“A priceless reservoir of early American history”

Ipswich, Massachusetts was founded in 1634, and is America’s best-preserved Puritan town. Opposition by the people and leaders of Ipswich to a tax imposed in 1687 is commemorated in the seal of the town of Ipswich, with the motto, “The Birthplace of American Independence 1687.”

Ipswich in the 17th Century - Ipswich was settled in 1633 in an area the Native Americans called Agawam. The Town resisted the King in 1684 and its leaders were jailed. The Town experienced the pain of the Salem Witch Trials.
Ipswich woodcut,1838 attributed to S. E. Brown. Ipswich in the 18th Century - The Town devoted manpower and resources to the French and Indian Wars & the War for Independence. The town sank into economic decline and the Hamlet became the Town of Hamilton.
Ipswich in the 19th Century - Chebacco Parish becomes the Town of Essex. The Eastern Railway and Ipswich Mills bring a resurgence of prosperity and the population doubles. After two downtown fires in 1894 the town builds a water and electrical system.
Ipswich in the 20th Century - In 1903 the Electric Light System was built. Workers went on strike at Ipswich Hosiery Mills in 1913. The suffered through the Great Depression and two World Wars. The Old North and South Churches were destroyed by fires in 1965 and 1975.
A town of immigrants - Puritans founded Ipswich during the “Great Migration” of the early 17th Century. Many residents of the town descend from immigrants who arrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to work in the mills.
Ipswich and the Salem witchcraft trials - During the Salem witch trials the Ipswich jail was filled with the accused. Elizabeth Howe of Linebrook Road was tried and hung. The ministers of the town opposed the trials as a delusion.
Ipswich, the Brookfield Massacre and King Philip’s War - In 1660, a group of Ipswich families settled in Quaboag which they renamed Brookfield. Indian attacks in 1675 resulted in its destruction.
Featured posts - Featured articles and stories at the Ipswich Historical Commission site
Old North Burying Ground - The Old North Burying Ground in Ipswich, Massachusetts was established in 1634 and is one of the oldest cemeteries in North America.
Early settlers of Ipswich - The Puritan settlers of Ipswich arrived during the “Great Migration."
First Period and other Colonial-era houses of Ipswich - There are more remaining first Period houses ( 1625 through 1725) in Ipswich MA than any other town in the country.