Jacob Brown house, Topsfied Rd., Ipswich MA

11 Topsfield Road, the Jacob and William G. Brown house (b 1832)

William J. Brown, Ipswich MA
1880 engraving of William Gray Brown

Jacob Brown is believed to have built this substantial house before 1832, as it appears on a map of that year. The porch is dominated by a central tower and flamboyant Queen Anne woodwork, added about 1890.

Jacob Brown was a farmer and a pioneer in the ice business. Brown owned a coal wharf and dispensed anthracite coal. For many years he was the only dealer of ice and coal in Ipswich. After his death in 1863 the business was carried on by his son William Gray Brown, who also occupied this house after his fathers death and made the Victorian alterations. William, who was born in Ipswich in 1830, not only continued his father’s ice and coal business, but also delivered lime, sand and cement. He owned the Agawam House, a well-known hostelry, where he also operated a livery stable. By 1910 the house was owned bv C. Carter.

The house was constructed before publication of the 1832 Ipswich map. The turret is a misguided Victorian-era addition to what was originally a typical late Federal or Greek Revival house, and is visible in the 1893 Ipswich Birdseye map. As late as 1980 the porch still had Victorian railings and trim.

Jacob Brown house, Ipswich MA from MACRIS
This photo and the information were provided by the Ipswich Historical Commission for the MACRIS site in the 20th Century.


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