19 Putnam Rd., the Lezon home (c 1910)

19 Putnam Rd., Ipswich MA

19 Putnam Rd.

The first known owners of the house at 14 Putnam Rd. at the corner with Prescott Rd. were George and Emma Holmes, shown in the 1910 Census and on the 1910 Ipswich map. In 1916 they sold the house and land to Stanislaw and Karolina Lezon “in consideration of one dollar and other valuable considerations, being all or a portion of Lot 35 on Plan of Agawam Height, Ipswich MA  from H. T. Whitman and E. W. Branch (civil engineers), being the same parcel conveyed by Burt Chellis to said Emma Holmes, September 1, 1906.” (Salem Deeds, 2341; 272).  “Other valuable considerations” was a mortgage with Holmes for $1600.00.

Theodore Lezon, Ipswich MA

Theodore Lezon, photo by Terry Unger

This was the childhood home of Tadeusz (Teddy/Theodore) Lezon, (1918-2014). During World War II, Ted served with distinction in the U.S. Army, 9th Infantry Division, in campaigns in North Africa and Sicily, landed on Utah Beach on D-Day, and took part in the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of Hurtgen Forest. He received an honorable discharge in August 1945. Among his citations, he was awarded the Bronze Star.

Ted wrote about living in this house for his entire life. (Excerpts from People and Place by Lucy Myers and Terri Unger):

“I was born on the kitchen table of the house I still live in, number seven in a family of five girls and three boys. My parents had emigrated from Poland in the early 1900’s, hoping for better economic opportunities in the United States. Things were really brewing in Europe at that time, with many signs of World War I already apparent.

Life was very difficult. One of their friends, Mr. Tuzik, from the same village as my parents, had come to Ipswich. He had a tailor shop where the post office is now. He urged my parents to make the same move. they discussed their situation thoroughly and decided to do it. The plan was that my father would come first, find a job and a place to live in. The others would come later. they sold a piece of property in order to afford the trip.

My father got a job in the Ipswich Mill right away. He spent his first night in Ipswich in a boarding house on Estes Street, the area known as “Pole Alley.” Many Polish immigrants spent their first nights there.The rest of the family came over a couple of months later.

My parents owned a small farm up on Agawam Heights. The house had eight rooms, a barn that housed four cows and many tons of hay, and a hen coop with many chickens and two pigs. The land surrounding the house was used as a vegetable garden. As I grew older, I had chores to do around the farm, such as cleaning the cow area, feeding the cows and chickens, and delivering milk to the customers.

We raised five children. I never wanted to leave Ipswich. Ipswich is home. Everything I want is here. Throughout my  life, this house was full of parties: every Christmas, every birthday, holiday, wedding, christening. Whatever celebration it was, we had it right here! Our family liked to get together, and we always had good times. To this day, even the grandchildren invite all their family to parties. I think they’re following the old family tradition!”

1893-ipswich-map-putnam

The 1893 Ipswich Birdseye Map shows that the Agawam Heights neighborhood, including Putnam Rd. had not yet been developed.

Sources and Further Reading