Rowley, early 20th Century, photo courtesy of David Thayer

Stories from Rowley

In the spring of 1639 Rowley was settled as a plantation by twenty families who accompanied the Reverend Ezekiel Rogers from England on the ship John of London. The town was incorporated on September 4, 1639, and originally included portions of Byfield, Groveland, Georgetown, and Haverhill. Rogers had served as pastor in Rowley, East Riding of Yorkshire for twenty years before his suspension because of his non-conformist Puritan beliefs. In 1642, a keystone arch bridge and a dam were built on the Mill River.

Map of Rowley (Ezekiel Rogers’ Plantation)
Jewett Hill, Ipswich Village map Ipswich Village (Upper High St.) - This Ipswich neighborhood has historically had a close social connection with neighboring Rowley. Jewett's mill was created in the 17th Century, and historic houses still line the street.… Continue reading Ipswich Village (Upper High St.)
The Muster Murder of 1787 - During the Boston Muster of 1787, Daniel Foster of Rowley participated in the customary celebration of shooting musket balls into the air, and accidentally killed Amos Chapman of Ipswich. A jury ordered his execution, but Governor John Hancock opposed capital punishment and pardoned Foster.… Continue reading The Muster Murder of 1787
Roads to Paradise, Ipswich MA Roads to Paradise - "The ancient way, now called not inaptly Paradise Road, winds through long stretches of woodland, where ferns and brakes grow luxuriantly, and every kind of wild flower finds congenial haunt in open glades or shaded nooks.”… Continue reading Roads to Paradise
Battle of clammers over the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Clam Battle! - Life Magazine, July 16, 1945: The government had taken over the lands for a Wildlife Refuge, and the clam battle was on. Ipswich hunters were afraid of losing their private hunting reserves. Ipswich farmers were afraid of losing their land.… Continue reading Clam Battle!
Milestone 33 on the Old Bay Road Along the Old Bay Road - In 1639, the Colony ordered that a road be laid out from Boston to Portsmouth, to be constructed by each town along the way. The Bay Road made Ipswich an important stagecoach stop. Several milestones to indicate distances are still standing.… Continue reading Along the Old Bay Road
John Dunton's visit to Ipswich John Dunton’s visit to Ipswich and Rowley in 1686 - in 1686, Mr. and Mrs. Stewart on High St. were favored with a visit from the book seller John Dunton, who came to Ipswich "in the course of his saddle-bag peregrinations."… Continue reading John Dunton’s visit to Ipswich and Rowley in 1686
Great Sorrows, the Deadly “Throat Distemper” of 1735 - "What mourning Sighs, and loud Outcries comes from the Eastern Towns, Of Children crying, and others dying, which makes a doleful Sound."… Continue reading Great Sorrows, the Deadly “Throat Distemper” of 1735
Agawam Diner when it was in Ipswich The Agawam Diner - The Agawam Diner on Rt. 1 in Rowley was built by the Fodero Dining Car Company in 1954, and was originally located on Market St. in Ipswich. Two Strand diner cars preceded it at that location.… Continue reading The Agawam Diner
Ipswich Village Schoolchildren Recollections of A Boy’s Life In The Village - This story was written by Amos E. Jewett in 1945. At the time, he was 83 years old. having been born in Ipswich Village, near Rowley, on June 16, 1862. … Continue reading Recollections of A Boy’s Life In The Village
Rowley River clam flats The Highs & Lows of the Rowley River - Enjoy a fascinating hour-long virtual tour of the Rowley River with 4th-generation clammer and former Shellfish Constable Jack Grundstrum.… Continue reading The Highs & Lows of the Rowley River
Adrift on a Haystack legend Rowley Adrift on a Haystack, December 1786 - In a northeasterly storm in December, 1786 Samuel Pulsifer and Samuel Elwell of Rowley were digging clams on Plum Island, got caught in the storm, and took refuge in a stack of salt hay for the night. In the morning they found they had been set afloat! … Continue reading Adrift on a Haystack, December 1786
The Jewel Mill and Stone Arch Bridge - In 1642, a dam and fulling mill were built on the Mill River in Rowley. The stone arch bridge on this property was constructed between 1850 and 1870.… Continue reading The Jewel Mill and Stone Arch Bridge
Rooty Plain near Rowley MA Flight from Rooty Plain - The story of the Great Ipswich Fright on April 21, 1775  was widely told, and memorialized by John Greenleaf Whittier. Mrs. Alice P. Tenney in 1933 provided an amusing story of the fear that struck Rooty Plain, also called “Millwood,” a thriving little mill community along today’s Rt. 133 in Rowley: “News arrived in Rooty Plain… Continue reading Flight from Rooty Plain

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