At 2 Meeting House Green, the Joseph N. Farley house, ca 1842 has a Greek Revival portico and door frame, with horizontal flush board siding, but faces the street as was typical with the earlier Federal period.
The Greek Revival style drew from the architecture of classic Greek temples and became known as the “National Style” in America between 1830 and 1850 because of its nationwide popularity. Massachusetts architect Benjamin Asher disseminated the Greek Revival style through his influential house plan books.
A characteristic shared by virtually all Greek Revival buildings is the wide band of woodwork and trim below the cornice. Many Greek Revival houses have pilasters to represent columns or paneled trim at the building corners. Full height sidelights are found on many Greek Revival houses versus the partial-height sidelights seen on Federal houses. Palladian windows are absent on Greek Revival buildings.
Dr. George Chadwick sold his house on this lot to Robert Farley on April 25, 1839, who transferred it to Joseph K. Farley, April 29, 1842. Mr. Farley sold the old house which was moved to Pingree’s Plain, and built this “mansion,” which was occupied by his widow until her death.
Joseph Farley and many of the Farley family in Ipswich are related to General Michael Farley, a war hero, town officer, and representative from 1766 to 1774 to the Provincial Congress. His grandfather, also Michael Farley was the first in this family line, and arrived in America in 1675 from England to run Richard Saltonstall’s fulling mill. Thus began a long line of millers in Ipswich.
Nathaniel Farley’s Mills ground the grist for many years. Joseph Farley, son of Nathaniel was the last in the long line of grist millers and built the old stone mill where EBSCO now stands for the manufacture of cotton cloth. The mill, known as the Ipswich Manufacturing Company, opened in 1830 and employed an average of 18 males and 63 females, with a work day of nearly fourteen hours. Joseph Farley Jr. was the clerk and paymaster. By 1832 the mill had 3000 spindles and 260 looms processing 80,000 lbs of cotton and making 450,000 yards of cloth annually.
Joseph Farley had an ambitious plan to divert water above the dam through a canal that would pass through the Heard property (now the Ipswich Museum) and supply power for a mill on the lower river near County Street, but financial difficulties arose, and in 1836 Mr. Farley conveyed his interests to the company.)