The Town of Ipswich is updating the Town’s Community Development Plan (CDP), a long-range plan to guide the community’s physical evolution. The Town would like your input to help determine goals and priorities.
Gordon Harris is the town historian for Ipswich Massachusetts.
Featured image: “Ipswich Village” in the 1832 Philander map of the town of Ipswich. The following narrative includes excerpts from Ipswich Village and the Old Rowley Road. by Thomas Franklin Waters in 1915. “At the very beginning of the Town, High Street was the road to Newbury or ‘the pathway […]
The contiguous historic neighborhoods of Meeting House Green, High Street, the East End, and the South Green present the town’s original settlement pattern and offer well-preserved streetscapes of 17th to 19th-century private residences.
When the Town of Ipswich was established, ownership of a house and land within the town bounds carried with it the right of pasturage beyond the Common Fence. In 1788, the commoners voted to resign all their land interests to the town, toward the payment of the heavy town debt incurred during the Revolution.
Grape Island is a part of Ipswich that was once a small but thriving community, and briefly a popular summer resort. In 1941, 3000 acres of Plum Island including Grape Island were purchased by the U.S. government to establish the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. Lewis Kilborn, the island’s last resident, was allowed to continue living in the family home, where he died in 1984.
A rumor spread that two British ships were in the river, and were going to burn the town. The news spread as far as New Hampshire, and in every place the report was that the regulars were but a few miles behind them, slashing everyone in sight.
In the 1700’s two of the finer inns in town were run by women, a mother and daughter both named Susanna. Although the two houses are both on corners of County Street, they were separated by the river.
The town voted in 1861 to build County Street and its stone arch bridge, connecting Cross and Mill Streets. A Woolen mill, saw mill, blacksmith shop and veneer mill operated near the bridge.
In 1642, a dam and fulling mill were built on the Mill River in Rowley. The stone arch bridge on this property was constructed between 1850 and 1870.
The house at 21 Lakemans Lane was constructed by John Manning 3rd by the early 19th Century. The barn on the property features hand-hewn post and beam framing with gunstock corner posts, and may predate the house.