Ipswich has 59 First Period houses, more than any other town in America. First Period houses in New England were built by the English settlers, and date from approximately 1630 to approximately 1725. They were often built as single rooms or “half- houses” with the entry and chimney on one side. These houses were often expanded so that the entrance and chimney would be in the middle, making them resemble later style Georgian homes. Many First Period homes had exposed beams and posts in the ceiling and walls, and featured large cooking fireplaces.
Second Period houses generally date from 1725 – 1780 are are generally referred to as “Georgian.” They were typically larger, laid out two rooms deep and two full stories high. Typically the front facade had a symmetrical five windows above and four windows below with a central entry door (“five over four with a door”). Woodwork was more ornamental in the Georgian style, featuring classical detailing, particularly around the windows and main doorway.
The Federal Period was from 1790 – 1820, when houses were often built 3 stories high with a low-pitched roof, a box shape and trimmed with wide corner boards.
The Greek Revival style was popular from 1820 – 1850 with classical columns, elaborate gables and decorative door trim.
The Victorian Era of the late 19th century includes many styles of architecture, including Stick Style, Queen Anne, Gothic Revival, Second Empire, Italianate, Romanesque, Shingle Style and more
- Historic properties (pre-1900) listed in current real estate ads
- Interactive map of historic houses in Ipswich
- First Period Houses (complete)
- 1st & 2nd Period Houses (PDF, complete)
- Slideshow of First Period houses
- Houses in the Architectural Preservation District (complete)
- Ipswich First Period Brochure
- First Period Construction
- Covenanted Houses (houses with preservation agreements)
- Historic Buildings Partial List (PDF) provided by Sue Nelson for the Ipswich Historical Commission
- Historic Buildings Partial List (View) produced by Sue Nelson for the Ipswich Historical Commission
- 754 ipswich properties on the Massachusetts Historical Commission site (MACRIS)
- Ipswich listings in the National Register of Historic Places
- View MACRIS listings on this site (incomplete)
- Guide to Architectural Styles (Historic New England)
- Ipswich Assessor’s Database (Patriot Properties) A complete interactive list of all properties in Ipswich, with photos, approximate dates of construction (often inaccurate), assessor’s information, listed owner, and most recent date of sale.
- View the tombstones and houses of the early settlers of Ipswich
Susan Nelson’s detailed listing for the Ipswich Historical Commission is the source of much of the information for dates and descriptions of the houses listed below.
Historical information comes primarily from Ipswich In The Massachusetts Bay Colony by Thomas Franklin Waters:
Houses are listed in order of address
- Houses names are the first owner or a person who lived in them. Click on the name for a high resolution photo of the house.
- Click on Read for stories about these houses and the people who lived in them.