Homes of the early inhabitants of Ipswich, Massachusetts

Ipswich was founded in 1634 in an area the Indigenous people called “Agawam,” an is known as America’s best-preserved Puritan town. The historic neighborhoods of Meeting House Green, High Street, the East End, and the South Green are well-preserved streetscapes of 17th to 19th-century residences. View all historic houses in Ipswich at the Historic Ipswich site.

The John Appleton house, 2 N. Main St. (1707)

In 1962 the John Appleton House was scheduled to be demolished as a site for a service station. The Ipswich Heritage Trust formed to acquire and preserve the house. Today it is known as the Appleton Professional Building.

The Foster-Grant house, 39 Summer St. (1717)

This private residence was traditionally a two family house, Although constructed at the end of the First Period, the house has early Georgian interior architectual elements and shows no indication of having had a central chimney.

The Caldwell house, 33 High St. (c. 1709)

The Caldwell house is believed to have been built as it appears today, a two-over-two-room house with a central chimney, after John Caldwell’s widow Sarah conveyed the property to their son, Dillingham Caldwell, on January 19, 1709.

The William Howard house, 41 Turkey Shore (1680-1709)

William Howard purchased this lot 1679, and the left side of this house was built the following year. Howard died in 1709 at age 75, his son inherited the property, and it was at this time that the right side was added.

John Sparks, taverner, 6 N. Main St. (1671)

John Sparks was granted a license to open an inn and sell beer “at a penny a quart.” The tavern became a popular stopping place on the Bay Road, where men of business would meet for food and drink. The Court met at this location, where it heard and dismissed charges of witchcraft.

Early gravestones at the Old North Burying Ground

This page features the oldest gravestones, including the mysterious E.L stone dated 1644, and the gravestones of the Hart family beginning in the 1670s. The page is a work in progress, and more gravestones will be added soon.

The Francis Jordan house, 30 East St. (c. 1680)

Francis Jordan arrived with the settlers of Ipswich in 1634 and died in 1678. His widow and daughter’s family continued to live in the house. The “messuage or tenement that was formerly Francis Jordan’s deceased” was sold to John Potter in 1708.

The Andrew Burley house, 12 Green St. (1688)

The lot at the corner of Green & County Streets came into the possession of Andrew Burley before 1688. His son Andrew became a wealthy merchant and representative to the General Court, and updated the house with fine Georgian features. It has been in the possession of the present owner since 1984.

The Capt. Matthew Perkins house, 8 East St. (1701)

In 1719, Perkins established an inn in his home “at the sign of the blue anchor,” The house is the birthplace of famous Ipswich artist Arthur Wesley Dow. This house has a preservation agreement with Historic New England.

The Col. Nathaniel Wade house, 88 County Rd. (1727)

The house at 88 County Road was built in 1727 by Captain Thomas Wade. His son, Nathaniel Wade, at drilled the Ipswich Minute Men on the South Green across from this house. Wade was given command at West Point by Gen. Washington when Benedict Arnold joined the enemy.

The William Merchant house, 103 High St. (1639/1672)

One of the oldest houses in Ipswich, 103 High St. has elements of a structure built by early settler William Merchant, who arrived in Ipswich in 1639. The house was replaced or greatly enlarged after Merchant died in 1668.