5 Wildes Court, the James H. and Frances Lakeman house (circa 1900)

5 Wildes Court, the James H. and Frances Lakeman house (circa 1900)

Wilde’s Court

Until the early 20th Century, Central and Hammatt Streets did not exist. A muddy path extended from Loney’s Lane from North Main St. over the Farley Brook wetland to Washington Street. William Brown purchased the area between Depot Square and Farley Brook (which now flows underground). The east end of what is now the Hammatt St. parking lot from Central Street to Farley Brook was owned in the last half of the 19th Century by Dr. Asahel H. Wildes and his descendants. From 1881 to 1886, several parcels fronting Central Street were sold by the estate of Asahel H. Wildes. In 1895 Blanche and George Wildes sold a lot at #1 Wildes Way (*Salem Deeds). Sometime after the 1884 Ipswich map, several houses were built or moved to Wilde’s Court. Only two houses now remain on Wildes’ Court. The large house on the right in the map above is behind Marcorelle’s.

hammatt_parking_before

Houses once lined Wildes Court into the present Hammatt St. Parking lot. This photo was taken from the roof of the Tyler Building, which was built at the corner of Market and Central Streets in 1907.

The house is at 5 Wildes Court, attached to Super Subs, is painted white in the photo above. The house does not appear in the 1894 Birdseye map. In the year 1900, Blanche and George Wildes sold the lot to Frances and James Howard Lakeman (*Salem Deeds). The lot with a house was owned by J. H. Lakeman in the 1910 map. Lakeman was appointed Ipswich Postmaster in 1914 and served in that capacity until 1923. On August 2, 1916, J. H. Lakeman and his wife transferred the deed for 5 Wildes Court to Annie A. Gaudette (2338, 530).

The house sits beside Farley’s Brook, which was an “open sewer” before it was buried underground from Central Street to where it empties into the Ipswich River behind Market St. The brick foundation of this house is about 3′ above grade, suggesting that Farley’s Brook sometimes overflowed, or that the grade was altered when the parking lot was constructed.

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