217 Argilla Road, the Townsend house (1902)

Dr. Charles Townsend house, 217 argilla Rd. Ipswich

The Dr. Charles Wendell Townsend house at 217 Argilla Rd.

In 1892 Dr. Charles Wendell Townsend and his family began spending summers on Argilla Road, staying at Smith’s Boarding house. He built his house a decade later. Townsend is known for his nature studies of the sand dunes and wildlife at Crane Beach and Plum Island. Dr. Townsend died in 1935, and the house was sold to his sister Gertrude in 1940, but the family continues to own part of the land.

Charles Wendell Townsend

Born in Boston, November 10, 1859, Charles Wendell Townsend, M.D. was attracted by the natural beauty of Ipswich. He built a summer house on a ridge overlooking a wide expanse of salt marsh with open sea to the east. From here he wrote a number of books, including Beach GrassSand Dunes and Salt Marshes, and the Birds of Essex County. Wendell was a charter member of the Essex County Ornithological Club, a member of the Boston Society of Natural History and at the time of his death, a director of the Massachusetts Audubon Society.

Sand Dunes And Salt Marshes is available through Amazon.com

Thanks to Kellscraft.com for text and pictures from Wendell’s book, Sand Dunes and Salt Marshes, which you can read with the following links, or by flipping the pages in the embedded book below.

PREFACE
I. SAND DUNES
II. TRACKS AND TRACKING
III. VEGETATION IN THE DUNES
IV. LAND BIRDS OF THE DUNES
V. SWALLOW ROOSTS AND SWALLOW MIGRATION
VI. WATER BIRDS SEEN FROM THE DUNES
VII. THE HARBOR SEAL
VIII. SALT MARSHES
IX. SALT MARSHES — THEIR PAST AND FUTURE
X. BIRDS OF THE SALT MARSHES
XI. THE HORSESHOE CRAB AND OTHER DENIZENS OF SAND AND MUD
XII. BIRD GENEALOGY