Polly Dole house

The Polly Dole house, 1687-1720

The house at 26 East St. exhibits early 18th Century interior features, but structural evidence, including a large walk-in fireplace, heavily chamfered exposed beams and an asymmetrical facade suggest that half of the house may have been constructed in 1687 for Deacon John Staniford (1648-1730) and his wife Margaret. In the mid-nineteenth century the house was owned by a woman named Polly Dole, which is how it acquired its name.

In the 1960s the house was purchased by John Updike, and it was here that he wrote some of his most popular works. Updike wrote the following about living in such a vintage Ipswich house: “Architectural conservation was freshly in the air; Ipswich’s old houses, left for centuries to fend for themselves, were no longer being torn down and, rather, were being fixed up by newcomers—commuters and artisans with beards, pigtails and a regard for history. We ourselves felt part, deeply and effortlessly, of the community because we owned a piece of its past, sleeping and eating in rooms where fourteen or so generations had left their scuff marks.”

Read more about this house at the Historic Ipswich site

2 thoughts on “The Polly Dole house, 1687-1720”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.