30 East Street, the Jordan – Snelling – Potter house (c 1708)

A Publication of the Ipswich Historical Society refers to this as the John Potter House, at that time a well-preserved old mansion beneath the spreading elms on the corner of East street and “Hog Lane,” later known as Spring St. “This lot was owned in 1648 by Francis Jordan, the town-whipper, whose gruesome business it was to wield the lash and lay it smartly upon the backs of evil-doers at the public whipping-post. In 1655, there was a house here, occupied by Jeffrey Skelling or Snelling, a man of questionable character, who himself felt the lash more than once.

Jordan - Snelling - Potter House, 20 East Street, Ipswich MA
30 East Street as it appears today

John Potter purchased the lot in 1708 with all the buildings, including the “old house, new out-houses, etc.” The slope of the hill on the east side of the present house was dug away many years ago, and an old cellar was disclosed. Spoons of a style in vogue prior to 1700 were found, suggesting it may have been the site of the old Francis Jordan property, The current house at this location was probably built after 1708.

The first deed to mention a house on the site dates from 1708, and it refers specifically to an “old house.” The exact period of the house is undetermined, and the evidence is confused by years of alterations. Structural evidence reveals that the house was built in two stages, and that the west side is the earliest portion.

30 East Street, the Jordan - Snelling - Potter house
1980 photo from the MACRIS site
30 East Street in 1949
30 East Street in 1949, before renovations

The house was owned in the 1950s by Hollie Bucklin, a historical enthusiast who also owned and operated a book store next door at 3 Spring Street. Bucklin renovated the building so that it appears to be a medieval revival cross-gabled house.


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