Until the end of the 19th Century, The section of Argilla Road near the intersection with County St. was known as School Street, as shown in the 1884 map. The town’s first primary school was near this intersection, and indeed the South Green was long known as School House Green. Historic Argilla Road crosses pastures and deep woods, then opens up to a scenic vista of the Great Salt Marsh and the ocean on its way from South Green to Crane Beach.

The 1832 Philander map of Ipswich shows Argilla Rd. as School Street

Argilla Road drawing by Arthur Wesley Dow

In 1899, Ipswich Artist Arthur Wesley Dow sketched “The Long Road: Argilla Road, Ipswich” in which he depicts a gravel road with a path running parallel as it was before the automotive age. Dow created several woodcut prints of the scene depicting the walking trail converging with the road in the distance. More recent efforts to create a walking/cycling path from downtown Ipswich to Crane Beach along Argilla Road succumbed to opposition by some residents of the road.

The old Argilla Road bridge over Fox Creek

The 1891 map shows the rest of the road as “Beach Street.” The 1910 Ipswich map is the first to label the entire road with the name Argilla. The origin of the name is explained by Thomas Franklin Waters in the book, Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, published in 1910. “There were ways to the Labour-in-vain fields, and to the Heartbreak Hill lands, “Old England,” as we call it now, and to Chebacco (Essex). One of these is known now, as from the earliest days, as Argilla Road. He writes that John Winthrop Jr., founder of the town, received a 300-acre lot, which he transferred to Samuel Symonds, and which came to be known as “Argilla Farm,” named for the type of clay that abounds in the region around Heartbreak Hill. The word has its origin in Ancient Greek ἄργιλλος ‎(árgillos, white clay, potter’s earth)

Argilla Farm Ipswich Arthur Wesley Dow
Argilla Road, with Argilla Farm on the right in the distance. Photo by Arthur Wesley Dow, from cyanotype image.
Argilla Road, Blizzard of 1932

Along Argilla Road

This is a view of the South Green, looking from the former South Congregational Church, which burned in the 1970’s. Argilla Road begins at the house on County Rd., visible on the left.

The South Green was originally known as School House Green. Many of the most important early settlers received grants of land here. Maplecroft Farm: A 2009 Ipswich town meeting voted to purchase and place conservation restrictions on 247 acres of . The Essex County Trail Association (ECTA) maintains a 1.4 mile walking trail through the property from Argilla Road near Heartbreak Hill to Rt. 133 at Raymond Field. This is a working farm– dogs and bikes are not permitted. View the trail map for Maplecroft Farm.

Hamlin Reservation

Hamlin Reservation This former coastal farmland is now protected by the Trustees of Reservations and is open to visitors, providing access to the salt marsh via a dike path that leads to a loop trail around Eagle Island. Gently rolling fields and marsh meadows at the provide a home to bobolinks and small mammals in this remote area isolated from the modern world. Hamlin Reservation map

russell_orchardRussell Orchards has been a working farm since 1920 and has 120 acres of fields, gardens, orchards, and barns. The Essex County Greenbelt Association established an agricultural restriction on the land so that it can never be developed. The Russell family welcomes visitors to the farm store during regular store hours. Other areas are open to paying pick-your-own customers during designated hours.

Crane Estate 

Crane Beach at the end of Argilla Road was voted the most popular beach in the Boston area in a recent poll. The extensive beach, 5 miles of dune trails along Castle Neck and the Crane Castle are managed by the Trustees of Reservations.

crane_estateCastle Hill was owned by a succession of farmers before , J. B. Brown transformed Castle Hill Farm from an agricultural holding into a gentleman’s farm and built the house now known as The Inn at Castle Hill. Richard T. Crane Jr. purchased the property in 1910 and built his grand estate, Crane Castle, grounds and gardens. First and Second Period Houses on Argilla Road, with address, name of original owner, and dates of construction.

Argilla Farm 107 Argilla Road, Argilla Farm (1785) - The Ipswich Historical Commission “Partial List of Historic Houses” prepared by Susan Nelson dates the house at 107 Argilla Rd. to 1785 with later alterations. Thomas Franklin Waters wrote the following for the Ipswich Historical Society in December 4, 1899: “Allen Baker built the substantial hip-roofed farm house nearby early in the present (19th) century. The Allen … Continue reading 107 Argilla Road, Argilla Farm (1785)
12 Argilla Rd., Ipswich MA 12 Argilla Road, the N. J. Bolleg house (c 1900) - The first known owner of this house is N.J. Bolleg, who resided here in 1910. The house is a fine example of a Queen Anne Cottage. Hallmarks of this house include a wealth of shingle types and an exceptional shingled carriage house in the rear which retains a cupola. Sources: Margaret Welden, MACRIS Ipswich Business … Continue reading 12 Argilla Road, the N. J. Bolleg house (c 1900)
13 Argilla Rd., Ipswich MA 13 Argilla Road, Thomas and Elizabeth Brown house (c 1844) - Although this house has a late Federal appearance, it was built about 1844.  The simple exterior is enlivened by later Victorian additions, including two door hoods with elaborate scroll brackets decorated with incised floral motifs and sunbursts. Mr. T. Brown is the first known occupant of the house (shown in a map dated 1856).  This … Continue reading 13 Argilla Road, Thomas and Elizabeth Brown house (c 1844)
George Dexter house, Argilla Rd., Ipswich 15 Argilla Road, the George Dexter house (1893) - George G. Dexter, artist photographer, built this classic Queen Anne house on property formerly owned by Henry L. Ordway. The house is an exuberant example of this style and many typical Queen Anne features have been incorporated into the design. These include various shingle types, asymmetrical massing, an offset bay with a prymidal cap and … Continue reading 15 Argilla Road, the George Dexter house (1893)
The Isaac Goodale house, built in 1668, was moved to this location at 153 Argilla Road 153 Argilla Road, the Isaac Goodale House (1695) - This colonial home was built in West Peabody in approximately 1695 by Isaac and Patience Cook Goodale. In 1928 it was reconstructed at 153 Argilla Road near Russell Orchards in Ipswich by Robert Lincoln and Susan Goodale. First Period elements include 5 fireplaces and a large central chimney, diamond leaded pane casement windows, hand carved … Continue reading 153 Argilla Road, the Isaac Goodale House (1695)
155 Argilla Road, Asa P. Stone house (b. 1839) - The house at 155 Argilla Rd. is believed by the current owner to have been moved from its original location in Newbury MA to its present site on Argilla Rd in Ipswich. The date that of the building’s original construction is not known, but the move happened before 1839. The Ipswich town site dates the … Continue reading 155 Argilla Road, Asa P. Stone house (b. 1839)
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 … Continue reading 168 Argilla Road, the Tilton-Smith house (c 1720)
Samuel Wade - S. F. Canney housse, 17 Argilla Rd. 17 Argilla Road, the Samuel Wade – S. F. Canney house (1785) - The S. F. Canney house, 17 Argilla Rd. was built by Samuel Wade in 1845. The steep pitched gables are typical of the Gothic Revival style, popular between 1840 and 1865. Most surviving examples exist in northeastern states where architects first popularized the style. In 1849 Samuel Wade sold to Sylvia, Priscilla, and Mary Wade a … Continue reading 17 Argilla Road, the Samuel Wade – S. F. Canney house (1785)
Stephen Smith farm, Argilla Rd. 178 Argilla Road, the Stephen Smith house (1742) - Sagamore Hill, which is near Fox Creek and Argilla Roads, was originally apportioned in small tillage lots to a considerable number of owners. Thomas Wells left two sons, Thomas and Nathaniel. Thomas quitclaimed his portion to his brother, in 1669. Thomas Wells sold Abraham Tilton Jr., his farm, described as “part of ye farme which my … Continue reading 178 Argilla Road, the Stephen Smith house (1742)
178 Argilla Road, circa 1900 188 Argilla Road, the Oliver Cogswell house, 1815 - Thomas Wells began acquiring land near Heartbreak Road in 1644, and his two sons extended the holdings along Argilla Road. Part of the Wells farm was sold by Nathaniel Wells in 1809 to Oliver Cogswell, who built this dwelling about 1815. The house was owned later by Mr. Alvin Story (1832-1896), and in the early … Continue reading 188 Argilla Road, the Oliver Cogswell house, 1815
232 Argilla Road, the Patch-Brown-Crockett house (c 1760-85) - The Federal-style Patch House at 232 Argilla Road was built between 1760 and 1800. It is a short distance from Castle Hill, which was bequeathed to Ipswich founder John Winthrop Jr. In 1644 Castle Hill was sold by Winthrop to Samuel Symonds, who sold it in 1660 to his stepson Capt. Daniel Eppes, and it … Continue reading 232 Argilla Road, the Patch-Brown-Crockett house (c 1760-85)
280 Argilla Road, the Inn at Castle Hill (1860) - Information is provided by the Trustees of Reservations While their grand “Italian Villa” at the top of the hill was under construction from  1910–1912, Richard T. Crane, Jr., and his family spent summers in this cottage. The cottage was originally built as a farmhouse in the mid-1800s. In 1899, businessman John Burnham Brown inherited the … Continue reading 280 Argilla Road, the Inn at Castle Hill (1860)
43 Argilla Road, the Giddings – Burnham house (b 1667) - The earliest section of the Giddings-Burnham House at 43 Argilla Road in Ipswich was built in the mid-17th Century by carpenter George Giddings who immigrated from Norfolk, England. The earliest documentation for this property was the deed of sale between George Giddings and his brother-in-law Thomas Burnham in 1667. The original part of the house … Continue reading 43 Argilla Road, the Giddings – Burnham house (b 1667)
50 Argilla Road, the Burnham-Andrews house (1815) - The Burnham-Andrews farmhouse at 50 Argilla Road was built in approximately 1815 at the end of the Federal era. Two large additions on the rear right appears to be pre-1900’s. In the 1832 Ipswich map, Thomas Burnham owns the ancient 1660 Giddings-Burnham house which still stands at 43 Argilla Rd. The Burnham farm at one time stretched … Continue reading 50 Argilla Road, the Burnham-Andrews house (1815)
Samuel Kinsman house, 53 Argilla Rd., Ipswich 53 Argilla Road, the Samuel Kinsman house (1750-77) - The Samuel Kinsman house at 53 Argilla Road appears as a late Georgian / early Federal period home, generally dated at 1750 with a 1777 wing on the east end. The front rooms in the main house have original interior sliding shutters. The dining room features exposed beams that are part of the 1750 post … Continue reading 53 Argilla Road, the Samuel Kinsman house (1750-77)
Castle Hill and the Crane Estate - In 1634 the  Ipswich selectmen unanimously voted "That the Neck of Land whereupon the great Hill standeth, which is known by the name of the Castle Hill, lying on the other side of this River towards the Sea, shall remayne unto the common use of the Town forever." In 1639 the Town deeded Castle Hill with nearby meadow and marsh to John Winthrop, Jr. to persuade him to stay. Winthrop sold the property to Samuel Symonds, and left town.
George Haskell house, 66 Argilla Road, Ipswich MA George Haskell house, 66 Argilla Road (1855) - George Haskell, a native of Ipswich or Newburyport, constructed the large white house on Argilla Road at the base of Heartbreak Hill in 1855-56. By profession a lawyer, he was a trustee of the Ipswich Public Library. Information provided by John McGrath: George Haskell established an  orchard at this location.    Very much a gentleman … Continue reading George Haskell house, 66 Argilla Road (1855)
Hamlin Reservation The Hamlin Reservation, 110 Argilla Rd. - The Hamlin Reservation in Ipswich is a 135 acre former coastal farmland, with a rocky forested island surrounded by salt marsh, now owned by the Trustees of Reservations. The historic dike connecting the mainland to Eagle Island crosses marshland and was built to give grazing livestock access to the island. Remnants of old stone walls exist and … Continue reading The Hamlin Reservation, 110 Argilla Rd.

Leave a Comment

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.