56 Fellows Road, the Josiah Brown house, (1812)
The lot at the intersection of Fellows and Candlewood Roads was assigned in the mid-17th Century to John Brown. His descendant Josiah Brown built the house at that location in 1812.
The John Brown Farm
Until the mid-20th Century, the farm at this location was owned by John Brown and his descendants. John Brown Sr. is mentioned in the Ipswich Town Records as early as 1640. He lived next to Robert Lord on High Street when he first came to Ipswich, the son of Edward Brown who was married to Faith Lord, sister of Robert Lord. This was about 1645-60. Records show a John Brown later owned land on Heartbreak Rd. Before 1660, Mr. Brown built a home on Fellows’s Lane at the corner with Candlewood Rd:
GENEALOGICAL RECORD OF THE DESCENDANTS Of JOHN BROWN OF IPSWICH, MASSACHUSETTS
“John Brown Senior, the earliest settler in the Candlewood region bearing the family name is first mentioned in the Town Records in 1640. The Deposition of Thomas Burnum and Martha Thorne affirmed that they knew that Old Mr. John Brown live in a House in Ipswich Town near the house of the Rev Mr William Hubbard’s above seventy years ago, ie about 1650. This has been identified already with a location on Heartbreak Road. They affirmed further that before 1660, Mr. Brown built a house at the Farm and lived in said house he built at the farm till after the year of our Lord One Thousand Six Hundred and Sixty four. This is identified as the farm now owned by John Henry Brown on Fellows’s Lane.”
Over the next 280 years, the Brown family extended and continued their ownership of the finest farm land in Ipswich along the east side of Candlewood Rd. Thomas Franklin Waters wrote a history of the Brown family properties in his essay, “Candlewood, an Ancient Neighborhood in Ipswich, Massachusetts,” and in the two-volume book, Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.”
“On the Candlewood road, leading toward Hamilton, large tracts of farm lands were granted to the first settlers…. Thomas Bishop was in possession as early as 1652. In 1684, a farm of 60 acres with house and bam was conveyed to John Brown, and 36 acres with house and barn to Sergeant John Choate. John Brown bequeathed his farm to his sons, James and William in 1721.”
Early land allotments on Candlewood Rd. John Brown established the farm at the intersection of Fellows and Candlewood. The house on the corner at 56 Fellows Rd. was built by Josiah Brown and is still standing. The John Perkins property directly across the street is the location of the Brown-Perkins house, also still standing.
1832 map of Ipswich showing the intersection of Candlewood and Fellows Road
Waters continued the history of the farm:
“The heirs of James Brown held the farm, and his daughter Elizabeth, wife of Capt. Robert Perkins, gained possession, but in December, 1779, their daughter, Elizabeth, became the wife of Joseph Brown, of the same family line, who built a new house on the farm. His son, Gardiner A. Brown, acquired possession, and bequeathed to his son, A. Story Brown (owner at the beginning of the 20th Century). “
For over two hundred and forty years after John Brown bought the farm, it remained by inheritance in the Brown family through successive generations.
Waters wrote that the Brown family extended the great farm on Candlewood beyond Chebacco Rd into Hamilton
“The great tract of land extending from Choate (Chebacco) Road to Red Root or Red Wood Hill, was included in the early part of the eighteenth century in two great pastures, known as Gould’s Pasture and Wilderness Hill Pasture on the slope of the noble hill, which was called by that name from the earliest times.”
Gould’s Pasture was included for the most part in the farm of E. Newton Brown. James Brown owned a large portion of the Wilderness Hill Pasture before 1741 and it continued in the hands of his descendants to A. Story Brown in the early 20th Century.
Sources, and further reading:
More homes of the Brown family in Ipswich
Brown Stocking Mill Historic District - At the beginning of the 20th century, Harry Brown established a hosiery mill and laid out Brownsville Avenue with 22 workers houses just south of his factory, which were added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1996 92 Central St., the Abbie G. Lord house, 1871 - The house at 90 Central St., was constructed after Andrew Geyer purchased the lot from Amos Smith in 1869. He sold the finished house to Abbie G. Lord in 1873, who sold to Maria J. Brown in 1897. 86 County Road, the Burnham – Brown house (1775) - This house was built in 1775 on a lot on Candlewood Rd., probably by Thomas Burnham. In 1821 Nathan Brown bought the house from Oliver Appleton, and 3 years later he removed it to its present site on County Rd. Brown and others enlarged and remodeled the old Burnham House, but some 18th century features remain. 83 County Road, the Rogers-Brown-Rust House (1665-1723) - The house at 83 County Road is believed to be three houses joined together, at least one from the First Period. In 1836 the house and lot were conveyed to the South Parish as a church site. Asa Brown bought the house and removed it to its present location. 56 Fellows Road, the Josiah Brown house, (1812) - The pasture land along Fellows and Candlewood Roads was purchased in the mid-17th Century by John Brown. His descendant Josiah Brown built this house in 1812. For over two hundred and forty years after John Brown bought the farm, it remained by inheritance in the Brown family through successive generations. 50 North Main Street, the James Brown house (1700 / 1721) - The James Brown house is part of a larger 1700 house that was divided into three houses in the late 18th Century. The chamfered oak frame in the southern portion indicates late First period, while the northern section appears to date from the 1720's. The Morley house next door was separated and turned sideways. 31 Washington Street, the George Brown house (1883) - John A. Brown sold this lot to George B. Brown in 1883 and he built a house shortly thereafter. Brown’s house is one of the few Stick Style Victorian homes in Ipswich. Brown built a grist mill, also located on Washington St., in 1881. He started with a single team and by 1888 employed 6 men. Brown was the first in the area to install a roller mill, which removed all foreign iron substances from the grain before it entered the mill 3 Candlewood Rd., the Brown-Whipple house (1812) - Joseph Brown built this house in 1812 as a dwelling for his son, James, and sold him the house and 3 acres, Dec. 23, 1817. The entire estate of Joseph Brown eventually was inherited by James. In 1852, D. F. Brown and the other heirs sold their interest to Hervey Whipple, who had married Martha P., daughter of James Brown, July 3, 1852. The heirs of Hervey Whipple still occupied into the 21st Century. 27 High Street, the Edward Browne House - Edward Brown was the original owner of this site in 1639, and the east side of the present house is believed to have been constructed under his ownership around 1650 as a one-room over-one-room floor plan. In the mid-18th century the west side of the house was built. Architectural features of this house are protected by a preservation agreement between the owners and the Ipswich Historical Commission.
232 Argilla Road, the Patch-Brown-Crockett house (c 1760-85) - John Patch died in 1799 leaving the Sagamore Hill farm to his grandson Tristram Brown, who built the dwelling, which he operated as a boarding house on the way to the beach. Dr. Eugene A. Crockett bought the property along with its dairy and hay farm in November 1897. 14 Candlewood Road, the Joseph Brown and Elizabeth Perkins house (1779) - Elizabeth Brown, descendant of the early Candlewood settler John Brown, was the wife of Captain Perkins, and gained possession of this lot. In December, 1779, their daughter, Elizabeth, became the wife of Joseph Brown, of the same family line, who built this house. 13 Argilla Road, Thomas and Elizabeth Brown house (c 1844) - The simple exterior is enlivened by Victorian elements, including two door hoods with elaborate scroll brackets decorated with incised floral motifs and sunbursts. Thomas Brown is the first known owner of the house (shown in a map dated 1856). 117 High Street, Brown’s Manor (1886) - Abraham Lord sold 30 acres to George A. Brown on Nov. 6, 1886. The Browns built this imposing brick Mansard with white alternating quoins, a fine entrance porch, and a round-headed, double-leaf door.