12 High St. Ipswich

12 High Street, the William Russell House (1890)

The following is taken from “A Walking Tour and Brief History of Early Ipswich Massachusetts“ produced by the Ipswich Visitors Center, Marjorie Robie and William Varrell.

This is a Queen Anne period house built in 1890, relatively unusual in Ipswich. Vertical and horizontal exterior decorative boards demonstrate the Victorian “Stick” architectural style. The sitting room contains a fireplace decorated with sea serpents. According to tradition, this house had the first inside bathroom in Ipswich. View MACRIS.

12 High Street, the William Russell House (1890)

A house was standing on this lot at the time William Russell, who owned a dry goods store on Market Street, bought the property. Rather than tear down a serviceable house, he sold it and moved it to the other side of the block on Warren Street, and is probably the same house that still stands, known as the David Grady house.

When Russell bought the property, it was owned by Aaron Ross. The Ross family in Ipswich descend from Killicross Ross, who was a Scottish soldier, captured at the battle of Dunbar by Oliver Cromwell’s army. Like many others, he was sold to Puritans who desperately needed servants to work their farms. He was never able to return to Scotland. While he wasn’t worthy to marry a Puritan, he found a woman in Beverly to marry. His son, Daniel, married into the highly respected Rogers family, and the assimilation of the family was complete.

12 High Street, the William Russell House (1890)

View the interior of this house

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