“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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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.… Continue reading Settlers and early inhabitants of Ipswich
The Ipswich Museum Publications of the Ipswich Historical Society - The Ipswich Historical Society was founded in 1896. In 2010, the Ipswich Historical Society was renamed the Ipswich Museum, featuring two significant properties, the Heard House built in 1800, and the Whipple House, dating to 1677.… Continue reading Publications of the Ipswich Historical Society
Preservation Agreements - Since 1969 the Ipswich Historical Commission has been responsible for a voluntary program of binding Preservation Agreements between the Commission and over 40 homeowners to preserve the structure's architecturally significant features.… Continue reading Preservation Agreements
Old North Burying Ground, Ipswich MA Old North Burying Ground - Established in 1634, the Old North Burying Ground in Ipswich, Massachusetts is one of the oldest cemeteries in North America. … Continue reading Old North Burying Ground
Caleb Kimball "house with orange shutters" 18th Century houses in Ipswich, Massachusetts - In addition to dozens of houses with First Period elements, Ipswich has a wealth of houses constructed in the 18th Century.… Continue reading 18th Century houses in Ipswich, Massachusetts
17th Century houses in Ipswich, Massachusetts - Ipswich is believed to have 59 houses with elements of "First Period" English construction, of which approximately 3 dozen date to the 17th Century. View also 18th and 19th Century Ipswich houses.… Continue reading 17th Century houses in Ipswich, Massachusetts
Ipswich MA settlers maps Land grants & homes of the early settlers of Ipswich - Photos of houses and tombstones of the early inhabitants of Ipswich and their descendants, with maps of the lots granted to the settlers.… Continue reading Land grants & homes of the early settlers of Ipswich

Worcester patriots “A State of Nature”, Worcester in 1774 - "In Worcester, they keep no Terms, openly threaten Resistance by Arms, have been purchasing Arms, preparing them, casting Ball, and providing Powder, and threaten to attack any Troops who dare to oppose them....the flames of sedition spread universally throughout the country beyond conception.” -Gen. Thomas Gage… Continue reading “A State of Nature”, Worcester in 1774
Intolerable Acts The Intolerable Acts of 1774 - Despite the failure of the Stamp Act and the Townshend Acts, the British Parliament responded to the "Boston Tea Party" by passing even more restrictive acts to punish the American extremists.… Continue reading The Intolerable Acts of 1774
Winslow Homer, the Christmas Tree How Christmas came to Ipswich - Puritans shunned Christmas for its pagan roots, allowing only Thanksgiving as a time for feasting, and imposed a five-shilling fine on any persons found “observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or any other way.”… Continue reading How Christmas came to Ipswich
John Freeman, an African American Revolutionary War soldier from Ipswich - John Freeman, son of enslaved Peter and Jane Freeman of Ipswich, enlisted into the militia of the Revolutionary War in the year 1777, and served in Rhode Island, Providence and Cambridge.… Continue reading John Freeman, an African American Revolutionary War soldier from Ipswich
Chebacco women build a meetinghouse The women of Chebacco build a Meeting House - When Chebacco Parish (now Essex) began building their own meeting house, Ipswich authorities obtained an order that “No man shall build a meeting house at Chebacco.” Abigail Proctor saw a glaring legal loophole...… Continue reading The women of Chebacco build a Meeting House
Puritans torturing quakers Persecution of Quakers by the Puritans - Beginning in 1656, laws forbade any captain to land Quakers. Any individual of that sect was to be committed at once to the House of Correction, to be severely whipped on his or her entrance, and kept constantly at work, and none were suffered to speak with them. In Ipswich,  Roger Darby his wife lived on High St, and were warned, fined and dealt with harshly.… Continue reading Persecution of Quakers by the Puritans
The intersection of Market Square and Market Street in Ipswich Self-governed at Market Square - Newcomers and visitors to Ipswich inevitably suggest installing a traffic light at the confusing intersection of Market, Central, North Main and South Main Streets, but most people agree it would be a bad idea.… Continue reading Self-governed at Market Square
Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving Traditional American Thanksgiving in Art and Song - Among America’s most beloved 19th century renderings of Thanksgiving Day are Currier & Ives lithographs, Grandma Moses’s paintings, and Lydia Marie Child’s famous poem/song “Over the River and Through the Wood.” In the 20th Century, Norman Rockwell depicted an idealized version of American Thanksgiving. By Helen Breen… Continue reading Traditional American Thanksgiving in Art and Song
Sullivan's Corner, Ipswich MA Sullivan’s Corner - For eight decades the Sullivan farm in Ipswich, MA practiced a pre-modern way of life. The two sisters who took over their father’s family farm in 1916 were also teachers and principals in the Ipswich schools.… Continue reading Sullivan’s Corner
Ipswich Wharf early 20th Century Along the Ipswich River - Historic photos of the Ipswich River from original glass negatives taken by early Ipswich photographers Arthur Wesley Dow, George Dexter and Edward L. Darling. … Continue reading Along the Ipswich River
Eal of the Town of Ipswich MA, "Birthplace of American Independence" The Birthplace of American Independence, 1687  - The important events I shall describe were a mere tradition in the town where I was born. It was almost a revelation, when, in later years, I found unquestioned historical records deserving of national attention.… Continue reading The Birthplace of American Independence, 1687 
Sidney Shurcliff Riverwalk The Sidney Shurcliff Riverwalk - In 1984, the Town of Ipswich laid a sewer along an old footpath beside the Ipswich River between The County St. and Green Street stone arch bridges. In 1998 the Mass. Highway Dept. completed construction of the Sidney Shurcliff Riverwalk, due in part to efforts by Sidney Shurcliff's sister Alice.… Continue reading The Sidney Shurcliff Riverwalk

3 thoughts on ““A priceless reservoir of early American history””

  1. Bravo, yes, to all the information, so beautifully presented, about those of us with ancestors who lived for many years in the beautiful town. Many thanks!

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