The Shoreborne Wilson House at 6 South Main Street was built in 1685 and is listed in the National Historic Register of Historic Places. The name is occasionally spelled Sherborne. Wilson apprenticed as a carpenter and made a living as a cooper. In 1659 he sued his master Wilson Douglass for failing to provide him with clothing and tools of the trade at the end of his apprenticeship, as was customary. Because of the importance of his barrels, Wilson was allowed to cut large amounts of white oak from the town commons. In 1681 the town complained that he was not cutting up the unused parts of the trees for firewood and leaving them on the green.

Having some money in his family, Wilson sold his first home and built this one by the river. A shop that Wilson built was later the starting point for Thomas Dennis who became famous for his cabinetry and woodworking.

The house was purchased in 1702 by Col. Samuel Appleton, and was still at that time a two-room central chimney structure, and expanded the building on the southeast side.  Like all first period houses in Ipswich, the house was enlarged over the years but still contains the original structure.

The Sherborne Wilson- Samuel Appleton Jr. house, photographed in 1905 for the book, “Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony”
The Sherborne-Wilson / Samuel Appleton house was labeled the “Old Baker house” in this early 20th Century postcard.
The Kings Rook, later known as the Stonehenge Club is on the left. The Sherborne Wilson house is on the right.

The photo above shows the Sherborne Wilson house on the right and the Kings Rook, a popular local coffee house, on the left. That building served as a dwelling, restaurant and store. At one time Mrs. Ralph Burnham operated an antiques an art shop in the smaller building. It became The Kings Rook, later the Stonehenge Club,  and was eventually torn down and replaced with the current professional building. One of the oldest buildings in Ipswich, the Ross Tavern, once sat in front of the Kings Rook.