The S. F. Canney house, 17 Argilla Rd. was built by Samuel Wade in 1845. The steep pitched gables are typical of the Gothic Revival style, popular between 1840 and 1865. Most surviving examples exist in northeastern states where architects first popularized the style.
In 1849 Samuel Wade sold to Sylvia, Priscilla, and Mary Wade a “cottage” and 4 1/2 acres of land for $680. According to local tradition, Wade had erected the building as a boarding house on his large estate. The house does not appear on the 1832 map of Ipswich, and the Gothic Revival flavor of the facade gables indicates that the cottage must have been built not long before its 1849 sale.
An 1856 map shows the owner of the house as S.F. Canney, although no sale from the Wade women to Canney is recorded. Lorenzo D. Canney sold the house in 1866 to James N. Canney (700:117»118).
S. F. Canney owned the Canney Lumber Company, originally located near the County St., bridge, and was later located close to Tedford Lumber. The Canney Lumber Company and Burke Heel Shoe factory were destroyed in a massive fire in 1933.
The east porch and the two rooms behind it probably were added to the main house about that time. The brackets on the porch resemble those on mid-century Italianate houses in Ipswich. This well-preserved cottage displays the characteristic simplicity of the Gothic Revival style in Ipswich. It is the earliest of the few houses of that style in town, and it is also valuable for its handsome siting, and its progression of rear ells that link the house and the carriage house.