18 East Street, the Baker-Dodge house (1727)

Dodge House, 18 East St., Ipswich MA
Dodge House, 18 East St., Ipswich MA

John Baker owned, by grant, from the Cobbet property to the corner of Spring Street. He sold John Baker Jr. a half acre out of his lot adjoining the lot of Thomas Staniford, May 31, 1698 (33: 181). To his son Thomas Baker, he conveyed the house where he lived and the remainder of his land, June 14, 1698 (35: 44). The heirs of Thomas conveyed their interest in the estate of their father to John Baker, third, Dec. 27, 1727 (59: 206). Stylistic evidence suggests the house was constructed at about that time. Mary Dennis Dodge, wife of ship builder John H. Dodge, bought the house in 1818 (222:175), and it is generally refered to as the Dodge House. Rafters in the attic reveal an original one-room-over-one-room floor plan.

Dodge House 18 East Street Preservation Agreement

The Dodge House is protected by a preservation agreement between the owners and the town of Ipswich. Protected elements include the front and side facades including the Beverly jog, Center brick chimney and original fabric of the four fireplaces, wide board pine floors, and major members of the frame.


The photo below shows original beams and paneling in the living room.

Exposed summer beam

Prudence Fish wrote: “As a new Realtor I decided to specialize in selling antique or historically significant houses and that is what I did for more than 25 years. From the beginning I felt compelled to come to the rescue of the worst, endangered houses that came on the market causing one broker to announce that “Pru doesn’t work for the buyer or the seller. She works for the old house.” Selling old wrecks did not make me rich. In fact, I probably earned the lowest commissions in the business because I sold the cheapest houses, all of them worthy of restoration.”

“This was an 18th century half house needing everything. This was a pretty dismal house before experienced restorers turned the situation around. It was purchased by a young couple trying to find a good antique in Ipswich. They had the energy and the smarts to know what to do with it. It was beautifully saved and attractively painted. It is very much a credit to the neighborhood but most importantly, it was saved.”


  • T.F. Waters, Ipswich in the Mass. Bay Colony. Yol. I, p.390

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