The Federal-style Patch House at 232 Argilla Road was built between 1760 and 1800. It is a short distance from Castle Hill, which was bequeathed to Ipswich founder John Winthrop Jr. In 1644 Castle Hill was sold by Winthrop to Samuel Symonds, who sold it in 1660 to his stepson Capt. Daniel Eppes, and it was passed on to his only son, Samuel Eppes who sold the property to John Patch in 1741.
Sometime after Patch bought Castle Neck he moved into the Ipswich village, apparently living in what is now known as the Patch – Burnham House on Turkey Shore Road, but he continued farming and other operations on his growing Argilla Road estate.
From Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony we read: “Mr. Patch was prominent in Town affairs and it is said that his ventures in the privateers proved very profitable. He enlarged the estate by the purchase of the farm on Sagamore Hill in 1785. He died in 1799 leaving twelve children but only one son. He divided his property by will; the Sagamore Hill farm to his grandson Tristram Brown who built the present dwelling. The Island as it was called went to his son Nehemiah. The Island farm passed to John, son of Nehemiah then to his son John and later to Dr. E.A. Crockett.”
The Essex Memorial for 1836 lists a “public house” on the way to the beach, operated by Tristam Brown. It continued to be used as a county boarding house until Dr. Eugene A. Crockett bought the property along with its dairy and hay farm in November 1897. This was also the home of author Adele Crockett Robertson, his daughter. A smaller house at 228 Argilla Rd. is still in the Crockett family and is on property that was part of the original farm. You can read more about the tragedies of that family on page 120 of Kitty Crocket’s memoir, “The Orchard.”