26 High Street, Ipswich MA

The Philip Call house, 26 High St. (late 17th Century)

The house at 26 High St. is on the site of a 2-story timber-frame home of cordwainer Philip Call constructed in 1659, and the left front rooms are traditionally said to be his home. Call died in 1662, and his widow married Henry Bennett, who owned a 200 acre farm on Fox Creek Rd.

Abbott Lowell Cummings researched the history of the house for a presentation to the Colonial Society in 1974 and determined that the left front rooms are a late 17th Century house that was moved to the present location:

“Philip Call, by will dated May 6, 1662, left a “House and Land” here valued at £40 to his wife, Mary, for life and then to his daughter of the same name who married first a Bowles and then, on December 31, 1685, Nathaniel Lord. Following the death of Call’s widow on January 12, 1708, Nathaniel Lord on March 29, 1710, conveyed to his “Son in Law” (i.e., step-son), Joseph Bowles, carpenter, of Ipswich, the Call property which by now consisted of land only, without a dwelling. The present house of single-room plan (perhaps subdivided) and chimney bay as first built, is earlier than 1710, dating rather on the basis of style to the last quarter of the seventeenth century, and the frame minus chimney was thus moved here from some undisclosed site following Bowles’ acquisition of the land. It is described as his “House Lott or homestead” on March 5, 1722/3, and later paneling in the chamber would seem consistent with this period.” Bowles’ descendants sold the property on April 25, 1798, to Ammi R. Smith of Ipswich, mariner. A two-story ell with leanto roof at the west end, if not earlier, was presumably added by Smith.”

Read more about this house at the Historic Ipswich site.

5 thoughts on “The Philip Call house, 26 High St. (late 17th Century)”

  1. I am very surprised that the Adele Crockett Robertson (author of the memoir, “The Orchard”) house at 232 Argilla Road in Ipswich is not presented here. Ms. Crockett Robertson was an amazing, strong and resilient individual whose story should be read and cherished.

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