Featured image: Ipswich woodcut, 1838 attributed to S. E. Brown.

North Main Street starts up the hill directly across from Market Street, bears left at Meetinghouse Green and continues to an abrupt stop at the point where High Street and East Street merge. This neighborhood was once the religious, governmental and commercial center of Ipswich. During the seventeenth century, a meeting house, jail, fort, town pound and stocks were located here. Later the Post Office, Probate Court, Ipswich Female Seminary, Agawam Hotel and several commercial structures surrounded the Green. The most successful businessmen in Ipswich built fine Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate and Victorian homes on North Main Street.

Boston was only three years old when the Governor and Council of the Massachusetts Bay Colony resolved to “hasten the planting of Agawam.” John Winthrop, Jr., the Governor’s brilliant, eldest son, led the expedition in March of, 1633. The first houses were “wigwams, huts, and hovels” built against the hillside near what is now the Town Wharf. Meetinghouse Green on Town Hill was the governmental center for early Ipswich. By order of the General Court, dwellings had to be within one half mile of the Meeting House at Meeting House Green. A meeting house was built here by 1636, surrounded by a high wall to protect them from the ever-present danger from Indian attacks. Several churches have stood at this same spot.

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In 1636, a court was located near the present site of the Public Library, and lawyers stayed across the Green at the Treadwell Inn. During the seventeenth century, a meeting house, jail, fort, town pound and stocks were located here. Later the Post Office, Probate Court, Ipswich Female Seminary, Agawam Hotel and several commercial structures surrounded the Green.

The boundaries of Meeting House Green were determined over 300 years ago and have remained nearly the same to this day. Commencing south from High St., the bound­ary line runs to the corner of Central Street and North Main, west to the corner of North and South Mains, and north to High St., thus encircling the Green and North Main Street. The Meeting House Green District includes thirty houses, three churches and the town library which are sited around the steep, rocky Green itself and along Main Street. It encompasses a wide range of architectural styles with approxi­mately half of the structures dating from the eighteenth century and half from the nineteenth.

Postmaster Luther Wait standing in front of the Post Office that was at one time in the group of low buildings shown in the photo above.
photos of historic Ipswich Massachusetts
The old Gothic style Congregational Church is in the center of this view of the North Green. The Ebenezer Stanwood house on the left is currently being renovated.
photos of historic Ipswich Massachusetts
Left to right, the Nathaniel Wait house, the Methodist ChurchOdd Fellows Building,  Ipswich Public Library, and the Ascension Church visible behind the Library.
photos of historic Ipswich Massachusetts
The Odd Fellows Building and Methodist Church are almost unchanged today. The “Devil’s Footprint” is embedded in these rocks in front of First Church.
photos of historic Ipswich Massachusetts
Meeting House Green, rear side. The Captain Israel Pulcifer house and to its right is the Rev. David Kimball house.
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The Charles Kimball House with the four chimneys still stands. The two buildings on the right were removed to build the Colonial Building.

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photos of historic Ipswich Massachusetts
Looking back toward the North Green, Summer Street is on the left. Su The large “Dodge House” on the left was torn down in the late 19th Century and replaced by the beautiful Victorian house built by George Farley. The James Brown house was once part of the large building on the right, which was divided into separate sections.
The Dodge house once stood at the corner of North Main St. and Summer St.
The Dodge house once stood at the corner of North Main St. and Summer St.

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photos of historic Ipswich Massachusetts
North Main Street across from Meeting House Green. Shown here left to right are the white brick William Pulcifer house, the pink  Dr. John Manning house, the red Old Post Office, and the brown  Captain Brewer house.
The Dodge house at the corner of North Main and Summer Streets, on the left, was replaced by a Queen Ann Victorian home.
Looking north on North Main St. The Agawam house still stands, but has lost its glory.
Looking north on North Main Street, the Agawam House with the Victorian tower still stands, but has lost its glory.


12 North Main Street, Treadwell’s Inn (1737) - Written history and oral traditions indicate that the house at 12 North Main Street was built in the early 18th Century and was Nathaniel Treadwell’s Inn. It was also said to have been the historic Sparke’s Tavern, but that location is now believed to be the Ebenezer Stanwood house next door. In 1737, Captain Nathaniel Treadwell “inn holder” (1700 – 1777) … Continue reading 12 North Main Street, Treadwell’s Inn (1737)
16 North Main Street, the Stephen Coburn house (1845) - The Stephen Coburn house at 16 North Main Street in Ipswich  is a Greek Revival home built in 1845 by postmaster Stephen Coburn. After the death of his widow it became the Lucy B. Coburn Home for the Elderly, a benevolent institution. In 1997 the house received an honorable mention for the Margaret Conley Historic … Continue reading 16 North Main Street, the Stephen Coburn house (1845)
18 North Main Street, the Charles Kimball house (1834) - The Charles Kimball house  at 18 North Main Street in Ipswich was built in 1834. Charles attained honor as a colonel of the militia, a distinguished probate lawyer, and deacon of the Church. He was one of the original trustees of the Ipswich Female Seminary. The house shares a subdued Greek Revival style with the Stephen … Continue reading 18 North Main Street, the Charles Kimball house (1834)
19 North Main Street, Thomas Manning house (1799) - This house was built by John Heard for his daughter in 1799. Dr. Thomas Manning and other members of his family lived in the house until 1858, when it became a parsonage. This house is protected by a preservation agreement between the owners and the Ipswich Historical Commission. Protected elements include: Exterior front and side … Continue reading 19 North Main Street, Thomas Manning house (1799)
2 North Main Street, the John Appleton house (1707) - The John Appleton House, 2 North Main Street: Colonel John Appleton (son of  Samuel Appleton, an immigrant) acquired the lot which is now the northwest corner of North Main St. and Central St.  in 1707 after commanding a regiment in the expedition against Port Royal. He and his father Samuel Appleton were leaders in the effort of the … Continue reading 2 North Main Street, the John Appleton house (1707)
21 North Main Street, the Theodore Cogswell house (1880) - Abram D. Wait, et.al., sold this lot to Theodore F. Cogswell (953:203). Cogswell removed the 17th century house, once the “Black Horse Saloon” and built this Second Empire house at 21 North Main Street in Ipswich in 1880,  with a fine Mansard roof. Cogswell was a grocer as well as clerk and treasurer of the … Continue reading 21 North Main Street, the Theodore Cogswell house (1880)
22 North Main Street, the Colonial Building (1904) - The Colonial Building at 22 North Main Street was built in 1904 as a commercial attempt by the Feoffees of the Little Neck Trust. Ralph A. Daniels of Rowley had a furniture store in the building and Howard J. Blake, jr. had a hardware store at one time. One floor of the building was rented by … Continue reading 22 North Main Street, the Colonial Building (1904)
26 North Main Street, the Agawam House (1806) - Featured image: Photo by Ipswich photographer George Dexter, by 1900. In 1727, Captain Nathaniel Treadwell “inn holder” (1700 – 1777) opened an inn in the house at 12 North Main St. in Ipswich, still standing. John Adams visited Ipswich frequently during the 1770’s in his capacity as a lawyer and always stopped at Captain Nathaniel Treadwell’s inn. A … Continue reading 26 North Main Street, the Agawam House (1806)
29 North Main Street, the Odd Fellows Building (1817) - The Odd Fellows Hall at 29 North Main Street in Ipswich was built in 1817 as a Probate Court and Registry. Thomas Franklin Waters recorded the history of this building in Volume II of Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony: “Nathaniel Lord,”Squire Lord” as he was familiarly known, came to the office of Register and served … Continue reading 29 North Main Street, the Odd Fellows Building (1817)
31 North Main Street, the Methodist Church (1859) - The Methodist Society was established in Ipswich in 1824. The current Methodist Church on Meeting House Green was constructed in 1859. The steeple appears on the town’s seal, drawn by Ipswich artist Arthur Wesley Dow.
33 North Main Street, the Nathaniel Wait house (1865) - The Nathaniel R. Wait house at 33 North Main Street appears on the Ipswich maps between 1859 and 1872. Wide roof rakes supported by corbels and dental molding are typical of the late Greek Revival era with Italianate influence. Wait was apparently a cobbler, having placed on exhibit at the Essex County Fair a pair of fishing … Continue reading 33 North Main Street, the Nathaniel Wait house (1865)
William Pulcifer house, 34 North Main St., Ipswich 34 North Main Street, the William Pulcifer house (1836) - William Pulcifer was a dry goods storekeeper who built the combination storefront, office and residence building at 34 North Main Street in 1836. This gable-roof Federal style building is the only brick residence in the Meetinghouse Green historic District, and one of few pre-Civil war brick buildings remaining in Ipswich. From MACRIS, the Massachusetts Cultural Resource … Continue reading 34 North Main Street, the William Pulcifer house (1836)
Dr. John Manning house, North Main Street, Ipswich 36 North Main Street, the John Manning house (1769) - The John Manning House at 36 North Main Street was built in 1769 by Doctor John Manning. It has one of the first preservation agreements in Ipswich, created by the Ipswich Heritage Trust and now administered by the Ipswich Historical Commission. Manning was a pioneer in the development of a smallpox vaccine. When he drove … Continue reading 36 North Main Street, the John Manning house (1769)
38 North Main Street, the Old Post Office (1763) - The Old Post Office at 38 North Main Street was built in 1763 and is part of the historic Dr. John Manning property. Probably originally built as a barn or warehouse, it became the post office in 1790. This building also served as the shop of Daniel Rogers, a master gold and silversmith who later moved to … Continue reading 38 North Main Street, the Old Post Office (1763)
40 North Main Street, the Captain Brewer house (1825) - This house at 40 North Main Street is across from Meeting House Green, and was built in 1825. It has served as a general store and is now is residential. We find it listed as both the “Captain James Brewer house” and the “John Brewer house” but have no information about either. View MACRIS  
42 North Main Street, the John Johnson house (1871) - John A. Johnson was a shoemaker who built the fine Italianate house at 42 North Main Street in Ipswich in 1871. Italiante features include the window surrounds and bracketed cornices. The 10 room house has 4 bedrooms and 2 formal living rooms with ceiling medalions, a butler’s pantry, 2 kitchens and 4 artisan-crafted marble fireplaces. The Johnson shoe … Continue reading 42 North Main Street, the John Johnson house (1871)
44 North Main Street, the Harry K. Dodge house (1886) - Harry K. Dodge bought the 44 North Main Street homestead of the widow Margaret S. Kendall, in 1886. He tore down the old house and erected this Victorian home.
45 North Main Street, the Isaac Flitchner house (1860) - The Isaac Flitchner house at 45 North Main Street in Ipswich sits on the location of the former Captain John Lord house. In 1860 Michael Ready moved that house to Washington Street (Deed 607:206). Dr. Isaac Flitchner built this fine Italianate house on the lot, featuring flush board siding, ornate brackets, floral decorations, and a disc … Continue reading 45 North Main Street, the Isaac Flitchner house (1860)
46 N. Main Street, the James Damon house (1866) - 46 North Main, the James Damon house was built in 1866. Damon bought this property from Thomas Morley in 1866 (719:1), removed an 18th century house and built this Italianate mansion. The 2 1/2 story house has Italianate window hoods, quoins, bracketed and decorated cornice, a bold arrowhead and dentil eaves. Damon was a businessman who owned the County … Continue reading 46 N. Main Street, the James Damon house (1866)
47 North Main Street, the George Farley House (1888) - In 1888 Theodore Cogswell bought the ancient Dodge house built in 1660 and tore it down to build this Victorian “Painted Lady” for his daughter Emiline and her husband George Farley, owner of the Farley and Daniels shoe company. George Edward Farley was born in 1855, the eldest son  of Nathaniel R. and Emeline Caldwell … Continue reading 47 North Main Street, the George Farley House (1888)
Thomas Morley house, 48 North Main St., Ipswich MA 48 North Main Street, the Thomas Morley house (c 1750, alt. 1845)) - This house and its northern neighbor, 50 North Main, were a single structure before 1845, when Thomas Morley bought the southern portion of that house,  separated and rotated it 90° to present a gable end to the street, and finished it for his dwelling. Thomas Morley was an artist and taught painting in his school on … Continue reading 48 North Main Street, the Thomas Morley house (c 1750, alt. 1845))
49 North Main Street, the John Chapman house (1770) - The John Chapman house at 49 North Main Street in Ipswich was built in 1770. John Chapman was a “leather breeches maker,” possibly the only one of that trade in the town at the time, and he felt his business warranted building a spacious home. Richard Sutton also practiced the trade. Breeches were a standard … Continue reading 49 North Main Street, the John Chapman house (1770)
50 North Main Street, the James Brown house (1700 / 1721) - The James Brown house at 50 North Main Street in Ipswich was built about 1700, and altered in 1720 (1st / 2nd Period). In 1721, Stephen Perkins, a shopkeeper and James Brown, a yeoman, bought from Thomas Lovell, currier (39:61) a house on a large lot that extended from North Main St. to High St. There had been … Continue reading 50 North Main Street, the James Brown house (1700 / 1721)
51 North Main Street, the Sarah Lord house (1849) - The Sarah Lord house, 51 North Main in Ipswich was built in 1849, a Greek Revival house. She was the wife of A. P. Lord, a storekeeper but contracted the house herself. The Asa Lord general merchandise store existed at Lords Square for 100 years. Italianate motifs used in the house include label molds, paired brackets, … Continue reading 51 North Main Street, the Sarah Lord house (1849)
52 N. Main Street, the Treadwell – Hale house (1799) - The building has been used in the past as a general store and currently as a single family home. The Ipswich assessors site lists the construction date as 1759, but it is believed to have been built after the land was sold to Nathaniel Treadwell 3rd on Feb. 8, 1799. The Ipswich Historical Commission named this … Continue reading 52 N. Main Street, the Treadwell – Hale house (1799)
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 side facing East Street and may be a reused barn or similar structure from around 1640-1660. Thomas … Continue reading 57 North Main Street, the Day-Dodge House (1737)
58 North Main Street, the Captain Richard Rogers House (1728) - The Capt. Richard Rogers House at 58 North Main Street in Ipswich is significant because of its fine Georgian style.  Richard Rogers descended from  Nathaniel Rogers who lived on the South Green. The house was built in 1728 about the time of the Rogers’ Manse across High Street. The central hallway with a closed string-course balustrade and … Continue reading 58 North Main Street, the Captain Richard Rogers House (1728)
8 North Main St, the Ebenezer Stanwood House (1747) - The Ebenezer Stanwood house at 8 North Main Street is listed with the Ipswich Historical Commission as built in 1747. The house was recently renovated with a new addition added to the rear. The front of the building is of Second Period (Georgian) construction. Some period details remain, including original doors, hardware, molding, mantels & floors. … Continue reading 8 North Main St, the Ebenezer Stanwood House (1747)
1 Meeting House Green, the First Congregational Church (1971) - First Congregational Church. When the Winthrop group of thirteen settlers came to Ipswich, “upon ascending the hill above the river they found an outcropping ledge of goodly extent, forming a sort of natural platform, and upon this rock they built their church.” This is the sixth church on this spot. The previous historic Gothic Revival church … Continue reading 1 Meeting House Green, the First Congregational Church (1971)
First Church Ipswich meeting house 12 Meeting House Green, the First Church Meeting House (1832) - Built in 1832, the Old Meeting House at 12 Meeting House Green was deeded to the First Church in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1838 by George W. Heard, Esquire. It has served First church and the community of Ipswich as a Chapel and now as a coffee house and meeting place. The historic building was recently restored.
2 Meeting House Green, the Joseph N. Farley house (1842) - At 2 Meeting House Green, the Joseph N. Farley house, ca 1842 has a Greek Revival portico and door frame, with horizontal flush board siding, but faces the street as was typical with the earlier Federal period. The Greek Revival style drew from the architecture of classic Greek temples and became known as the “National Style” in … Continue reading 2 Meeting House Green, the Joseph N. Farley house (1842)
6 Meetinghouse Green, the Captain Israel Pulcifer house (1812) - 6 Meetinghouse Green, the Capt. Israel Pulcifer house was rebuilt in 1812 on the foundation of his existing house which had burned. On the night of June 9, 1811 the house took fire and was burned with most of its contents. A boy, Abraham Burnham (who died at a good old age) was sleeping in the … Continue reading 6 Meetinghouse Green, the Captain Israel Pulcifer house (1812)
8 Meeting House Green, the David T. Kimball House (1808) - The leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony located their second jail in Ipswich in 1652. For most of the early years the jail was located on or near the site of the Kimball House, 8 Meeting House Green. In 1808 the site was sold to Reverend David Tenny Kimball; the old jail was moved down High … Continue reading 8 Meeting House Green, the David T. Kimball House (1808)
Meeting House Green Historic District - Featured image: Ipswich woodcut, 1838 attributed to S. E. Brown. North Main Street starts up the hill directly across from Market Street, bears left at Meetinghouse Green and continues to an abrupt stop at the point where High Street and East Street merge. This neighborhood was once the religious, governmental and commercial center of Ipswich. During … Continue reading Meeting House Green Historic District

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