We received an email asking for help in identifying a house which in 1854, was lived in by Caroline Farley Lord. The inquirer’s great aunt, Eunice Farley Felton wrote about the house in 1923:

“We knew that Aunt Lord was an invalid and that she had lost her daughter. When summer came and schools were over, Mr. and Mrs. Farley [Eunice’s parents] decided to go to Ipswich, the old town where my father’s family hand landed when they came to American from England in 1674 – about 250 years ago. Ipswich is about 30 miles from Boston, so father thought he would drive there in our carryall with his big dapple-gray horse Katy. We were not going to a hotel but to the house of Aunt Caroline Lord – our father’s sister, and at last we were there. Aunt Lord’s house looked very old even 70 years ago. The front door opened right into the street; you went into a little entry, and a queer stairway and scarcely room to turn around. Then when bedtime came, we did not have to go upstairs. It was such a queer house, very high in front and the roof slanted down to almost the ground behind, so we children slept down stairs…..but we all went to sleep and forgot our troubles of the first night at old Ipswich.”

This photo was taken by Ipswich photographer George Dexter (1860-1920). The identity of the house is unknown, but matches the description in the story.
This untitled photo was taken by Ipswich photographer George Dexter. The identity of the house is unknown, but it matches the description of the old Joseph Lord house in the story. Trolley tracks were installed on High St. in 1896. The house to the right would be the Thomas H. Lord house. There appears to be a large barn behind on the right, and a smaller shed behind on the left.

The Findagrave site notes that Joseph Lord (1798-1852) was the son of Joseph Lord and Elizabeth Kimball. His spouse was Caroline Farley Lord (1797 – 1860). Thomas Franklin Waters wrote that the ancient Joseph Lord house was no longer standing, and sat between the Old Jail and the John Kimball house. That is the approximate location of the present Thomas H. Lord house, which Waters wrote was owned at the beginning of the 20th Century by descendants of Joseph Lord. It appears to have been built between 1814 and 1835.

79 High St., Ipswich MA
The builder and owner of the house at 79 High St. was probably Thomas H. Lord. The town of Ipswich property data gives the construction date as 1814, while the Ipswich Historical Commission database indicates circa 1835.



1832 Ipswich village map
1832 Philander map of Ipswich Village: High St. at Lords Square. The map shows “Widow J. Lord” at the location of 79 High St. (between Isaac Lord Jr. and John Kimball.
The 1856 Ipswich village map shows J. Lord at the same location.
The 1856 Ipswich village map shows J. Lord at the same location.

Additional information is provided by Thomas Franklin Waters, in Vol. 1 of Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and identifies the old Joseph Lord house lot :

Elizabeth Kimball married Philip Lord, and after his death she sold one eighth of an acre and part of her house to John Kimball Jr., Dec. 25, 1806; the same that John Lane Jr. sold to Benjamin Fewkes, March 21, 1832. This house, now owned and occupied by Mr. Nathaniel Burnham, was built probably by Phillip Lord.

Richard Kimball sold the original Kimball house, with a half-acre to Isaac Lord, felt-maker, Feb. 26, 1784, and Elizabeth Lord sold him a small piece, Dec. 5, 1805. Isaac bequeathed his property to his nephew Joseph, whose heirs own the house now standing, but the original house stood on the site of Mr. Thomas H. Lord’s and was occupied by his widow, when it had fallen into a very ruinous condition.”

Ipswich High St 1872
1872 Ipswich Village Map. The house owned by T. H. Lord is the site of the old Joseph Lord house.
1910 Ipswich village map
1910 Ipswich village map. The Thomas H. Lord house is at 79 High St., and the old Joseph Lord house would have been at #81, which has no house, and still does not today.