The above closeup from the 1893 Birdseye map of Ipswich shows a new Victorian-era neighborhood between Central and Washington Streets. While the four traditional Ipswich neighborhoods on the National Register of Historic Places are included in the Ipswich Architectural Preservation District, the adjoining 19th Century neighborhood that includes Central, Manning, Mineral, Liberty, Maple, Brown and Washington Streets remains vulnerable to demolition and commercial development.
In the first two centuries after Ipswich was settled, much of the land between Washington and High Streets was a wetland with Farley’s Brook running through it.
After the railroad came to Ipswich in 1839, the center of commerce moved from North Main Street to Market Street, and marked the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The population of Ipswich swelled as immigrants came to work in the mills.
Worker housing was constructed in Pole Alley and former farmland creating the Mount Pleasant neighborhood, and are recognized in the National Register of Historic Places, along with High St., the East End, the South Green and Meeting House Green.
In the 1872 Ipswich map, Central Street had just been constructed. Manning High School opened two years later, and stores began to be constructed. Ipswich Town Reports during the second half of the 19th Century show payments for hauling gravel from the now-depleted gravel pits near Washington St. and Topsfield Rd. The Town experienced a building boom, and by 1884, the Victorian neighborhoods that line Central, Hammatt, Manning, Mineral, Brown, Cottage and Liberty Streets had been created. This distinctive Ipswich neighborhood is includes historic houses and streets, but has not received historic designation.
Brown Square and Granite Street