The National Trust for Historic Preservation defines heritage tourism as “traveling to experience the places that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present.”
The historic neighborhoods of Meeting House Green, High Street, the East End, and the South Green offer well-preserved streetscapes of 17th to 20th century homes. Walking tours of historic Ipswich are led by Town Historian Gordon Harris, who tells the stories of the town’s historic houses and the people who lived in them.
Dates and Times: Guided tours in 2021 are scheduled by individual or group request, and are then added to the calendar. Advance registrations are recommended, but regular tours are open to walk-ins. Group size for each tour will be limited to about a dozen people.
Charge: $10 per person. No charge for small children. Please pay by cash or check at the beginning of the tour. Tips are appreciated.
Reserve or request a tour by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or text Gordon Harris (978) 979-6598. Please leave your email address and the date you are requesting. (Tours will follow mandated COVID-19 protocols.)
Historic Ipswich walking tour from the Ipswich Visitor Center
Description: This full version of the Historic Ipswich tour starts at the Ipswich Visitor Center and follows the River to Water, Summer, County East, Meeting House Green, North Main and South Main Streets., with a total distance of 1.4 miles. This tour takes about 1.5 – 2 hrs. and is for participants who can walk at a steady pace. (Slower walkers will enjoy the shorter version that starts at Meeting House Green).
Location: The Ipswich Visitor Center at 36 South Main St. View location.
Meeting House Green & the East End
Description: This 3/4 mile tour begins at Meeting House Green and visits the East End Historic District, including North Main, East, Summer, Water, and County Streets. Extended tours and options include the South Green, High St., and the Old North Burying Ground, taking up to 1 1/2 hrs, depending on the pace of the group.
Location: This tour starts in the garden at the intersection in front of the Ipswich Public Library on Meeting House Green. View at Google Maps.
Custom Ancestry Tours
Ipswich is the country’s best-preserved Puritan town, and its residents have been the proud custodians of its history. Many people trace their roots back through several generations to Ipswich, one of the earliest towns in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Town Historian Gordon Harris leads customized tours for people wishing to “walk in the footsteps of their forefathers,” in which we visit the neighborhoods, houses and gravestones of early settlers and their descendants. Tours were recently provided for descendants of Isaac Cummings, William Fellows, Reginald Foster and Richard Kimball.
The minimum charge for special group tours or custom tours is $100 for the group. To arrange a custom group tour, email Ipswich town historian Gordon Harris at email@example.com. Please include and persons, houses or locations you are interested in seeing.
- View a comprehensive 4-mile Historic Ipswich tour online or follow on your cell phone
- Download a comprehensive 4-mile tour of historic Ipswich as a PDF document
Some scenes from the tour: