The East End Historic District
Map of the East End Historic District from nomination papers
The Ipswich East End Historic District was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1980. View a complete description in the Nomination Report.
The East End includes the seafaring portion of the original village of Ipswich and offers an architectural history of the town’s development. It was here that the first houses were built in this town where fishing and lumbering were prominent industries. When settlers arrived in the 1630’s, wigwams, huts and hovels were constructed between Town Hill and what is now Town Wharf. The Ipswich River was the town’s avenue to the Atlantic.
Settlement remained concentrated in this area and the town rapidly grew and prospered. Wharves and warehouses were built along the riverbank. Water Street was the site of a custom house, pottery manufacturing, and an ancient tannery. Salt manufacture began in 1652, a brew house was built by 1663, and Moses Pengry established a shipyard in 1673. By 1676 ship building was an extensive industry. The River became the chief highway of commerce as far inland as Falls Island (eradicated when the County St. bridge was built in 1861). Fishing and lumbering became prominent. Staves, clapboards, masts, timbers for houses, and fish were shipped to foreign ports.
View of Summer and Water Streets from across the river
The general lack of new building late in the 18th century reveals the economic hardships Ipswich faced at this time. The 1830’s heralded the Industrial Revolution in Ipswich and new buildings followed on the heels of successful textile mills. Lower County St., once pasture land, was improved in 1861 when a new bridge was built, linking the South Green area and the East End. The 1830s was one of the most prosperous periods in Ipswich history. The Industrial Revolution and new buildings followed on the heels of successful textile mills.
Thriving merchants built fine Victorian homes during this era, attesting to the prosperity of the town and the rising middle class. Five Second-Empire homes were built between 1860 and 1870. This marked the final stage of development for the East End. Today the East End is predominantly residential and includes over 60 examples of period architecture contributing to the character of the historic district.
Jonathan Pulcifer House, Summer St.
Physical boundaries: The East End is bounded on the north and west by East Street. That street extends from the High-North Main Streets intersection on the west to Jeffrey’s Neck Road on the north, skirting Town Hill. The River and its eastern bank (Turkey Shore Road) form the eastern boundary of the district from Town Wharf to the Green Street Bridge. Green Street is the southern edge of the District, enclosing Water, Summer and Hovey Streets and Agawam Avenue, and a major portion of County Street. The East End is now predominantly residential and includes over 60 fully surveyed historic houses.
Houses in the East End listed by address, house name and date built. Susan Nelson’s detailed listing for the Ipswich Historical Society is the source of much of the information for dates and descriptions of the houses listed below.
3 County Street, the William Treadwell house (1850) - The house does not appear on the Ipswich maps through 1910, at which time this tiny parcel was owned by Dr. Russell. It may be a wing of the Captain William Treadwell house which was removed from the other corner of East Street in order to widen the intersection. 25 County Street, the J. Caldwell house (c 1860) - The house at 25 County Street in Ipswich was built in approximately 1860 on a corner of the former Ipswich Jail grounds. The 1872 Ipswich map shows the owner as J. Caldwell. In 1910 the owner is N. S. Kimball. 17 County Street, Daniels Shoe Factory (1843) - This house was built in 1843 near the EBSCO dam as Hoyt’s Veneer Mill. It was moved in 1859 to its present location where it became the Perkins & Daniels Stocking Factory. Farley & Daniels succeeded in 1884. 11 County Street, the Bennett – Caldwell house (1725) - Joseph Bennett built this early Second Period house in 1725. In 1818 the house was sold to Capt. Sylvanus Caldwell, who engaged in maritime trade along the coast from Massachusetts to Maine for a half century. 10 County Street, the Dennis – Dodge House (1740) - The 1740 Dennis-Dodge house was owned by Captain John Dennis, whose father Thomas Dennis was a renowned woodworker and owned a home across the street. A succession of Dennis family members retained this property. Captain Ignatius Dodge (1816 - 1901) inherited the house. In the early 1800's, Eunice Hale maintained a school in the building. 9 County Street, the Benjamin Dutch house (1705) - This was built early in the 1700’s, and was owned by one of several men named Benjamin Dutch who owned and sold properties throughout town. The asymmetrical facade and timber frame are typical of First Period construction. 16 County Street, the Abraham Knowlton house (1726) - The original house is believed to have been constructed between 1725 and 1740. The house was in poor condition and in 2003 was restored by Ipswich architect Matthew Cummings. It is identical in construction to the Dennis-Dodge house a few doors away. 15 County Street, the Rev. Levi Frisbie house (1788) - This house at 15 County Street was built in 1788 for Rev. Levi Frisbie, pastor of First Church in Ipswich. He continued in the pastorate thirty years until his death in 1806, succeeded by the Rev. David Tenney Kimball. 47 County Street, the Benjamin Grant house (1723) - The Benjamin Grant House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. It appears to have been originally built as a half house. Benjamin Grant was born in 1701 in Ipswich to Robert and Mary Grant, who emigrated from England. Benjamin married Anne Perkins in 1722, and was killed in the French and Indian War in 1756. 7 County Street, the Thomas Dennis House (1663) - Shoreborne Wilson, a cooper, built a house and shop on this site about 1660. Thomas Dennis, the well-known master joiner, bought the property in 1663. The rear ell of the present house dates from that period, The 5-bay front section of the house dates to the 1750's.
4 East St., the old Methodist Parsonage, 1830 - The house at 4 East Street was constructed about 1830 and served as the Methodist Parsonage. The first sanctuary of the Methodist Church was located next door at the location of the present-day Ipswich Inn. 42 East Street, the Joseph Hovey house (1850) - Joseph Hovey bought a lot in 1843 from the estate of Thomas Boardman, and an adjoining lot in the rear at about the same time from J. H. Boardman. The old Boardman house was torn down about 1850, and Joseph Hovey built a house on the lot, which appears in the 1856 map. 3 East Street, the James W. Perkins house and Provisions (1860) - This house was built between 1856 and 1872. Samuel Hunt purchased the ancient Day-Dodge house at the corner of North Main and East Streets on Feb. 14, 1849 with three lots adjoining. The 1856 Ipswich map shows Burroughs Machine Shop at this location.
The 1896 Ipswich Business Directory lists J.W. Perkins, Provisions and Meat Market at this location on East Street. 25 East St, the Stanwood-Willcomb house (1830) - Stephen Stanwood erected this house in 1830 for a fulling mill. Sheep grazed on the bare hills above East and High Streets, and the mill used water that ran from the springs. This is said to be the first house in town to have running water. Fred Willcomb and his brother Lewis E. Willcomb operated a store here at Willcomb's Corner. 78 East Street, the James Glover hosiery factory (c 1860) - James Glover came to Ipswich from England with a long warp weaving machine about 1845. He worked at the Lower Mills until he opened his own textile factory ca. 1860. He manufactured hairnets, knit goods, hoods, and shawls. Glover employed 40-50 hands in the Civil War period, but by 1897 the mill was closed. 27 East Street, the Widow Elizabeth Caldwell house (1740-1755) - Joseph Wait sold this lot to Elizabeth Caldwell, widow of Thomas, in 1829. She moved a house from another site onto her property. The rear two story wing is believed to be the older house, joined together when the house was moved. Structural evidence suggest a construction dates of about 1740 to 1775 for the two sections. 33 East St., the Old Store (1830) - The house at 33 East St. was built in approximately 1830 near the corner of East and County Streets for use as a store by James Quimby, and was moved to this location in 1850 by Joseph Wait. 6 East Street, the Daniel Russell house (1818) - In 1818 Daniel Russell bought the land with the old Norton - Cobbet house on it, the home of two of the first pastors of the First Church in Ipswich. Daniel Russell, the son of Henry and Mary Lord Russell. Daniel Russell was born in Ipswich on August 14, 1767 and died on December 29 1837, having lived 70 years. His wife was Sarah Sutton. 7 East Street, the Sadie Stockwell house (1888) - The heirs of Samuel Hunt sold the building lot to Sadie B. Stockwell and her husband Frank Stockwell, dentist on April 27, 1888 and she built the house on the lot in the same year. The Queen Anne shingle-style home of the Victorian era is not common in Ipswich. 10 East Street, the Nathaniel Harris house (1819) - Nathaniel Harris built his home in 1819 on a section of land from the Baker Newman property next door. His widow Elizabeth Staniford lived into her 90's. The county laid a pipe connecting a spring on this land to the house of corrections on Meetinghouse Green. 22 East Street, the Moses Fellows House (1873) - Thomas Sweet sold this lot to Moses A. Fellows and Sarah G. Hodgkins in 1873, and Fellows built this Italianate house shortly thereafter. Fellows owned a lumber yard on Water Street. 59 East Street, the Daniel Ringe house (1719) - The small lot fronting on East Street was sold to Daniel Ringe, Oct. 16, 1719 . It was sold to John Holland, Nov. 6, 1742. Daniel Ringe was an early settler of Ipswich, and as a young man worked as a cow-herd. Captain Ringe was a soldier in the Indian wars and became a prominent citizen of Ipswich. 37 East Street, the Stephen Baker house (1834) - The small two story three bay colonial at 37 East Street was built in 1834 by Stephen Baker Jr. as a storehouse for his grocery. The lot was also used a lumber yard and Baker opened a way to the river, constructing a wharf at the end of the lane. 35 East Street, the Luther Wait house (1810) - In 1872 Luther Wait removed the County jailor's house to this location. Wait served on several town boards including the school committee and as town assessor, and served two terms as postmaster. 2 East Street, the Robert Jordan house (1863) - The “Old Brick,” the home of esteemed Col. Francis Wainwright was at this location in the 17th and early 18th Century. The original Methodist Church meeting house was erected here in the 1830's. Robert Jordan, a clothing merchant, bought this lot in 1862, and built this fine Italianate home. Dr. George C. Bailey was the next ownef, but then built the large Victorian house at 48 Market Street in 1887. 76 East Street, the Hodgkins – Lakeman House (c1690) - William Hodgkins built this house before 1700. In 1718 he sold the dwelling to Archelaus Lakeman and the property remained in the Lakeman family for almost 200 years. The Lakemans were a sea-faring family with extensive wharves and warehouses on the property and on the Town Wharf across the street. 38 East Street, the John Harris house (1742) - Thomas Harris purchased land along East Street in 1665. His son John was deputy sheriff and transported accused witches to Salem for trial. This sizable Georgian house was built by John Harris, 3rd or 4th generation. The property descended to Capt. Stephen Baker, whose heirs owned into the 20th Century. 30 East Street, the Jordan – Snelling – Potter house (c 1708) - John Potter purchased the lot in 1708 with all the buildings, including the “old house, new out-houses, etc.” Structural evidence reveals that the house was built in two stages, and that the west side is the earliest portion. The house was owned in the 1950’s by Hollie Bucklin who renovated the building so that it appears to be a medieval revival cross-gabled house. 16 East Street, the Lakeman-Johnson house (c 1840) - This house was built between 1837 and 1846 when mariner Richard Lakeman sold the land “with the dwelling house and other buildings thereon,” to his brother, Captain Ebenezer “Eben” Lakeman. The house has an Asher Benjamin doorway and has a preservation agreement with Historic New England. 18 East Street, the Baker-Dodge house (1727) - This house was built by John Baker III, and was purchased by Mary Dennis Dodge in 1818. The house is protected by a preservation agreement between the owners and the town of Ipswich. 14 East Street, the Baker – Newman house (1725) - John Baker obtained a section of the land extending down East Street to Spring Street, originally granted to Rev. Cobbet. John Baker Jr. sold eight acres with buildings including land on the hillside to Nathaniel Jones Jr. in 1742.
Jones sold the house and lot to George Newman Jr., a weaver. 8 East Street, the Captain Matthew Perkins house (1701) - The Captain Matthew Perkins House at 8 East St. in Ipswich was the winner of the 1991 Mary Conley Award. The land on which the house sits was at one time part of an orchard lot and was sold to Matthew Perkins, a weaver and soldier, by Major Francis Wainwright in 1701. The 1st period 2-story structure has post-medieval overhangs front and side. 80 East Street, the Perkins – Hodgkins House (c 1700) - The Perkins-Hodgkins house is believed to have been built in 1700 on the foundation of the earier Jacob Perkins home. The house has been greatly expanded over the years, but the original asymetrical structure continues to anchor the corner with Jeffreys Neck Road.
4-6 Summer Street, the Cotton-Nourse house (1840) - Ebenezer Russell sold this lot to Charles C. Cotton, Feb. 27, 1840. Cotton built a double house, and sold half of the house with a partition running through it, and half of a barn to Foster Russell and Daniel P. Nourse in Feb. 1841. Cotton retained half of the house, but by the late 19th Century the house was owned solely by the Nourse family. 48 Summer St., the Alonzo and Abbie Butler house, (1868) - The Ipswich assessors office gives the date of construction for the house at 48 Summer Street as 1868. It first appears on the 1872 and 1884 Ipswich map with the name “A. Butler.” The Ipswich Agawam Manual and Directory of 1888 shows the name “Alonzo Butler, opposite 45 […] 17 Summer St., the William and Margaret Chapman house (after 1832) - Margaret L. Chapman, wife of William Chapman, died Nov. 21, 1889, aged 80 yrs, 10 mos. William Chapman, son of Jedediah Chapman, died July 24, 1899, aged 86 years, 3 months. 14 Summer St., the Ezra Lord House (c 1850) - This was the childhood home of Walter Ezra Lord, who established himself in a general dry goods business in Ipswich. He served 5 years as a selectman, and in 1895 was chosen representative of Ipswich in the lower house of the General Court. 10 Summer Street, the Charles C. Cotton House (1841) - The 1832 Ipswich map shows no houses on this side of upper Summer Street, which served as the backyard gardens and orchards for the owners of houses on East Street. Ebenezer Russell of East St. sold Charles Cotton a rear portion of his East Street lot.
13 Summer Street, the Daniel Clark house (1872) - This lot with a house was purchased by Daniel Clark, in 1872. The old house is believed to have been moved to 5 County Street, and the present house was erected. It served as Phillip Clark's funeral home. 36 Summer Street, the John Brocklebank house (1856) - The Brocklebank family in Essex County traces its roots to John Brocklebank Sr. born about 1630 in Yorkshire, England, who moved with his wife Sarah to Rowley, MA in 1657. Jenny Ellsworth came into possession of this house and 38 Summer St. in 1930. 40 Summer Street, the Denison Rust house (b 1872) - The construction date of the house at 40 Summer Street in Ipswich is listed by the Ipswich Historical Commission as approximately 1880. In the 1910 Ipswich map this house is #38. The 1872 and 1884 Ipswich maps show the owner of the house on this lot as Denison Rust. The 1910 […] 30 Summer Street, the Smith-Barton house (moved 1880) - The house at 30-32 Summer Street may have been the High Street home of Daniel Smith, and was moved to the current location in the 1880’s by John Conley. The house was occupied by Civil War Veteran John Barton. 7 Summer Street, the Thomas Treadwell house (C 1740) - The original house consisted of a large room with a chimney and entry at the right. Raised field wainscotting in this room is the most exceptional early second period feature. The house was altered in the mid-18th century, and the kitchen and small rear room are finished with trim from this period. In the mid-19th century new stairs and a new chimney were built. The sloop, "Endeavorer," under Capt. Thomas Treadwell, was included in the fishing fleet of 1716. 12 Summer Street, the Moses Harris house (1848) - Moses Harris married Emily A. Cotton, age 18, the daughter of Charles and Abigail (Jewett) Cotton who lived next door at 10 Summer St., on Oct. 5, 1848, and built this house soon thereafter. His grandfather, Captain Moses Harris served in the Continental Army and died on board a British prison ship in New York in 1783. 5 Summer Street, the Widow Fuller house (1725) - In 1754, Elizabeth Fuller sold this house and land to Thomas Treadwell, who also owned the house at 7 Summer Street. Stylistic evidence points to a construction date of c. 1725. Originally the house was one room deep, with a cased frame. An ell was added at the turn of the 19th century. 24 Summer Street, the William E. Barton house (1885) - This house first appears in the 1884 Ipswich village map under the ownership of J. E. Barton. In the 1910 map it belongs to William J. Barton. Although it was constructed in 1885, the architectural style is similar to the earlier Greek Revival period. 27 Summer Street, the Thomas Knowlton house (1688) - Humphrey Bradstreet. sold his house and land to Deacon Thomas Knowlton in 1646. In 1688 Knowlton passed his house and land to his grand nephew Nathaniel Knowlton with a new house erected on the property, and it is this house that survives today. 31 Summer Street, the Bartlett house (c 1870) - Ezekiel Bartlett sold this property to Frederick Willcomb in 1872. The decorative brackets under the soffets and porch roof are Italianate, suggesting a mid-century construction. 37 Summer Street, the William H. Jewett house (b 1872) - This elegant Cape Cod Colonial at 37 Summer Street first appears as the W. Jewett house in the 1872 Ipswich map, although the town website lists it as 1825. Like many capes from the Greek Revival era it features a steep roof, story-and-a-half construction, a balanced facade, centered door with entablature […] 46 Summer Street, the James Foster house (1720) - James Foster bought this former orchard land in 1720 from Nathaniel Clark who moved to Newbury. The northwest side is the original half-house, which was doubled in size and remodeled to appear Georgian, with the two chimneys, dormers and a symmetrical front. The house was owned by the Soward family in the 19th Century, and partially burned. 11 Summer Street, the Nathaniel Hovey house (1718) - Nathaniel Hovey Sr. lived only to the age of 28, about the time of the birth of his son Nathaniel Jr. in 1696. This house was probably built by the younger Hovey. The asymmetrical layout of the front of this house is because Hovey built a half house and expanded it later. A modified Beverly jog is on the left. 43 Summer Street, the Wilcomb-Pinder house (1718) - This timber-framed First Period house was built in 1718 by William Wilcomb. The interior of the home features hand-hewn summer beams, wide plank flooring and the original fireplaces. The next owner, William Benjamin Pinder was a corporal with Col. Appleton’s company during the French and Indian War. 39 Summer Street, the Foster – Grant house (1717) - In 1717 Nathaniel Knowlton sold a small lot to James Foster who is believed to have built the house. In 1826, the family sold to Ephriam Grant, and the house was long known as the "Grant house." Early Colonial features are preserved throughout the house.
2 Green Street, the John Perkins house (1860) - This corner was originally part of a larger lot owned by General Denison. Captain Treadwell and Nathaniel Lord Jr. were later owners, and then Mr. John Perkins, who built this house. 30 Green Street, the Ipswich Town Hall (1935) - A large jail/insane asylum was built on the Green Street location in 1828. It was torn down in 1934 to make room for a new high school. The building now serves as the Ipswich Town Hall. The prison workhouse still stands and was remodeled into a senior residence center. 12 Green Street, the Andrew Burley house (1688) - Andrew Burley bought this lot in 1683 and built a house shortly thereafter. He became a wealthy merchant and updated the house with fine Georgian features. Burley was a justice of the Sessions Court and was elected representative to the General Court in 1741. Capt. John Smith purchased the house in 1760 from the estate of Andrew Burley’s widow Hannah and operated it as Smith's Tavern.
3 Hovey Street, the John Kendrick house (1665) - John Kenrick, a cooper by trade, owned this lot in 1665,. He and his son sold it to to Thomas Staniford in 1706. Structural evidence supports a construction date of about 1670. Much of the trim dates from the late 18th or early 19th centuries.
32 Water Street, the Jabesh Sweet house (1713) - Jabesh Sweet built this house on a quarter acre lot by the river at 32 Water Street in 1713. People said that the ghost of Harry Maine the Mooncusser haunted the house that once sat where the garage for this house now stands. He was found guilty and staked to the Ipswich Bar for eternity. 4 Water Street, the Jewett house (1849) - This lot was sold In 1848 to William H. Jewett and Thomas L. Jewett from the estate of Moses Jewett. The house was built in 1849 from lumber taken from the 1747 Meeting House of the First Church when it was torn down, prior to the building of the Gothic church that stood on that location for a century. In the 1930's this house was the home of Joseph F. Claxton an Ipswich selectman. 36 Water Street, the York – Averill House (1715) - Captain Samuel York built this house in 1715 after selling two smaller lots on East Street. The earliest portions of this house date from the early years of his ownership, Benjamin Averill, a Revolutionary War veteran, bought the house in 1793 and it remained in the Averill family until the late 19th century. 12 Water Street, the Glazier – Sweet house (1728) - This house was built in 1728 by Benjamin Glazier, a sea captain, and transitions the First and Second Periods of Colonial construction. The original half house and early Beverly Jog addition remain intact, with later additions. 6 Water Street, the Reginald Foster house (1690) - Ipswich deeds list the transfer of a house at this location from Roger Preston to Reginald Foster in 1657, but construction of this house dates to about 1690. Massive chamfered summer beams in the right section, the sharp-pitched roof and purlins provide evidence of the early date. 8 Water Street, the Harris-Sutton House (1677) - Abner Harris bought this lot and enlarged the house in 1743. When the house was dismantled and reconstructed in the early 21st Century, evidence was discovered indicating that the eastern part of the house may date to 1677.
59 Turkey Shore Road, the Elizabeth and Otis Glover house (c 1870) - Elizabeth Glover, wife of Otis Glover, inherited the property at 59 Turkey Shore Road from her father, Abraham Soward. She moved the old house off the lot and built this large Queen Anne house on the location. Her husband Otis Glover was in the Civil War from 1861 to 1864, and lived until 1903. 49 Turkey Shore Road, the Austin Measures house (1874) - Austin Measures’ Candy Shop was first located in a small building on North Main Street, and later on Central Street. This house was built in 1874. The low-pitched roof, window hoods and corbels supporting the flat roof portico are of Italianate influence. 63 Turkey Shore Road, the Isaac Foss house (1870) - Mary Appleton, daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth Appleton married, first, Mager Woodbury at 67 Turkey Shore Rd., and had two children. He died in October 1837 and she married, second, her neighbor Thomas McMahon on Labor in Vain and had four children. She continued to own the old Abraham […] 67 Turkey Shore Road, the Stephen Boardman house (1720) - This house is named for Stephen Boardman, the son of Thomas Boardman and Sarah Langley. He and his wife Elizabeth Cogswell moved to Stratham, NH where he made a name for himself as a vocal supporter of the American revolution.The wide pine board floors in the house are original, and 4 restored fireplaces share a central chimney.