The 1910 Ipswich map shows the house at 21 Spring Street in Ipswich as the summer home of MIT/Harvard professor George Fillmore Swain (1857-1931). The Ipswich Historical Commission database shows the date of construction as 1893-1910. (The Ipswich assessors site gives the construction date as 1860, which appears to be erroneous.) The 1893 Ipswich Birdseye map shows a house that might be the wood frame section (assumed to be older).
The Massachusetts Historical Commission MACRIS site contains the entry, “The Dow family bought this property in 1817 (213:138) which included an old dwelling house. The old house has since disappeared and Arthur Dow built the new mansion.” This appears to be a reference to the David Dow house at 17 Spring Street, which is also shown on the 1910 map. Thomas Franklin Waters wrote that “Mr. (David) Dow built the present dwelling (17 Spring St.) His heirs still own the estate.” Dow was employed in New York at Pratt and Columbia Universities but ran a summer art school in Ipswich on Turkey Shore Rd. from 1891 until 1907.
In 1894-1895, 435 Marlborough in Boston was the home of George Fillmore Swain and his wife, Katharine Kendrick (Wheeler) Swain. They previously had lived in an apartment at 409 Marlborough. Katharine Swain died in December of 1901. George Swain married again, in January of 1904, to Mary Hayden Lord, the daughter of William Safford Lord of Salem. The house on Spring Street in Ipswich was their summer home. Mary Swain died in April of 1914.
George F. Swain transferred the property by deed to Bertha B. Smith in 1916 (Salem Deeds).
The 1940 census shows Benjamin Perley Poore Moseley, 58 years old living on Spring Street with his wife, Elizabeth Whitwell Thomas Moseley, 4 sons, and daughter, and several servants.
The 1967 Salem Deeds shows the owner of this house as Elizabeth Moseley. The present owner is Ipswich Greek Orthodox priest.
A circle of trees on the property has been called a “witches circle” but the origin is unknown.