The Phillip Call House at 26 High St. in Ipswich is a 2 story timber-frame First Period house built by cordwainer Philip Call about 1659, enlarged around 1725. It was probably at first a one over one “half house” with the front door on the right side. The evolution of this property to its current twelve rooms is an outstanding example of careful adaptions of various periods over four generations. Pleasant surprises were awaiting when the house was purchased by the current owners in 1967. Its careful restoration uncovered a chamfered 17th century summer beam and 17th century field paneling behind newer walls. The Victorian paneling which covered these earlier panels was removed and is still in storage. An unusually placed cross girt receives the main summer beam at its west end, indicating that the girt once served two small rooms. This would suggest an original three-room floor plan of early English style construction. Due to the fine framing, the house is believed to have been of high-ranking for its time and endures as a splendid specimen today. The rear yard features a three-hole privy (now used as a potting shed) and a boxwood garden.
Phillip and his wife Mary had two daughters, one of whom continued to live in the house into the 1700’s.
The Preservation Agreement (“covenant”) for the Philip Call House does not permit any alterations to be made to the front and side exterior of the building, the central frame, the wooden architectural elements, paneling, mantelpieces, doors and other molded detail on the first and second floor inner walls of the original (one over one) 1659 dwelling.