Nearly half of the original 102 passengers on the Mayflower did not survive the first winter after arriving in Plymouth in December 1622. Only four of the original thirteen women lived to celebrate the “First Thanksgiving” the following November. Two hundred of the Boston colonists succumbed in the winter of 1631 after which half of […]

The Ipswich Tea House was on South Main Street in the building that now houses the Quebec-Labrador Foundation.

Madeline Linehan operated the Ipswich Mills Tea House in the former Ipswich Mills boarding house at 57 Main Street. The Tea House was popular with tourists who came there to hear about the history of the town. Mrs. Linehan, who lived in the “Philomen Dean house” next door, was a noted home economist and a graduate of […]

Hannah Duston, painting by Junius Brutus Stearns

Hannah Duston of Haverhill was born in Ipswich on High Street in 1657 while her mother was visiting her relatives the Shatswells. In 1879, a bronze statue of Hannah Duston was created by Calvin Weeks in Haverhill in Grand Army Park, honoring her escape from Abanaki captors.  The following are excerpts from a post on Rootsweb. On March 14, 1697 […]


The oldest section of the Tuttle – Lord – Shatswell house at 88 High Street in Ipswich is believed to have been built by 1690 by John Shatswell who immigrated to Ipswich MA in 1633.  He was granted this piece of land and built his original house near the existing one. John Shatswell’s son Richard married his next […]


“A&P” was written by John Updike in 1961 when he lived on East Street and worked above what is now the Choate Bridge Pub. It appeared in The New Yorker on July 22, 1961. The location is the A&P store that was on Market Street. The store later opened in the building at Lords Square […]

Seaside Goldenrod
Rev. Nathaniel Rogers was pastor of the First Church and died in 1775.

The following photos are graves from the Old North Burial Ground in Ipswich, and houses or other places associated with those persons. A complete list of burials is in the book Memento Mori, published by the Ipswich Historical Society in 1935. To view thumbnails and a full screen slideshow, click here, or download as Powerpoint


John Gee, a fisherman from Boston, arrived in Martha’s Vineyard in 1661. Gee was lost at sea on Dec. 27, 1669, a sad Christmas surprise for his wife and five children. He left a 35-year-old widow bearing the extraordinary name of Haselelponah, a scriptural name meaning “A shadow falls upon me.” The name occurs just once in the […]


A series of earthquakes in the early 18th Century gave rise to recurrences of religiosity in Ipswich. On October 29, 1727 a severe earthquake occurred on a Sabbath night between ten and eleven o’clock. People became so frightened that a very powerful revival of religion followed in the Ipswich parishes and throughout New England. An urgent demand for reformation among the churchgoers […]


Sightings of the giant squid or “Kraken” have been reported for centuries but the creature was long considered to be mythological. In the 18th Century, Erik Pontoppidan, bishop of Bergen in his book “The Natural History of Norway” claimed that the kraken was sometimes mistaken for an island and that ships could be sunk by the whirlpool left in […]


Cotton Mather related the tale of a doomed ship called “Noah’s Dove” which left Salem during the late 17th century for England. Among the passengers were “a young man and a passing beautiful girl pale and sorrowful,  whom no one knew and who held communion with no one.” Many people in Salem supposed them to be demons or spirits. […]


Thanks to the Historic Plum Island Facebook page for sharing this 1945 article from Life magazine: Last Summer, as their forefathers had for 300 years before them, the people of Ipswich and Rowley were making a comfortable living out of the rich juicy clams from the briny marsh along the Parker River. Last winter they […]


 The Endecott Pear Tree from A History of the Endecott Pear Tree by Richard B. Trask The 375-year-old Endecott Pear Tree in Danvers was planted under the direction of the first Massachusetts Governor, English Puritan John Endecott (c 1588-1665). Endecott sailed from England to the New World aboard the ship Abigail in 1628, landing at a small peninsula the native inhabitants called […]


The Sally Weatherall Memorial Reservation on Little Neck Road is dedicated to Greenbelt’s first executive director. The property is primarily salt marsh–a trail through a small section of wooded upland leads to a viewing area and an osprey perch. In addition, the pond next to the Whipple House (formerly known as the Bicentennial Pond) was renamed Sally’s […]


Arthur Hans Hardy was born in Marburg Lahn, West Germany on November 7, 1948, the son of Gordon E. and Inger Hardy of Highland Avenue, Ipswich. He graduated from Ipswich High School in 1966, lettering in football, basketball and track. As a student, “Bo” Hardy was well-liked, is said to have demonstrated a strong sense of […]


In 1640, the General Court in an effort to establish the self-reliance of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, ordered that towns promote the growing of flax, hemp, wool, the spinning and weaving of these fibers, the raising of livestock,  and that no sheep or mutton should be exported. This sudden surge in livestock contributed to some unexpected difficulties. In 1640, […]

The Strand theater re-opens, September 11, 1930 after a fire damaged the auditorium three months earlier.

The Strand Opera House was built in 1909 at 37 Market Street in Ipswich. It hosted operas, plays, travelling shows and even the Boston Symphony. It was quite a big deal to have such a grand venue in town. In 1930 the Strand burned, then re-opened as a movie theater featuring first run films. It was owned […]

The Ipswich Company Massachusetts State Guard

(Thanks to Larry Collins for sharing this  document) With substantially 15,000 man hours of practice, procedure and training under their military belts, the Ipswich Company of the Massachusetts State Guard is rapidly being whipped into shape as a trained military unit for the protection of life and property in this area. Formed last January, it has […]


Captain Thomas Foulds Ellsworth was one of four soldiers who earned the Medal of Honor for heroism during the battle at Honey Hill, South Carolina, on November 30, 1864. Under a heavy fire he carried his wounded commanding officer, who had become trapped under his horse, saving his life and preventing him from being captured. . Ellsworth was selected […]

Proposed Architectural Preservation District (unofficial map)

A Warrant article for the 2014 Fall Town Meeting on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 established an Architectural Preservation District (APD) for the most historic areas of the town. TheAPD encompasses an area roughly defined as 220 acres beginning at the South Green, continuing along the river to the Town Wharf, East and High Streets to the High […]

east_62_Wainwright_Treadwell _1727

Ghost Stories A friend of mine mentioned that a few years ago a realtor was getting ready to go out the front door at the Jonathan Pulcifer house on Summer Street, when he noticed a stack of old publications sitting on the bottom step, and oddly enough, on top was an old article about him […]

This system of pulleys was used to transport grain and flour in the building

Being a carpenter by trade, I often find myself in the old Wirthmore Feeds grain elevator at Tedfords Lumber, which is where they vertically store finish lumber. The building had a long history of use by several businesses for grain storage including Wirthmore Feeds, William G. Horton, C.M. Jewett @ Co., and Chaplain’s Grain Storage. It was moved from its […]


This article is about a very important and successful preservation effort by Ipswich citizens which occurred in 1962. At the 2014 Fall Town Meeting on Tuesday evening October 21, Ipswich voters approved an Architectural Preservation District which protects the most historic parts of our very historic town. …………………………………………………………………………. In 1707 Col. John Appleton acquired the lot at 2 North […]

25_market (1)

Peter Marks Closet is a new men’s clothing store that recently opened at 25 Market Street in the location formerly occupied by the Office Store. This is one of the oldest commercial buildings still standing on Market Street and was apparently built in two phases, the first section in 1832, and finished as it stands today in […]


The 55-foot pinky schooner Ardelle was designedand built by Harold Burnham of Burnham Boat Building in Essex MA using locally harvested wood and hand tools and similar techniques to those that Colonial-era shipbuilders used. Hundreds of spectators watched from the Essex Shipbuilding Museum in 2011 for the launching of the Ardelle into the Essex River.

The Lathrop Brothers Ice House  was at the end of Hayward Street between the Ipswich River and the tracks.

Lathrop Brothers Coal and Ice Company was located at “Tougas’ pit,” a small body of water that may have been an old channel of the Ipswich River. It can be accessed off of Hayward Street at “Ice House Crossing.” Susan Howard Boice wrote that it took three railroad cars full of lumber to build the ice house. […]