Past and Future in Ipswich

This past weekend we went up to Ipswich, about 12 miles north of Salem, to take a look at some very old houses and a very new wind turbine.  There is discussion of installing a turbine on Salem’s Winter Island so we wanted to check out the one in Ipswich, and there are lots of other attractions there:  cider doughnuts, beautiful beaches and farms, and the largest collection of First Period houses on the North Shore, perhaps even anywhere in America.  Here are some pictures of the largest and most famous one, the John Whipple House, built by 1677, moved to its present location off Route 1A in 1927, and owned and operated by the Ipswich Museum.

I love the very colonial clam-shell paths to the house and around the period “housewife’s garden”, the super-sloping roof and the windows–all of them.

And now for a contrasting view of the future in Ipswich:  the wind turbine, located on a large coastal DPW lot well out of the center of town.  Though both graceful and green, the turbine is indeed huge; it’s really difficult to see how it could possibly fit on the much smaller lot here in Salem.  There are a couple of shots here for perspective, including one across the marsh from the turbine.  I did not find it very noisy, however, which seems to be the other major issue with its potential siting.

On our way home (well sort of) we stopped at our favorite place in nearby Essex for friend clams:  J.T. Farnhams.  You eat your fried clams sitting on picnic tables overlooking the marsh looking back at Ipswich, and the house below, which I always think is going to be claimed by the marsh but never is.

10 responses to “Past and Future in Ipswich

  • julia fogg

    Great post Donna – lovely balance of the old and the new.

  • markd60

    Always a great post! Love the read and the pics!

  • Priscilla

    Great post – as always! Ipswich does, in fact, claim to have more first period houses extant that anywhere else in the U.S. No “perhaps” about it!

    Another wind turbine you might take a look at (if you haven’t already) is the one in Newburyport. It’s visible from Route 1, and most dramatic from 1 southbound. It sorts of looms over Haley’s Ice Cream stand! The first time I saw it I was shocked – it looked so out of place there – but now I hardly notice it which is, I guess, what happens with so many of these things! Ipswich spent a lot of time studying wind turbines, and the efforts was led by a group of citizens who did a lot of research and then shared that with the residents. Zumi’s, the wonderful sustainable coffee shop on Nartket Street, was host to a least one community meeting. Nost of our questions were answered before construction began!

    And the house you look at from Farnham’s, is known as the Old Burnham Place. I have a collection of prints, including a Halloween one, ot it. The old Burnham Place is arguably second only to Motif #1 in Rockport!

  • downeastdilettante

    Every farther the past, ever more present the future…

    The Ipswich marshes are as romantic and poignant a landscape as exists in New England

  • thedailydish

    Donna, these photos are so beautiful. And truly such a lovely contrast of old and new. I know a lot of people rally against those wind turbines, but I love them. The look of them, esp. Perhaps I haven’t gotten close enough to hear one.. so I remain a supporter, but I’ll take a wind turbine or solar panels over fossil fuel any day.

  • ceciliag

    Great. that old house with that completely adorable fence.. wow.. those shell paths hurt your bare feet though!!c

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