Puritans founded Ipswich during the “Great Migration” of the early 17th Century. Many residents of the town descend from immigrants who arrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to work in the mills.
It was with great sadness that we learned today about the sudden passing of Ruth Strachan, a member of the Ipswich Historical Commission and the Architectural Preservation District Commission for several years.
Isadore Smith (1902-1985) lived on Argilla Road in Ipswich and was the author of 3 volumes about 17th-19th Century gardens, writing under the pseudonym Ann Leighton. As a member of the Ipswich Garden Club, she created a traditional seventeenth century rose garden at the Whipple House.
A story first recorded in the 1940’s about slavery, as told by people who were slaves.
Born in the Hart House, Miss Kimball was a graduate of the Manning High School, class of 1894. She died in 1980 at the age of 105, after teaching first grade for 45 years.
The Ipswich Town Historian has begun a list of notable people who lived in our community and requests your additional input. These individuals could have resided during any historic time period.
“Know all men by these presents I, Thomas Burnam of Ipswich, do by these presents bargain, sell, sett over and confirm unto the said Robert Dodge, a negro girl known by the name of Patience…To have and to hold said negro girl Patience during her natural life.”
“What words have an emphasis sufficient to express the gratitude we owe to God for the gift of a Washington, and the anguish and lamentation of our country that its illustrious Friend and Father is no more? His memory shall flow down the current of future generations, till they are lost in the ocean of eternity.”
In 1962, Jack Helfant’s houseboat wrecked on Sandy Point. He created a shack using driftwood, canvas and parts of his houseboat. Jack and his dog Prince were permanent fixtures on the island until the State burned down his shack in 1967.
Henry F. Dunnels was the first Ipswich man to serve in the Civil War. Later in life he became a follower of Mary Baker Eddy and was called on to testify in her lawsuits against Daniel Spofford and Calvin Frye.
Madame Shatswell loved her cup of tea, and as a large store had been stored for family use before the hated tax was imposed, she saw no harm in using it as usual. News of the treason spread throughout the town.
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 truth unquestionably is, that the only path to a subversion of the republican system of the Country is, by flattering the prejudices of the people, and exciting their jealousies and apprehensions, to throw affairs into confusion, and bring on civil commotion.”
At Harris Farm the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Regiment, assembled with Ipswich soldiers, drove the Confederates into the cover of the woods, eventually ending with a Northern victory. The battle claimed over 2000 lives.
Robert Lord, his wife Mary Waite and their four children arrived with the first settlers of Ipswich in 1634, where he was appointed town clerk. Almost every house on High Street has been lived in by a member of the Lord family.
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.
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.
Elizabeth Howe and her husband James resided on outer Linebrook. She was charged with bewitching her neighbor’s child and was arrested on May 28, 1692. She was one of the five women hung in Salem on July 19, 1692.
It’s hard for people to change their stories—so embedded in deep time and official canon, even when there is a better explanation or a closer truth. I hope it will be possible to change public knowledge about the Native Americans who lived here and get closer to the truth.
John Adams visited Ipswich many times during his tenure as the Boston representative to the colonial legislature from 1770 to 1774.
In the first half of the Eighteenth Century, Col. Thomas Berry was the most conspicuous citizen of the Town, “Autocrat of his time, Magistrate, Military leader, Physician and Statesman.”
Private Joseph Stockwell Manning grew up on High Street in Ipswich, and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on December 1, 1864, a year and two days after an incredible act of bravery at Fort Sanders, Tennessee.
In 1687, a warrant was issued for the arrest of several Ipswich men for being “seditiously inclined and disaffected to his Majesty’s government.” The 62-year-old Major Samuel Appleton scorned the appearance of submission and remained imprisoned in the cold Boston Jail through the winter.
Lucretia Brown, an invalid living on the South Green in Ipswich was a disciple of Mary Baker Eddy,. When she suffered a “relapse” in 1875, Mrs. Eddy convinced her that Daniel Spofford was exercising mesmeric powers upon her.
Theodore Wendel (1859–1932) was an Impressionist artist who lived for thirty-four years in Ipswich, where he painted the village, bridges, farmlands and landscapes, and left behind a magnificent collection of paintings of his adopted home town.
Soffron Brothers were the exclusive suppliers of clams to the Howard Johnson chain for 32 years, which featured Ipswich Fried Clams on the menu. The four brothers, Tom, George, Pete and Steve, were the children of Greek immigrants who came to work at the Ipswich mills. Their Ipswich factor was at Brown Square in the building that now houses the Ipswich Ale Brewery.
On March 6, 1659 a young man named Robert Cross dug up the remains of the Agawam chief Masconomet, and carried his skull on a pole through Ipswich streets, an act for which Cross was imprisoned, sent to the stocks, then returned to prison until a fine was paid.
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.
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.
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.
Grape Island was once a small but thriving community, and briefly a popular summer resort. In 1941, 3000 acres of Plum Island including Grape Island were purchased by the U.S. government to establish the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.
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.
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.”
In 1819 the inhabitants of Chebacco Parish began noticing lights moving about at night in the graveyard. It was discovered that at least eight graves had been dug up and their coffins were empty.
Click on the image. Do you recognize some of the names and faces? Photos and names are shown left to right, rows starting from the top. (Plus Ipswich Tiger yearbooks 1919 – 2015)
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
Many people trace their roots back through several generations to Ipswich, one of the earliest towns in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. No community in this country is a more fulfilling destination for the genealogy tourist.
A grassy strip near the intersection of Topsfield and Mill Roads belonged to Crocker Snow, an aviation pioneer. He received Massachusetts Pilot License No. 5 in 1927, signed by Orville Wright.
On the cold icy morning of December 13, 1774, Paul Revere headed out on a 60 mile gallop from Boston along the Old Bay Road through Ipswich to warn the citizens of Portsmouth that British troops may be landing.
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.”