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

Joseph Fellows house, Fellows Rd.,Ipswich

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

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

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

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

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

Map of Candlewood in Ipswich ma

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

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

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

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

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

The John Brown Farm

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

Candlewood Rd., Ipswich Ma

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

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

Richard Rindge house, 5 County St., Ipswich

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

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

Early history of the lot

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visual inspection of the 5 County Street house:

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

Original location on Summer Street

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

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

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

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

The Rindge house is moved to County Street

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

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

Discrepancies and Research Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Shatswell house, 90 High St., Ipswich

Shatswell house, 90 High St. in Ipswich MA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An old sketch of the Shatswell house (Antiquarian Papers)

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

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

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

Remnants of a stick and mud chimney?

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The course of the Bay Road

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

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

Antiquarian Papers, Shatswell House

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

Col. Nathaniel Shatswell and the Battle of Harris Farm

Nathaniel Shatswell
Nathaniel Shatswell

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

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

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

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

Sources and further reading:

9 Poplar St., Ipswich

9 Poplar St. Ipswich MA

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

Ownership of the lot

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

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

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

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

Architectural Characteristics

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

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

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

The Mavroides family

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

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

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

William Hubbard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Treadwell’s Inn

Treadwell's Inn, Ipswich MA

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Antiquarian Papers

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

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

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

 They wrote specifically about Treadwell’s Inn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nathaniel and Hannah Treadwell

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

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


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


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

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

John Adams’ visits to Treadwell’s

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

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

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

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

John Adams
John Adams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Christian Wainwright

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 The Agawam House

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

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

Spark’s Tavern

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Dr. Joseph Manning house

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

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

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

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

Doctor Joseph Manning

The Manning house before it was converted to shops

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Timothy Souther 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A mystery unraveled

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

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


The Lot Conant house

Lot Conant house, Linebrook Rd., Ipswich MA

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.

This Post and beam construction with a gunstock post was visible in the attic of the Conant house. The original collar beams were cut when the house was extended on either side.

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.

Common purlins supported the plank roofing in the Conant house. The purlin roof was replaced with conventional rafter framing in the summer of 2019

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.

Wide-plank construction with windbraces in the Conant house

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).

Joseph Conant house, Linebrook Road Ipswich MA
Photo circa 1980, Ipswich Historical Commission

The additions

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

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.

Excerpts from The will of Lot Conant, proved 10 Jan. 1744-5

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 Conant

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.

William Conant

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.

Moses and William Conant II

Moses Conant transferred the property to William Conant in 1803. William died in 1826. The house was owned by William Conant (3) in the 1832 Ipswich map. and the 1856 map.

Joseph Conant

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.”


Nathaniel Hodgkins house, Ipswich

Nathaniel Hodgkins house, Ipswich MA

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.

For thirty years, Prudence Fish has recorded the small gambrel roof houses of the Gloucester fishermen that dotted the shoreline of Cape Ann in the 18th century. All of the houses she has studied, including this one, were constructed facing south. Of approximately 350 that were constructed in the 18th century, there are about 50 still standing. This gambrel cottage is one of only three in Ipswich, including the Joseph Fowler house (1720 – 1756) at 100 High Street (which is believed to have been moved from Mineral St.), and the nearby Francis Merrifield – Mary Wade house (1792), at 9 Woods Lane.

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.

Rear ell in its present form, as seen from the river side of the house

Daniel Hovey

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.

The last will of testimony of Daniel Hovey grants “to Abigel Hodgkins wife of Thomas Hodgkins y’ brafe pan and a putter falfeller, my part of y* mare and colt to granchild Daniell and lvory. “

Nathaniel Hodgkins

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

Col. Joseph Hodgkins ( 1743 -1829) was the son of Thomas Hodgkins, born 1692, who was the son of Thomas Hodgkins and Abigail (Hovey) Hodgkins. Col. Hodgkins was the last of the Hodgkins family to have ownership of this house. The deed included 1 1/4 acres, a house, barn, and joiner’s shop.

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.

David Andrews

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.

The 1893 Birdseye Map of Ipswich shows the Benjamin Fewkes house at 48 Turkey Shore, with the attached wing, a barn, windmill and greenhouses. Behind it is the ancient Daniel Hovey house (#31) no longer standing. The shed on the back of the barn is shown in the photo below.

early photos from Ipswich Massachusetts, shucking clams
Shucking clams on the Ipswich River behind the Benjamin Fewkes house at 48 Turkey Shore Rd.
Image from the The Agawam manual and directory: a directory of the Agawam district: first part, Ipswich, Rowley, and Hamilton, 1888 by M. V. B. Perley. At that time, Turkey Shore had been renamed Prospect St. (The earlier name was later restored).
c1900 photo found inside the home, labeled “Benjamin Fewkes house.” The barn on the left is no longer standing. Behind it, covered in vines is a windmill, also shown in the 1893 Birdseye Map of Ipswich.
Fewkes and Darling Greenhouse, County Road Ipswich MA
The Fewkes and Darling families of Ipswich were related by marriage. Edward C. Darling operated a floral business in the rear of 78 County Rd, which was continued by Benjamin J. Fewkes in the late 19th Century. The Ipswich Public Library has a voluminous genealogical compilation covering over 200 early Ipswich families compiled by Jonathan Fewkes and Edward Lee Darling,

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.

Benjamin Fewkes Sr. died Dec. 27, 1869 aged 81 yrs. His wife was Elizabeth Wilkins Fewkes. His fourth son, Jesse Fewkes was born in 1826 and presented a paper titled “Fine Thread, Lace and Hosiery” before the Ipswich Historical Society in 1905. Read also, Ipswich Hosiery, Page 3.

The back of this photo from the dining room reads, “This is Florence Haskins, one of the Fewkes’ daughters. She married a banker and moved to Worcester, I’ve been told. Note “’98” date.”

1910 Ipswich map showing the intersection of Prospect St. (Turkey Shore) and Labor in Vain Road
1910 Ipswich map showing the intersection of Prospect St. (Turkey Shore) and Labor in Vain Road

Structural observations

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.

A flat panel door in the Nathaniel Hodgkins house has through-mortises and tenons connecting the stiles, rather than “stopped.” Flat panel doors and windows replaced raised feather edged panels around 180. Molding was often applied to panels, as is found in the wainscoting in the left side of the house.
The front gambrel section has eight gunstock corner posts, found in First Period construction and into the 18th Century. The suspected date of construction is confirmed by how the posts were decorated. For a brief period beginning about 1710, frames were often finished with “quirked beading” along the exposed edges of the timbers. By about 1725, the frame was likely to be boxed instead of decorated and exposed, as the Renaissance influence of the Georgian style reached New England. Quirked beading continued to be used, but on the boards boxing the framework.
When a large addition was added to the rear, sections of the gambrel roof rafters were cut off, and butt into the wall of the rear ell addition.

Rear ell

View of the house and ell from Turkey Shore Rd.

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.

Illustration of an old Connecticut gambrel house with attached kitchen ell, from page 38, Reclaiming the Old House” (1913) by Charles Edward Hooper

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 cellar of the gambrel and original ell sections are connected and continuous. This diagram shows how the ell may have functioned.

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 front cellar wall is topped with brick on the inside and faced with granite on the outside

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.

Small barn at 48 Turkey Shore, with the Ipswich River behind

Deed history

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.”

Early map of Turkey Shore Road and Labor in Vain Road, shows that William Lampson owned the property between 1644 and 1658

Thomas Franklin Waters recorded the deed record through the 19th Century in his book Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony:

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)

Rear entry of the house at 48 Turkey Shore Rd.


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.

Sources and further reading

Hodgkins Genealogy (from Geneanet)

Nathaniel Hodgkins’ father John Hogkins was the son of Ipswich settler William Hodgkins II(1622-1693) and Grace Dutch (1633-1694).

John Hodgkins, father of Nathaniel Hodgkins

Thomas Hodgkins, Nathaniel’s cousin

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).

The Ipswich River flows behind the house at 48 Turkey Shore.

The Nehemiah Perkins house (18th Century, altered 1840)

Nehemiah Perkins house, Wenham

The house at 40 Cherry Street in Wenham has what appears to be an 18th Century frame. The house was modified during the 19th Century in the popular “carpenter gothic” style. Physical examination of the frame indicates a story and a half cottage constructed before the 1777 deed, which mentions a house and barn on the land. Hand-hewn chamfered summer beams and posts throughout the house and basement appear to predate the Georgian era (1725-1780), when framing was boxed and no longer dressed.

The owner of the house provided the following deed history:

  • 1777: Asma Kimball sold 45 acres to Thomas Webber. The deed references a house and barn on the land.
  • 1809: Thomas Webber dies and Betsey (Webber) Merrill inherits as part of his estate.
  • 1817: The deed for Daniel Merrill and Besty (Webber) Merrill mentions a house and barn on the western end of land
  • 1820’s: Betsey Webber Merrill, now living in Gloucester breaks up the estate and sells 45 acres (she lived in Gloucester not Wenham)
  • 1835: Francis Merrill sells this lot to John Perley.
  • 1837: John Perley sells to Nehemiah Perkins for $85.
  • 1837: The next day he sold it to his son Nehemiah Perkins Jr. for $1.00.
  • 1865: Property sells for $1,000, including buildings on the site.
40 Cherry St., Wenham Ma
The Nehemiah Perkins house in the 19th Century

The Perkins family in Wenham

Nehemiah Perkins Jr, son of Nehemiah and grandson of John Perkins was born in 1800 and was age 37, with 5 children when bought the land, owning it until his death in 1861. It appears that he restored the house with its present “carpenter Gothic” appearance.

The Perkins family in Wenham dates back to 1690 when Sergent John Perkins of Ipswich and others bought 300 acres on the border of Wenham and the Hamlet near the Great Swamp, a section of Ipswich that is now Hamilton, which had previously been common land. At the beginning of the 18th Century, the town divided the common land among groups of 8 residents, called companies.

The early left side of the house looks similar to today in this late 19th Century photo. The right gable is visible through the branches. The long barn on the right appears to be the addition still standing on the right side, which now sits on a concrete block foundation. (Concrete block was invented in the 1830s, and its popularity grew as manufacture of concrete blocks increased around 1900.)
Existing layout from the Wenham assessors page. The lower half is the present Gothic original house, measuring 17′ deep x 35′ wide. The lighter lines represent the two summer beams.
Typical layout of a Colonial cape.
Cottage residences by A. J. Downing, suburban cottage for a small family
One of many Victorian cottage styles presented in “Cottage Layouts.”

Colonial Post and Beam frame

Rather than facing the street like the other older houses on Cherry Street, the front of this house faces due south, which was more common in the early Colonial period. Hewn summer beams are exposed in the entryway, and the inside corners of the house frame have painted hewn posts with beveled edges. The summer beams, corner posts and beams in the basement show evidence of powder post beatles, but there is no indication that the corner posts or summer beams were ever boxed. A filled-in mortise in the summer beam suggests the original location of the stairway post. Mortises in the left beam have been filled with wood but indicate the location of the original floor joists.

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, wooden structures in New England were still being constructed of hand-hewn timber frames. Timber framing persisted through the Federal and Greek Revival Periods, and began to be replaced by light balloon framing around 1840 at the beginning of the Victorian era, which includes Gothic Revival architecture. Most of the sheathing and roof framing in this house are hidden behind finished walls and ceilings, but evidence of a post and beam, story and a half cottage having pit-sawn horizontal exterior wall sheathing at least 20″ wide is visible in the opening to the attic over the right addition. Mills began using circular, rather than straight, saw blades starting around 1830; by 1900 circular saws had replaced nearly all the sash sawmills.

Hand-hewn summer beams with modest undecorated flat chamfers are on either side of the 8′ entrance hall. The beams or studs supporting them are hidden in the walls.
Hand-hewn summer beams with modest chamfers have some small holes from powder post beatles, but there are no nail holes indicating that they were ever boxed.
One of two pine summer beams supporting either side of the entry area. Mortises for joists at about 2′ intervals have been plugged with wood.
Exposed junction of wall and roof frame in upstairs rear alcove. All of the exposed frame of the house is rough-hewn, has beveled corners, and shows no sign of having ever been boxed.
Wind brace in the original structure is visible in the area of the attic, reveals a post and beam knee wall, and wide horizontal exterior sheathing.


In the 20th Century, an opening was made in the stone foundation of the main house to extend the basement underneath the attached barn when it was remodeled to become a wing of the house. Problematic is the lack of evidence of an earlier central fireplace. The cellar walls are not stacked field stone, but mortared and relatively smooth, suggesting the house may not be on its original foundation. Or the earlier chimney stack may have disappeared when the house was reconstructed and the concrete basement floor was poured.

Stone cellar wall massachusetts
Cellar wall at 40 Cherry St. in Wenham. The stones are mortared, not dry-stacked.

The masonry arches and fireplace date to after 1780-90, but no later than the 1840 renovation. The small fireplace in the left room and the cooking fireplace in the right room are both of Rumford design, and are supported by brick trimmer arches. Wood heat and beehive ovens were used until the beginning of the industrial revolution around 1840, when coal began to replace wood as fuel for heating and cooking. Count Rumford detailed his improvements for fireplaces in 1796 and in 1798, and the “Rumford fireplace” became the standard by the beginning of the 19th Century. The cast iron wood burning stove was marketed by Stewart Oberlin in 1834, and sales soon boomed throughout the United States.

The fireplace in the main room has a beehive oven and may have been used for cooking.
Beehive oven in the right fireplace
On the right side of the main fireplace, in the extension that was once a barn or utility room is a “set kettle” used for washing clothes. On the opposite side of the room was a hand-dug well, now covered with a heavy concrete slab in the basement below. Coals in the fireplace heated the water.
Brick arch supporting the fireplace in the left side of the house.
chimney in a brick fireplace arch
This chimney appears to be a later modification in the brick arch supporting the large fireplace on the right side of the house,

Present appearance: “Carpenter Gothic”

This plan for a Gothic Revival Victorian house is similar to 40 Cherry St.

The present appearance of this house dates to sometime after 1837 when the early story and a half cottage was reconstructed. “Carpenter Gothic” homes were built during the early Industrial Revolution from 1840 – 1860. The Gothic gables on this house are less steep than usual, indicating a modification of the existing roof framing, which is not accessible for examination.

In America, the Gothic Revival style was popularized by Andrew Jackson Downing in his books, Cottage Residences in 1842 and The Architecture of Country Houses in 1850, which included architectural plans and elevation drawings. The form generally includes steep “wall dormers.

The Owens-Hobbs house at 201 Main Street in Wenham was built before 1856 and is similar. The 1856 Nehemiah Brown house at 24 Main Street, the 1840 Andrews-Patch house on Linden Street and the 1840 Gavin house at 195 Main Street all have gothic gables. The similarly proportioned Levi Howe house in Ipswich has the same rough design and layout.


The house represents stages of construction and renovation over a period dating from the Colonial era to the mid-19th Century, plus modern modfications. Structural and stylistic evidence indicate that the frame of this house was probably constructed no later than the first quarter of the 18th Century. Orientation of the house toward the south provides additional evidence. Masonry in the two fireplaces dates to between 1790 and 1840, indicating the possibility of two major alterations. The present house was modified after it was purchased in 1837 with a “carpenter Gothic” roof. Further deed research and a dendrochronology test of the summer beams and other framing may help determine the approximate date of original construction.

House plans by Andrew Jackson Downing:

Other Sources:

Architectural books and guides

Built from the frame of the 1749 Ipswich meeting house

4 Water St., Ipswich MA

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.

Beams in the house at 4 Water St. in Ipswich, reused from the 1749 Ipswich Meeting House.

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.”