Author Archives

Gordon Harris

Gordon Harris is the town historian for Ipswich Massachusetts.

Jewett Hill, Ipswich Village map

Ipswich Village (Upper High St.)

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 Commons

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.

300 years on Grape Island

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.