“High post” Capes, also known as “kneewall” capes are a variation of the Cape house dating back to the 18th Century, but came into their own from the 1830’s until the end of the 19th Century. Unlike traditional capes, in which the roof line begins just above the lower windows, the post and beam framing in a high-posted cape extends vertically past the first floor, increasing usable space on the second floor.
The knee wall on the second floor also created room for larger soffits, wider frieze boards and fenestration with small low windows. Ornamentation in early high posted capes tended to be minimal, but in the 19th Century featured elaborate doorway, window and cornice trim of the Greek Revival, Italianate, Victorian and Colonial Revival eras.
Nineteenth Century high-post Capes are found in several Ipswich neighborhoods, including “Ipswich Village,” East, Linebrook, Liberty and Maple Streets.
Curran house, 79 East St. (c 1870) - The 1872 Ipswich map shows a house with this configuration with the name T. Curran. Two acres "with the buildings thereon" at or near this location was sold for $100 by Timothy and Julia Curran in 1859 to Israel K. Jewett, who already owned adjoining property. 91 Old Right Road, the Jacob Potter house (c 1845) - This property is in the vicinity of several early Potter family homesteads. With wide exterior casings and pedimented window heads, the house is one of the more elaborate Greek Revival cottages in Linebrook. 87 High Street, the Sewall Jewett house (1830) - The heirs of John Lord sold the lot at 87 High St. to Sewall P. Jewett in 1830, which is the year in which the house is believed to have been built. At one time, this side of High Street was lined with homes owned by members of the Jewett Family. 8 Woods Lane, the James Peatfield house (1833) - James Peatfield purchased this lot on what was then called Fruit Lane in 1833, one of the earliest brick capes in Ipswich. He sold the house to Asa Kinsman in 1859, and built a large home at 46-48 Washington Street by 1860. 78 Washington Street, the Daniel Haskell House (1835) - The Federal trim and substantial chimneys identify this house as perhaps the earliest of the story-and-one-third 19th century cottages on Linebrook. It is uncertain which Daniel Haskell Sr. or Jr. was the owner. Records show that both died of dementia. 51 Linebrook Road, the Hart House (1678) - The oldest parts of the Hart House were apparently constructed in 1678-80 by Samuel Hart, the son of Thomas Hart, an Irish tanner who arrived in Ipswich in 1637. The two oldest rooms are exact duplicates of the originals, which were moved to museums in the early 20th Century. 5 Linebrook Rd., the Richard Lane house (1851) - Richard Rogers Lane built the house in 1851, He died in 1858, and his only child, Etta, inherited the house. which is mentioned in the 1898 deed when she sold it to Charles W. Woodbury. 419 Linebrook Rd., the Eliza Howe Perley house (1840) - This house was constructed by William Perkins Perley shortly after his marriage to Eliza Howe, and was described as "beautiful of situation" and picturesque. Mrs. and Mrs. Perley divorced in 1845, and she acceded to ownership and managed the farm, living there until over 90 years of age. 411 Linebrook Rd. (1938) - This house is said to have been constructed in 1938 to resemble the house at 419 Linebrook, incorporating similar features of the Greek Revival Vernacular style. 395 Linebrook Rd., the Alvin T. Guilford house (1835) - This house is one of several story-and-one-third cottages constructed in Linebrook in the first half of the 19th century. Alvin T. Guilford, who lived here throughout the second half of the 19th century, was a farmer and shoemaker. 347 Linebrook Road, the Foster-Conant house (1840) - This building is one of several story-and-one-third 19th century cottages in Linebrook, a popular building type of the mid-19th century. Cyrus Conant, the second owner is said to have been the strongest man in town and "could cut and pile four cords of wood in a day." 316 Linebrook Road, the John Peabody house (1850) - John Peabody married Eunice F. Conant, daughter of Joseph Conant and Ruth Guilford of Rowley. This house is believed to have been his cobbler’s shop. The house was recently enlarged and altered. 315 High Street, the Apphia Jewett house (1834) - The land in the vicinity of 315 High Street was owned by the Jewett family since it was purchased by Captain Moses Jewett in the third quarter of the 18th century. Olive Jewett married Captain George W. Howe of Rowley on November 26, 1835 and Captain Howe built upon the lot. 290 Linebrook Rd. the Chapman-Small House - The two-story farmhouse was purchased by Bradley Palmer from the Small family in the early 20th century and became part of his large country estate. It formerly served as forest headquarters and residence for the park superintendent. 114 High Street, the Tibbets-Fowler house (1860) - In 1906 the High St. bridge was constructed which isolated this section of High St. from the rest of the roadway. This Greek Revival cottage is similar to several mid-19th Century houses in Ipswich. 10 Summer Street, the Charles C. Cotton House (1841) - The 1832 Ipswich map shows no houses on this side of upper Summer Street, which served as the backyard gardens and orchards for the owners of houses on East Street. Ebenezer Russell of East St. sold Charles Cotton a rear portion of his East Street lot.
Saltbox and broken back Capes
An early form of the high posted Cape was for the purpose of adding saltbox or “broken back” extensions.
There are at least three rare examples in Ipswich.
The Louisa Wells house, 12 Warren Street (c1700) - The Ipswich town assessors site indicates that this small house was constructed in 1700. The building was moved a short distance from Loney's Lane to face Warren St. at the beginning of the 20th Century, 341 Linebrook Road, the Lot Conant house (1717) - Architectural evidence, family history and deed research indicate that the oldest (center) part of this house was the home of Lot and Elizabeth Conant, the first of that family in Linebrook, constructed in 1717.
Abbot Lowell Cummings wrote that “the hall/parlor layout with a central chimney serving both rooms was firmly rooted in East Anglia by the beginning of the seventeenth century. Carried across the Atlantic by the first colonists, the pattern has persisted through three and a half centuries and survives today in the American builder’s vocabulary of styles as Garrison, Colonial, and Cape Cod houses.”
93 High Street, the John Cole Jewett house (1813) - John Cole Jewett bought the High Street estate of Josiah Martin by 1767, when he was mentioned in a deed of an abutter. Jewett's heirs sold the property in 1813 to David Lord. Stylistic evidence indicates that the present house was built shortly before the 1813 transfer. 57 High Street, the Stone – Rust – Abraham Lummus house (c 1750) - This cape saltbox was built by Robert Stone and has many original features, including vertical feather edge sheathing. William Rust bought the house in 1851 and his heirs occupied the estate into the 20th century. The separate workshop/barn on the northwest corner is believed to be a former
cobbler shop, once connected to the house.
Prudence Fish wrote in Antique Houses of Gloucester, “The gambrel roofed story and a half cottages that dot the shoreline from Manchester to Cape Ann and all the way around our cape are the signature houses of Cape Ann… Strangely, there are only an occasional cottage here and there in (the rest of) Essex County. By 1800, the small vernacular houses once again were being built with pitched roofs although not a steep as in the first period. The new finishes reflected the Federal period and no more gambrel roofed cottages were built.”
9 Woods Lane, the Francis Merrifield – Mary Wade house (1792) - Francis Merrifield, Jr. bought this corner lot from his father in 1792 and built the gambrel cottage. Mary Wade, Jr., daughter of Col. Nathaniel Wade of Revolutionary War fame, bought the property in 1827. She bequeathed her estate to her nephew, Francis H. Wade. The house remained in the Wade family well into the 20th Century. 100 High Street, the Joseph Fowler house (1720 – 1756) - Joseph Fowler, a carpenter bought the lot in 1720. Records indicate that a house may have existed before Fowler obtained it. The house has a 1-1/2 story, gambrel roof with a central chimney and exposed “gunstock” posts.