Thomas Dennis (1638–1706), came to Ipswich from Devonshire, England. His home at 7 County Street still stands, and is where he practiced his trade as a joiner and master carver. The furniture of Thomas Dennis took on the status of historic treasure, and over time more pieces were attributed to him than he could have produced in his lifetime.
The Rev. Nathaniel Ward emigrated to Massachusetts in 1634 and served for two years as the minister in Ipswich. His “Body of Liberties” established a code of fundamental principles of government for the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Ward’s book “The Simple Cobler of Aggawam in America” was published in England in 1647.
Ipswich is home to two groundbreaking masterworks of early eighteenth century America, a paneled wall and a pulpit. Both were made by Abraham Knowlton (1699- 1751), a woodworker who is less well known than he deserves to be.
Selection 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 […]
Rebecca Rawson of Newbury became one of the most popular young ladies in Boston society. She married a charming but cunning young man who left her desolate in London. On her return to America, the ship was swallowed by a tsunami.
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
March 31, 1776, Abigail Adams to John Adams: “In the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.”
In honor of Martin Luther King Day, this is a letter to the Atlanta Journal from my father David Aubren Harris, a Mississippi native, in support of President Truman’s civil rights initiatives. He received a vicious racist letter in response.
The house was festooned with greens, the tables were laden with food and wine, the burning tapers reflected in the sparking silver and crystal. The War was over and the father of the family had returned safely.
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.
Teddy Roosevelt, a grandstanding performer with plenty of rhetoric but fewer accomplishments, campaigned from the caboose of a train in New England.
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.
On December 1, 1722, Daniel Rogers was returning to Ipswich from a court case in Hampton and took a wrong turn that led deep into Salisbury marshes. His body was found a few days later near Salisbury beach. Suspicion fell on one Moses Gatchel but no charges were filed, there being a lack of solid evidence.
On Christmas Day 1823, Gen Benjamin Pierce of Hillsborough, NH held a reunion of twenty-two citizens who had served in the War of Independence. The oldest attendee was Ammi Andrews, born in Ipswich, MA, aged 89 years.
Fortitude, Rectitude and Attitude. Remembering the Life and Times of Ipswich Police Sergeant Frank Geist
The long and productive life of Frank Geist lends credence to the maxim that character is fate and renders his a story is worthy of telling.
Nancy Virginia Weare spent 33 years at her family’s summer camp at Plum Island. In 1993, after Nancy retired, she wrote “Plum Island: The Way It Was.”
The Rev. Joseph Dana served the Second Congregational Church at the South Green from 1765 until his death in 1827 at age 85. Rev, Dana’s tombstone in the Old South Cemetery reads: “In memory of the Rev Joseph Dana D.D., for sixty-two years, Minister of the South Church. […]
Every day Charlotte Lindgren boarded at Ipswich Depot for her commute to Boston and back. On February 28, 1956, she was unfortunate to be in two horrible train crashes in the same morning, but survived them both unscathed.
Trouncing three male contenders, including the incumbent, Mrs. Elizabeth S. Cole of Argilla Road swept into office Monday, poling 1401 of the 3364 ballots cast by an estimated 57.5 per cent of the town electorate.
Serious difficulties were in store for the young pastor, who stayed for fifty years. Forbidden by his own congregation from mentioning slavery from the pulpit, Mr. Kimball maintained his great love of the pastorate even as they reduced his salary.
Many of the glass plate negatives taken by George Dexter (1862-1927) and Edward Darling (1874 – 1962), were stored away for almost a century.
Dr. John Calef was among a handful of members of the Massachusetts Assembly who voted to retract the “Massachusetts Circular Letter” which was adopted in response to the 1767 Townshend Acts. Ipswich citizens’ anger at Calef lingered as war with England approached.
Nathan Dane, a native of Ipwich was a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress, where he helped draft the Northwest Ordinance, which was enacted in 1787. Dane’s amendment banning slavery in the territory, which would become five new states was accepted into the Ordinance. His amendments to the Articles of Confederation helped lead to adoption of the United States Constitution and a Bill of Rights.
In 1774, the Town of Ipswich chose Michael Farley, a tanner, as a delegate to the Provincial Congress. He was appointed major-general of the Militia of Massachusetts in 1777. Farley is buried at the Old North Burying Ground beside his wife Elizabeth. The site of his home is now the Richdale store on Market St..
Mehitable Braybrook, who burned down Jacob and Sarah Perkins’ house, married John Downing and was arrested for witchcraft
She was charged with burning down her master’s house and was arrested years later during the witchcraft trials. Her husband had been captured and indentured by Cromwell’s forces in Ireland.
The largest contingent to arrive in Ipswich from the same village were 15 men and women from Assington, Suffolk, including Thomas French and his family.
Robert Kinsman, the immigrant, was a glazier by trade, and received a grant of an acre of land on Green St. His son Robert 2 played a part in the resistance to Gov. Andros in 1687 for which Ipswich is known as the Birthplace of American Independence.
John Perkins, who identified himself as “the Elder,” and his wife Judith Gator were the immigrant ancestors of the Ipswich Perkins family from the mother country.
Generations of the Jewett family made their homes on upper High Street, and the area near the Rowley town line came to be known as Ipswich Village.
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.
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.
Nicholas Manning immigrated from England to Salem, MA, as early as 1662. He was later joined by his youngest brother Thomas, who became the common ancestor of the prominent Manning family of Ipswich.
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.
Luke Perkins and his wife, Elizabeth were notorious disturbers of the peace in 17th Century Ipswich, and she had a “venomous tongue.” It was a happy day for the town when Luke and Elizabeth loaded their belongings into a boat and set sail for the solitary island farm owned by his father on Grape Island.
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.”
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.
On October 30, 1789, Washington passed through Ipswich on his ten-day tour of Massachusetts. Adoring crowds greeted the President at Swasey’s Tavern (still standing at the corner of Popular and County Streets) where he stopped for food and drink.
We sadly learned of the recent passing of John Fiske, a long-time member of the Ipswich Historical Commission. At our June meeting, the Commission unanimously voted to grant the 2021 Mary Conley Preservation award to our esteemed former chairman for his exceptional service to the Town of Ipswich, and granted him the honorary title of Chair Emeritus.
The youngest daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Lull, Sr married William Caldwell in 1714. The wives of his brothers, John and Jacob, were her nieces, being the daughters of Thomas Lull Jr. The Caldwell family became prominent, while the Lull family name disappeared from Ipswich.
John Adams visited Ipswich many times during his tenure as the Boston representative to the colonial legislature from 1770 to 1774.