52 N. Main Street, the Treadwell – Hale house (1799)

This building was constructed as a store but may have always been occupied as a home. It is believed to have been built after the land was sold to Nathaniel Treadwell 3rd on Feb. 8, 1799.

1980 photo from the MACRIS site

Thomas Franklin Waters recorded that John Hodgkins sold a piece of land to Nathaniel Treadwell 3rd on Feb. 8, 1799 (163:272). Hodgkins had himself come into ownership only in 1796 (164:222). On the lot which Treadwell bought of Hodgkins, he seems to have built a store, as is evident from his deed of sale to Joseph Hale, March 5, 1799 although only a month after his purchase. Joseph Hale owned for 32 years.

The heirs of Joseph Hale sold the land, store and a house to Ebenezer Burnham, October 21, 1831. Ebenezer Burnham sold the same to another Joseph Hale, of a later generation, October 18 1851, but the second Joseph Hale lived here for only three years.

There is a stone cooking hearth in the basement of the house, and there are stories that an owner had two black servants living in the basement who cooked food for the family and sent it upstairs with a dumbwaiter (which still exists, hidden in the walls).

A massive early fireplace in the rear of the left side of the house at 52 N. Main St. indicates that it is the earliest section.


Treadwell – Hale House, 52 North Main Street Preservation Agreement

This house is protected by a preservation agreement between the owners and the Ipswich Historical Commission. The address is listed as 60 N. Main but changed to #52 when the town adopted Enhanced 911. Leonard and Beverly Oakes established the preservation agreement with the Ipswich Historical Commission.

Protected elements include:

  • Exterior facade facing southeasterly on North Main
  • Central frame including primary and secondary members
  • 18th Century chimney
  • Wooden architectural elements including the stairway, paneling, doors and other molded detail in the front and rear halls
  • The wooden architectural elements, including the paneling, mantlepieces, doors and other molded detail and their surfaces in the rear cellar kitchen of the dwelling

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