The house at 392 Linebrook Rd. in Ipswich was constructed in 1810, and is located on land granted to James Howe, Sr. in 1650. Emerson Howe (b. 1813, d. 1885) inherited the building from his father, Mark, and lived here throughout his life.
Emerson Howe, a farmer and member of the Linebrook Militia, was described as “one of out best citizens, intelligent, careful, unpretending, positive.” Declining to be a deacon, he was clerk of the Linebrook Church for 36 years and a member of the choir and Sunday School. The current owners of the property own a diary kept by Emerson Howe. The Greek Revival finishes in the house may have been added by Emerson Howe at the time of his marriage in 1840. A branch of Potter’s brook which runs east of the house has been dammed up to make a pond. The current owner says that this was originally done to form a cranberry bog. The First Period materials incorporated into the house probably were salvaged from one of the early buildings formerly on the Howe homestead.
The house incorporates Second Period, Federal and Greek Revival features, and includes some reused First Period building materials. There is a typical Second Period floor plan (central chimney, 2-room-deep plan). The left-hand front (north) room has Federal finishes including a mantelpiece with frieze which curves medially toward the top (as found in 59 Turnpike Rd.). The stair hall and right-hand front rooms (upstairs and downstairs) have Greek Revival finishes including two mantelpieces derived from Asher Benjamin’s Practice of Architecture of 1833.
Among the earlier features is the vertical, feather-edged panelling in the rear room. According to the current owner, a previous owner found the panelling in the attic either in a reused position or previously removed and stored there. The previous owner installed it in its current location. The cellar framing includes several reused First Period timbers with bevel chamfers and one with a lamb’s tongue stop. In the attic whitewashed First Period floorboards (with evidence of joists 20 inches on center) are reused as sheathing. On the exterior of the house there is a well-executed Greek Revival frontispiece and a cove molding at the eave. An unusual feature of the house is the jog in the chimney stack in the attic, evidently made so that the chimney would emerge from the roof centered on the ridge line. The barn has 18th century or early 19th century framing characteristics.
Source: MACRIS listing