1 High Street, the Nathaniel Rogers Old Manse (1727)

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 late 19th 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.

Stairs and balustrade at the Old Manse, House of Peace in Ipswich

Stairs and balustrade in the Old Manse

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

Rev. Nathaniel Rogers House, 1 High Street Preservation Agreement

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
The old manse in Ipswich, 1900

The Olde Manse at the turn of the 20th Century

Ye Olde Rogers Manse

Ye Olde Rogers Manse

Fireplace and original doors in the Old Manse, 1 High St. in Ipswich

Old Manse fireplace and doors

The tombstone of Nathaniel Rogers, Old North Burying Ground, section C156

The tombstone of Nathaniel Rogers, Old North Burying Ground, section C156



1 reply »

  1. cool….doing family genealogy, and just started filling out my Varnum line, saw a map of Ipswich in the Varnum Genealogy, and the location of Samuel Varnum’s land on High Street, and this was the place.


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