Of the roughly 300 houses that were constructed (in part of in whole) during the first century of English settlement of Massachusetts, 59 are in Ipswich. In this video, Ipswich Town Historian Gordon Harris, identifies features which identify First Period structures based on appearance, layout, and details that distinguish them from the succeeding Georgian era.
Gordon Harris is the town historian for Ipswich Massachusetts.
Impermeable surfaces like asphalt pavement absorbs solar radiation and re-emits radiation as heat, In recent years pavement has been reduced on Washington and N. Main Streets. Future re-use of the Ipswich Police Dept. lot will provide an opportunity to do the same for Elm Street.
In partnership with the Parker River Clean Water Association, the Ipswich River Watershed Association produced a new video on the plight of the Egypt River. The video begins by asking Ipswich residents the question “Where is the Egypt River’?”
The United States Supreme Court is expected to make a decision about women’s rights based on a ruling by a judge who lived 400 years ago, and who based his opinion on Medieval precedents.
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.
Rebecca Rawson of Newbury became one of the most popular young ladies in Boston society. She married a charming but cunning young man who left her desolate in London. On her return to America, the ship was swallowed by a tsunami.
Voters at the 2021 Special Town Meeting and Election agreed to replace our century-old fire and police facilities with a modern structure. The Public Safety Property Re-Use Working Group was recently created to determine a variety of potential uses for the existing facilities.
American economic sanctions in response to Russia’s war on Ukraine have parallels with American Colonial non-importation agreements in the years leading up to the war with Britain.
“In Worcester, they keep no Terms, openly threaten Resistance by Arms, have been purchasing Arms, preparing them, casting Ball, and providing Powder, and threaten to attack any Troops who dare to oppose them….the flames of sedition spread universally throughout the country beyond conception.” -Gen. Thomas Gage
It’s been 16 years since the 2006 Mother’s Day storm rammed the Ipswich River into the Mill Road Bridge, almost collapsing one of its three brick arches and closing the bridge for three years. Fences were erected at either end, effectively making the bridge feel like a demilitarized […]
After hostilities began in 1775, Capt. Wade led his unit in pursuit of British soldiers retreating from the battles of Concord and Lexington. Two months later they fought in the battle of Bunker Hill. During the war he commanded troops throughout the campaign in Rhode Island and at Long Island, Harlem, and White Plains.
One of the most progressive citizens of Ipswich, Dr. John Manning opened a practice in 1760, and began inoculating members of his family for smallpox, incurring the wrath of the Town. An epidemic of smallpox spread through Boston during the British occupation of the city at the beginning of the Revolutionary War.
A mob of tens of thousands marched on Boston in 1774 upon hearing a rumor that the city had been destroyed by the British.
In 1778, a number of prominent Essex County men gathered in Ipswich, and became the backbone of the Massachusetts Federalist Party. President John Adams, also a Federalist coined the name “Essex Junto” for the adversarial group.
Despite the failure of the Stamp Act and the Townshend Acts, the British Parliament responded to the “Boston Tea Party” by passing even more restrictive acts to punish the American extremists.
In response to the Townsend Acts, the women of Massachusetts set themselves vigorously to the making of cotton and woolen fabrics in their homes, that there might be no sale for English goods.
Steep Hill is a glacial drumlin that ends abruptly at Crane Beach. The rocky seafloor at that location has abundant sea life and foraging birds.
In our struggle for Independence, the British military received its first setback from the inhabitants of Salem in an episode that could not have been more ludicrous or entertaining if it had been written for Monty Python.
The Embargo Act of 1807 put New England ports at a standstill and its towns into a depression. The Ipswich Town Meeting petitioned the President to relieve “the people of this once prosperous country from their present embarrassed and distressed condition.” The town found Jefferson’s answer “Not Satisfactory.”
The “Blizzard of ’78” raged from Sunday evening February 5 through Tuesday evening February 7. Over a billion dollars of damage occurred, including the loss of 11,000 homes and the lives of 29 Massachusetts residents. The highest total snowfall was 43.7 inches in Ipswich.
Massachusetts men played a conspicuous part in the French and Indian War, which resulted in wholesale destruction and deportation in French-speaking Nova Scotia. Surviviors were exiled to the Colonies, their children taken from them and distributed to English families as “nothing more than slaves.”
This remote area was originally known as Ipswich Farms. After the residents began pressing for their own church, the Massachusetts General Court on June 4, 1746, created the Linebrook Parish, the boundries of which were defined by 6 brooks and lines connecting them. The community had a church, store, school and its own militia.
In honor of Martin Luther King Day, this is a letter to the Atlanta Journal from my father David Aubren Harris, a Mississippi native, in support of President Truman’s civil rights initiatives. He received a vicious racist letter in response.
The Ipswich Sparrow, a subspecies of the Savannah Sparrow, was first identified on Crane Beach in 1868.
If you don’t go outside, what’s the point of winter?
When Chebacco Parish (now Essex) began building their own meeting house, Ipswich authorities obtained an order that “No man shall build a meeting house at Chebacco.” Abigail Proctor saw a glaring legal loophole.
The Ipswich Historical Commission presented the 2021 Mary Conley Award for historic preservation to Tess & Tom Schutte, owners of the William Howard house at 41 Turkey Shore Rd.
The Cold Friday on Jan. 19, 1810 brought terrible winds and frigid temperature. Many people froze to death while traveling along the highways. Houses were blown down or broken to pieces.
Sea levels rose about 8 inches globally and about 1 foot on the Eastern Seaboard in the past century. What will happen to Ipswich if catastrophic predictions for the 21st Century are realized?
In 1773, the selectmen ordered all houses where the disease had appeared to be closed, and dogs to be killed immediately. The fears of the inhabitants increased when permission was granted to build a smallpox hospital on Cat Island.
This was the tenth birthday for what began as a hobby blog about our scenic and historic community. This year for the first time there were over 300,000 site visits and more than half a million page views.
Puritans shunned Christmas for its pagan roots, allowing only Thanksgiving as a time for feasting, and imposed a five-shilling fine on any persons found “observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or any other way.” A Cambridge Unitarian minister’s family had the first Christmas tree in Massachusetts.
In 1824 citizens of Ipswich heard with “unfeigned pleasure” that General LaFayette, “the undeviating defender of rational freedom and the rights of man, the illustrious friend of America” would be passing through our area. The town prepared the most elaborate tribute it had ever paid to a visitor.
Colonial liquor licenses were granted to Ipswich men of highest esteem. They were bound “not to sell by retail to any but men of family, and of good repute, nor sell any after sunset; and that they shall be ready to give account of what liquors they sell by retail, the quantity, time and to whom.”
Teddy Roosevelt, a grandstanding performer with plenty of rhetoric but fewer accomplishments, campaigned from the caboose of a train in New England.
On the cold icy morning of December 13, 1774, Paul Revere headed out on a 60 mile gallop from Boston along the Old Bay Road through Ipswich to warn the citizens of Portsmouth that British troops may be landing.
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.
Three gales of unequaled fury and destructiveness swept along our coast carrying desolation and death in their stormy pathway, and overwhelming many families in the deepest mourning.
On Christmas Day 1823, Gen Benjamin Pierce of Hillsborough, NH held a reunion of twenty-two citizens who had served in the War of Independence. The oldest attendee was Ammi Andrews, born in Ipswich, MA, aged 89 years.
Summer Street may be the oldest public way in Ipswich, and in the earliest days of the settlement was called Stony Street, Annable’s Lane, or simply “The Way to the River. “