4 Highland Ave., the George & Elizabeth Spencer house (c 1910)

4 Highland Avenue, Ipswich MA
4 Highland Ave.

The Ipswich Patriot Properties site gives an approximate construction date of 1907 for the house at 4 Highland Ave. in Ipswich, which is confirmed by a deed search.

 1893 Birdseye Map of Ipswich
Screenshot from the 1893 Birdseye Map of Ipswich. The adjoining land and house at 6 Highland, was owned by George Spencer (2) in the 1910 map and is still standing.
  • 1881: George Spencer (1) mortgaged to Ipswich Savings Bank a parcel of land for $800.00 (Salem deeds Book 1061, Page 183).
  • 1883: George Spencer sold for $1000 a piece of land with a dwelling house and other buildings (apparently#6) to Winthrop Low ( Salem Deeds Book 1193, Page 114).
  • The 1884 Ipswich map shows Spencer owning a house at Spring Street, but does not show Highland on the map.
  • Spencer’s heirs deeded all or part of the remaining estate to his son Dr. George A. Spencer in 1897.
  • George A. Spencer conveyed to George Spencer the property at 4 Highland through quitclaim, September 1906 (Book 1824, Page 18). This coincides with the assessors date of 1907 for the house. However, the 1910 Ipswich map still shows a utilitarian structure at the location of today’s 4 Highland.
  • George A. Spencer (now living in Sacremento), and his wife Elizabeth conveyed to Hyman and Dorothy Schwartz the lot at 4 Highland with buildings thereon, September 23, 1927 (Book 2742, Page 47) noting that it was the same premises conveyed to him by his father. Quitclaim covenants are included but no price is given.
  • Hyman and Dorothy Schwartz mortgaged with the Ipswich Savings Bank (Book 3009 Page 14) a house, listing all the fixtures etc., including supplies designed for construction, repair and remodeling on the premises, September 1934 for $2500.00.
  • Hyman Schwartz subdivided and sold to Hanford and Helen Thurber in 1952. (Salem Deeds Book 3912, Page 451).

Based on the maps, deeds and other information above, a conclusion can be made that George Spencer (#3) constructed the house after his father deeded the lot to him in 1906, and after publication of the 1910 Ipswich map but well before the 1927 transfer to Schwartz. An examination of exterior and interior finish details may help provide a more exact date.

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