The Ross Tavern, also known as the Lord-Collins House, is now located at Strawberry Hill on the former Wendell Estate on Jeffreys Neck Road. The structure was built in about 1690 in downtown Ipswich.
In 1735 it was moved to the south-east side of the Choate Bridge where it remained until 1940 when it was disassembled and moved to its present location. The original timber frame was restored and reassembled. 17th Century fireplaces and 17th & 18th century woodwork are features inside the house. The house was restored to a high style First Period appearance by Daniel Wendell on the basis of specific physical evidence. The clapboarded exterior has gables on the front and rear facades (restored from evidence of mortises in the plate.)
Susan S. Nelson explains that the present Ross Tavern building located at Strawberry Hill is actually two combined buildings. One was known as the Ross Tavern and it was itself a compound structure with the left hand portion late First Period and the right hand part built about 1760 by Dr. Joshua Burnham. This building was located on the South side of Choate Bridge. It was acquired by Daniel Wendell and moved onto its present site. At that time he also acquired the Collins-Lord house which was located near the High St. Cemetery. It was attached to the rear of the Tavern. Also brought to the site was a small building being used as a hen-house located at the rear of 88-90 High St, found to contain First Period framing. The Shatswell Planters Cottage may in fact be Ipswich’s earliest building. Sue recommends that it should have dendrochronology testing to determine its age.
The Trust for Public Land has held a preservation agreement for this property since March of 2002.
- Photos of “Proctor House” Library of Congress
- Download the full description at the MACRIS site
- Susan Nelson