Tilton Smith house, Argilla Road in Ipswich

168 Argilla Road, the Tilton-Smith house (c 1720)

The “Tilton-Smith House” at 168 Argilla Road in Ipswich was awarded the 1999 Mary P. Conley award. Built circa 1720 by Abraham Tilton Jr., a 1998 fire took away much of its original frame, but the owner totally rebuilt the home with attention to historical detail and authentic 18th century craftsmanship. He saved what was salvageable from the burned structure and replaced the rest with period materials salvaged from 18th and 19th century structures throughout New England. The 12-by-38-foot keeping room still has the original 18th-century wood floors, with pit-sawn pine planks 20 inches wide and 22 feet long. The rebuilt walk-in fireplace has twin beehive ovens and a pot rail.

The Tilton Smith house on Argilla Road in 1980
Tilton Smith House on Argilla Road, from the MACRIS site

This house was the home of Archibald and Isadora Smith, who wrote three popular books about historic gardening under the pseudonym Ann Leighton. It was also the home of Nancy and Lovell Thompson, who died in 1971. It  has a preservation agreement with the Ipswich Historical Commission, including the front and side facades, central frame including primary and secondary members, central chimney, wooden architectural elements including paneling, mantelpieces, doors and other molded detail on the inner walls of the four front rooms, first and second floors.


Photos of preserved elements in this house (provided by Kristal Pooler & Associates)

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