John A. Johnson was a shoemaker who built the fine Italianate house at 42 North Main Street in Ipswich in 1871. Italiante features include the window surrounds and bracketed cornices. The 10 room house has 4 bedrooms and 2 formal living rooms with ceiling medalions, a butler’s pantry, 2 kitchens and 4 artisan-crafted marble fireplaces. The Johnson shoe store was down the hill on Market Street.
Margaret Kendall sold John A. Johnson this lot on Oct. 15, 1870. The land was formerly owned by the Fitts family and their old residence was moved by James Tyler that same year to 43 High Street. Johnson built a large, elaborate Italianate mansion which remains one of the finest examples of that style in Ipswich. The gabled carriage house, complete with cupola and characteristic Italianate details, still remains.