The Shoreborne Wilson / Samuel Appleton 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 on County Street to William Searle, who sold to Thomas Dennis, and built this house by the river. A shop that Wilson built was later the starting point for Dennis who became famous for his cabinetry and woodworking.
The house was purchased in 1702 by Col. Samuel Appleton, the eldest son of Major Samuel Appleton. At the time it was still a two-room central chimney structure, and it is believed that Appleton expanded the building on the southeast side. Col Appleton removed to Lynn for a few years when John Payne sold him the Saugus Iron Works, but returned to Ipswich and lived in this home until his death in 1725. The Appleton family continued to own land from the Choate Bridge to the Ipswich Museum into the 1800’s.
Like all first period houses in Ipswich, the house was enlarged over the years but still contains the original structure. The northwest section of the house is the earliest portion. Notable period features include a handsome chamfered frame and evidence of the size and arrangement of the original casement windows.
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.