56 Fellows Road, the Josiah Brown house, (1812)

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. 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 candlewood brown house.jpg

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:

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