Market Square is the intersection of North Main, South Main, Market and Central Streets in Ipswich, and is sometimes referred to as Five Corners
The Ipswich Historical Commission acts to preserve the history and historical assets of the Town of Ipswich, Massachusetts.
The Eastern Railroad’s Portland Express slammed into the rear of a stopped local train in Revere, Massachusetts. Some trapped passengers were burned alive as coal-oil lamps ignited the wreckage. Approximately 29 people died..
“I suspect that thousands of New Englanders have their roots based in Ipswich. Is it possible that I was drawn here by deeply ingrained ancestral memories?” By Thomas Palance
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 common ancestors of many of the Kimball family in America are Richard Kimball Sr. and his wife Ursula Scott of the Parish of Rattlesden, England who moved to Ipswich in 1635. Four of the First Period homes of their descendants are still standing.
Within three years of the arrival of the Winthrop fleet to New England, so many immigrants had arrived in Massachusetts Bay that Boston Neck could not hold them all. Perceiving a threat from the French, thirteen men arrived in 1633 to establish the town that would be named Ipswich a year later.
The concepts of freedom about which Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence originated from the pen of the Rev. John Wise of Ipswich: “The origin of civil power is the people…and when they are free, they may set up what species of government they please.”
One hundred years ago, Lakemans Lane was a narrow dirt road lined by stone walls. You can still see the imprint of the pastures and fields that once marked the original properties.
Harold Bowen wrote, “My family was more or less a telephone family. My father, two brothers and a sister-in-Iaw were all telephone operators. The dial system is quicker and more efficient, but it still cannot compare with that personal touch you had with the Hello Girls.”
Many of these photos were digitally developed from original glass negatives taken by three early Ipswich photographers Arthur Wesley Dow, George Dexter, and Edward L. Darling.
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 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.
“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 reload. “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 to ring the church bell for an hour. Then came the parade.”
John Adams visited Ipswich many times during his tenure as the Boston representative to the colonial legislature from 1770 to 1774.
Joseph English, a descendant of Sagamore Masconomet, served as a scout for the Colonial forces and participated in land transactions with Essex County communities. Benjamin Webster used archival documents to construct this narrative of his life.
The Native American village of Agawam became a Puritan settlement in 1633 as an outpost of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The community was named Ipswich in 1634 upon the official founding of the town. Click on any photo to begin the slideshow.
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.
When Ipswich was settled in the 1630s, the immigrants came from only one area of England, and they brought with them the socio-economic ranking system they knew in the old country.
Ipswich folks have always had a taste for good rum. Its hidden creeks was a paradise for the rum runners and bootleggers during the Prohibition era. Tales of the Coast Guard chasing rum runners were common. It was very seldom that one could be caught. The booze was unloaded at convenient places like Gould’s Bridge. To distract the authorities, someone would set a fire in town.
On Aug 6th 1795, Pomp an African-American slave was hung for chopping off the head of his master. He was confined in Ipswich jail, and a sentence of death was passed. He was held there until the day of his execution, which was attended by a “cheering crowd of thousands” after a sermon by Rev. Dana.
Throughout the Revolutionary War, Joseph Hodgkins sent letters home from the battlefronts to his wife, Sarah Perkins Hodgkins, detailing the desperate troop conditions and longing for home. The letters were preserved and can be read online.
Links to two dozen wars that Ipswich men fought in from the town’s settlement in 1633, through the Vietnam War.
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.
Historic photos of the Ipswich River from original glass negatives taken by early Ipswich photographers Arthur Wesley Dow, George Dexter and Edward L. Darling.
For eight decades the Sullivan farm in Ipswich, MA practiced a pre-modern way of life. The two sisters who took over their father’s family farm in 1916 were also teachers and principals in the Ipswich schools.
William Clancy, a young Ipswich man, enlisted in the English Army, and was the first American to carry the Stars and Stripes into action during WWI.
The settlement in Ipswich set itself resolutely to the task of guarding against undesirable prospective citizens. The practice of “warning out” strangers was finally abolished in 1793.
The Ipswich Historical Commission, with the full authority of Section 8D of the Laws of Massachusetts opposes the identified projects at 87 High Street and 108 Central Street in their proposed density and recommends other town boards to do the same.
“In Ipswich town, not far from the sea, rises a hill which the people call Heartbreak Hill, and its history is an old, old legend known to all.”
An estimated 18,000,000 Native Americans lived in North America before the 17th Century. The arrival of 102 Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower at Plymouth in 1620 and the settlements by the Puritans a decade later were accompanied by the demise of the native population of North America.
From the year of its settlement in 1628 until the middle of the 19th century, Salem, in the Massachusetts Bay, was a maritime port surpassed in size and importance by only two or three other seaports along the Atlantic coast.
In 1963 this house was slated for destruction, but through the efforts of local preservationists was relocated to the Smithsonian where it resides as the Museum’s largest artifact on permanent display.
I love to think of old Ipswich town
Old Ipswich town in the east countree,
Whence on the tide, you can float down
Through long salt grass to the wailing sea.
In 2005 EBSCO Publishing commissioned artist Alan Pearsall to paint a 2,700-square-foot mural on one of the old mill buildings occupied by the company in Ipswich. The mural is the centerpiece of the town’s Riverwalk.
Resistance by the citizens and leaders of Ipswich to a tax imposed by the Crown in 1687 is commemorated in the seal of the town of Ipswich, which bears the motto, “The Birthplace of American Independence 1687.”
The Ipswich Company of the Massachusetts State Guard during WWII
Arthur Hans Hardy grew up in Ipswich, On a mission over the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos on March 14, 1972, Hardy’s aircraft was hit and he bailed out nar enemy troops. His body is buried at Highland Cemetery in Ipswich.
Life Magazine, July 16, 1945: The government had taken over the lands for a Wildlife Refuge, and the clam battle was on. Ipswich hunters were afraid of losing their private hunting reserves. Ipswich farmers were afraid of losing their land.
In 1765, Jenny Slew, a slave in Ipswich, successfully sued John Whipple Jr. for her freedom. In the mid-19th Century, divisions between ardent abolitionists, moderate anti-slavery people and those who avoided the discussion divided families, churches and the town of Ipswich.
Lord Timothy Dexter of Newburyport was insane but profited from everything he undertook. He declared himself to be “the greatest philosopher in the known world.” His book, “A Pickle for the Knowing Ones” is a collection of whatever entered his head at the moment, spelling as he wished, and devoid of punctuation.