In the late eighteenth century, Ipswich had 600 women and girls producing more than 40,000 yards of lace annually. Ipswich industrialists imported machines from England to mechanize and speed up the operation, which destroyed the hand-made lace industry.
A nine-page presentation to the Ipswich Historical Society by Jesse Fewkes, April 13, 1903.
On October 30, 1789, Washington passed through Ipswich on his ten-day tour of Massachusetts. Adoring crowds greeted the President at Swasey’s Tavern (still standing at the corner of Popular and County Streets) where he stopped for food and drink.
After the first stocking machine was smuggled from England to Ipswich in 1822, immigrants arrived in Ipswich to work in the cotton and hosiery mills, contributing to the town’s diverse cultural heritage.
Photos from Ipswich 17th Century Day, Olde Ipswich Days, the 300th Anniversary of the founding of Ipswich, and the Town’s Tercentenary Celebration in 1930.
Excerpts from a paper by the Ipswich Historical Society, and links to articles on this site,
This self-guided walking tour of historic Ipswich, Massachusetts begins at the Ipswich Visitor Center on South Main Street and the Ipswich Museum facing the South Green. Many of the First and Second Period houses in the town are visited along with sites of special historic, architectural or natural […]
High Street in Ipswich has the largest concentration of First Period houses in America, along with dozens of other homes from the Colonial era.
In 1654, Cornelius Waldo sold to John Caldwell for £26 the house and land he bought of Richard Betts. Caldwell removed the old house and built the present house with massive summer beams, a huge fireplace, a very substantial house of the 1660s.
Throughout the Revolutionary War, Joseph Hodgkins sent letters home from the battlefronts to his wife, Sarah, detailing the desperate troop conditions and longing for home. The physical letters are preserved and are offered here online, transcribed with grammatical corrections for readability
In response to the Townsend Acts, the women of Massachusetts set themselves vigorously to the making of cotton and woolen fabrics in their homes, that there might be no sale for English goods.
The Rev. Joseph Dana served the Second Congregational Church at the South Green from 1765 until his death in 1827 at age 85. Rev, Dana’s tombstone in the Old South Cemetery reads: “In memory of the Rev Joseph Dana D.D., for sixty-two years, Minister of the South Church. […]
On June 10th, 1776, the men of Ipswich, in Town-meeting assembled, instructed their Representatives, that if the Continental Congress should for the safety of the said Colonies declare them Independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain, they will solemnly engage with their lives and Fortunes to support them in the Measure.
Lord Timothy Dexter of Newburyport was insane but profited from everything he undertook. He declared himself to be “the greatest philosopher in the known world.” His book, “A Pickle for the Knowing Ones” is a collection of whatever entered his head at the moment, spelling as he wished, and devoid of punctuation.
Joseph Ross (1822-1903) is best known for designing the first movable span bridge in the country, which he patented in 1849 at the age of 26, and became the most common railroad bridge type in the Boston area. His corporation Joseph Ross & Sons was highly successful.
At the foot of Hovey Street along the Ipswich River is a plaque dedicated to the memory of Ipswich settler Daniel Hovey, whose home and wharf were across the river on what is now Tansey Lane.
This Victorian home was built by Joseph Ross, who designed the country’s first movable span bridge, which he patented in 1849 at the age of 26. His horizontally folding drawbridge became the most common railroad bridge type in the Boston area.
Six parallel streets, 1st Street to 6th Street plus Estes and Kimball Streets were laid out by the Ipswich Mills Company to provide housing for their workers, many of whom were Polish. Most of the houses were purchased by residents when the mill closed in 1928.