57 North Main Street, the Day-Dodge House (1737)

The Ipswich Historical Commission presented the 2008 Mary P. Conley Preservation Award to Craig and Grace Hanson, owners of the Day-Dodge House. The unusual double house is at the corner of North Main and East Streets, with two entrances and asymmetrical bays. The corner at North Main and East Street is the oldest section and may have reused timbers from the barn constructed by Francis Wainwright at this location in 1696. Small beading on the summer beam in this oldest room attest to the early Georgian time period.

Day-Dodge house, 57 N. Main St. in Ipswich
Photo circa 1980 from the MACRIS site.

Thomas Franklin Waters recorded the history of this house:

“Col. Wainwright’s heirs sold a “certain piece of land” on the corner of North Main and East Streets, twenty-six rods, to Nathaniel Day, Dec. 12, 1737 (75:210). In the fashion of his time, when land was still to be had for the asking, Mr. Day made his petition to the Town, that as the Town had granted Mr. Wainwright a lot eighteen or nineteen feet by twenty-four, in 1697, and as he had purchased this of the heirs, as well as a part of the lot extending about seventy feet on said front, and as he was about to build a dwelling, he asked for more room (Town Record 1737). The house was built and stands today in somewhat enlarged form. Nathaniel Day died and his young widow inherited the house. (No structures are mentioned in the deed from the Wainwright heirs, but the room at the corner of N. Main and East St. has significant First Period elements.)

On Nov. 8, 1755, while she was still in her twenty-sixth year, intention of marriage with Isaac Dodge, then twenty-two years old, was published, and the marriage followed in due time. He became a prominent citizen. He was a member of the Committee of Correspondence and Inspection in the Revolutionary war, and attained a considerable property.

Col. Dodge bought the remainder of the Wainwright land, March 20, 1762. He died June 25, 1785, and his widow lived only until Sept. 22nd. Mrs. Dodge retained her ownership in the house and bequeathed the northeast end of the dwelling with land to her daughter Rebecca, the wife of Major Thomas Burnham, and the southwest end to her daughter, Priscilla Dodge, with land in the rear.”

Day-Dodge House, 57 North Main Street Preservation Agreement

This house is protected by a preservation agreement. Protected elements include:

  • The two facades facing N. Main and East Streets, plus the attached ell.
  • Central frame of the original 6 room 1720 dwelling
  • Wooden architectural elements of the front hall facing N. Main St.and the second story corner room, including molding, stairways, paneling, doors, paneling, and mantelpieces.


  • T.F. Waters, Ipswich in the Mass. Say Colony, vol. I, pp. 413-414.
  • Ipswich Historical Commission, Something to Preserve, pp. 69-70.
Post and beam construction in the ceiling of the oldest section of the Day-Dodge house, facing East St.
Post and beam construction in the ceiling of the oldest section of the Day-Dodge house, facing East Street

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