202 Main St., Rowley MA, the Deborah and Rev. John Pike house, 1839

202 Main St., Rowley MA

The house at 202 Main St. in Rowley sits on property that was for over a century the homestead of descendants of early settler Eziekiel Northend. The last member of the family to own the ancestral home was Northend Cogswell, who relocated to S. Berwick Maine. The heirs of Northend Cogswell sold the entire estate in 1837 to Hannah and John Francis Jamin. They arranged for the removal of the 1720 Northend house in 1838 and it was moved to 169 Main St. where it has for many years been the Rowley Pharmacy. The Jamins built the present house on this location in 1839.

The Jamins built another new home across the street at the present location of Pine Grove School, and in 1849 sold this house with 4 acres to Deborah Pike, wife of Rev. John Pike, pastor of the First Church. In the 20th Century the house served as the Catholic Church rectory.

202 Main St. Rowley MA
This view from the south side of 202 Main St. shows that its two fireplaces are located at the rear of the house. The rear ell is a later addition.

The house has a traditional 5 bay two-story façade with a mix of Federal and Greek Revival elements. The front entry portico has columns, but lacks transoms and sidelights found during those periods. First floor rooms have 10′ ceilings. The two fireplaces are located at the very rear of the house, with tall chimneys rising above the height of the peak, similar to several houses on Main and Summer Streets. Most have stated construction dates ranging from 1800 – 1834, but two are listed as 1750. Paired rear fireplaces seem to have been very popular in Rowley.

The Rev. John Pike house, 202 Main St., Rowley MA
The Rev. John Pike house, 202 Main St., Rowley from the 1899 New England Magazine

Early history of the property

Ezekiel Northend, the first of the name and family in this country, settled in Rowley a few years after its first settlement by Rev. Ezekiel Rogers and his associates in 1639, and was a prominent man in the town. He gave to his son and each of his daughters from one hundred to one hundred and fifty acres of land upon their marriage.

Ezekiel Northend (3rd generation), the son of Capt. Ezekiel Northend, was born January 25,1696-7. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Rev. Edward Payson on March 30, 1726, and died October 18, 1742. Elizabeth, the widow of Ezekiel Northend died 9 May, 1787. The book, Early Settlers of Rowley records, “His homestead in Rowley was on Main Street and was later owned by Rev. John Pike. Ezekiel Northend was a member of the General Court from 1715 to 1717, and served the town as selectman several terms. His son was a selectman and captain of the military company. *Sarah, the daughter of Ezekiel Northend, married Thomas Mighill, Nov. 13, 1750. The Mighill-Perley house is still standing at 100 Main St.

In 1761, Sarah Northend, a daughter of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Northend, married Dr. Nathaniel Cogswell of Ipswich, and they made their home here. Sarah was born November 19, 1738, and died March 8, 1773 at age 34. He lived to an old age and died May 23, 1822 at age 83.

1830 Rowley map
The 1830 Rowley map shows the Northend Cogswell house at this address.

Northend Cogswell

Among the many children Of Nathaniel Cogswell and Sarah Northend Cogswell was Northend Cogswell (1762-1837), named for his grandfather and great grandfather. In the Revolutionary War he served in a company from Rowley, commanded by Capt. Thomas Mighill, and attached to Col. Nathaniel Wade’s regiment. Rowley Vital Records record that he married Elizabeth Lambert of Rowley in 1794, and they removed to South Berwick, Maine, where his wife died in 1828, and is buried in the Portland St. Cemetery in S. Berwick. Mr. Cogswell was engaged in mercantile pursuits until the War of 1812, when he retired from business. He died in 1837 and is buried in the Portland St. Cemetery as well.

Northend Cogswell continued to own the Rowley house after he removed to S. Berwick. His sister Sarah was born June 5, 1763 in Rowley, and on Dec. 19, 1790, married Oliver Appleton of the Ipswich Appleton family. On May 13, 1795, Samuel and Oliver Appleton and Wade Cogswell sold and quitclaimed their shares of inheritance in this property to “our brother Northend Cogswell of Berwick in consideration of 60 pounds” including the house lot and buildings “that our honorable grandfather Ezekiel Northend died seized of,” (Salem Deeds book 258, page 050).

Among the Cogswell children who grew up in S. Berwick was Charles Northend Cogswell (1797-1846), an attorney who served as Maine state senator and representative in the 1830s and 1840s.

1856 Rowley map
1856 Rowley map showing Rev. Pike at 202 Main St., the J.F. Jamin residence across the street, and the relocated Northend house now at the corner Main and Hammond Streets, owned by Mark Jewett.
1872 map of the center of Rowley
The 1856 and 1872 maps of Rowley show the Rev. John and Deborah Pike house at 202 Main St., and the home of John Francis and Hannah Jamin across the street. The Jamins sold 4 acres of the former Northend Cogswell estate with the old house to the Pikes in 1849, and had constructed a second new house across the street at the present location of the Pine Grove elementary school.

Hannah and John Francis Jamin (1837-1849)

After their father’s death, Northend Cogswell’s children and their spouses, William S. Cogswell of New York City, Charles N. Cogswell, Sarah Cogswell, Frederick Cogswell of S. Berwick on July 13, 1837 each sold “an undivided 5th part with all the buildings thereon, lying on both sides of the street” to Hannah M. (Elwell) Jamin, wife of Captain John Francis Jamin of Rowley. (Salem Deeds book 299 page 221). Sold in two separate deeds, the price for the entire estate including the old 1720 Northend house was $1280.00.

Joseph N. Dummer wrote in his unpublished document, Land and houses of Rowley that the Northend house was removed from this lot in 1838, and the Jamins built the present house by 1839: “Abigail, widow of Benjamin Todd sold 1/3 acre (at the corner of Main and Hammond Streets) to Lewis H. Dole” (Salem Deeds book 339 page 101). The deed states a sale of 1/3 acre to Mark R. Jewett, but in 1844 Jewett transferred the property to Dole and in the same year Dole transferred back to Jewett’s wife Mary. Mark R. Jewett is shown as the owner of that corner lot in subsequent maps. (Salem Deeds book 341, page 47 and Salem Deeds book 409 page 202).

On April 28, 1849, John Francis Jamin, husband of Hannah Jamin, sold to Deborah Pike, wife of Rev. John Pike, the 4-acre lot at 202 Main St. “with the dwelling house and barn thereon” for $3200.00. (Salem Deeds book 410, page 240). The price represents a substantial increase in value of the property because of the new house. Joseph N. Dummer wrote that the Jamins sold the present house and lot to Hon. Daniel Adams, who presented it to his daughter Deborah, but only her name is on the deed.

Captain Jamin having sold the house on the northern side of the street built in 1849 a house on the other side of the street, which after his death was sold with the remaining nineteen acres of land to George Prescott. The 1856 and 1872 Rowley maps confirm that the Jamins had constructed a new residence across the street at the present location of the Pine Grove Elementary School.

John F. Jamin was born in 1791 in the Isles of France, and married Hannah Mighell Elwell, the daughter of Samuel Elwell and Elizabeth Perley. Hannah Mighill, died in 1869, age 76 yrs., followed by her husband John F. Jamin in 1870, and are both buried in Rowley. Their son, John Francis Codeau Jamin, died in 1844, aged 13 yrs., and their only daughter Hannah Elwell Jamin, died in 1840, aged 21 years. The graves ot the Jamin family are marked by a cross of red sandstone in Rowley graveyard. (Source: M. V. B. Perley)

Rev. John Pike of Rowley and his wife Deborah
Rev. John Pike of Rowley and his wife Deborah, from the 1899 New England Magazine

Rev. John Pike and Deborah Adams Pike

Rev. John Pike was the son of Richard Pike and Mary Boardman, both born in Newbury. His wife was Deborah A. Adams, (1814–1893). Rev. Pike graduated from Bowdoin in 1833, and from Andover Theological Seminary in 1837; preached in N. Falmuouth, Mass., till 1840, then was the esteemed pastor in Rowley for 28 years, succeeding Mr. Holbrook. After a successful ministry he was dismissed, Jan 5, 1869 after becoming blind, but continued to reside in Rowley. His wife Deborah predeceased him.

Although blind in later life, he continued his pulpit work, preaching nearly every Sunday, with the assistance of his gifted wife, to the inmates of the House of Correction at Ipswich, until his wife’s demise at their home in Rowley, 30 Dec., 1893.

A 1899 New England Magazine article included a short biography of Dr. John Pike, “Rev. John Pike, D. D., is preeminently the Rowley pastor of the present century. Rowley was his first and only settled charge. Here he was installed in 1840, and here he remained despite every solicitation from other churches, amid the ever deepening love, respect and pride of his people, until the steady approach of blindness compelled his resignation in 1869. His beloved wife and true fellow-worker has entered into rest, but Dr. Pike at the ripe age of eighty-six still awaits the day when those eyes which have so long been closed to earthly loveliness “shall see the King in his beauty.” Dr. Pike died later that year, September 20,1899.

Interments of Rev. John and Deborah Pike family members at the Rowley Cemetery
Interments of Rev. John and Deborah Pike and family members at the Rowley Cemetery. Photo courtesy of John Glassford.

Nancy Todd Morrison

Dr. Pike outlived his wife Deborah Pike, and in 1894 sold the homestead to Nancy Todd Morrison (probably their daughter) in consideration of one dollar, “the same being the estate granted to me by the will of my late wife, Deborah A. Pike.” (Salem Deeds book 01410 page 064). Nancy Todd Morrison died in 1935, aged 98, and is buried alongside the Pikes at the Rowley Burial Ground.

In 1921, fourteen years before she died, Nancy T. Morrison sold the house to Wilfred P. Adams, who sold it to the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston as the Saint Mary’s Roman Catholic Church Rectory. The barn on the property at that time was then remodeled into a Catholic Church. It has since been moved to Hammond Street and made into an apartment house. The present owners of 202 Main St. purchased this house from the Catholic Church.

Front windows and doorway at 202 Main St. are said to be original
The front windows and doorway at 202 Main St. are believed to be original.
Fireplace at 202 Main St. in Rowley
The fireplace at 202 Main St. in Rowley belongs in the late Georgian -Federal-Greek Revival period.

Sources and further reading: (To see the deeds, you have to first open a new session at the Salem Deeds site, and then you can click on the deed links on this page.)

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:

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.

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