“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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Videos - Short videos of Ipswich Trails and outdoor recreation in Ipswich - More than 50% of land in Ipswich is protected by the town, state and non-profit organizations, offering extensive trails we can explore alone or in small groups while we wait out the Coronavirus. Settlers and early inhabitants of Ipswich - The Puritan settlers of Ipswich arrived during the “Great Migration. Sources include "Early Inhabitants of Ipswich" by Abraham Hammatt, "Vital Records to 1850," and "Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony" by Thomas Franklin Waters. Self-guided walking tour of historic Ipswich - This extensive tour of Ipswich, Massachusetts begins at the Riverwalk Mural. Options are presented at various points that allow one to shorten the tour to the core of the historic district. Follow online or download PDF Plum Island the Way it Was - Published in 1993, this 100-page book is copied with permission from the estate of the late Nancy Weare. Read by scrolling this page, or click on any image to read as a slideshow. Old North Burying Ground - Established in 1634, the Old North Burying Ground in Ipswich, Massachusetts is one of the oldest cemeteries in North America. Local produce - Several farms, CSAs and sellers of local produce are located throughout Ipswich. Historic Districts - The contiguous historic neighborhoods of Meeting House Green, High Street, the East End, and the South Green are well-preserved streetscapes of 17th to 19th century private residences.
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 Ipswich Riverwalk mural - In 2005 EBSCO Publishing commissioned artist Alan Pearsall to paint a 2,700-square-foot mural on one of the old mill buildings occupied by the company in Ipswich. The mural is the centerpiece of the town's Riverwalk.
The plantations at New Meadows, now Topsfield - Large allotments of land in today's Topsfield were granted in the early 17th Century by the colony's leaders, comprising more than one-half of the town's present acreage. The persons who were awarded the lots, sometimes referred to as "king's grants" were merchants and men of influence and power who had joined the Massachusetts Bay Company during the Puritan migration. Ipswich Bluffs - The hotel at Ipswich Bluff on the southern tip of Plum Island was a favorite destination of locals in the late 19th Century, who took the steamer Carlotta from the Ipswich wharf with Capt. Nat Burnham. A town of immigrants - Puritans founded Ipswich during the “Great Migration” of the early 17th Century. Many residents of the town descend from immigrants who arrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to work in the mills. The Knobbs - The Knobbs is a small beach in a stretch of salt marsh on the west side of the Ipswich section of Plum Island. On the Atlantic side was the Kbobbs Beach Life-Saving Station, replaced in 1947 by a camp for children who had been victims of polio. The courtship and marriage of William Durkee and Martha Cross - William Durkee, an indentured Irish Catholic, and Martha Cross, the daughter of Robert Cross of Chebacco parish were servants in the household of Thomas Bishop in Ipswich. When Martha became pregnant by William, they were presented for fornication. The court ruled that they be punished and married. The Shatswell Fife and Drum Corps - In the fall of 1928, the Shatswell School Fife and Drum Corps was born. About 18 boys were signed up. All that autumn and through the winter the boys rehearsed in earnest. On May 30, 1929, the Shatswell Fife and Drum Corps made its first appearance in the Memorial Day parade. My Ipswich connections - "I suspect that thousands of New Englanders have their roots based in Ipswich. Is it possible that I was drawn here by deeply ingrained ancestral memories?" By Thomas Palance Remembering VJ Day – 75 years ago, August 14, 1945 - As a five year old growing up in West Lynn, I distinctly remember VJ Day. We lived within earshot of the two enormous GE factories in the city – the West Lynn and the River Works plant. The war was the backdrop to my early years.