Bialek Park was once the town’s semi-professional ballpark, used by our local teams. Baseball’s popularity grew quickly after the Civil War, and there was an Ipswich team in the last few decades of the 19th Century. The 1884 Ipswich Birdseye map shows the park as an empty lot with what appears to be the high fence that surrounded the ballpark.

In 1912 the town purchased two private lots that had been the ballpark, constructed a public playground, and removed the fence. (See Town Report).

In 1977 the park was renamed to honor the late John S. Bialek, who graduated from Manning High School in 1933 and was the first inductee to the Ipswich Athletic Hall of Fame. Bialek served as a selectman and and co-founded the Ipswich Little League.

The Ipswich baseball team at Linebrook Park: This photo was taken on July 4th, 1894 at the Ipswich town baseball field, which is now Bialek Park. The park was surrounded by a 10′ wooden fence, and admission was charged to see a game.
Photo by Edward L. Darling, courtesy of Billy Barton.
Photo by Edward L. Darling, courtesy of Billy Barton.


Another Ipswich Twilight League baseball team
Southside baseball team, Ipswich MA
The Southside team
This football team appears to be sitting across the tracks from the ball field. The hose drying tower of the Lords Square firehouse is in the upper left.
In 1910, John H. Cogswell , T. M. Lord and N. R. Underhill owned the lots that today are part of the 14 acre Bialek Park. Mr. Cogswell was a member of the School Committee, and died in 1911.
2016 Assessors map: the Town of Ipswich owns Bialek Park

The 1912 Ipswich Town Report shows the following expenditure for purchase of land to create the playground: to D.M. Smith (assumed administrator of the Cogswell property) and Thomas H. Lord. The town received an appropriation from the Boston and Maine Railroad, which abuts the property. The park was expanded at some later date.

1912 Ipswich Town Report

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s