The following is taken from “A Walking Tour and Brief History of Early Ipswich Massachusetts” produced by the Ipswich Visitors Center, Marjorie Robie and William Varrell.
The Olde Manse at 1 High St. is a 2 story, gambrel-roofed house with a wood frame and clapboards. The 5 bay front is symmetrical, and the house is distinguished by its semicircular portico and dormers, which were modifications during the Colonial Revival era.
The original owner of this site was Samuel Varnum who left Ipswich with some of his children to become the founders of Dracut, Mass. The house was constructed for the Rev. Nathaniel Rogers in 1727 by Ipswich cabinet-maker, Capt. Abraham Knowlton.
The first deed was not registered until 1778, but the Town Records cite that Rogers petitioned for additional frontage for his lot in 1727, and it was granted. The Rogers men, (Nathaniel, John, John jr.) served as pastors of the First Church for 137 years. In the late19th century, the house was used as an inn and stage coach stop. Otis P. Lord, who became Chief Justice of the Commonwealth, lived in the family home from about 1835 till 1844, when he removed to Salem. The executor of his will sold the house in 1885 to Samuel Baker.
The most notable Georgian feature is the central hall with raised paneling and a fine staircase. Unusual Colonial Revival details exist in the rest of the house. Some of the original paneling was removed about 1900 and installed in the Whipple House.
In the early 1900’s the building was known as “ye Olde Burnham Inn”. It is now the House of Peace which provides a home for young people from war-ravaged countries of Africa and the Far East. View MACRIS
This house is protected by a preservation agreement between the owners and the Ipswich Historical Commission. Exterior protected elements include:
- Wooden trim on the south, east and west sides, including cornice boards, moldings and window frames.
- South portico door, doorway and fan window over door
- East porch with stained glass and bulls eye windows
- Semicircular bay window and associated curved glass and leaded glass windows
- South dormer windows, 3rd floor
- West bay windows (dining room and second floor bedroom)
- Palladian window on the north side
Interior protected elements include:
- Woodwork in most rooms, including mantles, molding, paneling, bookcases, cupboards, post and beam cases
- Fireplaces (all three floors)
- Major staircase, 3 floors and associated woodwork