The part of Ipswich known as the Hamlet (now Hamilton) was “set off” as a separate parish (church) in 1714-15 after several appeals to the Town and to the General Court. A long-held desire for complete separation from the town of Ipswich gathered strength in 1792 when the town voted $500.00 for support of the poor. The great bulk of the needy and helpless families were found in the old Town of Ipswich and at Chebacco. As the people of the Hamlet were primarily farmers and financially stable, the burden of taxation for the support of the poor was considered to be an unjust imposition. The leaders of the parish petitioned the leaders of Ipswich to be allowed to incorporate as a separate town, and the petition was granted by the inhabitants at a legal meeting held May 22, 1792.

The Hamlet was incorporated by the name of Hamilton on June 21, 1793, with the condition that the new town pay the town of Ipswich $908.00 for support of its paupers. Rev. Cutler of the Congregational Church in the Hamlet had served in Congress before becoming one of the town’s longest-serving pastors, was a strong advocate of Federalism,  and urged that the new town be named after Alexander Hamilton. The similarity of the names Hamlet and Hamilton was merely coincidental.

Colonial houses of Hamilton, Massachusetts - The part of Ipswich known as the Hamlet (now Hamilton) was “set off” as a separate parish (church) in 1714-15. The Hamlet was incorporated by the name of Hamilton on June 21, 1793. Rev. Cutler of the Congregational Church in the Hamlet had served in Congress before becoming one of the town’s longest-serving pastors, was a strong advocate of Federalism, … Continue reading Colonial houses of Hamilton, Massachusetts
Asbury Grove Methodist Camp Meeting, Hamilton MA - The Asbury Grove Methodist Camp Meeting on Asbury St. in Hamilton is listed in the National Register of Historic Districts, and has a collection of historic buildings that were built between 1870 and 1960. The land is owned by the Association, while the houses owned individually by the residents. 12,000 people, most from Boston, attended the first camp … Continue reading Asbury Grove Methodist Camp Meeting, Hamilton MA
19th Century political toasts - In April, 1778, a number of prominent Essex County men gathered in Ipswich to discuss the drafting of a new Massachusetts constitution, and became the local backbone of the Federalist Party, advocating the financial policies of Alexander Hamilton. President John Adams coined the name “Essex Junto” for this group, who he deemed his adversaries. The Federalist Party dominated Ipswich politics until … Continue reading 19th Century political toasts
1793 and 1818: the “Burden of the Poor” divides Ipswich into three towns - As the people of the Hamlet were financially stable, the burden of taxation for the support of the poor in the old town of Ipswich was considered to be an unjust imposition. The leaders of the parish petitioned Ipswich to be allowed to incorporate as the new town of Hamilton. 25 years later, the men of Chebacco petitioned the Legislature for incorporation as a separate town, and to not be held for any part of the new establishment for the relief of the poor in Ipswich. The following year, Chebacco Parish became the Town of Essex
The Bones of Masconomet - On March 6, 1659 a young man named Robert Cross dug up the remains of the Agawam chief Masconomet, and carried his skull on a pole through Ipswich streets, an act for which Cross was imprisoned, sent to the stocks, then returned to prison until a fine was paid.
General Putnam landing at Marietta Ipswich to Marietta, 1787 - In December 1787, a group of Revolutionary War veterans and adventurers set out from Ipswich on an 800-mile journey through the wilderness by horseback and rafts to establish the first settlement in the Ohio Territory. Early in the 18th Century, seven of the 13 colonies had made claims on vast areas of the West, with hopes … Continue reading Ipswich to Marietta, 1787
Nancy Astor, Hamilton MA The Amazing Life of Nancy Astor - If you look at an online map you will often see a reference to “Nancy’s Corner” at the intersection of Highland Street and Cutler Road in Hamilton. I started researching who this Nancy was and discovered an amazing story. Nancy Witcher Langhorne was the daughter of a Virginian slaveholder whose family fell into poverty after the … Continue reading The Amazing Life of Nancy Astor

Colonial-era houses in Hamilton, MA

formerly known as “The Hamlet.” View at Google Maps

HAM.904 Bay Road Bay Rd 1640
HAM.63 Dodge – Gibney House 435 Bay Rd 1772
HAM.62 Dane, F. House 351 Bay Rd
HAM.64 Patch, O. House 454 Bay Rd
HAM.18 Lakeman -Allen House 613 Bay Rd c 1793
HAM.21 First Congregational 630 Bay Rd 1762
HAM.900 Soldiers Monument 634 Bay Rd 1924
HAM.22 Brown, Jacob House 638 Bay Rd c 1700
HAM.52 Poland – Porter, House 700 Bay Rd r 1795
HAM.27 Dodge, Isaac House 776 Bay Rd 1799
HAM.26 Peck, Benjamin House 799 Bay Rd c 1793
HAM.28 Patch, Emeline House 918 Bay Rd c 1725
HAM.69 Brown, Austin House 1028 Bay Rd c 1725
HAM.38 Brown House 76 Bridge St r 1670
HAM.70 Woodberry – Quarrels House 180 Bridge St c 1690
HAM.39 Patch, Gen. House 293 Bridge St 1783
HAM.59 Woodbury, J. L. House 327 Bridge St 1790
HAM.40 Woodbury, A. House 375 Bridge St 1757
HAM.60 Ingalls, J. T. House 466 Bridge St 1671

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