“A Reservoir of Early American History”

Ipswich, Massachusetts was founded in 1634 in an area the Native Americans called “Agawam.” The historic neighborhoods of Meeting House Green, High Street, the East End, and the South Green offer well-preserved streetscapes of 17th to 19th-century residences. Over 50% of land in Ipswich is protected by the StateTrustees of Reservations, Greenbelt, and the town’s Open Space program.

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Stories from Ipswich

A New England mailbox covered in snow The Great Snows of 2011 and 2015 - In New England we anticipate snowstorms with a mix of dread and glee.
Ipswich Village Schoolchildren Recollections of A Boy’s Life In The Village - This story was written by Amos E. Jewett in 1945. At the time, he was 83 years old. having been born in Ipswich Village, near Rowley, on June 16, 1862. 
Ipswich to Marietta Ipswich to Marietta, December 1787 - In December 1787, a group of Revolutionary War veterans and adventurers set out from Ipswich on an 800-mile journey through the wilderness by horseback and rafts to establish the first settlement in the Ohio Territory.
Winslow Homer, the Christmas Tree How Christmas came to Ipswich - Puritans shunned Christmas for its pagan roots, allowing only Thanksgiving as a time for feasting, and imposed a five-shilling fine on any persons found “observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or any other way.” A Cambridge Unitarian minister's family had the first Christmas tree in Massachusetts.
Ipswich MA Agawam Tercentenary plaque Early Ipswich, “A paradise for politicians” - Due to the small scale of the settlement, the settlers of Ipswich reproduced an English form of government from a far earlier time. The first public officials were the clerk, lot-layers and "The Seven Men" (selectmen). By the end of the next century, every industry was supervised by some public functionary.
Ships off Liverpool in the Great Storm of 1839 Awful Calamities: the Shipwrecks of December, 1839 - Featured image: Ships off Liverpool in the Great Storm of 1839, painted by Samuel Walters. From: “Awful calamities: or, The shipwrecks of December 1839: “It has probably never fallen to the lot of the citizens of New England to witness or record so many terrible disasters by sea in the […]
Anne Dudley Bradstreet, the colony’s first published poet - Often alone in Ipswich while her husband Simon was engaged in government, Anne Bradstreet wrote a collection of poems which was published in London in 1650 without her knowledge, "The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung up in America...by a Gentlewoman in these Parts."
Adrift on a Haystack legend Rowley Adrift on a Haystack, December 1786 - In a northeasterly storm in December, 1786 Samuel Pulsifer and Samuel Elwell of Rowley were digging clams, got caught in the storm, and took refuge in a stack of salt hay for the night. In the morning they found they had been set afloat!
Parsons Capen house Topsfield MA The ancient houses of Essex County - Historic houses in Amesbury, Beverly, Boxford, Danvers, Essex, Gloucester, Hamilton, Ipswich, Groveland, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, Salem, Topsfield, Wenham and West Newbury.
Ipswich in the 20th Century - In 1903 the Electric Light System was built. Workers went on strike at Ipswich Hosiery Mills in 1913. The town suffered through the Great Depression and two World Wars. The Old North and South Churches were destroyed by fires in 1965 and 1975.
Ipswich in the 19th Century - Chebacco Parish becomes the Town of Essex. The Eastern Railway and Ipswich Mills bring a resurgence of prosperity and the population doubles. After two downtown fires in 1894 the town builds a water system.
Engraving of Market Square in Ipswich from John Warner Barber’s Historical collections: being a general collection of interesting facts, traditions, biographical sketches, anecdotes, etc. relating to the history and antiquities of every town in Massachusetts,” published in 1839 Ipswich in the 18th Century - The Town devoted manpower and resources to the French and Indian Wars & the War for Independence. The town sank into economic decline and the Hamlet became the Town of Hamilton.
Ipswich in the 17th Century - Ipswich was settled in 1633 in an area the Native Americans called Agawam. The Town resisted the King in 1684 and its leaders were jailed. The Town experienced the pain of the Salem Witch Trials.
17th Century houses in Ipswich, Massachusetts - Ipswich has 59 houses built in the "First Period" of English construction, more than any other town in the country. View also 18th and 19th Century Ipswich houses.