Summer Street may be the oldest public way in Ipswich, and in the earliest days of the settlement was called Stony Street, or simply “The Way to the River. ” Thomas Franklin Waters wrote that for two centuries it was Annable’s Lane, named after settler John Annable. In the Colonial years, streets tended to be named for topographical features or for who lived on them. By the 19th Century, communities in New England were old and well-established, the origins of the early street names forgotten. Many towns, including Ipswich, renamed their thoroughfares with more universal names. The photo below is the west side of lower Summer Street, with the old road between the house and the current Summer Street. In the earliest years, the east side of lower Summer Street was mostly orchard.

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Ipswich Assessors map. The apparent addresses from the 1910 map are shown in red.

Map of the early lot assignments, from the book Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Map of the early lot assignments, from the book Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

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View from Turkey Shore. Photo by Edward L. Darling
View from Turkey Shore. Photo by Edward L. Darling

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Upper Summer Street
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Upper Summer Street by K. T. Morse
Summer Street by Arthur Wesley Dow
Lower Summer Street, by Arthur Wesley Dow
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Lower Summer Street, photo by Stoney Stone
11 Summer Street, the Nathaniel Hovey house (1718) - Nathaniel Hovey Sr. lived only to the age of 28, about the time of the birth of his son. Nathaniel Jr. in 1696. This house was probably built by the younger Hovey. The asymetrical layout of the front of this house suggests that it may have originally been built as a half house and expanded. A modified Beverly jog is on the left.
12 Summer Street, the Moses Harris house (1848) - The Moses Harris house at 12 Summer Street dates to 1848. The gable end of the house faces the street with pilasters surrounding the front door, the roof rakes and cornice returns are wide, and the trim is painted green, all typical of the Greek Revival architectural era. (This) Moses Harris was the son of … Continue reading 12 Summer Street, the Moses Harris house (1848)
15 Summer Street, the Jonathan Pulcifer house (1718) - Jonathan Pulcifer built this house in 1718 on Summer Street, one of the "oldest ways" in Ipswich. He was probably the grandson of Benjamin Pulsipher, an early settler of Ipswich who died in 1695.
16 Summer Street, the Nathaniel Treadwell house (c 1850) - The Ipswich database tells us the house at 16 Summer St. was built between 1845 and 1856 by Nathaniel Treadwell. There were many Nathaniel Treadwells in Ipswich, dating back to the 17th Century, and the Treadwell family is quite prominent in the history of our town. Two of the early Nathaniel Treadwells ran popular inns on North … Continue reading 16 Summer Street, the Nathaniel Treadwell house (c 1850)
19 Summer St. 19 Summer Street, the Solemon Lakeman house (1745) - According to Thomas Franklin Waters, this land was “owned or occupied by Solomon Lakeman in 1745.” The house is apparently second period, though the majority of its early detailing is concealed. The 1832 map shows the owner as “The widow Lakeman.” Sources: Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony Vol. 1, page 441. MACRIS 1832 map … Continue reading 19 Summer Street, the Solemon Lakeman house (1745)
Barton house, 24 Summer St., Ipswich 24 Summer Street, the William E. Barton house (1885) - An innovation of the Greek Revival period was building homes with the narrower front gable end facing the street on narrow lots. Larger Greek Revival Buildings were constructed with a temple-like façade. Vernacular Greek Revival houses were often painted white, and featured dark green shutters. The William E. Barton  house at 24 Summer Street in Ipswich was constructed in 1885, … Continue reading 24 Summer Street, the William E. Barton house (1885)
27 Summer Street, the Thomas Knowlton house (1688) - Humphrey Bradstreet. sold his house and land to Deacon Thomas Knowlton in 1646. In 1688 Knowlton passed his house and land to his grand nephew Nathaniel Knowlton with a new house erected on the property, and it is this house that survives today.
3 Summer Street, the Benjamin Kimball house (c 1720, alt. 1803) - The Benjamin Kimball House dates to about 1720 and was a 2 room cape moved to this location in 1803 and expanded at that time. The Benjamin Kimball house is late first period but has been altered with Georgian and Federal influences. The walls and roof are constructed of huge beams with mortise and tenon joinery, and the first floor outside corners have gunstock posts, evidence that they once supported the roof.
30 Summer Street, the Smith-Barton house (moved 1880) - Based on word of mouth, historic town maps and early photos, it seems certain that the house at 30-32 Summer Street in Ipswich was once the High Street home of Daniel B. Smith, and was moved to the current location in the 1880’s by B. John Conley. Information provided by Sue Nelson for the Ipswich Historical Commission dates … Continue reading 30 Summer Street, the Smith-Barton house (moved 1880)
Summer St. house Ipswich MA 31 Summer Street, the Bartlett house (c 1870) - The date of construction for the house at 31 Summer Street in Ipswich is listed as 1775 by the town assessors, but it first appears in town maps in 1872, owned by “E. Bartlett.” The Ipswich Historical Commission dates it to 1870. Although the house at first glance looks similar to those built in the … Continue reading 31 Summer Street, the Bartlett house (c 1870)
36 Summer Street, Ipswich MA 36 Summer Street, the John Brocklebank house (1856) - The house at 36 Summer Street was owned by George H. Brocklebank by 1884. The Town of Ipswich street directory for 1896 shows George H. Brocklebank, a mason, living on Summer Street. He received payments for masonry and other repairs from the Town of Ipswich for two decades. He was preceeded by J. Brocklebank, who owned … Continue reading 36 Summer Street, the John Brocklebank house (1856)
37 Summer Street, the William H. Jewett house (b 1872) - This elegant Cape Cod Colonial at 37 Summer Street first appears as the W. Jewett house in the 1872 Ipswich map, although the town website lists it as 1825. Like many capes from the Greek Revival era it features steep roof, story-and-a-half construction, a balanced facade, centered door with entablature and corner pilasters, dental molding and elaborate cornice … Continue reading 37 Summer Street, the William H. Jewett house (b 1872)
38 Summer Street, Ipswich MA 38 Summer Street, the William M. and Jennie Ellsworth house (1881) - This house was built by William Merrill Ellsworth and his wife Jenny (Lord) Ellsworth. The 1910 Ipswich map shows the house at #38 Summer Street as #36. (Some street addresses were changed in 1991 when the town adopted Enhanced 911). The 1884 map shows this house in the possession of W. Ellsworth. Two similar houses side … Continue reading 38 Summer Street, the William M. and Jennie Ellsworth house (1881)
39 Summer Street Ipswich MA, the Foster Grant house 39 Summer Street, the Foster – Grant house (1717) - In 1717 Nathaniel Knowlton sold a small lot to James Foster who is believed to have built the house. In 1826, the family sold to Ephriam Grant, and the house was long known as the "Grant house." Early Colonial features are preserved throughout the house.
40 Summer Street, the Denison Rust house (b 1872) - The construction date of the house at 40 Summer Street in Ipswich is listed by the Ipswich Historical Commission as approximately 1880. In the 1910 Ipswich map this house is #38. The 1872 and 1884 Ipswich maps shows the owner of the house on this lot as D. Rust. The 1910 Ipswich map shows the owner as V. … Continue reading 40 Summer Street, the Denison Rust house (b 1872)
43 Summer Street, the Wilcomb-Pinder house (1718) - This timber-framed First Period house was built in 1718 by William Wilcomb. The interior of the home features hand-hewn summer beams, wide plank flooring and the original fireplaces. The next owner, William Benjamin Pinder was a corporal with Col. Appleton’s company during the French and Indian War.
46 Summer Street, the James Foster house (1720) - James Foster bought this former orchard land in 1720 from Nathaniel Clark who moved to Newbury. The northwest side is the original half-house, which was doubled in size and remodeled to appear Georgian, with the two chimneys, dormers and a symmetrical front. The house was owned by the Soward family in the 19th Century, and partially burned.
5 Summer Street, the Widow Fuller house (1725) - The Widow Fuller house at 5 Summer Street was built in 1725. The first recorded mention of this property is in 1754, when Elizabeth Fuller sold a house and land to Thomas Treadwell (107:158). Stylistic evidence points to a construction date of c. 1725. Originally the house was one room deep, with a cased frame. The … Continue reading 5 Summer Street, the Widow Fuller house (1725)
Thomas Treadwell house, 7 Summer Street, the Thomas Treadwell house (C 1740) - The original house consisted of a large room with a chimney and entry at the right. Raised field wainscotting in this room is the most exceptional early second period feature. The house was altered in the mid-18th century, and the kitchen and small rear room are finished with trim from this period. In the mid-19th century new stairs and a new chimney were built.
Glazier house, Summer St. Ipswich 8 Summer Street, the Daniel Glazier house (1840) - Manning Dodge sold a part of his lot fronting on Annable’s Lane (Summer Streeet) to Daniel Glazier on July 20, 1835. Glazier built his house here soon thereafter, about 1840.

2 thoughts on “Summer Street

  1. Gordon, I have some incomplete and unverified information on 30-32 Summer Street. I am told by a former owner that it was moved to Summer Street around 1890 from High street, (possibly 27 High Street) I have also been told that 27 High Street was owned by John Conley of the local drug store prior to the move. The same neighbor also told me that when he was a boy (he was in his 90’s at the time) that the house was occupied by Civil War Veteran John Barton. If anyone has old pictures or information about either location I am interested.

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