Birthplace of American Independence
|Incorporated||August 5, 1634|
|Founded by||John Winthrop the Younger|
|Named for||Ipswich, England|
|• Type||Open town meeting|
|• Total||42.5 sq mi (110.1 km2)|
|• Land||32.1 sq mi (83.2 km2)|
|• Water||10.4 sq mi (26.9 km2)|
|Elevation||50 ft (15 m)|
|• Density||320/sq mi (130/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (Eastern)|
|GNIS feature ID||0619448|
Ipswich is a coastal town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 13,785 at the 2020 census.Home to Willowdale State Forest and Sandy Point State Reservation, Ipswich includes the southern part of Plum Island. A residential community with a vibrant tourism industry, the town is famous for its clams, celebrated annually at the Ipswich Chowderfest, and for Crane Beach, a barrier beach near the Crane estate. Ipswich was incorporated as a town in 1634.
Ipswich was founded by John Winthrop the Younger, son of John Winthrop, one of the founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630 and its first governor, elected in England in 1629. Several hundred colonists sailed from England in 1630 in a fleet of 11 ships, including Winthrop's flagship, the Arbella . Investigating the region of Salem and Cape Ann, they entertained aboard the Arbella for a day, June 12, 1630, a native chief of the lands to the north, Chief Masconomet.The event was recorded in Winthrop's journal on the 13th, but Winthrop did not say how they overcame the language barrier. The name they heard from Masconomet concerning the country over which he ruled has been reconstructed as Wonnesquamsauke, which the English rendered as "Agawam". The colonists, however, sailed to the south where some buildings had already been prepared for them at a place newly named Charlestown.
That winter they lost a few hundred colonists to malnutrition and disease. They also experienced their first nor'easter, which cost them some fingers and toes, as well as houses destroyed by the fires they kept burning day and night. Just as Winthrop was handing out the last handful of grain, the supply ship Lyon entered Boston Harbor. John sent for his family in England, but his then wife, Margaret, her children, and his eldest son, John, whose mother was the elder John's first wife, Mary Forth, did not arrive until November, on the Lyon.
John the Younger resided with his father and stepmother until 1633, when he resolved to settle in Agawam, with the permission of the General Court of Massachusetts. Captain John Smith had written about the Angoam or Aggawom region in 1614, calling it "an excellent habitation, being a good and safe harbour."
John the Younger and 12 men aboard a shallop sailed into Ipswich harbor and took up residence there. The first settlers with Winthrop were William Clerk, Robert Coles, Thomas Howlet, John Biggs, John Gage, Thomas Hardy, William Perkins, John Thorndike, William Sergeant, and three others whose names are uncertain.Two men continued up the river (now River Road) to a large meadow, which they called New Meadows, now Topsfield. Agawam was incorporated on August 5, 1634, as Ipswich, after Ipswich in the county of Suffolk, England. The name "Ipswich" was taken "in acknowledgment of the great honor and kindness done to our people which took shipping there." Nathaniel Ward, an assistant pastor in town from 1634 to 1636, wrote the first code of laws for Massachusetts and later published the religious/political work The Simple Cobbler of Aggawam in America in England.
In 1638, Masconomet entered into a contract with John Winthrop the Younger for the purchase of Ipswich for "wampampeage, & other things: and ... also for the sume [sic] of twenty pounds."There is no record of any Native resistance to the colonization either at Charlestown or at Agawam, though there is documentation of devastating virgin soil epidemics among indigenous people in the area around 1617 and again in 1633, and contemporary reports attest to ghost towns encountered by early English settlers.
Pioneers became farmers, fishermen, shipbuilders or traders. The tidal Ipswich River provided water power for mills, and salt marshes supplied hay for livestock. A cottage industry in lace-making developed. Ipswich Lace is a unique style, and the only known hand-made bobbin lace produced commercially in the U.S. But in 1687, Ipswich residents, led by the Reverend John Wise, protested a tax imposed by the governor, Sir Edmund Andros. As Englishmen, they argued, taxation without representation was unacceptable. Citizens were jailed, but then Andros was recalled to England in 1689, and the new British sovereigns, William III and Mary II, issued colonists another charter. The rebellion is the reason the town calls itself the "Birthplace of American Independence".
Great clipper ships of the 19th century bypassed Ipswich in favor of the deep-water seaports at Salem, Newburyport, Quincy, and Boston. The town remained primarily a fishing and farming community, its residents living in older homes they could not afford to replace—leaving Ipswich with a considerable inventory of early architecture. In 1822, a stocking manufacturing machine that had been smuggled out of England arrived at Ipswich, violating a British ban on exporting such technology, and the community developed as a mill town. In 1828, the Ipswich Female Seminary was founded. In 1868, Amos A. Lawrence established the Ipswich Hosiery Mills beside the river. It became the nation's largest stocking mill by the turn of the 20th century. What may be the last witchcraft trial in North America was held in Ipswich in 1878. In the Ipswich witchcraft trial, a member of the Christian Science religion was accused of using his mental powers to harm others, including a spinster living in the town.
In 1910, Richard T. Crane Jr. of Chicago, the business magnate owner of Crane Plumbing, bought Castle Hill, a drumlin on Ipswich Bay. He hired Olmsted Brothers, successors to Frederick Law Olmsted, to landscape his 3,500-acre (14 km2) estate, and engaged the Boston architectural firm of Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge to design an Italian Renaissance-Revival style villa on the summit. A grande allée, 160 feet (49 m) wide and lined with statuary, would run the half mile from house to sea. But his wife, Florence, loathed the building. Crane promised that if she still disliked it in 10 years, he would replace it. In 1928, a new 59-room mansion designed by Chicago architect David Adler in the English Stuart style stood in its place, called the Great House. At Mrs. Crane's death in 1949, the entire property was bequeathed to The Trustees of Reservations, which uses it as a venue for concerts and weddings.
The town government was reformed in 1950 with the acceptance of the Town Manager Charter. This charter was rescinded by the voters, regained, and lost again. Voters adopted the present Town Manager-Selectmen Charter in 1967. In 2012 Ipswich hired its first female Town Manager, Robin Crosbie, who served until her retirement in 2018.
Ipswich is drained by the Ipswich River and Plum Island Sound, which join at their mouths and empty through a narrow but navigable channel at the foot of Castle Hill around Sandy Point into Ipswich Bay adjoining the Atlantic Ocean. The crane estate has a long lawn that overlooks the bay and often has castle hill concerts. The southern part of Plum Island falls within the area allotted to the town, making up the town's ocean shore along with Castle Neck, south of the Sound. The northeastern part of town is marshy, where the Rowley River, Roger Island River, and Eagle Hill River drain into Plum Island Sound. South of Castle Neck, the Castle Neck River separates the town from neighboring Essex. Much of the western end of town is dominated by Willowdale State Forest, and other parts of the town are also protected land, including Crane Wildlife Refuge on Castle Neck, the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and Sandy Point State Reservation on Plum Island, as well as Hamlin Reservation, Heartbreak Hill Reservation, Bull Brook Reservoir, Greenwood Farm and a portion of Appleton Farms Sanctuary, which extends into Hamilton.
Ipswich is in central Essex County and is 11 miles (18 km) south of Newburyport, 12 miles (19 km) northwest of Gloucester, 13 miles (21 km) north of Salem, 20 miles (32 km) east of Lawrence, and 28 miles (45 km) northeast of Boston. It is bordered by Rowley to the north, Boxford to the west, and Topsfield, Hamilton, Essex and Gloucester to the south. (The border with Gloucester lies across Essex Bay, and as such there is no land connection between the two.)
There is no interstate highway through Ipswich; Interstate 95 passes through neighboring Boxford and Topsfield. U.S. Route 1, known as the Newburyport Turnpike, passes through the western end of town. Massachusetts Route 1A and Route 133 pass through the town, entering concurrently from Rowley and passing through the center of town before splitting south of the town center; Route 1A heads towards Hamilton and Beverly, while Route 133 leads to Essex and Gloucester.
Ipswich has a station along the Newburyport/Rockport Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail, providing service between Newburyport and Boston's North Station. There is no air service in town; the nearest small airports are in Newbury and Beverly, and the nearest national service is Boston's Logan International Airport. The Ipswich Essex Explorer provides summertime weekend shuttle service connecting Ipswich MBTA train station with Crane Beach, Essex and Appleton Farms.
This article describes the town of Ipswich as a whole. Additional demographic detail is available which describes only the more densely populated central settlement or village within the town, although that detail is included in the aggregate values reported here. See: Ipswich (CDP), Massachusetts.
|* = population estimate. |
Source: United States census records and Population Estimates Program data.
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,987 people, 5,290 households, and 3,459 families residing in the town. The population density was 398.6 people per square mile (153.9/km2). There were 5,601 housing units at an average density of 66.4 persons/km2 (171.9 persons/sq mi). The racial makeup of the town was 97.60% White, 0.39% African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.80% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. 1.04% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 5,290 households, out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.0% were married couples living together, 8.4% have a woman whose husband does not live with her, and 34.6% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 23.0% under the age of 18, 5.1% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 28.1% from 45 to 64, and 15.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $57,284, and the median income for a family was $74,931. Males had a median income of $51,408 versus $38,476 for females. The per capita income for the town was $32,516. 7.1% of the population and 4.1% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 7.8% are under the age of 18 and 13.0% are 65 or older.
The first Ipswich Grammar School began around 1636.
Paul F. Doyon Memorial and Winthrop are the town's two elementary schools. Paul F. Doyon is on Linebrook Road and was originally named the Linebrook School until it was renamed in 1967 after its namesake died in the Vietnam War.Grade levels end in 5th grade, after which students move to Ipswich Middle School.
The middle school and high school are in the same building and share the library, the cafeteria, performing arts facilities and athletic resources (tennis courts, a baseball diamond, a football field, and a running track).
Ipswich Middle School (IMS) covers grades 6–8, with each grade assigned to a "pod", a common area with a projector with lockers and classrooms for the grade branching off of the pod.
Ipswich High School (IHS) has been considered one of the best public high schools in the Boston area.[ citation needed ] The Ipswich Public Schools also have what is considered one of the best performing arts programs. In 2005, the high school was named a "Blue Ribbon" school. The Blue Ribbon is an award for national excellence in education under the No Child Left Behind legislation. The school also received a Vanguard award for similar academic prowess. IHS offers college-prep, honors, and AP-level classes. It has one of Massachusetts's highest graduation rates.
Ipswich Middle/High School is considered to have one of the state's best music programs.[ citation needed ] It offers dance, choruses, bands (including jazz, pep and concert bands), orchestra and symphony orchestra.
The high school mascot is the Tiger, and the school colors are orange and black. Ipswich competes in the Cape Ann League. The high school football team won the Division 3A Super Bowl Championship in 2006. It was the school's first title since 1992, and the fifth in school history. (Previous titles were achieved in 1974, 1977, 1991, and 1992.) Ipswich's traditional rival is Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School.
Essex County is a county in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Massachusetts. At the 2020 census, the total population was 809,829, making it the third-most populous county in the state, and the eightieth-most populous in the country. It is part of the Greater Boston area. The largest city in Essex County is Lynn. The county was named after the English county of Essex. It has two traditional county seats: Salem and Lawrence. Prior to the dissolution of the county government in 1999, Salem had jurisdiction over the Southern Essex District, and Lawrence had jurisdiction over the Northern Essex District, but currently these cities do not function as seats of government. However, the county and the districts remain as administrative regions recognized by various governmental agencies, which gathered vital statistics or disposed of judicial case loads under these geographic subdivisions, and are required to keep the records based on them. The county has been designated the Essex National Heritage Area by the National Park Service.
Beverly is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, and a suburb of Boston. The population was 42,670 at the time of the 2020 United States Census. A resort, residential, and manufacturing community on the Massachusetts North Shore, Beverly includes Ryal Side, North Beverly, Montserrat, Beverly Farms and Prides Crossing. Beverly is a rival of Marblehead for the title of being the "birthplace of the U.S. Navy"
Hamilton is a town in the eastern central portion of Essex County in eastern Massachusetts, United States. At the 2020 census, it had a population of 7,561. Currently the town has no manufacturing industry and no industrially-zoned land.
Manchester-by-the-Sea is a quaint coastal town on Cape Ann, in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The town is known for scenic beaches and vista points. At the 2020 census, the population was 5,395.
Middleton is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 9,779 at the 2020 census.
Newbury is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, USA. The population was 6,716 at the 2020 census. Newbury includes the villages of Old Town, Plum Island and Byfield. Each village is a precinct with its own voting district, various town offices, and business center.
Wenham is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts. The population was 4,979 at the time of the 2020 census.
West Newbury is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. Situated on the Merrimack River, its population was 4,500 at the 2020 census.
Essex is a coastal town in Essex County, Massachusetts, 26 miles (42 km) north of Boston and 13 miles (21 km) southeast of Newburyport. It is known for its former role as a center of shipbuilding. The population was 3,675 at the 2020 census.
Saugus is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States, in the Greater Boston area. The population was 28,619 at the 2020 census. Saugus is known as the site of the first integrated iron works in North America.
Boxford is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town's population was 8,203 in 2020.
Rowley is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 6,161 at the 2020 census.
Topsfield is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 6,569 at the 2020 census. Topsfield is located in the North Shore region of Massachusetts. Part of the town comprises the census-designated place of Topsfield.
Plum Island is a barrier island located off the northeast coast of Massachusetts, north of Cape Ann, in the United States. It is approximately 11 miles (18 km) in length. The island is named for the wild beach plum shrubs that grow on its dunes, but is also famous for the purple sands at high tide, which get their color from tiny crystals of pink pyrope garnet. It is located in parts of four municipalities in Essex County. From north to south they are the city of Newburyport, and the towns of Newbury, Rowley, and Ipswich.
Ipswich River is a small river in northeastern Massachusetts, United States. It held significant importance in early colonial migrations inland from the ocean port of Ipswich. The river provided safe harborage at offshore Plum Island Sound to early Massachusetts subsistence farmers, who were also fishermen. A part of the river forms town boundaries and divides Essex County, Massachusetts on the coast from the more inland Middlesex County. It is 35 miles (56 km) long, and its watershed is approximately 155 square miles (401 km2), with an estimated population in the area of 160,000 people.
Crane Beach is a 1,234-acre (4.99 km2) conservation and recreation property located in Ipswich, Massachusetts, immediately north of Cape Ann. It consists of a four-mile-long (6 km) sandy beachfront, dunes, and a maritime pitch pine forest. Five and a half miles of hiking trails through the dunes and forest are accessible from the beachfront.
Greenwood Farm is a historic property and nature reserve located in Ipswich, Massachusetts, which is owned by The Trustees of Reservations. The farm is 216 acres of gardens, pastures, meadows, woodlands and salt marsh and it features the PaineHouse, a First Period farmhouse constructed in 1694.
The Bay Circuit Trail and Greenway or Bay Circuit is a Massachusetts rail trail and greenway connecting the outlying suburbs of Boston from Plum Island in Newburyport to Kingston Bay in Duxbury, a distance of 200 miles (320 km).
The Agawam were an Algonquian Native American people in New England encountered by English colonists who arrived in the early 17th century. Decimated by pestilence shortly before the English colonization and fearing attacks from their hereditary enemies among the Abenaki and other tribes of present-day Maine, they invited the English to settle with them on their tribal territory.
Masconomet, spelled many different ways in colonial deeds, was sagamore of the Agawam tribe among the Algonquian peoples during the time of the English colonization of the Americas. He is known for his quitclaim deed ceding all the tribal land, which extended from Cape Ann to the Merrimack River, as far inland as North Andover, Massachusetts and Middleton, Massachusetts, and as far to the southwest as the Danvers River, to John Winthrop the Younger, his heirs and all the settlers of eastern Essex County for a sum of 20 pounds, about 100 dollars.