrote in Volume 1 of “The Antiquarian Papers,” published in 1880:

“Spark’s Tavern was probably the well-known house of great historic interest, the residence of the late Mary Baker. In 1671 it was occupied by John Spark, 1693 by John Rogers sign of the Black Horse, 1700 by Crompton, 1711 by Thomas Smith a native of Boxford. In Revolutionary days it was Treadwell’s Tavern.”

Mr. Baker enlarged his grounds by removing the dwelling south of the tavern, which had once been occupied by Esq. Dummer Jewett. It now stands in close proximity to the ancient Saltonstall House.”

The location of Spark’s Tavern is partially identified by Thomas Franklin Waters in the book Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony:

“Thomas Bishop’s house near the site of the Public Library was open to the public. John Spark or Sparks known to us first as an apprentice of Obadiah Wood the biskett baker continued at his trade with Bishop when Samuel Bishop succeeded to the business on the death of his father. Sparks went across the street and bought of Thomas White a house with two acres of land on or near the spot now occupied by the residence of Miss Lucy Slade Lord (see Ipswich map 1910) in February 1671.

In the deed he is styled biskett baker and his deed of sale in 1691 included a bake house but he had received license in Sept 1671 to “sell beere at a penny a quart provided he entertain no Town inhabitants in the night nor suffer to bring wine or liquor to be drunk in his house.” His hostelry was known far and near. Here the Quarter Sessions Court held its sittings. Major Samuel Appleton Assistant issued a warrant to the Marshal to secure the appearance of every one who knew anything of the will of Thomas Andrews the schoolmaster before him at Goodman Sparks, July 12, 1683.

Sue Nelson determined that the Ebenezer Stanwood house built in 1671 at the adjoining lot at 8 North Main Street may have been the site of Sparks Tavern. This suggests that John Wainwright owned both lots before dying early.

Waters wrote in Volume 2, Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony the following:

“Following the fortunes of the Sparks Inn, the Court Record of March, 1693, bears the entry: ‘John Sparks, ye Tavern keeper in Ipswich, having laid down his license and ye house being come, as is said into ye hands of Mr. John Wainwright, license is granted for keeping of a tavern there to any sober man whom Mr. Wainwright may secure.'”


The Dr. Joseph Manning house

Dr. Joseph Manning house, S. Main St. in Ipswich MA

In exploring the history of the building at 31 S. Main St. in Ipswich, I uncovered a tale of two families, one most fortunate, and the other less so.

A different house on the lot can be traced back to Isaac Fitts, a hatter, who petitioned for forty feet on the River bank in 1726, that he might set a dwelling thereon, which he accomplished in 1727. The house was purchased by Timothy Souther in 1794, and stayed in the Souther family until 1860. It was long known as the “Souther” house, and was taken down in 1917.

In 1928, The Dr. Joseph Manning house, also built in 1727 just a few doors down the street, was moved to this location so that an automobile dealership could be constructed across from the Old Town Hall. In 1928, Richard W. Davis sold the lot to Millard J. Patterson with the condition that he could maintain the right to enter the building and conduct repairs until it was removed from the lot to its present location.

Doctor Joseph Manning

The Manning house before it was converted to shops

In 1726, Dr. Joseph Manning built a fine early Georgian home on South Main Street opposite the intersection with Elm Street.

The first of the Manning family to arrive in Ipswich were John, who arrived in 1634 and Thomas, who came two years later. All that I know of them is that they were swineherds, and played a prank on poor Mark Quilter, wreaking havoc on his small house by dropping a calf down the chimney. Nonetheless, the Manning family prospered and became distinguished leaders of the town and pioneers in medicine. The Ipswich High School once bore the family name, and a street still does.

Joseph Manning was born in 1703 in Ipswich. He graduated at Harvard College in 1725 and returned to his native town where he served for more than 50 years as a physician, eminent and favorably known. Doctor Manning was the father of the legendary Dr. John Manning, whose home on North Main Street still stands.

The Dr. Joseph Manning house on South Main Street, across from the Old Town Hall, in 1900, from the book Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
The Dr. Joseph Manning house on South Main Street, across from the Old Town Hall, in 1900, from the book Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Volume 1.

From the History of the Manning Families, written in 1902, I read the following about Dr. Joseph Manning and his home on South Main Street:

“Dr. Manning owned the lot which is nearly opposite to the present town house (the Old Town Hall on South Main) and put up the square edifice still standing there. To make a substantial wall upon the riverside he needed large stones. In the river bed a mile or so down (the lower falls by the County Street Bridge) there were boulders in abundance. Selecting at low tide one of these he would put a chain about it and so mark its position as to be able to find it with no other light but the stars and moon. At night the ebbing tide would find the wily doctor with his boat anchored over the rock which would soon after be grappled to the little skiff. Then as the sea wave came the lifting and wafting force of the water was all that was needed to place the boulder in the very spot where he wished to have it. Small wonder that passersby on the following morning, seeing a large stone lying where no stone had been the night before and looking like a vast meteorite which had fallen from the sky, should turn their eyes askance as the young doctor passed, and almost fancy they detected a whiff of brimstone in the air.”

Dr. Joseph Manning and his wife are buried in the Old North Burial Ground in Ipswich.

Dr. Joseph Manning died in 1784 at the age of 80. His tomb is at the Old North Burial Ground in Ipswich, is located in the book Memento Mori, page 171, and on the map C, #87. The inscription reads:

“Erected to the memory of Doc. Joseph Manning and Elizabeth, his amiable Partner in Life upwards of 46 years who died Jan. 30, 1779, in the 71st year of her age. He mourned her loss until the 8th of May, 1784, and then died in the 80th year of his Age. The toil of life and pangs of death are o’er And care and pain and sickness are no more. They both were Plain and unaffected in their Manners, steady and Resolute in their Conduct Humane,temperate, Just, and Bountiful.”

Timothy Souther 

The original Timothy Souther house was torn down in the early 1900's.
The old Timothy Souther house is the small one between the Clothing store on its left, (which is now Fiske & Freeman Antiques) ,and the building on its right, which burned after the Mothers Day Food of 2006. Thomas Franklin Waters wrote that the Timothy Souther house was torn down in the early 1900’s.

I don’t know if Dr. Manning knew Timothy Souther, an unfortunate young man who arrived in town in 1763, unwelcome and unwanted. In the 18th Century, towns were responsible for the poor people within them, and measures were sometimes taken to relieve the town of responsibility for residents who were unable to provide for themselves. Timothy Souther arrived with his wife in 1763, and was “warned out.” The town’s lack of hospitality did not serve him well, and in the book Memento Mori, a grave at the Old North Burial Ground at location D-41 tells us his sad story: “Here lies the remains of Mr. Timothy Souther who departed this life August 5th, 1766, in the 27th year of his age.” His widow, Sarah Morton Souther was only 23 years old. She married widower Paul Little of Newbury on August 30, 1772, and died in Windham, Maine on September 26, 1797.

Gravestone of the first Timothy Souther, who was
Gravestone of the first Timothy Souther, who was “warned out” of Ipswich.

Almost 40 years later in 1792, we read that another Timothy Souther, a native of Haverhill was also “warned out.” In the previous year he married Elizabeth Badger, daughter of Daniel Badger and Phoebe Lakeman, from an old Ipswich family. Timothy Souther was able to buy part of a small house near the Choate Bridge for his family, but things did not go well for him. A grave at the Old North Burial Ground for three-month-old Charles Souther, who died in 1799 shows his parents as Timothy Souther and Elizabeth Badger.

This Timothy Souter died in the West Indies at 36 years of age in 1804. By then he had sold “half of the half” he owned, but his wife Elizabeth Badger Souther continued living in the northwest corner of the house until her death on December 31, 1841 in Ipswich at age 74.

Their son, also named Timothy Souther, was born in Ipswich on April 7, 1800. He appears to have done much better, and at one time owned a home on Meeting House Green where the Kaede Bed and Breakfast is today. He involved himself in the affairs of the town, and in 1829 this Timothy Souther became the collector of customs for the district and inspector of the revenue for the port of Ipswich at the old Custom House. He was caught up in a payback scandal, and in 1842 Souther moved with his family of five sons and two daughters to Alton, Illinois, where he served as the postmaster of that city from 1846 to 1854.

A view of South Main Street in the late 19th Century. Dr. Manning's house is on the right, and Timothy Souther's house is too small to see, a couple of houses closer to town.
A view of South Main Street in the late 19th Century. Dr. Manning’s house is in the distance, and Timothy Souther’s house is too small to see, a couple of houses closer to town.

A mystery unraveled

The old Souther house near the bridge, or at least part of it, stayed in the family until 1860, and was always known as the Souther house. Thomas Franklin Waters stated that the Souther house was torn down shortly before 1917. In 1928, the lot with Dr. Joseph Manning’s fine old home on it was sold by Richard W. Davis to Millard J. Patterson with the condition that Davis would still own the building and would have the right to maintain the foundation and eaves, enter the building and conduct repairs as long as the building remained on the lot (2814-20). By 1930 the house had been moved and a new automotive dealership had taken its place. That building now is home to AnnTiques.

This is a photo of the Manning House on South Main Street, directly across from Elm Street. It was torn down in the 1920's by Dick Davis and replaced by the automobile dealership that is now Jungle Printing. The current Timothy Souther house is an exact duplicate of this building and was apparently built a few years before the Manning house was torn down.
This is a photo of the Manning House on South Main Street, at about the beginning of the 20th Century. It was directly across from Elm Street. By this time it bore a close resemblance to the building that now stands at 31 South Main Street, being used as a bicycle store under the ownership of R. W. Davis.
R. W. Davis Company motor cars and trucks, Ipswich
By 1930 the Thomas Manning house had been moved to the Timothy Souther lot, and R. W. Davis owned Courier’s Garage and built a brick building for his automobile dealership at the former location of the Manning House.
Rear of the Manning house, facing the Ipswich River. Photo by George Dexter, circa 1900.
Rear of the Manning house, facing the Ipswich River, when it was across from the Old Town hall. Photo by George Dexter, circa 1900.
A closeup from the 1892 map of Ipswich shows the original Timothy Souther house, with a different roofline, and the Dr. Joseph Manning House across from the intersection with Elm Street.
A closeup from the 1892 Birdseye Map of Ipswich shows the original Timothy Souther house, indicated by the arrow, and the Dr. Joseph Manning House at its original location a few doors down, across from the intersection with Elm Street.