Deeds and maps indicate that the house at 48 High Street was constructed between 1852 and 1856 by Samuel W. Baker after the 17th Century house built by William Baker was demolished as a fire hazard.
Thomas Franklin Waters wrote the following in “Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony“:
“Isaac Cozens: The corner lot on High Street and Mineral Street, sometimes called Dirty Lane from its wet and muddy condition, but commonly Baker’s Lane was sold by Isaac Cozens of Boston, locksmith to Robert Clemens Jr. of Haverhill, an acre of land with a shop and house, Feb. 4, 1656. ( Ipswich Deeds 1: 184 ) Later it was owned by Bridget Varney, who sold Andrew Peters the house he occupied with the shop, Nov. 2, 1663 (Ipswich Deeds Book 2; Page 243).
Andrew Peters sold to William Baker, house and an acre of land, excepting the cider mill, in the street called Hill St. the orchard of Mr. John Whittingham deed now Philip Fowler’s east and a lane or highway west, Nov. 22 1687. (or March 30, 1689: Deeds book 8, page 136)
William Baker, glover sold to his son John one full half of his homestead bounded northeast on High St., northwest upon the lane leading from High St. to Scott’s Lane, bounded southwest and southeast upon Philip Fowler’s land; John’s half is northeast half next to Fowler, also the brick house standing thereon, and also part of my now dwelling house” Aug. 15, 1723.
Samuel Baker, son or grandson of this John, sold Daniel Lord Jr. ‘part of the dwelling which was my father’s, John Baker bounded northeast by the Street, southeast by an alley leading to the fore door southwest and northwest by land of heirs of Wm Baker; also 4 rods in the rear opening on the lane Feb 1, 1794.’ (Ipswich deeds 171: 51). (*The 1832 map shows the “Lord House” in bold letters at this location.)
The brick house alluded to in the deed of William to John has left no trace of its existence, but the ancient John Baker house of the latter deed with its very conspicuous overhanging second story is well remembered by the older residents of the neighborhood.”
William Baker transferred the property to his son John in April, 1724 (Ipswich deeds book 43, page 50).
The ancient Baker house, believed to be straw-roofed was demolished in 1849. On August 13, 1849, all of the real property of William Baker “an insolvent debtor” was transferred for “one dollar and a half” to Stephen Baker (Ipswich Deeds book 415, page 80). A portion of the property was conveyed by Benjamin Smith, October 1949 to Stephen W. Baker. (*This was apparently the portion of the old house and property that had been sold to Daniel Lord. Jr., and thus returned full ownership of the house lot to the Baker family. The lot was divided, and Benjamin Smith is shown as the owner of the house on the adjoining lot at 39 Mineral Street. That house appears to be no longer standing ). Another deed shows transfer of a portion from Stephen Baker “late of Ipswich, died seized and possessed” to Samuel W. Baker, January 7, 1850. In May, 1852 the property was conveyed by deed from Samuel W. Baker to Samuel W. Baker (see Ipswich deed book 3093, page 93). In the 1856 map S. W. Baker is shown as the owner of a house on the lot, confirming that the present structure was built between 1852 and 1856. The owner of the house in the 1884 Ipswich map is R. Baker. The present house is shown in the 1893 Birdseye Map of Ipswich. The 1910 Ipswich map shows the owner as S. Baker. The extended Baker family retained ownership of the property until the mid-20th Century.