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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
“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).
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.”
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.”
“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.”
“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.
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.
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.”
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.
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!
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.
“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)
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.
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.”
“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)
“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 acrebequeathed 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.”
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.
“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.”
“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.
“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.'”
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
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.
“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.”
“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.”
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.
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 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.
Based on architectural evidence, family history and deed research, the oldest (center) part of this house appears to have been the home of Lot and Elizabeth Conant, the first of that family in Linebrook, constructed in 1717. This would make it an addition to the approximately 60 First Period houses in Ipswich. The Ipswich assessors site gives a date of approximately 1700 for the house, which was supported by structural observations. In the summer of 2019, the purlin roof and central chimney and fireplace were removed in a major reconstruction, and only a few beams in the ceiling remain of its original appearance.
In July 1717, Lot Conant sold his property in Beverly and moved to this location. This house is one of a cluster of homes built by the extensive Conant family in the Linebrook. It appears to have originally been a two-bay-wide, story-and-one-third cottage with the chimney in the right-hand bay. A fireplace with a brick oven is in the oldest section, supported in the cellar by a stone foundation.
The attic framing of the central original single-cell portion has gunstock posts supporting collar beams that were cut off after the additions were added on either side. The walls are plank construction with diagonal wind braces.
The original roof was of principal rafter and purlin construction, unique to the English colonies of New England during the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.
The unusually small purlins that were in this house are found in roof construction around the years 1690-1720, as found in the 1701 Matthew Perkins house on East Street and the 1696 Harris-Stanwood house on Water Street. Abbot Lowell Cummings wrote that earlier First Period houses had move massive purlins, and that in the second quarter of the 18th Century, builders returned to using them well into the 19th Century.
The walls in the oldest section of the house are wide-plank construction with windbraces, a construction form found in the early 18th Century.
The Records of the Town of Manchester demonstrate the era of plank framing. About 1690, John Knight built a house “of one story, 18 feet long on the front… The frame was of oak, covered with one and a half-inch plank.” And in 1719 the town of Manchester voted to build a new meetinghouse, and that “the hous shall be planket and not studed.”
Abbot Lowell Cummings noted a high concentration of plank framed houses with wind braces in Wenham, originally part of Beverly, more or less from the same decade, and that “it can thus be argued that the plank frame was a known structural variant in New England by the late Seventeenth Century, although the majority of carpenters in all parts of the area clung to the traditional English method of framing walls with studs and nogging.” (The Framed Houses of Massachusetts Bay, 1625-1725, pp 89-92).
There was a one-room addition to the right by 1860, with typical post and beam construction. Before 1900 a lean-to had been added to the rear of the building. Over the right-hand addition the principal rafters are butted together, suggesting an approximately 1850 construction date. Two bays were added to the left end of the house c. 1900 with modern stick construction, and the lean-to was extended behind it with a concrete slab floor.
The Conant family in Linebrook
Lot Conant was a direct descendant of Roger Conant, who founded Salem MA in 1626. In July 1717, Lot and Elizabeth Conant sold their property in Beverly and moved to the Linebrook area. On the 30 July, 1717, he bought the homestead of Daniel Foster, of Ipswich, for £460, containing 90 acres of upland and 17 acres of fresh meadow; “also one old common right in the common land of Ipswich.” (Essex Deeds, Vol. 33, p. 16.) Daniel Foster, born in 1660, was the son of Isaac Foster, and grandson of Reginald Foster the settler.
Item. I Give to my beloved wife Elizabeth all my indoor moveables, viz. Corn of all sorts: and wool and flax and Cider as well as other household goods to use and dispose off as she shall think most convenient and I give her the improvement and benefit of one-third part of my Real Estate both buildings and lands as fully as she could have it if I made no will, and give sd. wife the use and profit of one-third part of my live stock which shall be Left after my Debts and funeral charges shall l)e paid, During her natural Life and she is to have her firewood brought to the door and cut lit for the tire one half thereof by my son Joshua and the other half by my son William so long as she shall remain my widow, and my said sons Joshua and William are to find a horse for my said wife to ride to meeting on and other where as she shall have occasion so Long as she shall continue my widow, furthermore I give to my said wife all my money or bills of Public credit that be left at my Decease for her own use.
Item. I give to my son Jonathan all my buildings and Lands in Beverly and all my interest in Land Lying in Marblehead.
Item. I give to my son Joseph one hundred pounds in old Tenor bills of Credit or so much in money or bills of Public Credit as to be equal thereto and to be paid by my son Joshua within live years after my Decease.
Item. I give to my son Joshua one half of all my Lands and meadow lying in Ipswich and Topsfield both for Quantity and Quality with half of the buildings thereon and half of my utensils of husbandry only reserving liberty in my now Dwelling house as may hereafter be mentioned for my daughter Elizabeth.
Item. I give to my son William one half of all my Lands and meadow lying in Ipswich and Topsfield with half the buildings thereupon reserving liberty in my now Dwelling house as may hereafter be mentioned for my daughter Elizabeth and I give to my son William half of my Utensils of Husbandry and all Sheep that shall be left at my Decease.”
Joshua, , b. 19 Oct., 1707, in Beverly, moved to Ipswich with his parents; was a farmer. He died intestate 3 Apr., 1749, and his wife was appointed administratrix. She presented an account 30 May, 1757, and an additional account 6 Dec, 1763, in which she charges herself with various sums paid, including to Joshua’s brother William, for interest in his father’s house. The estate was appraised at £604. (*A history and genealogy of the Conant family, page 184). This shows that the house built by Lot Conant was still standing.
The 1744 will of Lot Conant granted land and buildings in “Topsfield and Ipswich” to his sons William and Joshua. William Conant purchased or obtained 53 acres with land and buildings from his brother Joshua. In 1765 he was appointed guardian of his brother Joshua’s sons. He died in 1784; his will lists sons William, Moses and Aaron, and daughters Eunice and Elizabeth.
The owner in the 1872 Ipswich map is Joseph Conant, born 6 Nov. 1811, and died 20 Oct. 1885. He was a farmer and shoe-maker in Linebrook, without issue. The local newspaper wrote of him: “He was a quiet man, a good, obliging, social and esteemed neighbor. In his manhood’s prime he was identified with parish affairs, serving it in various capacities. He was one of the proprietors of the church edifice, and assisted very materially in its erection. His active life earned him a comfortable property, and his sobriety and kindness a good name.”
The house at 48 Turkey Shore Road is believed to have been built by Nathaniel Hodgkins in 1720 on land formerly owned by Daniel Hovey. The gambrel roof indicates early Georgian era construction, and the rear ell was almost certainly constructed at the same time as an attached kitchen and utilitarian building. A second floor was added to the ell in the 19th Century. The house stayed in the Hodgkins family until 1813, and in the Andrews family for the next half Century. In 1886, Benjamin Fewkes purchased, and it remained in possession of the Fewkes family until 1948.
Most if not all of the Cape Ann gambrel cottages found in Gloucester and Rockport are 3 or 4 bays, while the three gambrel cottages in Ipswich area are uniquely 5 bay houses (4 windows and a door) with almost identical footprints. The wealthier coastal towns of northeastern Massachusetts, especially Newburyport and Marblehead have a wealth of surviving two-story gambrel roof houses constructed in the period after 1850.
Daniel Hovey, an early settler of Ipswich, owned land from this point to the end of Tansey’s Lane and built one of the town’s first wharves along the river. When the Hovey homestead including half anacre was sold by Thomas Hovey ) to William Fuller, Jan. 18, 1719-20, the deed specified that it was bounded on the west “by a narrow lane that goes down to Nathaniel Hodgkin’s land.” Thomas Franklin Waters in his book Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, indicated that this portion of the old Hovey farm had been sold to Nathaniel Hodgkins, who he suggested must have built the house.
Nathaniel Hodgkins, son of John Hodgkins and grandson of settler William Hodgkins, was born January 29, 1684, married Joanna Giddings, 1706. He was also related to Abigail Hovey, the daughter of Daniel Hovey and Esther (Treadwell) Hovey, who married Thomas Hodgkins, the brother of John Hogkins.
Nathaniel Hodgkins died August 22, 1740. His son Nathaniel (4) married Martha Smith, and was lost at sea while fishing on Canso Bank April 7, 1737.
Thomas Franklin Waters noted that “a narrow lane goes down to Nathaniel Hodgkin’s land and so by his land that was bought of Daniel Hovey Sr. to the River.” Waters suggested that Nathaniel Hodgkins may have built the house, which was afterward conveyed by Hanna Hodgkins, spinster, to William Fuller “except one lower room and one quarter acre during my life and then it will go to William Fuller and Lucy Hodgkins.”
Col. Joseph Hodgkins conveyed the same1 1/4 acre property to David Andrews, April 23, 1813 with a house, barn and a joiner’s shop. The transfer of deed states that Hodgkins was “lawfully seized,” establishing clear title.
Also of interest is Col. Hodgkins’ sale of two acres from the former homestead of Thomas Hodgkins on Turkey Shore near Woods Lane to John Appleton (156:34). Mr. Appleton had previously acquired part of the Thomas Hodgkins estate from the other heirs. (Waters, Vol 1, page 480).
Col Joseph Hodgkins, a cordwainer, married Sarah Perkins (1750 –1803), and served under Captain Nathaniel Wade in the Revolutionary War. His first wife, Joanna Webber, and four of their five children had all died.
The Letters between Joseph Hodgkins and his second wife Sarah Perkins during the war are preserved and provide important insights into the war and its relationship to the local community. After the war he returned to their home, the Perkins-Hodgkins house on East St. He remained in Ipswich throughout the rest of his life, and served in various political capacities in the town, as a colonel in the Massachusetts Militia and in the Massachusetts Legislature. After Sarah died in 1803, Hodgkins married his third wife, Lydia Treadwell, relict of Elisha Treadwell, and daughter of Deacon John Crocker.
In the early 19th Century, William F. Andrews was in possession of the ancient Daniel Hovey house and farm on the adjoining property at Tansy Lane. Daniel Hovey’s wife was Abigail, daughter of Robert Andrews, For a period of time, the Hovey house was known as the ” Old Andrews House,” having been in possession of members of the Andrews family many decades.
Col. Joseph Hodgkins conveyed the 1/4 acre property at 48 Turkey Shore to William’s son David Andrews, a farmer, April 23, 1813 with a house, barn and a joiner’s shop for $675.00. David’s wife was Mehitable Pearson. The Andrews family remained in possession for the next half century.
Thomas Franklin Waters wrote that, “The Daniel Hovey homestead was sold to William Fuller Andrews, Sept. 30, 1807 (182: 229)…. David Andrews sold the (Hovey) house and land to Mark Foss, April 7, 1853 (477: 147). The (Daniel Hovey) house fell into decay, and was used by Mr. Foss for the storage of hay, until it was destroyed by fire.”
Benjamin F. Fewkes
Benjamin F. Fewkes Jr. the son of Benjamin and Elizabeth Fewkes, purchased this house in 1886 and operated a nursery at this house. He was born in 1852 and died in 1915, aged 63 years. The 1893 Ipswich annual town report shows the following real estate and property tax valuation for Benjamin Fewkes at this location: horse $75, 2, cows $60, swine $10, 20 fowl $10, carriage $50, boat $25, house $1000, barn $100, green houses $400. The house stayed in the Fewkes family until 1948.
Benjamin Fewkes Sr.
Fewkes’ father, Benjamin Fewkes was born in England Apr 13, 1788. Benjamin Fewkes Sr. emigrated from England to the United States in 1818. He was a lace maker by trade and in 1822 introduced to Ipswich the first lace-making machine to arrive in America, said to have been smuggled in a box of salt, in violation of an English embargo. His shop was on High Street behind the Phillip Lord house.
The front entry of the gambrel is spacious with what appears to be newer stairs, although the newel and railings may be reused. It is probable that an original central fireplace and chimney were removed to accommodate a larger entry and stairs. The inside wall of the half-cellar indicates the existence of a massive stone fireplace base, and an examination of the first and second floor flooring should present evidence of the fireplace and chimney removal. The present fireplaces are smaller with modern bricks, on either end of the gambrel.
The gambrel house appears to have been originally constructed with an attached single floor ell, possibly a kitchen, and a connected utilitarian structure that serves as the present kitchen and rear entry. The foundation of the ell is continuous with the foundation of the gambrel, although not as wide. We don’t see an obvious break in the stone pattern that would suggest it was added later.
The yard slopes steeply toward the river; thus the river-side foundation of the ell has a ground-level entry as well as one or two larger openings that have been filled in. The ell was converted, possibly under the Bachelder ownership in the mid-1860’s to a two-story residential ell over an attached side porch facing the river. The roof of the porch inadequately supports the cantilevered second floor, causing the floors to roll downward at the outside wall. This structural defect will most likely require replacement of the 19th Century ell.
The diagram above is how the gambrel and ell may have been originally laid out, consisting of the gambrel roof house, a single floor kitchen ell and a carriage house, wood house, barn or other outbuilding at the rear, sharing a continuous cellar. Incorporation of the cistern into the rear cellar wall accommodated access and kept water from freezing.
The slope of the terrain at 48 Turkey Shore allowed incorporation of grade-level access to the cellar from the side of the ell facing the river. The side of the ell facing Turkey Shore Rd. is at grade level and could have served as a carriage house or storage bay for wagons. Thomas Hubka’s description of the Tobias Walker farm in Kennebunk Maine is an excellent example of the evolution of a cottage with attached buildings into a large New England connected farmstead. In the outskirts of rural communities throughout New England, connecting buildings facilitated small-scale mixed agricultural and home-industry applications.
The cellar is of standable height, constructed with mortared stone and rubble, and topped at ground level with brick. The gambrel section of the house has a half cellar, but we see what appears to be the side of a large stone fireplace base under the section without a cellar. The gambrel and ell cellars are connected, with no obvious indication of one preceding the other. An ever-present danger in connected farmsteads was the spread of fire from the barn. Charred beams in the ell basement at 48 Turkey Shore indicate that at least one such fire did occur.
The rear of the ell foundation overlaps an intact cylindrical domed brick cistern. Masonry cisterns were frequently built against or into the home’s foundation and water was drawn with a hand pump or from a tap located low on the basement wall. The warmth of the cellar may have helped prevent the water from freezing. Rainwater cisterns were used from the mid-17th to 19th century primarily for laundry and other domestic chores and agricultural needs. A similar rainwater cistern was constructed in the Tobias Walker cellar in Kennebunk, as was suggested in the agricultural journals of that time. Cisterns went out of vogue at the beginning of the 20th Century with the advent of indoor plumbing. The 1893 Ipswich Birdseye Map shows a windmill on the property, which would have been used for pumping water.
When Roger Preston arrived in Ipswich, he first purchased this lot along the river, across from what is now the intersection of Turkey Shore and Labor in Vain Roads. Thomas Franklin Waters wrote in Ipswich in the Massachusets Bay Colony (1905) that “evidently the neighborhood did not prove popular” and by 1644 every lot had been transferred. Records next show the lot belonging to William Lamson, who died Feb. 1, 1658. Waters notes: “William Lampson was granted a house lot “in the beginning” and it was expected that this attractive locality, called the Turkey Shore, would become a compact neighborhood; but the houses disappeared, however, and some lots were never utilized. William Lampson and William Story, who owned adjoining lots there, sold their property, now owned by Mr. Benjamin Fewkes (in 1905), prior to 1644.”
Daniel Hovey owned land from this point to the end of Tansey’s Lane where he built a wharf. “The Daniel Hovey homestead, which had been owned by his heirs for many years, was sold by Thomas Hovey (1668-1719) to William Fuller, “my house he now lives in,” with half an acre, Jan. 18, 1719-20.
The deed of Thomas Hovey to William Fuller of the land now owned by Mr. Josiah Mann specifies that it was bounded on the west, “by a narrow lane that goes down to Nathaniel Hodgkin’s land, and so by his land that was bought of Daniel Hovey Sr., to the River.” Jan. I5, 1719-20 (38: 272)”). Waters concludes, “The Fewkes estate as it appears from this, was originally part of the Daniel Hovey land, and was purchased by Nathaniel Hodgkins. He may have built the house.”
The house was conveyed by Hannah Hodgkins, spinster, to William Fuller, beginning at the south corner on the Town road opposite widow Elizabeth Ringe, “except one lower room and one quarter acre during my life and then it will go to said William Fuller and Lucy Hodgkins,” June 2, 1786, 1 1/4 acre with a dwelling house, for 65 pounds. (book 152, page 260)
Col. Joseph Hodgkins conveyed the same1 1/4 acre property to David Andrews, April 23, 1813 with a house, barn and a joiner’s shop for $675.00 (246: 54). The 1832 and 1856 Ipswich maps show this lot owned by David Andrews.
Andrews sold to Mrs. Annie P. Batchelder, wife of Calvin Batchelder, yeoman (farmer), April 5, 1865 a dwelling house with other buildings thereon (754: 48) for $1000.
Calvin and Annie P. Batchelder sold to Daniel Newell, March 4, 1870 (794: 30) with a dwelling house and other buildings thereon, for $2500. (*Note: The cemetery at the South Green has a grave for Calvin Batchelder, born Oct., 1811 d. Feb. 23, 1886. The 1888 Agawam directory of Ipswich lists Annie P. Batchelder, widow, living on Poplar St). *The 250% increase in the price of the house in 5 years suggests that the Bachelders added the rear wing before they sold to Newell.
The 1872 Ipswich map shows the rear ell and the owner as S. Newell. Newell sold to Gustavus Kinsman, Aug. 16, 1875; (935: 203) for $1900, with a dwelling house and other buildings.
Gustavus Kinsman sold to Benjamin Fewkes, Sept. 1886 for $2200, with a dwelling house and other buildings. (1181: 258)
Bemjamin Fewkes sold to Louis A. Fewkes, Jan. 3, 1911, for $1.00, with a dwelling house and other buildings. (2061: 230)
The estate of Lora Fewkes sold to Alice P. Lowry, April 29, 1948 for $9000, a certain parcel of land with the buildings thereon (3603:396)
The 1720 gambrel-roof cottage at 48 Turkey Shore Rd. is one of only a handful of rare 5 bay, story-and-half gambrels, three of which are in Ipswich, especially unique as a “transitional” early Georgian house with late First Period quirk-molded gunstock posts. The house is significant as a home for members of two prominent Ipswich families, Hodgkins and Fewkes, and offers one of the most commanding views of the domestic and natural landscape along the Ipswich River.
The attached rear ell lost much of its historic and architectural value in 19th Century when it was enlarged and converted into a residential wing. Removal of the second floor would accommodate restoration of the full gambrel roof and original single-floor kitchen ell. Post and beam framing from what may have been a carriage house is encapsulated and exposed in the rear half of the ell, and could be preserved on a new location or used as supportive/decorative features in a replacement addition to the building. If such alterations occur, efforts should be made to preserve the 19th Century domed brick cistern.
Thomas Hodgkins’ father Thomas, and Nathaniel’s father John were sons of William Hodgkins II, who was a son of Ipswich settler William Hodgkins. Thomas Hodgkins’ four-acre lot was nearby on the south side of Turkey Shore, west of Woods Lane (Waters, Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony Vol. 1)
Daniel Hovey sold a lot to Thomas Hodgkins. In his will dated 1692, Hovey bequeathed to his daughter, “Abigail Hodgkins wife of Thomas Hodgkins the brass pan and pewter salt seller; my part of the mare and colt to grandchild Daniel and Ivory.” An old tombstone at the Old North Burying Ground reads “Mrs. Abigail Hodgkins, Relict of Capt. Thomas Hodgkins, who died Oct. 22,1837, Aged 87.” Thomas Hodgkins was commander of the 60 ton schooner “John” owned by John Patch.
A deed from Jeremiah Hodgkins to Daniel Hodgkins (sons of Capt. Thomas, jr.), June 5, 1741 for 45 pounds, ceded rights to the “homestead of my Honorable Father (Thomas) Hodgkins…and is now improved by my Mother Hodgkins as her right of thirds to my father’s estate,” consisting of a dwelling house and 4 acres on the south side of the river, (81:273).
Structural evidence in the house at 83 High St. in Ipswich suggests that the right section was a one-over-one room “half house” to which the left side was added by Isaac Lord in 1806-08.
History of the house
Richard Kimball, the settler, received a house lot at this location in 1637. The land was inherited by his son John Kimball, who conveyed the lot to his “beloved son Richard Kimball” in 1696 (12: 114).
“Richard Kimball received a house lot, adjoining Goodman Simons in the original apportionment, and it was recorded in 1637. He may have been the original owner of the two lots, which John conveyed to Richard Kimball in 1696 (12: 114). Certainly Richard Kimball owned the lot next in order, and in his will, probated Dec. 25, 1752, he bequeathed his real estate to his son Richard and daughter Elizabeth, both minors (33 :107). Elizabeth married Philip Lord, and after his death, she sold one eighth of an acre and part of her house to John Kimball Jr. Dec. 25 1806, (186: 147).”
Richard Kimball (John1-Richard 1) owned the adjoining lot at 85 High St. In his will, probated Dec. 25, 1752, he bequeathed it to his daughter Elizabeth, who married Philip Lord. The house they built is still standing, and is known as the Phillip and Elizabeth Lord house.
“Richard Kimball sold the original Kimball house with a half acre to Isaac Lord, felt-maker, Feb. 26, 1784 (142: 213). and Elizabeth Lord sold him a small piece. Dec. 5. 1805 (180: 219). ” (Waters)
Richard Kimball’s deed to Isaac Lord, felt-maker, Feb. 26, 1784, was bordered by land of Phillip Lord west and north, 3 rods bordering his own land, “then returning 18 rods southwesterly by land of Deacon Nathaniel Kimball to the original location (142: 213). Deacon Nathaniel Kimball owned the property at 79 High St. The lot described includes the empty lot between 79 and 83 High St., which was almost certainly the home of Richard Kimball (1 and or 2) and later the home of Joseph Lord and his widow, before it was demolished. (Read a first-hand story about the Joseph Lord house.)
Elizabeth Lord ‘s sale to Isaac Lord of a small piece from her adjoining lot, Dec. 5. 1805 (180: 219) indicates that Isaac Lord extended his lot by purchasing 1/8 acre from Elizabeth Lord with the intent of building a new house or adding an addition to the left side of this house.
“Isaac bequeathed his property to his nephew Joseph Lord, whose heirs owned the house now standing, but the original (Richard Kimball) house stood on the site of Mr. Thomas H. Lord’s, and was occupied by his widow, when it had fallen into a very ruinous condition.” (Waters)
Isaac Lord, son of Nathaniel Lord and Elizabeth Day, was born July 29, 1753 in Ipswich. He married Susanna July 27, 1776. Their children were Isaac, born 1777; Joseph, born 1778; Nathaniel, born 1780; Levi, born 1784. Isaac Lord died September 06, 1828 in Ipswich, and Susanna died April 06, 1841 in Ipswich.
A Lord family tradition is that this house was originally the jail constructed in 1771 at Meeting House Green, and was moved to this location in 1806. It is more probable that Isaac lord used lumber from the old jail to build or add on to this house.
On Nov. 24, 1846, Isaac Lord Jr. assigned 1/2 of the house and property to Thomas H. Lord, and his brother Levi Lord released all rights to the “home of my honored father.” Salem Deeds (book 374, page 194)
Isaac Lord bequeathed his property to his nephew Joseph, including the adjoining early home of Richard Kimball . Waters wrote that the house was occupied by Joseph Lord’s widow “when it had fallen into a very ruinous condition.” That house was either in the empty lot southeast of the Isaac Lord house, or on the lot of the Thomas H. Lord house, still standing at 79 High St.
The house at 83 High St was acquired by Rupert Kilgour and his wife Marion Lord in 1973 from Viola Lord, and was placed on the market in 2017. The house is undergoing substantial renovation in the fall of 2020.
A massive stone base in the basement supports the fireplaces and chimney, and transitions to brick at the first floor level. The bricks are narrower than present day standards, and are mortared with clay.
Richard Irons, the best known restoration mason in New England was interviewed in Early American Homes in 1999: “Chimney footings evolved. Throughout the first quarter of the eighteenth century, chimneys had fieldstone bases, sometimes measuring as much as twenty by eighteen feet. By the 1740’s big brick arches in the basement were the common support structure; by the 1830’s, these supports had evolved to straight piers.”
Above the massive stone base for the fireplaces, the chimney bricks and fireplace bricks on the right side measure 2″ x 8″, and are mortared with clay. The bricks on the left side fireplace measure today’s standard, approximately 2 1/4″ x 7 3/4″ with some variation.
Brick size laws
Large clay bricks were used from 1630 -1730. In 1679 the Massachusetts Court ordered that brick sizes be standardized at “9 inches long, 2 1/4″ thick.” Modern bricks measure about 7 1/2″ x 3 1/8″ x 2 1/8″. A Massachusetts act in 1711 consolidated all previous brick laws and set the size at 9″ x 4″ x 2 1/2″. Nonetheless, 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 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.
The Ipswich Town Historian toured this house and made the following observations:
The front of the Isaac Lord house is 17′ deep x 30′ wide with an oak frame
Steep roof, narrow original building depth.
The earliest (front) part of the house is asymmetrical, with a 14′ wide room on the left front side, a central entrance, and only 8’6″ wide for the room on the right.
The current saltbox shed is framed upon an earlier “broken back” shed to create a second floor.
Massive stone fireplace foundation with bricks beginning at the floor level. The bricks are narrower than today’s standard size, and are mortared with clay below the chimney line.
The top of the foundation is near the ground level with no granite facing.
Full height basement on both sides.
The right side has plank wall framing and corner bracing (late 17th -early 18th Century in Essex County). The front, left side, and the attic have studs and horizontal sheathing. Unlike other plank framed houses, the tops of the planks do not fit into a rabbet, indicating that they were reused or modified.
Both sides employ gunstock corner posts on the second floor.
Unornamented exposed summer beams were used on both sides. The painted beams on the right side are smooth with a crude chamfer, while the beams on the left side are rough and square.
Posts, beams and the underside of floors were whitewashed, indicating that they were originally exposed.
Floor boards in the attic are extremely wide.
Uncertain deed records before 1800.
The downstairs fireplace wall had feather edge raised paneling.
The floor plan of the front part of the Isaac Lord house is typical of a “hall and parlor” layout found in 17th and 18th Century coastal New England. The form entails a rectangular, timber-frame two-room configuration, two rooms wide and one deep with a steeply pitched side-gabled roof and a central chimney. The windows are asymmetrically placed. The depth of early hall and parlor houses varied from about 16 to 20 feet deep and up to 40 feet wide. A saltbox addition was usually added to 17th Century houses, or as part of the original construction beginning in the late 17th Century. The larger hall was the living room, and the smaller parlor served as a private room commonly used for sleeping.
The photos below were taken in November 2020, when renovations began on the Isaac Lord house
The rear of the Isaac Lord house is in the center of this photo taken from the hill above by George Dexter, circa 1900.
“The Ould Gaol”
There’s an old tradition in the Lord family that the building at 83 High Street was once the 1771 town jail on Meeting House Green and was moved to High Street and converted into the house we see today. In 1973 Margaret Welden identified the house as the “Ould Gaol” for the Ipswich Historical Commission, but provided no documentation. The first Ipswich jail was constructed in 1652, was replaced in 1684 and that was in turn replaced with a gambrel-roof jail in 1771.
Joseph Felt wrote in the History of Ipswich, Essex and Hamilton that in 1684, the year that the colony charter was revoked by King Charles II, the towns which sent juries to the courts in Ipswich and Salem were ordered to help build new houses of correction in the two towns. Salem built its first jail, a timber-frame building measuring “thirteen feet stud (interior height), and twenty feet square, accommodated with a yard.”
Thomas Franklin Waters wrote only that the “Old Gaol” served its purpose until it was replaced with a gambrel roof jail in 1771. (In Colonial Massachusetts, the jail and the house of correction were not always the same thing.) Waters wrote, “On December 25, 1770, plans for a new building with a keeper’s house were presented and approved, and a building committee was appointed to proceed forthwith. This plan has been preserved in the Court Files. The plan shows that the prison was a two story building with gambrel roof, and that the rooms under the roof were used for the House of Correction….In 1808, the old Goal site, with its yard was sold to Rev. David Tenney Kimball. The deed gives the bounds (and) the gaol reserved to be taken away by Jan. 1, 1808 (185: 152) recorded April 2, 1807.” The 1771 jail was replaced by a stone jail, and a large brick jail was constructed in 1828 at the site of the present Ipswich Town hall.
A handwritten town clerk’s record indicates that the old jail building would be disposed of separately from the sale of the lot to the Rev. Kimball. Samuel Lord was one of the committee of 4 persons who were assigned to take care of the various transactions. There were several Samuel Lords over the years, but at least one lived in the area of this house, and perhaps he arranged for Isaac Lord to take possession and remove the lumber to this location for his expansion.
The timbers in the house at 4 Water St. in Ipswich were already 100 years old when the house was constructed. Thomas Franklin Waters wrote in “Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony”, “The present dwelling was built in 1849 from lumber taken from the old Meeting House of the First Church when it was torn down, prior to the building of the present edifice. ” (Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, vol. I, page 419, published 1905).
Engraving of Meeting House Hill dated 1839 shows the First Church to the right of its steeple, just a few years before the building was removed and the Gothic church was constructed.
The Fourth sanctuary of First Church in Ipswich was built in 1749 and served the community until 1846 when it was torn down to build the fifth church on that spot.
Waters describes the construction of the old Meeting House: “It stood exactly in front of the present edifice. Its dimensions were sixty feet in length forty feet in width and twenty four feet stud. The frame had been raised at the time of the ordination and the house was occupied May 22nd, 1748.”
“The new meeting house was severely plain with large windows without blinds destitute of steeple or belfry Doors opened on three sides cast south and west directly into the audience room The great alley, as the middle aisle was called led from the south door to the unpretentious pine pulpit, painted white at the north end and a cross aisle extended from the east to the west door. The deacon’s seat was just below the pulpit. The center of the house, now regarded the most desirable location, was occupied with long benches where seats were assigned to the poorer and humbler folk. The pews were built against the walls under the gallery The original plan of the floor has been preserved in the Parish record and shows the ownership of each pew”
Waters writes, “As the old meeting house built in 1747 had become antiquated and inadequate, land was acquired in the rear in 1837. The dwellings which occupied the spot were removed and a new house of worship was erected. It was dedicated on January 1st, 1838. The old meeting house was then torn down. Happily the old pulpit hallowed with the associations of ninety years was preserved and when the basement was finished in 1839 as a vestry it found an honored place there.”
“Abraham Knowlton was a master of his craft. The beautiful old pulpit and sounding board which Abraham Knowlton built for the new meeting house of the First Parish in 1749 is still preserved in the tower room of the present edifice attests his skill.” (page 261).
Recent examination (by this writer) of the now-exposed frame confirm the antiquity of the beams, posts and joists, but with an absence of any earlier mortises. Bowed floor/ceiling joists set perfectly in the notches of the massive beams in the first and second floor of the old front section of this house, suggesting a complete intact frame. The mortises and posts receiving the large carrying beams appear to be undersized. This suggests the possibility that only part of the original frame was re-used in order to assemble a smaller structure. The accompanying engraving of the old First Church meeting house shows a similar form of construction but with seven bays of windows, whereas this house has only three.
The old stone walls of the basement are also intact, capped with a few rows of brick at the top. Several years ago a person working in the basement found a Bible in the walls dating to 1710.
The land along Water Street from Green Lane (now Green Street) was originally granted to Humphrey Bradstreet and Thomas Clark, who were among the first settlers of Ipswich. A small “3 rod lot” on the corner of Green Lane and Water Street was split off and a house on that lot was owned by two different parties for many years. By the turn of the 20th Century only the cellar of that house remained.
A house that was once at the present location of the Jewett house also had split ownership. Half was owned by the Treadwell family, and was conveyed to James Staniford in 1830. The other half was sold In 1848 to William H. Jewett and Thomas L. Jewett from the estate of Moses Jewett. That house disappeared long before the previously mentioned corner house, and is the location where the Jewett House now stands. Moses Jewett’s headstone at the Old North Burying Ground confirms that he died April 4, 1849, aged 71 years. His wife Abigail died in 1836 at the age of 56. We have not been able to trace the sons Thomas and William, or the supposed builder, J.E. Jewett.
1872 Ipswich Village map shows this house in existence on Water Street, minus the additions. The house on the corner of Water and Green still stood at that time.
Ipswich Village maps were created during this area appear to confirm the earlier date for this house given by Waters. The 1832 Philander Ipswich Village Map shows the house on the corner owned by Levi Young, and the house at this location owned by J. Staniford. That refers to the previous house on the lot that was torn down. The 1856 Village Map shows the house on the corner owned by J. Lakeman and a house on this lot owned by “J. Jewett”. That would seem to be the present Jewett house. The 1872 Village Map shows J. Staniford owning a house around the corner on Green Street. The house at the corner and a house at this location are indicated but with no names. This house appears in the 1893 Birdseye map. In the 1930’s this house was known as the home of Joseph F. Claxton an Ipswich selectman.
Sue Nelson, the Ipswich Historical Commission’s esteemed architectural historian comments about this post: “ This is very interesting information regarding 4 Water. When I put together the inventory I relied on existing “B” forms. Long after I put together the inventory I had a chance to run through the house during a real estate open house. At that time I saw a lot of material that suggested a much earlier date than 1880 so I agree that 1880 is too late. So interesting about the reuse of the 1749 meetinghouse. It makes me want to look at 4 Water much more closely. Many of the building receipts for construction work on the 1749 meetinghouse were collected by Thomas Dennis (1706-1771) who served as treasurer for the project. He was the son of John Dennis and grandson of the famous 17th century joiner Thomas Dennis.”