White Horse Inn, Ipswich MA

34 High Street, the White Horse Inn (1659 / 1763)

John Andrews, innkeeper sold this lot with a house in 1659 to Richard Dummer. Ceilings in the upstairs and downstairs left side rooms display chamfered summer beams with lambs tongue chamfers, typical of the First Period. The dimensions of rooms and cased framing in the house suggest that an early structure may have been incorporated into this much later house. (Information from MACRIS listing). Around 1800 the early central chimney house was removed and replaced with two side chimneys. A central double stairway exists in the area where the central chimney may once have stood. A previous owner poured a concrete flour in the basement, erasing any evidence of a possible early stone chimney base.

Ceiling heights in the front rooms of the house at 34 High Street are a bit over 7 ft. in height, another indication of the house’s age. Corner posts are boxed, and no wall framing is exposed. If the house originated as an earlier structure, the original roof and basement framing appear to have been replaced when the house was enlarged. The illustration for the Balch house in Beverly demonstrates how this was generally accomplished:

Expansion of the Balch house in Beverly MA
Illustration showing a similar expansion of the Balch House in Beverly MA, drawn by Norman M. Isham, May 16, 1916. Courtesy Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities. The illustration demonstrates how the original roof framing of a small first period house would have disappeared when the house was enlarged and Georgianized.

The house may have been enlarged to its Georgian form during the possession of Jeremiah Lord in 1763, and took its present appearance around 1800. It stayed in the Lord family into the 20th Century.

Summer beam with birdsmouth in the downstairs left front room at 34 High St.
Front entrance stairway at 34 High St.
An unusual doorway at 34 High St.
Purlins in White Horse Inn in Ipswich
Rafter and purlins at 34 High St.
Summer beam in White Horse Inn in Ipswich
Exposed early summer beam in the upstairs front room is chamfered with typical First Period lambs tongue finial.

Corporal John Andrews

Thomas Franklin Waters recorded that “The White Horse Inn was the object of much contention Corporal John Andrews offended the sensibilities of his neighbors by keeping open doors or open bar until past nine o’clock, encouraging young men in devious ways. A petition of protest against the renewal of the liquor license was presented to the Court

“Corporal John Andrews was for several misdemeanors complained of to this Court for selling wine by retail without license upon pretense of selling by the gallon and three gallons, and yet drawing it by the pint and quart, and for entertaining Townsmen at unseasonable tymes, as after nine of the clock.”

The Court in Salem in June, 1658 determined that it “thought meet to license Corporal Andrews to keepe an ordinary for the entertainment of strangers only till the next Court at Ipswich, and not longer, provided that the Inhabitants do at the said Court present some meet person to keepe an ordinary that the Court shall approve off.” Deacon Moses Pengry, who had signed the complaint against Andrews, was instructed to prepare himself to open an ordinary.

Andrews was so angry about the verdict that he went on a rage and tore down the door of the home of chief marshall Edward Brown, the gate at Lt. Samuel Appleton’s yard, and Moses Pengry’s sign. He sold the inn and moved back to his house in Chebacco (Essex) where he was continually hauled into court for running up debts. Here’s a story about some of the young men who got in trouble.

Deed Research

John Andrews sold to Mr. Richard Dummer, a house and house lot of about an acre, with three acres more of pasture land adjoining, ‘which said house and land is situate, lying and being in Hill St. . . . called by the name of the White Horse.'” May 14, 1659 (Ips. Deeds 1 : 231). The dates when Andrews acquired the land and built a house are unknown.

Thomas Franklin Waters listed the subsequent owners of the property:

“Andrews sold his establishment, and John Paine was in possession in 1671, by the deed of the adjoining property and Philip Fowler in 1678. Philip sold his son, Joseph, his dwelling house, barns, shop and orchard, “which I have owned since 1677,” extending to the ditch that parted from Philip’s land, April 2, 1715 (27: 132), and Joseph Fowler sold to Jeremiah Lord, Jan. 7, 1723, 74 rods, the rest of the original lot that remained after his sale to Joseph Bolles (43: 106). Jeremiah Lord sold the east half of his dwelling to his son, Jeremiah Jr., May 30, 1757 (121: 22). He enlarged his lot by the purchase of 2 rods 10 ft. front of the William Caldwell estate, adjoining on the southwest, July 11, 1763 (124: 1). He inherited the remainder probably, and was succeeded by his son, Ebenezer Lord, 1771 (Pro. Rec. 347: 153). “

Source: Waters, Thomas Franklin: Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony Vol I

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