Based on word of mouth, historic town maps and early photos, it seems certain that the house at 30-32 Summer Street in Ipswich was once the High Street home of Daniel Smith, and was moved to the current location in the 1880’s by B. John Conley. Information provided by Sue Nelson for the Ipswich Historical Commission dates the house to 1880.
I received this information from the present owner:
“We were told by a former owner that it was moved to Summer Street around 1880-1890 from High street, owned by John Conley of the local drug store prior to the move. Many years ago, a neighbor told the owner that when he was a boy, the house was occupied by Civil War Veteran John Barton.”
Historic Ipswich maps appear to verify this information
- The 1910 Ipswich map shows a house at 31 High Street owned by B. J. Conley. The town site lists its construction date as approximately 1880. Information provided by Thomas Franklin Waters at the end of this post indicates that Conley’s house was built by Charles Smith after removing the older houses closer to the street.
- The 1910 Ipswich map shows a house next door to the Summer St. location, owned by W. J. Barton, next to the home of G. Hayes.
- The 1884 Ipswich map shows a house at this location on Summer Street owned by J. E. Barton.
- The 1856 Ipswich map shows three houses at the 31 High Street location owned by the Smith family.
Thomas Franklin Waters wrote about the Daniel Smith house in his book, Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Volume I, published in 1905:
From the Probate Records, we learn that Joseph Brown died before 1694, and that his estate was divided to his sons, John and Benjamin (Pro. Rec. 313: 559, .560), in 1721. John Brown, “Turner” granted in his will, proved in 1758, all the residue of real estate to his son Daniel (Pro. Rec. 335: 229). Daniel Brown bequeathed the improvement of his property to his widow Hannah, during her life or until her second marriage. He made his nephew, Daniel Smith, his sole heir. The will was approved, Jan. 4, 1790. (Pro. Rec. 364: 232).
Daniel Smith’s will, proved in 1844, provided for the division of his estate among his sons, Daniel Brown Smith, Thomas and Benjamin, and the Probate Record contains this interesting item: “Daniel Smith was a Revolutionary pensioner, that he died on the 28th day of January, 1844, that he left no widow, and that he left seven children and no more, viz. Daniel B., Thomas, Benjamin, Polly Lord, Elizabeth Treadwell, Sarah Perkins, & Anna Kimball, and that they all of them are living and each of them is of full age” (Pro. Rec. 412: 315, 310).
Thomas received the homestead, and occupied it until his death at a great age, when he bequeathed it to his nephew Charles Smith, who removed the old buildings and built his present residence in the rear of the site of the homestead. Daniel B. received a part of the house-lot and built a house upon it, which he sold to his son, Nathaniel P. Smith, March 1, 1866 (707: 16). It is now owned and occupied by his widow.”
The tombstones of Daniel and Elizabeth Smith are in Section E of the Old North Burying Ground.