The Town and people of Ipswich, in partnership with Creative County Initiative (CCI) are proud to present Ipswich Illumination 2022, a celebration of beauty and community. Illumination, now in its 13th year, features a collection of interactive art installations, live music, poetry, projection, bonfires and more along the Ipswich River the weekend of October 14-16, 2022. Admission for all events is free, pay as you go for food and drinks.
The Ipswich Historical Commission acts to preserve the history and historical assets of the Town of Ipswich, Massachusetts.
Of the men from Chebacco parish who were in the battle at Bunker Hill, the names of six are known: James Andrews, Benjamin Burnham, Nehemiah Choate, Aaron Perkins, Jesse Story Jr., a minor who was killed, and Francis Burnham who was wounded. Two Chebacco boys, Aaron Low and Samuel Proctor, belonged to a Gloucester company which reached Cambridge on the afternoon of the 16th.
If you or your organization or department are interested in submitting a proposal for future use of either the present Ipswich Fire Station building or the Police Station building, please click here to download a Statement of Interest form. The deadline for submission is November 15, 2022. The Public Safety Property Reuse Working Group conducted a survey from July 9 to August 5, 2022, and over 350 people responded.
The Hall-Haskell House Gallery shares 36 S. Main St. with the Ipswich Visitor Center.
Thomas Dennis (1638–1706), came to Ipswich from Devonshire, England. His home at 7 County Street still stands, and is where he practiced his trade as a joiner and master carver. The furniture of Thomas Dennis took on the status of historic treasure, and over time more pieces were attributed to him than he could have produced in his lifetime.
The Rev. Nathaniel Ward emigrated to Massachusetts in 1634 and served for two years as the minister in Ipswich. His “Body of Liberties” established a code of fundamental principles of government for the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Ward’s book “The Simple Cobler of Aggawam in America” was published in England in 1647.
In 1637, two men convicted on separate counts of murder were executed in Boston on the same gallows. John Williams was convicted of killing John Hoddy near Great Pond in Wenham on the road to Ipswich. William Schooler was tried in Ipswich and found guilty of killing Mary Scholy on the path to Piscataqua.
By Harold Bowen: The monument was first erected by the town in 1871 as a memorial to those who died in the Civil War. It had an iron fence all around it and inside the enclosure was a stack of cannon balls in each corner where a flag was inserted.
Throughout the Revolutionary War, Joseph Hodgkins sent letters home from the battlefronts to his wife, Sarah, detailing the desperate troop conditions and longing for home. The physical letters are preserved and are offered here online, transcribed with grammatical corrections for readability
Ipswich is home to two groundbreaking masterworks of early eighteenth century America, a paneled wall and a pulpit. Both were made by Abraham Knowlton (1699- 1751), a woodworker who is less well known than he deserves to be.
Selection from Ipswich Yesterday by Alice Keenan, 1982. Photos by George Dexter and Edward L. Darling. Ipswich has the habit, long ingrained, of turning on those who love her most, and who, innocently and willingly, donate their time, talents, energies, and in some cases — money — for her welfare […]
Rockport experienced one of the oddest invasions in U.S. history during the War of 1812 when the town’s fearless residents stopped the British with rocks and anything they could get their hands on.
Bridge over the Parker River in Newbury, on today’s Rt. 1A, 1898.
The Town proceeded to build the County & Green St. stone bridges is in contrast with its belligerent opposition to the earliest ones.
For two centuries it was known as Gravel Street for the two gravel pits on the hillside, and took a right turn to what is now Lords Square. After the 100th Anniversary of the War for Independence, Gravel Street became Washington Street, and the remaining section of the old Gravel Street took the name Liberty Street.
In the late eighteenth century, Ipswich had 600 women and girls producing more than 40,000 yards of lace annually. Ipswich industrialists imported machines from England to mechanize and speed up the operation, which destroyed the hand-made lace industry.
Excerpt from Mass Moments On February 22, 1860, thousands of striking shoe workers filled Lyceum Hall in Lynn. By choosing to begin their protest on Washington’s birthday, the strikers were invoking the memory of their revolutionary forefathers. Lynn had been a shoe making town since the early 1800s. […]
Many of the colorized postcards of Ipswich were created from photos taken by George Dexter, Edward Darling and Arthur Wesley Dow in the late 19th and early 20th Century.
Ipswich artist Arthur Wesley Dow (1857 – 1922) was one of the town’s most famous residents. View his ink prints and a slideshow of over 200 cyanographs
In 1803, a group of Newburyport investors incorporated as the Newburyport Turnpike Corporation in a commercial venture to build a straight toll road from Boston to Newburyport, which is today’s Rt. 1
The Asbury Grove Methodist Camp Meeting on Asbury St. in Hamilton is listed in the National Register of Historic Districts, and has a collection of historic buildings that were built between 1870 and 1960. 12,000 people, most from Boston, attended the first camp meeting in 1859.
Snowstorms on the 20th and 24th of February 1717 covered the earth up to 20 ft. deep. In some places houses were completely buried, and paths were dug from house to house under the snow. A widow in Medford burned her furniture to keep the children warm.
Clark Pond was originally an intertidal salt marsh supported by fresh water sources draining from the surrounding hills and tidal salt water from the ocean. Around 1897, A. B. Clark built a stone dam at the northeast corner creating a fresh water pond for duck hunting and built gunning blinds into the bank.
Stories about historic storms to hit the coast of Massachusetts
The Fox Creek Canal is the oldest man-made tidewater canal in the United States, dug in 1820. In 1938 it was dredged to accommodate ship-building at Robinson’s Boatyard, where small minesweepers were constructed for World War II.
March 31, 1776, Abigail Adams to John Adams: “In the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.”
Lathrop Brothers Coal and Ice Company harvested on the Ipswich River between Upper River Road and Haywood Street. The ice was then floated to the ice house where it was cut into blocks.
On January 12, 1912, the labor protest later known as the “Bread and Roses” strike began in Lawrence, MA. Violent methods were used to suppress the protest, but the strikers maintained their solidarity.
Long before the intersection of Mile Lane and High Street became famous for the Clam Box, it was known as Pingrey’s Plain, and was where the wicked were hung.
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 resigned all their land interests to pay the heavy town debt incurred during the Revolution.
Early in the morning of Jan. 13, 1894, several businesses on Central Street went up in flames. Three months later the other end of Market St. burned, and the town finally voted to build a water system.
A pear tree in Danvers was planted before 1640 by the Massachusetts governor John Endicott. President John Adams enjoyed the flavor of its fruit, and Longfellow admired its longevity. The tree has survived hurricanes, earthquakes, cows, development and vandalism but continues to thrive and bear fruit.
The fascinating history of stage and railroad travel was written in 1878 by Cyrus Mason Tracy in the “Standard History of Essex County.”
An estimated 1,500 cases of the so-called “Spanish flu in Ipswich resulted in at least 66 deaths. It is believed that the country reached herd immunity after the virus mutated to a less lethal variant. By the end of the pandemic, the average life expectancy had been shortened by 12 years!
The Bay Circuit Trail in Ipswich enters Willowdale State Forest and continues north through the town-owned Dow-Bull Brook preservation land. A branch continues from Willowdale through Bradley Palmer S.P to New England Biolabs.
On December 17, 1847 the brig Falconer, loaded with bituminous coal, wrecked at Crane Beach during a fierce winter storm. A dozen of the crew and passengers are buried in a common grave at the Old North Burying Ground.
The Rev. Joseph Dana served the Second Congregational Church at the South Green from 1765 until his death in 1827 at age 85. Rev, Dana’s tombstone in the Old South Cemetery reads: “In memory of the Rev Joseph Dana D.D., for sixty-two years, Minister of the South Church. […]
“It was a poor time in which to build a dam. The winter was very severe and at times the temperature was below zero. The center of the dam was soon washed away, and by spring the new structure had almost disappeared.”
“The climax of petty officialdom might well have been reached in 1797 when the list of officers chosen at the Town meeting included Selectmen, Overseers, Town Clerk and Treasurer, Tithing-men, Road Surveyors, Fish Committee, Clerk of the Market, Fence Viewers, Haywards, Surveyors of Lumber, Cullers of Fish, Sealers of Leather, Hog-reeves, Gangers of Cask, Sealers of Weights, Measurers of Grain, Corders of Wood, Firewards, Packer of Pork, and Cullers of Brick.”
A n online collection of postcards from the early 20th Century