These houses were built at a time when the foreign-born population of Ipswich was on the rise, Increasing 446% between 1875 and 1915. At the time these houses were built, manufacturing had become the basis of Ipswich’s economy. Many small manufacturing interests were located near the center of Ipswich and most of the houses in the survey area were occupied by immigrants. By 1875 English, Irish, and Canadian immigrants accounted for 93% of the foreign-born population of Ipswich. Through the late 19th century, the foreign-born population diversified with the addition of Poles and Greeks.
Many of the houses in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood were constructed as worker housing for Brown’s Stocking mill around 1907. Between 1910 and 1916 his business failed and it appears that the houses were sold off.
The houses on the south side of Broadway Avenue were built around 1907 by the Brown Stocking Mill Company as housing for their mill workers. The mill was located near the west end of the street on the opposite side of Brownville Avenue. Between 1906 and 1908, Harry Brown established this mill, the Brown Stocking Mill Company, which remained in operation until at least 1910. He built workers’ houses on Brownville Avenue and Broadway Avenue,
Burleigh Ave and Burley Place
Mount Pleasant Ave.
The houses on Pleasant Street appear to have been built beginning around 1885. As early as 1884 the house at #15 is shown on maps under the ownership of George A. Lord. The earliest owner identified for # 11 is Thomas E. Burns, a teamster for brick manufacturer and housewright John A. Brown, Burns lived here as early as 1891 and as late as 1910. The earliest owner Identified for # 15 Is Frank E. Howe. Howe lived here as early as 1900, at which time he worked in a local mill. By 1908, the house at #13 was occupied by Mary A. McLaughlin, who is listed in town directories as a bookkeeper.