The date of construction for the house at 31 Summer Street in Ipswich is listed as 1775 by the town assessors, but it first appears in town maps in 1872, owned by “E. Bartlett.” In 1856 much of the property on this side of Summer Street was owned by J. Jewett. The wide frieze with corbels, and the capitals at the top of the corner boards are representative of 19th Century Italianate houses.
Thomas Franklin Waters wrote a history of this lot in Vol. 1 of Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony:
- Bethiah Fitz, July 4, 1822 (257: 277) sold to Isaac Stanwood, and the description of the land in the deed shows that it abutted on Green Lane and Shipyard Lane (245: 288). Stanwood retained a lot on the Green Lane side, and sold the balance, a little more than an acre, to John How Boardman, May 15, 1826 (245: 74).
- Aaron Cogswell inherited and sold a building lot to John Jewett, another to James H. Staniford, and the lowest in the Street to William H. Jewett. Houses were built on these lots.
- From 1866 – 1876 James H. Staniford transferred lots on Summer Street to Augustine and Mary Staniford. Augustine transferred his properties in 1876 and 1879 to Mary Staniford.
- Ezekiel Bartlett sold this property on Summer Street to Frederick Willcomb in 1872, who still owned the house in 1884.
The Ipswich Historical Commission dates the house to 1870. Although the house has a typical Georgian facade, the decorative brackets under the soffits and porch roof are Italianate, suggesting the mid-19th Century.