Col. John Baker was born Feb. 2, 1721, and married Eunice Pope on Nov. 4, 1745. In 1761 he purchased the home of the late Rev. John Rogers on the South Green. Although Thomas Franklin Waters wrote that Baker replaced the old house with the present house, the following structural observations are more typical of houses built before 1720, leaving open the possibility that he restored and remodeled the earlier home, adding fine Georgian features to the interior.
- Asymmetrical front facade with one room depth
- Steep roof without soffit or cornices
- Massive central chimney
- Oak frame
- Bake ovens at the rear of a large cooking fireplace
- Boxed transverse summer beam in the front living room
Col. Baker was the town clerk for many years and a justice of the Sessions Court. During the Revolution, he was on the town’s Committee of Correspondence, and commanded a regiment. feoffee of the Grammar School, and Justice of the Sessions Court, He and his wife Eunice had twelve children. He is buried at the Old South Cemetery just a short distance from the house.
This was the 19th Century home of an invalid, Lucretia Brown, who was convinced by Mary Baker Eddy that Daniel Spofford of Newburyport was exercising mesmeric powers upon her. At the courthouse in Salem, nearly two centuries after the witchcraft hysteria, Judge Gray declared that it was not within the power of the Court to control Mr. Spofford’s mind and the case was dismissed due to “defects in the writ.”
Read more about this private residence at the Historic Ipswich site. This house has a preservation agreement with the Ipswich Historical Commission.