9 Poplar St., the William and Sarah Seward house (1873)

9 Poplar St., Ipswich MA

9 Poplar St.

Captain Ebenezer Caldwell purchased the John Calef house at 7 Poplar Street, along with several acres of land, and built a spacious mansion at 25 Poplar St..

The Captain’s daughter Mrs. Clarissa Caldwell sold a building lot out of the Caldwell land to Mr. William Seward Oct 15, 1873 (Salem Deeds site, Book 895 Page 191) in consideration of $50.00, in which Seward built the house at 9 Poplar St. The house is shown in the 1884 Ipswich map, under the name “W. Seward.”

William Seward died in 1891. In August 1896, Sarah Seward, wife of the late William Seward sold the house to George H. Green (1835-1923). (Book 1487, page 320) for $2500.00 “with a dwelling house thereon.” The 1910 Ipswich map shows the owner as George H. Green, who owned several abutting properties and was president of the Ipswich Savings Bank.

In March 1917, the property was transferred to Hattie Green (Book 2359, Page 485). The estate of Hattie Green sold the combined properties in 1923 to Agnes H. Morey (Book 2575, Page 141). The property was repossessed in the same year by the Ipswich Savings Bank (Book 2575, Page 141). Ownership for the next 30 years has not yet been researched.

Architectural Characteristics

The invention of machine-made nails and the distribution of standardized lumber after the advent of the railroad made balloon framed houses very popular, replacing the labor-intensive mortises and tenons used in post and beam construction. The house at 9 Popular St. has the vernacular “gable with ell” form that became quite popular from the middle of the 19th to the early 20th Century. Facing the gable end to the street made it possible to build houses with adequate side yardage on small square lots. In the side ell design, the front entryways were generally placed on the side porch rather than the front of the house, distinguishing them from the earlier Greek Revival era.

Architectural books and popular magazines promoted and sold varying designs based on this layout, along with the sale of prefabricated decorative elements. The exteriors of many were embellished with Italianate and Victorian themes. Vernacular Italianate elements in New England include ornamented windows and doorways,wide bracketed roof overhangs and a frieze at the top of the side walls. Inexpensive glass made it possible for Italianate window sashes to be the first to use single or two-over-two glazing. The arched attic window and bracketed lintels over the first floor windows are also common for this era.

Houses with the gable and ell form are found throughout 19th Century neighborhoods in Ipswich. Examples include:

The Mavroides family

On September 4, 1953, local realtors Audrey and Benjamin Davis sold “a certain parcel of land with the buildings thereon…for consideration paid” to William and Theodora Mavroides (Book 4007, Page 497).

Born in Newburyport, Mass. on March 5, 1925, William George Mavroides was the son of the late George and Kiriaki Mavroides of Greece. On April 19, 1953 he married Theodora Geanakos, who he met at a Greek picnic. They settled in Ipswich and were together for 65 years before Dora passed away in 2018. William George Mavroides passed away on July 12, 2019. The Mavroides family continues to own the property, which was transferred by William G. Mavroides to William S. and Kimberly Mavroides in 2014.

#9  and #11 Poplar St. are circled in the 1893 Ipswich Birdseye map.