The Ipswich Public Safety Facility Committee has reached an agreement with the Boston Catholic diocese to purchase four to five acres on church-owned land at the intersection of Pine Swamp and Linebrook Roads for a new public safety building. A portion of the land is currently used as a community garden. If approved at town meeting in May, 2020, the Town would pay the Catholic Church $630,000 for the land, which would house a new combined police and fire station.
In 1963 the Diocese purchased 5 acres on the southwest side of the intersection where they constructed Our Lady of Hope Church, along with the 11.9 acres on the southeast side, where a community garden is currently located. The lot has never been developed and appears to have been used as a hayfield by the Lord and Ellsworth owners of the old farm.
In the 19th and 20th Century the intersection was sometimes referred to as “Lord’s Corner.” The last private owners of the land were William F. “Willie” Ellsworth and Hannah Ellsworth, who inherited the Lord farm, although it is unclear if they lived on the property. Mr. Ellsworth, also a farmer, was a descendant of Wilbur Fiske Ellsworth who was born in Ipswich March 30, 1843, and served for many years with the Ipswich fire department. He was the fourth son of Benjamin N. Ellsworth, the esteemed Ipswich lightkeeper, and was the brother of Civil War hero Thomas Ellsworth.
Wilbur Fiske Ellsworth married Elizabeth Lord, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ebenezer Lord, and brother of Thomas R. Lord. They inherited the Ebenezer Lord Farm at the intersection of Pineswamp and Linebrook Roads in Ipswich, now the location of the Catholic Church. (*Thanks to Laurie Short Jarvis for this information about her great-grandparents.)
The Central Street Fire Department building was constructed in 1907 for horse-pulled fire engines. The Police Department on Elm Street was built to house the Electric Department, which is now located on upper High Street. Selectmen of the town of Ipswich submitted a plan at the 1953 annual Town Meeting to extend the Central Street fire station, which would have included offices for police, parking for cruisers and ambulances and a 22′ x 34′ courtroom for the Clerk of Courts. The proposal was rejected at Town Meeting. In 2014, Town Meeting rejected a study for combined facilities on Elm Street.
- Minutes of the Ipswich Public Safety Committee meeting
- Photo collection of the Ellsworth Family
- The Robert Lord Family of Ipswich
- Genealogical and Personal Memoirs: Lord family
- Elizabeth Ellsworth obituary
- Lot sale by Ebenezer Lord to Thomas R. Lord, (with the exception of property of Ellsworth) October 25, 1887: Salem Deeds, book 01211 & page 278
- Sale by Lord / Ellsworth descendants to Ebenezer and Thomas Lord, August 27, 1879, Salem Deeds book 01023 & page 119
- Sale of 2 parcels by Walter Ellsworth to the Roman Catholic Diocese: June 27, 1963: Salem Deeds, book 5076 & page 356