77 High Street, the John Kimball house (1680)

The John Kimball house at 77 High Street was built in 1680 and features timber frame construction and a “Beverly jog” added on the left side for a second entrance. A chamfered summer beam is in the left front room, with wide-board tongue and groove wall boards.

The John Kimball house

The John Kimball house

The great keeping room to the left has a chamfered summer beam with a small cupboard with wide-board tongue and groove sheathing, all in a rich, old tobacco brown color. The rooms on the right side of the house are Federal in appearance with painted woodwork, smaller fireplaces, wall-papered walls, and fine 18th century panellng. The house has an unusual 12 inch overhang and an early molded gutter.

From MACRIS:

“Richard Kimball owned this lot in 1637. The property passed to John Kimball, and the present house dates stylistically from the time of his ownership. In 1696 he sold the property to another Richard Kimball (12:114), and it stayed in Kimball hands through most of the 18th century. The Lord’s acquired the house in 1784 (142:213), and were in possession through the 19th century.

The house is an excellent example of growth, particularly in its collection of rear additions, and stylistic evolution. Ralph Burnham restored the house in the 1930’s and it was called “The House of Pine and Oak” for its exposed beams and ceilings.

This first period house is one of several buildings that were owned by antiques dealer Ralph Burnham in the late 19th and early 20th Century. Believing that his furniture items would sell better in an antique home setting, he called it “The House of Oak and Pine.”

Black and white photos shown here are from a collection by Arthur Haskell in 1935.

John Kimball was born in Rattlesden, Suffolkshire, England, in 1621, and came to Ipswich on the “Elizabeth” from Ipswich England with his parents in 1634. He was a wheelwright and farmer and also bought and sold land. He married Bridgett (or Mary) Bradstreet, who came on the same ship with her parents John and Mary Bradstreet). Some records suggest that his wife died in childbirth after which he married Mary Jordan, but we do not have concrete evidence of this. In any case, he fathered thirteen children.

john_kimballbwJohn Kimball House ceiling and fireplace

In his will, 18 Mar. 1697/98 he mentions his sons Richard, John and Moses, to whom he gives “six shillings a peece in money, which is all I intend to for them having by deed of gift given before what I them intended out of my estate.” He mentions his six daughters Mary, Sarah, Hannah, Rebekah Elizabeth and Abigail, and sons Beniaman and Joseph, who have personal property divided between them. One steer and his best cupboard were given to his son Benjamin and his wife “in consideration of what they have done or may do for me in my age and weakness.” John Kimball’s personal estate was estimated at £131.9 in cash, six oxen, eight cows, 13 young cattle, 29 sheep and 12 swine.

john_kimball_elevations

Elevations of the John Kimball House, from the Historic American Buildings Survey

A house built in 1715 at 104 High Street is also known as the John Kimball House, belonging to one of the two children of the John Kimball at 77 High Street. The John Kimball House at 104 High street has a preservation covenant with the town of Ipswich. That house is beyond Lords Square on the opposite side of High St., next door to the Caleb Kimball house, known as the “House with Orange Shutters.”A few doors beyond it is the John Kimball Jr. house.

richard-kimball-stone-old-burying-ground

Memorial stone at the Old North Burying Ground in Ipswich

Sources:

digitized item thumbnail1. Historic American Buildings Survey, Arthur C. Haskell, Photographer. 1935. …digitized item thumbnail2. Historic American Buildings Survey, Arthur C. Haskell, Photographer. 1935. …digitized item thumbnail3. Historic American Buildings Survey, Arthur C. Haskell, Photographer. 1935 …digitized item thumbnail4. Historic American Buildings Survey, Arthur C. Haskell, Photographer. 1935. …digitized item thumbnail5. Historic American Buildings Survey, Arthur C. Haskell, Photographer. 1935. …digitized item thumbnail6. Historic American Buildings Survey, Arthur C. Haskell, Photographer. 1935. …digitized item thumbnail7. Historic American Buildings Survey, Arthur C. Haskell, Photographer. 1935. …digitized item thumbnail8. Historic American Buildings Survey, Arthur C. Haskell, Photographer 1935 …digitized item thumbnail9. Historic American Buildings Survey, Arthur C. Haskell, Photographer. 1935 …digitized item thumbnail10. Historic American Buildings Survey, Arthur C. Haskell, Photographer. 1935. …

4 replies »

  1. In 1945 my mother bought this house upon waiting for my father to return from WWII. At that time (and during the tours that I remember as a little girl) the brochures call the house The House of Oak and Pine.

    I have two of these brochures from two different tours in the 1950’s.

    It was always referred to as The House of Oak and Pine or The House of Pine and Oak.

    When and why was it renamed?

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    • That name was a sales pitch. This first period house is one of several buildings that were owned by antiques dealer Ralph Burnham in the late 19th and early 20th Century. Believing that his furniture items would sell better in an antique home setting, he called it “The House of Oak and Pine.” Ipswich historian Thomas Franklin Waters identified this as the home of John Kimball.

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    • Thank you for that information, that would make sense. I will share that information with my family. If you know anyone that would be interested in the tour brochures I have I would be more than happy to part with them. They are from the 1950’s,

      Lucinda

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