First Period

An introduction to First Period architecture in Ipswich

The Field Institute is a program designed to expand the interpretive themes of the Salem Maritime and Saugus Ironworks National Historic Sites to a larger, regional scope with the Essex National Heritage Area.

Of the roughly 300 houses that were constructed (in part of in whole) during the first century of English settlement of Massachusetts, 59 are in Ipswich. In this presentation, Gordon Harris, Ipswich town historian and a member of the Historical Commission, demonstrates features to help you identify First Period structures based on appearance, layout, and details that distinguish them from the succeeding Georgian era. Diagrams demonstrating First Period construction techniques will be accompanied by exterior and interior photographs from several of the best-preserved Ipswich First Period houses. View also Gordon’s interview with Kevin OConnor at This Old House.

Categories: First Period

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7 replies »

  1. Terrific presentation Gordon. Thanks very much for putting all this together for us. Now maybe I won’t have to finish Cummings’ book.

  2. How fortunate Ipswich is that Gordon chose to live here. I am grateful to be able to see this interesting, knowledgeable presentation by our very own expert.

  3. Gordon, A most interesting segment. .I so wish I could talk to the old folks, as my late husband’s family included Adams, Goodhue, Whipple, Knowlton families. Thank you for all your research that you share with us.

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