Ipswich MA post card

27 Market Street, the Ipswich Post Office (1939)

The Ipswich Post Office was built in 1939 with U.S. Treasury funds.
Photo from Bill Varrel’s book, “Ipswich”
This house was taken down to build the Post Office. The building on the right still stands.
Ipswich post office construction
Preparing to pour the concrete floor. In the background is Hammat St. Photo courtesy of Jane Conley.
Floor laid down, looking across Market St. to Union St. Photo courtesy of Jane Conley.
Ipswich MA Post Office
Preparing to add the roof. Photo courtesy of Jane Conley.
The Old Post Office on North Main Street

The first known post office in Ipswich was on North Main Street in the small red building across from First Church. It was built in 1763, probably as a barn or warehouse.

In 1775, a committee from Ipswich began meeting with other towns, from Newburyport to Danvers, regarding the establishment of a regular postal route. The Provincial Congress appointed a post office for Ipswich, and James Foster to be its keeper. The mail had been carried through Ipswich up to this time, carried by horseback on a route that took six days from Boston to Portsmouth and back again.

The Ipswich Post Office was established on May 4, 1775 with Deacon James Foster as Postmaster. Daniel Noyes succeeded him on Oct 5, 1775. He graduated at Harvard College in 1758, was the teacher of the Grammar School and was Representative to the Provincial Congress in 1774, 1775. After twenty-five years of continuous service, he was succeeded by Joseph Lord in 1800.

The Coburn Block and the Choate Bridge
At the location of the Caldwell building next to the Choate Bridge there once stood a large mill built by Dr. John Manning. The mill failed, and it became a commercial building known as the Coburn Building and the Smith Building, and hosted the Ipswich Post Office for a while. In the center of the building was the variety shop kept by Mr. Stephen Coburn, who was also Post-master. The post office occupied a small room with glass windows, against which the letters for general delivery were placed, and a few private boxes. Postage was high, letters were rare, and the small volume of weekly newspapers required little space The Smith building burned in 1869 and was promptly replaced by the Caldwell Building, still standing.
By the mid 19th Century, the Post Office was in the brick building at Meeting House Green known as the Odd Fellows building. A room in the Post Office was used to recruit soldiers for the Civil War.
Luther Wait at the Ipswich Post Office
During Luther Wait’s first term as Postmaster, the Post Office was in a row of small shops known as the Jones Block that stood where the Christian Science Church is now. Luther Wait was appointed postmaster in 1890 but relinquished the position in 1894 and joined tens of thousands in northwestern Canada looking to strike it rich during the Klondike Gold Rush.
Jones Block shops
Central St. Post Office by George Dexter. Postmaster Luther Wait is the tall man standing on the right.

Ipswich Postmasters

James FosterPostmaster10/11/1773
Daniel NoyesPostmaster01/05/1776
Joseph LordPostmaster11/25/1800
Isaac SmithPostmaster07/01/1805
Nathan JaquesPostmaster09/14/1807
Ammi SmithPostmaster10/05/1818
James H. KendallPostmaster08/10/1829
Stephen CoburnPostmaster08/28/1832
John H. VarrellPostmaster04/18/1861
Joseph L. HermanPostmaster07/20/1865
John H. CogswellPostmaster01/03/1868
Edward P. KimballPostmaster08/02/1886
Luther WaitPostmaster07/11/1890
George A. SchofieldPostmaster08/16/1894
George P. SmithPostmaster05/04/1898
Olive P. SmithPostmaster12/10/1900
Luther WaitPostmaster04/22/1902
James H. LakemanPostmaster05/01/1914
Charles E. GoodhuePostmaster01/31/1923
Sylvester D. ConleyPostmaster07/10/1935
Eugene MathesonActing Postmaster02/15/1944
Eugene MathesonPostmaster03/16/1945
David DeMarioActing Postmaster04/13/1959
David DeMarioPostmaster09/21/1959
Marlene A. KinanOfficer-In-Charge12/19/1975
John M. WarrenPostmaster07/03/1976
Paul I. ChaseOfficer-In-Charge11/30/1979
David E. HydePostmaster03/08/1980
Linda L. CoanOfficer-In-Charge12/27/1989
J. R. D’AlloccoPostmaster10/19/1991
Deb TinneyOfficer-In-Charge02/20/1997
Peter GoldenOfficer-In-Charge05/27/1997
David R. GamacheOfficer-In-Charge11/19/1998
James D. LancePostmaster03/27/1999
Michael C. QuinnPostmaster10/13/2007