51 East St., 1845 (demolished)

The house at 51 East Street in Ipswich was demolished

The Brockelbank-Ross house at 51 East St. was demolished in 2005

The condo at 51 East Street was constructed in approximately 2006, after the Brocklebank-Ross house was demolished.

The Brocklebank-Ross house and barn at 51 East St. were demolished in 2006 and replaced with the present structure. The mid-19th Century house was similar to the one still standing at 48 East St. Sue Nelson did an architectural study of the house for the Ipswich Historical Commission, excerpts copied below:

The Brocklebank-Ross house was constructed between 1845 and 1849 by John F. Brocklebank. It appears to be of post and girt construction based on the boxed vertical posts visible in the interior rooms. It retains its modest Greek Revival facade as well as original Greek Revival fireplace mantels, interior and exterior moldings, windows, paneled doors, and entry hall with newel post. The rear “ell” was attached to the house by at least 1872, as it appears in a map of that date. It was a part of the six-lot group developed as a set of houses with similar architectural styles in the mid-19th Century. The house is a contributing element to the East Street historic streetscape and the East end Historic District.

Ipswich historian Thomas Franklin waters tells us that the chunk of land on which the house stood was part of a larger undeveloped lot known as “Knowlton’s Close” until 1844. In that year John Sawyer, who had come into possession of the land, sold it to Josiah Caldwell. In 1845 John Fowler Brocklebank became the first to receive a portion of the newly subdivided lot. The deed required Brocklebank to allow Daniel L. Willcomb a right of way across the lot for six months to “cart on and off lumber.” By 1848 all but one lot of the rest of “Knowlton’s Close” had been sold.

Once described as a “mariner,” by 1855 Brocklebank was a shoemaker. In October 1870, John and Hannah Brocklebank sold their home to the Ross siblings, Elizabeth Ross, Lucy M. Wait, John T. Ross, Lucy A. Wilcomb and William P. Ross. The William Ross family seems to have lived in the house from at least 1872 onwards.