Photos by Sharon Scarlata
The Ipswich Historical Commission acts to preserve the history and historical assets of the Town of Ipswich, Massachusetts.
William Sargent embarked on a series of rambles from New Hampshire to Gloucester, and discovered a troubling new environmental catastrophe from the buildup of chemicals that have been steadily accumulating in the lungs of the planet–our oceans.
Photos of Market St. from the present day back to the early days of photography. Use the sliders to compare juxtaposed photos of then and now.
On December 17. Ipswich Police delivered toys to children in Ipswich Shellfish trucks as part of Ipswich Caring, which relies on the generosity of local residents, businesses and community organizations. The organization and distributes 100% of donations to help families, children and senior citizens in our communities.
The Trustees of Reservations was awarded $217,931 to pursue a salt marsh restoration and climate adaption project at the Old Town Hill reservation in Newbury. A smaller grant worth $28,000 was awarded to the Ipswich River Watershed Association (IRWA) to help it improve water quality in the river.
Send your winter photos to email@example.com
By Monday September 27th, the Pandemic is raging and has made the front-page of the Chronicle for the first time. Mrs. Calvin Holmes, a 21 year-old, dies of the Influenza.
In the 1820’s a Frenchman named Gilshenan organized an unsuccessful salt harvesting company on Plum Island with a 10′ deep canal and a bull turning an overshot wheel like a hamster. A large sundial survived for a few decades, but no trace remains today.
In 17th Century Ipswich, funeral services were without eulogies, but extravagant outlays were often made for mourning garments, gloves, rings, wine, refreshments and the coffin. In the 18th Century, public opinion turned against such excesses.
High Street originally continued straight until the first bridge over the railroad tracks was constructed in 1906. From 1900 when the first trolleys came to town until the bridge was built, passengers had to unload here to switch from the trolley from Newburyport to continue through Ipswich.
In the latter part of September, 1841, was a long, unbroken spell of uncomfortable weather, which culminated in a violent and cold storm of wind, snow and rain on the night of October 2, continuing four days.
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.
In August 1635, the 240-ton Angel Gabriel sank in Pemaquid Bay after sailing into the most intense hurricane in New England history. Among the survivors were members of the Cogswell, Burnham and Andrews families, who settled in an area of Ipswich known as Chebacco.
In 1639, the Colony ordered that a road be laid out from Boston to Portsmouth, to be constructed by each town along the way. The Bay Road made Ipswich an important stagecoach stop. Several milestones to indicate distances are still standing.
The question of greater and lesser dignity, carrying with it the question of higher or lower seats, became so vexing that the task of “seating the congregation” was laid upon the Selectmen.
A document known as the “Boston Pamphlet” was distributed throughout the colony, asserting the colonists’ rights. Ipswich held a Town Meeting and established its own “Committee of
The Quartermaster’s house became the scene more than once of violent disorder. The company’s behavior was so scandalous that the whole lot were summoned to Ipswich Court on May 1, 1672.
This story was written by Amos E. Jewett in 1945. At the time, he was 83 years old. having been born in Ipswich Village, near Rowley, on June 16, 1862.
Enjoy a fascinating hour-long virtual tour of the Rowley River with 4th-generation clammer and former Shellfish Constable Jack Grundstrum.
As part of the July 2019 Ipswich celebration of Americans Who Tell the Truth, the first floor of the Ipswich Town Hall displayed portraits of local people who have affected change by telling the truth. Read about them by clicking on the captions. […]
A group of local residents is bringing Robert Shetterly’s inspiring project, Americans Who Tell the Truth, Models of Courageous Citizenship, to Ipswich in July 2019. View the schedule of events .
Many a pleasant sail down the river are in the memories of William J. Barton. “These were the names of the places and flats along the Ipswich River before my time, and familiar to me during my time. They were used by the fishermen and clammers. I know. I was one of them. It was the happiest time of my life.”
In the late 19th Century, most of the men around the river would look forward to “herringing” when fall arrived. The foot of Summer Street was the best landing. One year so many herring were caught, they were dumped in the Parker River, and Herring did not return for many years.
“The night before the Fourth of July, thousands of people were milling up and down Central and Market Streets and Depot Square. Every man and boy carried a revolver and shot off blank cartridges as fast as they could re-load. “At five o’clock on the morning of the Fourth, the sexton of the Methodist Church could open up the doors and let in the boys ring the church bell for an hour. Then came the parade.”
Kevin O’Connor from This Old House drives to Ipswich and gets a lesson from Dan Clapp in making mead.
Jane Hooper was in 1760 a Newburyport “school dame” but after she lost that job she found fame as a fortune-teller. When the Madame made her yearly visit to Ipswich, the young and the old called on her to learn of their fates.
Salt marsh hay is still gathered on the North Shore today. The grass that grows between the upland and the marsh is cut. Traditionally the hay was stacked on staddles to raise it above the high tides.
From the New England Historical Society: Over 50,000 men, women, and children of Irish descent were forcibly transported to British imperial colonies to serve as indentured labor. By 1790, there were 400,000 Americans of Irish birth or ancestry out of a population of 3.9 million.
The Town of Ipswich is updating the Town’s Community Development Plan (CDP), a long-range plan to guide the community’s physical evolution. The Town would like your input to help determine goals and priorities.
The town voted in 1861 to build County Street and its stone arch bridge, connecting Cross and Mill Streets. A Woolen mill, saw mill, blacksmith shop and veneer mill operated near the bridge.
In 2010, the Ipswich Board of Selectmen voted to begin exploring removal of the Ipswich Mills Dam. The feasibility study was completed in March, 2019 and will set the stage for the Town’s decision regarding the dam.
The earliest recorded sighting of a Sea Serpent in North American waters was at Cape Ann in 1639. In 1817, reports spread throughout New England of a sea serpent sighted in Gloucester Harbor.
The Ipswich Town Landing is one of several locations along the River where wharves were located over the centuries.
In the late eighteenth century, Ipswich had 600 women and girls producing more than 40,000 yards of lace annually. In the 1820’s Ipswich industrialists opened a factory and imported machines from England to mechanize and speed up the operation, which destroyed the hand-made lace industry.
Slavery was abolished in Massachusetts before the declaration of independence, officially made law on March 26, 1788. The law imposed a penalty of £50 upon every citizen or person residing in this Commonwealth for each slave bought or transported and £200 upon every vessel engaged in the Slave […]
The second jail in the Colony was erected in Ipswich in 1656. Sixteen British prisoners were kept hostage in the cold and cruel stone jail during the War of 1812. A large brick House of Corrections was constructed in 1828 at the site of the present Town Hall on Green Street.
The frame of a 1692 house that once stood at the intersection of Manning and High Streets in Ipswich is on display in the “Art of the Americas” wing at the Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.
Appleton Farms was gifted to the Trustees of Reservations by Francis and Joan Appleton in 1998. Originally granted to Ipswich settler Samuel Appleton, it is the oldest continuously operating farm in America. The farm continued in family ownership for seven generations, and the extended family built homes along Waldingfield Rd. and the nearby vicinity.
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.
Choate Island was originally known as Hog Island, and is the largest island in the Crane Wildlife Refuge and is the site of the Choate family homestead, the Proctor Barn, the White Cottage, and the final resting place of Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Crane. There are great views from the island summit of the Castle Neck dunes and Plum Island Mount Agamenticus in Maine.