In the 1960’s, Howard Ferguson and Gardner Damon started the Kings Rook in a funky old building just beyond the Choate bridge on South Main Street, put together from pieces of other buildings by an antiques dealer named Ralph Burnham early in the 20th Century. Good coffee and cocoa were served, two fireplaces kept it warm in the winter, and music could be heard through the open windows. Many famous musicians played their tunes to Ipswich ears, including Tom Rush, Richard and Mimi Fariña, Judy Collins, the Cryan’ Shames and Paul Butterfield.
In 1969 Phil Cole purchased the building, renamed it Stonehenge and continued the musical fare. The J. Geils Band, the original Modern Lovers, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Boz Skaggs, Bo Diddley, Al Kooper, Commander Cody and The Lost Planet Airmen, Billy Squier with The Sidewinders, Leo Kottke, John Lee Hooker, Martin Mull, Michael Nesmith (from The Monkees), The Velvet Underground (without Lou Reed), Liv Taylor, John Hammond Jr., Pearls Before Swine, Mimi Fariña , Bonnie Rait, Tim Hardin, The Holy Modal Rounders, Jon Pousette-Dart, Fairport Convention, Matthews Southern Comfort, the Jackie Lomax Band and Harry Chapin all played at the Stonehenge Club.
The glory days did not last long, however, and by 1972 the music was gone. The building later became the Carriage House Restaurant before it was demolished. The site is now a professional building, but the new building on that site adopted some of the same architectural features.