William J. Barton wrote, “The lot where the trees are is at what is now the corner of Summer St. and Water St., Ipswich Mass. At this time there was no street along here. The original picture was made by John Staniford, I’m quite sure. Mr. Edward L. Darling said he lived in Rockport, Mass. He was a brother of Augustin Staniford of Highland Avenue, Ipswich (I knew as a boy) and Mary Jane Staniford a sister I knew and also a sister Mary S. Staniford of Summer St. I can remember as a boy around 1894 there was a very old house next to this, owned by a Mr. Ephraim Grant, a boatman that was torn down, quite sure in 1961. Mr. Franklin Waters’ History of Ipswich speaks about a grant or deed of land to him. Next to the Grant house was a boat house, large building, for storing yachts and boats for winter, owned by Howard C. Dodge.
The next long building was part of Choate Shipyard. Charles Choate moved from Essex in 1834, built ships at Bakers Wharf. He had two sons, Edward W. Choate and Lewis, from the Directory 1888. Baker’s Wharf must afterward have been called Choates Wharf around 1900. Charles Choate afterward moved his shipyard at the foot of Green St. where the Green Street bridge now is. The next house in the picture was the Choate house. Herbert Choate, my age, lived here as a boy. His father must have been Lewis Choate. Edward W. Choate, who lived at 12 East Street in my time built ships at Rogers Point at the Rogers property, just opposite Ring Bolt Rock, just below the lower wharf he built the Lucy K. Cogswell in 1868, and the red Gray in 1869 (my father William E. Barton sailed in the Fred Gray). He built the Mattie G. in 1875 and the steamer Carlotta in 1878. Fred Gray was lost in the West Indies. Lucy K. Cogswell ended up at the bottom of the harbor at Edgartown.
The 3 little shacks to the right of the first house were clam houses. Men who dug clams kept their gear here and shucked their clams as is quite evident by the pile of white clams on the bank. Three dorys used to go clamming. Beyond the last shanty is a little bridge made of rails (thick boards) that spanned a brook the length of Dodges field through the land of John F. Barton and William E. Barton and across Summer St.to this side of Green St.
Photo by Edward L. Darling