10 County St., Ipswich MA

The John Dennis house, 10 County St. (c. 1750)

This house and the nearly identical Abraham Knowlton house at 16 County Street are among the oldest gambrels in Ipswich. Thomas Dennis purchased the corner lot in 1685 for his “new Dwelling house” and the property stayed in the Dennis family for several generations. Thomas Dennis was the famous 17th Century joiner whose home was at 7 County St. He and his wife Grace, who died in 1686, had three children, ThomasJohn, and Elizabeth, who married Ebenezer Hovey. Thomas jr. died in 1703, and his father died in 1708 at age 68. The property was inherited by the son John.

The Ipswich Heritage Trust attached a preservation agreement to 10 County St. after it renovated the house in 1964.

Stylistic evidence suggests that the present house was constructed in the mid-18th Century by John Dennis Sr.’s son, John (1708 -1773). He graduated from Harvard in 1730, and served as chaplain at Port St. George and Fort Frederick from 1737 to 1749. After returning to Ipswich, he became the town’s schoolmaster. The house has an elegant Jacobean central staircase, and heavily chamfered summer beams from the earlier house were reused in the basement to support the first floor joists. The house was later owned by Captain Ignatius Dodge, and is commonly called the Dennis-Dodge house. Read more about this house at the Historic Ipswich site.

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