Crossing the tracks on High Street


William J. Barton wrote about this photo in 1963: “Upper High Street before the bridge was built over the Boston and Maine RR. The house on the left was the George Harris house, now owned by Lydia Harris.The barn, and then the old house; part belonged to Jennie Butler. The house across the track was Nat Burnham’s house, moved to Locust St. The house facing was on the corner of High and Town Farm Road, now on Locust St., and the front faces High under the bank of the road over the RR bridge. Photo by Edward L. Darling

The driveway for the John Kimball Jr. house, built in 1730 is actually the old High Street.

High Street originally continued straight at 110 High St. (the John Kimball Jr. house with the blue tree house) until the first bridge over the railroad tracks was constructed in 1906. From 1896 when the first trolleys came to town until the bridge was built ten years later, passengers had to unload here to switch from the trolley from the Georgetown trolley to continue through Ipswich.

When the first bridge was built the roadway was moved a bit to the east. The recently rebuilt bridge is in that same location.


The first bridge over the tracks at High Street was built in 1906


The 1910 map of Ipswich shows the old section of High St. and the new section with the bridge to its right.

Shown below is an old photo of High Street before the first bridge was built across the tracks. High Street crossed the tracks at grade and continued straight on what is now a dead end section of old High Street ending at Kimball Avenue.

High Street crossing before the bridge was built

High Street crossing before the bridge was built


These houses were removed to build the bridge. Note that the large brick house is somewhat similar to one still standing on the west side of the street north of the bridge.

This photograph was taken by George Dexter before the bridge was built. The house in the foreground is the Joseph King House, still standing on the west side of the street north of the bridge, which was moved to that location. The next house is Baker Sutton Antiques, still standing. Beyond it is Brown’s Manner, also still standing.

Read: The trolley comes to Ipswich, June 26, 1896

Categories: History, Roads

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