Market Square Ipswich MA new sign

Market Square, a “sign of the times?”

The traditional English-style wooden directional sign at Market Square has been replaced with something more modern, and I'm sad to see it go.

Winchester Public Library Purchase of Land From the Indians by Aiden Lasalle Ripley

“That we may avoid the least scrupulo of intrusion” – The Colonists and Indian Land, Part I

by Mary Ellen Lepionka. Featured image: Winchester Public Library "Purchase of Land From the Indians" by Aiden Lasalle Ripley Children today are told that the colonists robbed the Native Americans of their land, that their means of livelihood was stolen from them. This isn’t really true though, at least not for the first 80 years or so. … Continue reading “That we may avoid the least scrupulo of intrusion” – The Colonists and Indian Land, Part I

An official announcement of my non-candidacy for Public Office

Well, it's that time again when the Good People of Ipswich await breathlessly for the Annual Town Meeting, the hallowed New England tradition in which we debate transfers of even the smallest sums from one bookkeeping account to another, while being mercifully spared the details of an annual budget of some Fifty Million Dollars which … Continue reading An official announcement of my non-candidacy for Public Office

An Ipswich rose by any other name

In our cold New England winter, ye Ipswich inhabitants and expatriates arm ouselves with keyboards and set out on the battling fields of Facebook to resolve the age-old questions that have long perplexed the Good People of Ipswich. Starting this round is David, a well-meaning person who posted a photo of the "Historic Crane Estate," … Continue reading An Ipswich rose by any other name

To secure a competence

The following remarks were made by the Ipswich Historical Commission chairman John Fiske, on accepting the 2014 Community Service Award from the Ipswich Democratic Town Committee on January 31, 2015: As Chair of the Ipswich Historical Commission, I know how pleased and proud we all are that you have decided to honor us with the … Continue reading To secure a competence

Keeping My Bearings in Changing Times

As the title suggests, keeping my bearings, following directions and distinguishing right from left pose increasing challenges as I enter the dark side of mid-life (Or is it the lighter side of old age?) I know that many of you find yourselves in the same bucket of sorrow, and I feel your pain. But press … Continue reading Keeping My Bearings in Changing Times

The Karma of Modern Problems

by Gavin Keenan:  Town Meeting time can often raise the blood pressure. When paired with the daily MOABs of POTUS 45, a defibrillator may be indicated. But here I want to speak of local affairs; to wit, small town politics and the history of governing in Ipswich as clearly as I recall it. Those of … Continue reading The Karma of Modern Problems

Born in a refuge camp

By Ingrid Miles, Ipswich  I was born in a refugee camp and I feel as if I am reliving my parents nightmare after World War II when my dad had to modify his name and identify himself as Christian; my mother was Catholic in order to come to this country as displaced persons aka DP's. … Continue reading Born in a refuge camp

A Very Ipswich Christmas

“You live where?” “Ipswich, MA. It’s about 45 minutes north of Boston. “Oh. Well then you must get a lot of snow.” “Yes. Unfortunately.” “Unfortunately? What are you talking about? Christmas must be great! I am so jealous.” As a college freshman, I have this conversation at least twice a week. Someone asks where I … Continue reading A Very Ipswich Christmas

Oh, Wintry Christmas of My Youth!

It’s popular to recall – albeit with questionable accuracy, the Christmases of our childhood. Poets, songwriters and silly memoirists love to wax nostalgic of a time and place where the winters were colder, the snows deeper, and the pace of life more manageable. Yet, for those of us lucky enough to grow up in New … Continue reading Oh, Wintry Christmas of My Youth!

Ghosts of Independence Day

My wife and I were reminiscing of Independence Days long past, when our children were little, some of our parents still alive and our families mostly living nearby. Backyard cook-outs scheduled around shifts at Beverly Hospital or the I.P.D., Betty Dorman's Recreation Department Fourth of July Children's Parade - thankfully still going strong, decking out … Continue reading Ghosts of Independence Day

How will sea level rise affect Ipswich?

Sea levels rose about 8 inches globally and about 1 foot on the Eastern Seaboard in the past century. What would happen to Ipswich if catastrophic predictions for the 21st Century are realized? In a December 6, 2012 report, NOAA's Climate Program Office collaborated with authors from NASA, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the … Continue reading How will sea level rise affect Ipswich?

The great and famous not so gentle Ipswich putdown

Republished 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 and adornment. Sometimes the reprimand is delivered … Continue reading The great and famous not so gentle Ipswich putdown

Playoff-Grade Guinness Beef Stew

Hello, sports fans. What could be a better way to stave off today’s blustery winds, frigid temperatures and icy walkways than by watching a red-blooded, All American Football Classic? Why, doing so as you enjoy a steaming bowl of genuine Guinness Beef Stew. This hearty and nutritious meal is the focus of my column, and … Continue reading Playoff-Grade Guinness Beef Stew

A Clam Town Christmas

The young cop watched the grey Jeep straddle the median as it rounded the curve at Eagle Hill. The Jeep was moving well below the speed limit; a good thing since the roadway was slick with an inch of light, fluffy snow. The tracks in the snow had been what had caught the cop’s attention. … Continue reading A Clam Town Christmas

Let’s Go Walking……. After Midnight……

A story by Gavin "Noir" Keenan: Up for a walk tonight? How about joining me on a late-night beat shift in the early 1980’s? The downtown was still thriving then; a square filled with businesses, bars and people on every corner at all hours of day and night. Beat cops were kept busy, especially on … Continue reading Let’s Go Walking……. After Midnight……

political ads

Party Poopers for a Parliament

By Gavin Keenan. (Illustrations added by Gordon Harris, courtesy of online publications) If you are anything like me, you have been greatly disturbed by the presence of political ads on the television from various presidential contenders of both major parties, which sadly are the only parties that we have to choose from. If this weren’t … Continue reading Party Poopers for a Parliament

Something Wicked Your Way Comes

Burning Desire, By Gavin Keenan Driving without headlights and the volume of the police radio turned low, Deputy Peter Benoit drifted along the moonlit road. Never one to seek the company of others, he preferred the isolation of working midnights patrolling the lonely landscape of failed farms and shuttered mills below the Quebec border. But Peter … Continue reading Something Wicked Your Way Comes

A simple badge and gun does not a copper make

This post is by former Ipswich police chief Gavin Keenan. Recently I had the pleasure of meeting some retired Ipswich Police Department friends at a late summer cookout. It was a magical evening of story-telling, catching up on family happenings and just being comfortable with people that I had worked so closely with for many years. … Continue reading A simple badge and gun does not a copper make