“A priceless reservoir of early American history”
Ipswich, Massachusetts was founded in 1634 in an area the Native Americans called “Agawam,” and is America’s best-preserved Puritan town. The historic neighborhoods of Meeting House Green, High Street, the East End, and the South Green are well-preserved streetscapes of 17th to 19th-century residences, with more “First Period” houses still standing than any other town in the country. Opposition by the people of Ipswich to a tax imposed in 1687 is commemorated in the seal of the town of Ipswich, with the motto, “The Birthplace of American Independence 1687.”
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The Central Street Victorian neighborhood - Central Street was laid out in 1870, Manning High School opened 4 years later, and stores began to be constructed. By 1884, the Victorian neighborhoods that line Central, Hammatt, Manning, Mineral and Liberty Streets had been created. Old North Burying Ground - Established in 1634, the Old North Burying Ground in Ipswich, Massachusetts is one of the oldest cemeteries in North America. Ipswich First Period houses (before 1725) - The First Period of colonial American architecture was approximately 1626 through 1725. There are more remaining first Period houses in Ipswich than anywhere else in the country.
The Choate Bridge - The American Society of Civil Engineers cites the Choate Bridge in Ipswich as the oldest documented two-span masonry arch bridge in the U.S., and the oldest extant bridge in Massachusetts. The dunes at Castle Neck - Crane Beach and all of Castle Neck are protected by the Trustees of Reservations. Pitch pine and scrub oak rise from the masses of marsh grass, sage green hudsonia and dune lichen lining the trails that wind through the dunes. Ipswich in the Revolutionary War - On June 10th, 1776, the men of Ipswich, in Town-meeting assembled, instructed their Representatives, that if the Continental Congress should for the safety of the said Colonies Declare them Independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain, they will solemnly engage with their lives and Fortunes to support them in the Measure. Let’s Go Walking……. After Midnight…… - Up for a walk tonight? How about joining me on a late-night beat shift in the early 1980’s? When you’re from a place and stay put, you pay attention to things. It’s the stuff of life that let’s you know where you belong. Hammatt Streer, Brown Square and Farley Brook - Until the second half of the 19th Century, much of the area bounded by Central Street, Washington Street, Mineral Street and Market Street was a wetland with an open sewer known as Farley Brook running through it. 1793 and 1818: the “Burden of the Poor” divides Ipswich into 3 towns, Ipswich, Hamilton and Essex - As the people of the Hamlet were financially stable, the burden of taxation for the support of the poor in the old town of Ipswich was considered to be an unjust imposition. The leaders of the parish petitioned Ipswich to be allowed to incorporate as the new town of Hamilton. 25 years later, the men of Chebacco petitioned the Legislature for incorporation as a separate town, and to not be held for any part of the new establishment for the relief of the poor in Ipswich. The following year, Chebacco Parish became the Town of Essex
The Boy Who Couldn’t Remember - Ezekiel Cheever was the first Ipswich schoolmaster, followed in 1660 by Schoolmaster Andrews. An unfortunate but mischievous lad was the nemesis of the esteemed Mr. Andrews. Shay’s Rebellion - On the last Tuesday of August, 1786 some 1500 armed insurgents took possession of the Northampton Court House, initiating a brief war known as Shay's Rebellion. Ipswich Open Space drone videos - Drone tours of four Ipswich Open Space conservation properties, created with Ipswich ICAM and Open Space Program intern David Bitler. A good year for history - 2020 may have been lousy, but it was a good year for researching history. This year the site had 461,493 page views and 70,000 more visitors than last year. Bruce Laing - Bruce Laing will be missed. He was one of the first people to offer articles for the Historic Ipswich website, and was instrumental in creating the inventories of internments at the oldest burying grounds in Ipswich.. Prominent Members of the early Ipswich bar - Ipswich boasts a long line of legal luminaries – lawyers and judges – going back to the dawn of the Town’s existence. Not only is this the “Birthplace of American Independence” but the home to many notable statesmen, and the caliber of the bench and bar of a people is in part a measure of the quality of the culture.