Millend Ipswich by Martin Van Buren PerleyHistory

“Mill End” Ipswich

Excerpts from “Millend, Ipswich” by M.B.V. Perley, 1901

“Millend” was located about the Saltonstall Mill (*the present location of the EBSCO and the Mill District). The ground has become historic. There planted the first Samuel AppletonJohn Whipple, and Richard Saltonstall; there the river was first dammed for grist and saw mills.

The location of Mill street is not a difficult task, when assisted by a map of the town-center, made in 1717 . The map was prepared by those who felt aggrieved by the denial of a right of way by Beamsley Perkins, and was then of sufficient accuracy to be used in court when the case of the right of way was tried.

In locating the map, Scott’s Lane” is the present Mineral Street, Mill Street of 1635-40 was the Scott’s Lane of 1717, and the Washington Street of the present day. It was the street, and the only one, that led to the mill, at that early period. The road that led to the west (formerly known as Willowdale Road and now Topsfield Road) was called “highway to the common” land, and there was no street corresponding to our Market street. There was doubtless a footpath through the swamps, but there was no street till 1640 or later.

Millend Ipswich 1635

Map of the mill end of Ipswich in 1640

Says the record: “Jan. 11, 1639, Mr. Appleton shall make a sufficient cart bridge over the swamp toward the mill and maintain and repair the same at his own charge for seven years next following, and have added to his six acre lot above the mill one and a half acres, to begin where that begins and end at the brook where that ends.”

All roads then led to church and to mill, the two prime factors in Puritan living. The Appleton bridge would be an expeditious connecting of Meetinghouse Green and the mill by opening a way into Mill Street. “The highway to the common” led from the mill direct; there was no road over the hill along the upper part of our Market street ; none there was needed.

Closeup of the Mill District from the 1832 Ipswich map

Closeup of the “Mill End” area from the 1832 Ipswich map

How Beamsley Perkins Blocked the Way

A crude map was drawn and provided to the magistrates in 1717, showing the houses and house lots on Market Street and Washington Street, and the ancient foot-way, which had been obstructed by Capt. Beamsley Perkins, whose home was where Central Street now intersects North Main Street.

An ancient way in Ipswich MA

One of two maps the petitioners provided in their suit against Beamsley Perkins.

A note appended to the map reads as follows:

“Some part of this draft was done by rule so as to be sufficient to show what was it petitioned for. Manning’s lot, in which is the compass, as record said, hath Sherard’s lot northeasterly, the highway so westerly, which must needs be meanat the way leading from Scot’s Lane up to Quilter’s house and barn, which barn stands on Manning’s lot and so according to the draught runs into the lane called Pinder’s lane (by Graves land) comes into the broad common called Meeting House green, where the meeting house is.”

“These lots here marked out to signify how far to the meeting house; it is either to go in the lane by Baker’s or in Scot’s Lane up to the meeting house further than in the way petitioned for, for from the brook against French’s comer it is thirty rods that the way is stop’t, 22 rod of ye thirty is fenced out and apple trees in some part set where we used the way to go to meeting, as our predecessors did before us, without molestation which 30 rods is in the possession of Captain Beamsley Perkins, who it is molests us, the lots of Proctor and Ausgood being in his possession. And the squared logs that were laid over the brook and the low watery mirey ground to the brook have been taken from thence.

“Then this draught does but only signify such a way for a foot way in ancient times granted and used by a considerable number of the town inhabitants, but now deny’d to be and molested therein by Captain Beamsley Perkins.”

beamsley-perkins-map-2

The Petitioners provided a second map with similar information. The map shows the ancient path from Quilter’s lot crossing through today’s Brown Square and Hammatt St., crossing today’s Central Street on what would become Wilde’s Court and Loney’s Lane. Captain Beamsley Perkins had come into possession of the land that is now Central Street, fenced it and removed the logs that had long been used as a rudimentary path.

Further Reading:

 

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