Many of the glass plate negatives taken by George Dexter (1862-1927) and Edward Darling (1874 – 1962), were stored away for almost a century.
Gordon Harris is the town historian for Ipswich Massachusetts.
Old Ipswich tales, and some stories shared on social media.
Join town historian Gordon Harris for a one hour tour of the oldest tombstones at the Old North Burying Ground on High Street, The charge is $10 per person. View this post for dates and times
The triple stone arch Warner Bridge that connects Mill Rd. in Ipswich to Highland St. in Hamilton was constructed in 1829, and rebuilt in 1856. The isinglass mill sat on the downstream Ipswich side of the bridge.
Dr. John Calef was among a handful of members of the Massachusetts Assembly who voted to retract the “Massachusetts Circular Letter” which was adopted in response to the 1767 Townshend Acts. Ipswich citizens’ anger at Calef lingered as war with England approached.
This Ipswich neighborhood has historically had a close social connection with neighboring Rowley. Jewett’s mill was created in the 17th Century, and historic houses still line the street.
Nathan Dane, a native of Ipwich was a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress, where he helped draft the Northwest Ordinance, which was enacted in 1787. Dane’s amendment banning slavery in the territory, which would become five new states was accepted into the Ordinance. His amendments to the Articles of Confederation helped lead to adoption of the United States Constitution and a Bill of Rights.
On the morning of Tuesday October 9, 1804, the temperature fell very suddenly, and a storm of rain and snow, accompanied by thunder and lightning, began. A schooner wrecked on Ipswich bar, and all seven persons on board perished.
Voters at the 2021 Special Town Meeting and Election have the opportunity to replace our century-old infrastructure with a modern fire and police facility.
In 1962 the historic house at the corner of Central and North Main Streets was purchased by Exxon to demolish and build a gas station on the site. The Ipswich Heritage Trust was created to save it.
A developer would construct a 16 unit wall of condominiums at the site of the car wash.
Two brothers, Moses and Aaron Pengry both resided in Ipswich by 1641. and were active in town affairs. The surnames of their descendants are alternatively spelled Pingree, Pengre, Pengrey, Pengry, Pingre, Pingrey, Pingry.
In 1774, the Town of Ipswich chose Michael Farley, a tanner, as a delegate to the Provincial Congress. He was appointed major-general of the Militia of Massachusetts in 1777. Farley is buried at the Old North Burying Ground beside his wife Elizabeth. The site of his home is now the Richdale store on Market St..
A memorial sits in the intersection between the South Green and the site of the former South Congregational Church in Ipswich. It reads, “The expedition against Quebec, Benedict Arnold in command, Aaron Burr in the ranks, marched by this spot, September 15, 1775.”
Mehitable Braybrook, who burned down Jacob and Sarah Perkins’ house, married John Downing and was arrested for witchcraft
She was charged with burning down her master’s house and was arrested years later during the witchcraft trials. Her husband had been captured and indentured by Cromwell’s forces in Ireland.
The1954 storm knocked down trees and power lines all over Ipswich. Hurricane Carol devastated the Massachusetts south coast and Rhode Island, and was responsible for 65 deaths. On September 11, Hurricane Edna hit New England with additional destruction.
The Strandbeests came to Crane Beach in the summer of 2015, but the bigger news was the largest invasion of people the town of Ipswich has experienced in recent memory.
The largest contingent to arrive in Ipswich from the same village were 15 men and women from Assington, Suffolk, including Thomas French and his family.
A network of the Underground Railroad ran north along the coast from Boston to Salem, where it split into three trails; one continued through Beverly, Ipswich, Newburyport and West Newbury to Amesbury where escaped slaves were escorted into New Hampshire.
The Eastern Bungalow style was popular between 1910-1940, which included the Depression years, and were an affordable and practical adaptation of California’s Arts and Crafts movement.
Captain Franklin D. Langsford sailed from Cape Ann in pursuit of swordfish. After harpooning one in Ipswich Bay, the fish turned and thrust its sword through the boat and the Captain. Not yet realizing that he was wounded, he seized the sword and exclaimed, “We got him anyway!”
Many ships and lives were lost in the Great Colonial Hurricane, including 21 passengers who had set out from Ipswich on August 21, 1635 on a small bark named “Watch and Wait.” As they rounded Cape Ann they were suddenly met by the force of the winds.
Robert Kinsman, the immigrant, was a glazier by trade, and received a grant of an acre of land on Green St. His son Robert 2 played a part in the resistance to Gov. Andros in 1687 for which Ipswich is known as the Birthplace of American Independence.
John Perkins, who identified himself as “the Elder,” and his wife Judith Gator were the immigrant ancestors of the Ipswich Perkins family from the mother country.
John Baker owned, by grant, a large lot on the north side of East St. between North Main and County St. To his son Thomas, he conveyed the house where he lived and the remainder of his land, June 14, 1698 (35: 44). John Baker the settler was […]
A mild controversy has arisen in the town of Ipswich about what to name the grassy lawn between the Old Town Hall and the Ipswich Museum. Depending on who you ask, it’s the Middle Green, Memorial Green, Veterans Green, or the Visitor Center Lawn, and I’ll add “Augustine Heard’s back yard” just to add to the confusion.
The Hall-Haskell House Gallery at 36 South Main St. in Ipswich is open Seasonally, May – December with different artists showing each week.
On the morning of July 8, 1856, two hundred women, three men and their supporters gathered in Rockport’s Dock Square and unfurled a banner with a black hatchet, determined to destroy all the alcohol in the town. The leaders of the mob was a 75-year-old seamstress named Hannah Jumper.
During the Boston Muster of 1787, Daniel Foster of Rowley participated in the customary celebration of shooting musket balls into the air, and accidentally killed Amos Chapman of Ipswich. A jury ordered his execution, but Governor John Hancock opposed capital punishment and pardoned Foster.
Daniel Rindge (aka Ringe) was in Ipswich, in 1648. He married Mary Kinsman, the daughter of Robert Kinsman who came to Ipswich in 1635.
Generations of the Jewett family made their homes on upper High Street, and the area near the Rowley town line came to be known as Ipswich Village.
Jonathan Wade arrived in Ipswich in 1635 with the first wave of Puritan settlers, and came into ownership of land across from the South Green. In the 19th Century, the Wade family of housewrights built several homes on County Rd., and throughout the town.
The boatyard, constructed in 1954, burned in a spectacular fire, and has since been replaced by a residential building.
Robert Lord, his wife Mary Waite and their four children arrived with the first settlers of Ipswich in 1634, where he was appointed town clerk. Almost every house on High Street has been lived in by a member of the Lord family.
The weaver, after loading thread into a shuttle, drew the loose end through the hole with her breath. No one connected this habit with the observation that weavers were dying of consumption, known now as tuberculosis.
Nicholas Manning immigrated from England to Salem, MA, as early as 1662. He was later joined by his youngest brother Thomas, who became the common ancestor of the prominent Manning family of Ipswich.
Grape Island 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.
Luke Perkins and his wife, Elizabeth were notorious disturbers of the peace in 17th Century Ipswich, and she had a “venomous tongue.” It was a happy day for the town when Luke and Elizabeth loaded their belongings into a boat and set sail for the solitary island farm owned by his father on Grape Island.
“When you swim a saltwater creek as the tide nears high, you have a visceral sense of what could happen if the tide just kept on rising.”
In September 1740, two Massachusetts Land Banks organized and issued 50,000 pounds of notes of varying amounts, without legal authorization of the Crown. An Act of Parliament declared all the transactions of the two Bank Schemes illegal and void.