Author Archives

Gordon Harris

Gordon Harris is the town historian for Ipswich Massachusetts.

Stamp Act protest in New Hampshire

The Conscience of a Loyalist

An angry mob surrounded the Haverhill home of Col. Richard Saltonstall, a Loyalist, who opened his door and stated that that he was bound to discharge the duties of the office, then ordered refreshments for the assembled crowd at the local tavern at his own expense, upon which the rioters began to sing his praises. When the Revolution began a decade later, he fled to Boston and left for England when the British evactuated Boston.

John Wise Tercentenary sign, Rt. 133, Essex MA

The Rev. John Wise of Ipswich

The concepts of freedom about which Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence originated from the pen of the Rev. John Wise of Ipswich: “The first human subject and original of civil power is the people…and when they are free, they may set up what species of government they please.”

Early American Gardens

Isadore Smith (1902-1985) lived on Argilla Road in Ipswich and was the author of 3 volumes about 17th-19th Century gardens, writing under the pseudonym Ann Leighton. As a member of the Ipswich Garden Club, she created a traditional seventeenth century rose garden at the Whipple House.

Paul McGinley and Cathleen McGinley of Ipswich

2017 Mary Conley Award

At the Selectpersons Meeting on Monday evening, the Ipswich Historical Commission presented the 2017 Mary Conley Award to Paul and Cathleen McGinley for preservation of the Philip Call House, and a lifetime of service to the Town of Ipswich.

Death in a snowstorm, December 1, 1722

On December 1, 1722, Daniel Rogers was returning to Ipswich from a court case in Hampton and took a wrong turn that led deep into Salisbury marshes. His body was found a few days later near Salisbury beach. Suspicion fell on one Moses Gatchel but no charges were filed, there being a lack of solid evidence.

Sea Serpent at Egg Rock in Nahant

The Nahant Sea Serpent

The annals of Nahant are inseparably associated with stories of a sea serpent. Words are inadequate to describe the wide-spread consternation which the apparition of such a monster created among the hardy population of our New England seaboard.

Ipswich Riverwalk Mural by Alan Pearsall

“A priceless reservoir of early American history”

Ipswich, Massachusetts was founded in 1634 in an area the Native Americans called “Agawam,” and is America’s best-preserved Puritan town. The historic neighborhoods of Meeting House Green, High Street, the East End, and the South Green are well-preserved streetscapes of 17th to 19th-century residences, with more “First Period” houses still standing than any other town in the country.