The Open Doors of Ipswich house tour is Saturday September 23 from 10 am to 4 pm. Once every two years we get the opportunity to go inside some of the oldest and most modern homes in Ipswich, with a wide range of architectural styles and iconic views of Ipswich.
Proceeds from the tour benefit projects throughout Ipswich related to beautification and tourism.
Volunteers are needed: Volunteer form
- View all of the 2017 houses
- Purchase tickets
- This year five historic houses are included in the 10-house tour:
The Foster Grant house sits on a visible remnant of one of Ipswich’s oldest thoroughfares – Annable’s Lane, nestled alongside modern Summer Street. Today, celebrating its 300th birthday, Foster Grant house features 7 working hearths (3 with bake-ovens), original summer beams, hand-planed panels, extensive gardens and separate hand-hewn timber frame studio, and a just-completed renovation that creates fresh kitchen and family space in the midst of preserved 18th-century features
Situated on the corner of County Road and Summer Street, the Dennis-Dodge House is a stunning example of the 2nd period in American building. Built in 1740, it has been preserved and restored through the efforts of the Ipswich Heritage Trust and previous owners. The delightful stair-rail was carved by descendants of the celebrated joiner, Thomas Dennis who lived further down County Street. Paneling in the front hall was left unfinished due to a “family squabble”. Original Georgian paneling remains in two front rooms.
The John Kendrick House, built in 1665, spans Hovey street from County Street down to Water. The home was renovated by prior owners with the assistance of Ipswich architect, Chris Doctor. The priority during the renovation was to preserve the historic elements while providing modern amenities and a spacious gourmet kitchen. The current owners recently renovated the antique living, dining and pub room. The house features many historic details, including original fireplaces, Indian shutters, exposed beams and posts.
On Jeffrey’s Neck Road, the Nathaniel Scott house, on property deed by King Charles II. Thomas Treadwell owned and operated a farm here for the latter part of the 17th century. The farm “was above the ordinary.” The farm continued in the Treadwell line for nearly two hundred years. Nathaniel Scott was a worthy successor to this goodly line. Twenty-four long years, Mr. Scott worked on the upland and the marsh. He built this house in 1838 and ten years later, on April 3, 1848 he sold the farm to George Hodgdon, who had married Scott’s daughter, Sarah, Sept. 1, 1831. The stewardship of the house passed through several families to the current owners, who have maintained and restored the residence with original fireplaces, ovens, beams, moldings, flooring and perfections for today.
The Waldo-Caldwell House at 33 High St. was restored in the mid-20th century to its original form, exposing a huge walk-in fireplace, massive chamfered summer beams which are exposed throughout the house. Hand-wrought rose-headed nails still secure the plank steps of the attic stairway. Simon Bradstreet, who became Governor of Massachusetts, and his wife Anne Bradstreet, America’s first published poet, lived in the first home on this site from 1635 to 1644 before moving to Andover. This house is recorded as having been built by Richard Betts or Cornelius Waldo in 1652 and was sold in 1654 to John Caldwell. The house is protected by a preservation agreement between the owners and the Ipswich Historical Commission.