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.
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.
View from Turkey Shore. Photo by Edward L. Darling
Upper Summer Street
Lower Summer Street, by Arthur Wesley Dow
Lower Summer Street, photo by Stoney Stone
10 Summer Street, the Charles C. Cotton House (1841) - The 1832 Ipswich map shows no houses on this side of upper Summer Street, which served as the backyard gardens and orchards for the owners of houses on East Street. Ebenezer Russell of East St. sold Charles Cotton a rear portion of his East Street lot.
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 asymmetrical layout of the front of this house is because Hovey built a half house and expanded it later. A modified Beverly jog is on the left. 12 Summer Street, the Moses Harris house (1848) - Moses Harris married Emily A. Cotton, age 18, the daughter of Charles and Abigail (Jewett) Cotton who lived next door at 10 Summer St., on Oct. 5, 1848, and built this house soon thereafter. His grandfather, Captain Moses Harris served in the Continental Army and died on board a British prison ship in New York in 1783. 13 Summer Street, the Daniel Clark house (1872) - This lot with a house was purchased by Daniel Clark, in 1872. The old house is believed to have been moved to 5 County Street, and the present house was erected. It served as Phillip Clark's funeral home. 14 Summer St., the Ezra Lord House (c 1850) - This was the childhood home of Walter Ezra Lord, who established himself in a general dry goods business in Ipswich. He served 5 years as a selectman, and in 1895 was chosen representative of Ipswich in the lower house of the General Court. 17 Summer St., the William and Margaret Chapman house (after 1832) - Margaret L. Chapman, wife of William Chapman, died Nov. 21, 1889, aged 80 yrs, 10 mos. William Chapman, son of Jedediah Chapman, died July 24, 1899, aged 86 years, 3 months. 24 Summer Street, the William E. Barton house (1885) - This house first appears in the 1884 Ipswich village map under the ownership of J. E. Barton. In the 1910 map it belongs to William J. Barton. Although it was constructed in 1885, the architectural style is similar to the earlier Greek Revival period. 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. 30 Summer Street, the Smith-Barton house (moved 1880) - The house at 30-32 Summer Street may have been the High Street home of Daniel Smith, and was moved to the current location in the 1880’s by John Conley. The house was occupied by Civil War Veteran John Barton. 31 Summer Street, the Bartlett house (c 1870) - Ezekiel Bartlett sold this property to Frederick Willcomb in 1872. The decorative brackets under the soffets and porch roof are Italianate, suggesting a mid-century construction. 36 Summer Street, the John Brocklebank house (1856) - The Brocklebank family in Essex County traces its roots to John Brocklebank Sr. born about 1630 in Yorkshire, England, who moved with his wife Sarah to Rowley, MA in 1657. Jenny Ellsworth came into possession of this house and 38 Summer St. in 1930. 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 a steep roof, story-and-a-half construction, a balanced facade, centered door with entablature […] 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. 4-6 Summer Street, the Cotton-Nourse house (1840) - Ebenezer Russell sold this lot to Charles C. Cotton, Feb. 27, 1840. Cotton built a double house, and sold half of the house with a partition running through it, and half of a barn to Foster Russell and Daniel P. Nourse in Feb. 1841. Cotton retained half of the house, but by the late 19th Century the house was owned solely by the Nourse family. 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) - In 1754, Elizabeth Fuller sold this house and land to Thomas Treadwell, who also owned the house at 7 Summer Street. Stylistic evidence points to a construction date of c. 1725. Originally the house was one room deep, with a cased frame. An ell was added at the turn of the 19th century. 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. The sloop, "Endeavorer," under Capt. Thomas Treadwell, was included in the fishing fleet of 1716.