In 1673, two fishermen, Andrew Diamond and Henry Maine, arrived together in Ipswich. William Roe and Obadiah Wood conveyed to Andrew Diamond and his business partner Henry Maine, land and a house on Water Street. They had previously purchased a house together in 1660 on the Isles of Shoals. Thomas Franklin Waters wrote:
“William Roe came from the Isles of Shoals and bought a house and lot by the river bank in 1671 which he sold two years later to two other fishermen from the same islands, Andrew Diamond and Henry Maine. Capt Diamond became an important citizen and his name is still attached to the outlying island part of the ancient Robert Paine farm where he established his fishing stage. Henry Maine, reputable citizen so far as we know has attained mythical renown as an evil-doer and suffers endless punishment shovelling the shifting sands on Ipswich bar.”
About a mile and a half heading out along the Ipswich River, Mr. Diamond set up a fishing stage, a platform on which fish are landed and processed for salting and shipping, and became quite successful and respectable. A road was built through the marsh to the stage, following today’s Newmarch Street and Arrowhead Trail. Fishing became a successful early industry, and wharves were built on the Necks and at Diamond Stage in the 17th and 18th Century.
In 1689 Robert Paine purchased land on Jeffreys Neck Road known today as Greenwood Farm, and constructed a new road to his farm which is today’s Jeffreys Neck Road. The old road gradually went out of use, but traces of the roadbed are visible crossing the tidal creek. His extensive properties included the small tidal island where Henry Diamond established his business. Diamond Stage is shown on the Ipswich maps through 1856.
Andrew Diamond, born in Devon, England, 1642 married Joan Grant in 1668 in Smuttynose, Isles of Shoals, and became a merchant of considerable worth and property after moving to Ipswich. He was on a committee appointed to assign stations at the Neck for fishermen, and was appointed to a seat among the most considerable of the inhabitants in the new meeting house, with the title of “Mr.” The Diamond Stage became a well-known wharf.
Andrew Diamond first married Joan Grant, and later Elizabeth Elliot of Marblehead. After his death at Smuttinose in 1707, the house was transferred to her, including “all the household stuff, money, plate etc.” A year later she married Rev. Theophilus Cotton of Marblehead, but she died in 1710, and a deed shows the property is transferred to Theophilus Cotton. The silver plate mentioned in the will was created by silversmith Jeremiah Dummer of Newbury, and bears a monogram of AJ over D for Andrew Diamond, and survives today. It recently sold for $149,000 through Christie’s Auctions.
The Diamond lot was purchased by Samuel York by 1713, who is believed to have built at least a portion of the house still standing at 36 Water Street, dividing the rest into two small lots he sold to Jabesh Sweet and Daniel Ringe, whose houses still stand today.
Harry Maine was a different story. The old Ipswich legend is that he began salvaging wrecked ships, and was found guilty of being a mooncusser (purposely causing ships to wreck by building fires at night to confuse the captains, then plundering the ships). As punishment he was chained to a stake on Ipswich Bar at low tide and allowed to drown. His ghost was said to haunt his house on Water Street until it was demolished around the end of the 19th Century.
Whether there is any truth to the story of Harry Maine will probably never be known. Thomas Franklin Waters was skeptical. A lot belonging to John Gratchell of Marblehead was “sold to Henry Maine of Marblehead April 30, 1683, and Mr. Maine, for a similar consideration, conveyed it to John Roads Jr. of Marblehead, Nov. 29, 1684.” This is the only other 17th Century reference to a Henry Maine, but by the following century there was a large family by that name in Marblehead.
- Waters, Thomas Franklin: Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony Volume 1
- Waters, Thomas Franklin: Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony Volume 2
- 1832 Ipswich map
- 1856 Essex County map
- Hammatt, Abraham, the Early Inhabitants of Ipswich, Massachusetts
- FindaGrave: Elizabeth Cotton
- Geni.com: Andrew Diamond
- Miner Descent: Diamond of the Isles of Shoals
- The Maine Historical and Genealogical Recorder, Volume 3
- Salem Deeds: Andrew Diamond to Elizabeth Diamond to Theophilus Cotton
- New England Marriages Prior to 1700
- Christie’s Auctions
- Historic Silver of the Colonies and Its Makers
- The Pioneers of Maine and New Hampshire
- History of Marblehead