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 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.
“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.
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.
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.