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 voted to resign all their land interests to the town, toward the payment of the heavy town debt incurred during the Revolution.
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 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.
At the foot of Hovey Street along the Ipswich River is a plaque dedicated to the memory of Ipswich settler Daniel Hovey, whose home and wharf were across the river on what is now Tansey Lane.
In 1737, Captain Nathaniel Treadwell opened an inn in the house still standing at 12 N. Main St. Nathaniel Treadwell of the next generation built the second Treadwell’s Inn at 26 N. Main St. For over one hundred years it was the town’s first-class hotel. Guests at the two inns included John Adams, President Monroe, Daniel Webster and the Marquis de LaFayette.
Before a nationwide television audience, Joseph Welch of Waltham replied to Joseph McCarthy, “Until this moment, Senator, I think I have never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness.”
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.”
In the mid-18th Century, Ipswich women started making lace with distinctive patterns. After the first stocking machine was smuggled from England to Ipswich in 1822, immigrants arrived in Ipswich to work in the cotton and hosiery mills, contributing to the town’s diverse cultural heritage.
Dr. John Calef of Ipswich in the Massachusetts Assembly and was one of only 17 members who voted to retract the Circular Letter opposing the Townshend Acts. The town replaced him with Gen. Michael Farley. An engraving by Paul Revere portrays Calef being pushed into Hell.
Marblehead’s Elbridge Gerry served as governor of Massachusetts and vice-president of the United States, but his historic legacy will forever be tied to a political monster dubbed the “Gerrymander.”