Ipswich

My daughter lives in Ipswich, MA with her boyfriend. Her birthday was Thursday so my wife and I drove out here for a visit.

Most of the time I’ve driven the round trip in a day, to pick her up or drop her off. It’s 350 miles each way so those are long days. A couple of times I’ve stayed locally overnight. Decent hotels aren’t close, at least not affordable ones that I knew about. For this stay my wife found a B&B and we were even able to bring the dog.

When I’ve been here before I’ve been around my daughter’s area which is commercial and coming in and out of town, most routes of which are commercial. The residences I’d seen are near those areas and there’s nothing interesting about them.

But the B&B, though in walking distance from my daughter’s, is in an historic area. An unusual one, I think. There are a lot of old houses here. The B&B I think dates from the late 1800’s though the addition we stayed in is newer. I don’t think it’s got one of those Ipswich Historical Commission plaques on it with the date the house was built, but a lot of the other houses in the neighborhood do. There are of course a lot of houses built in the 1800’s here but it’s not the numbers that start with 18 that freak me out a bit, it’s the numbers that start with 16. I’ve seen several.

One is the image for this piece. I took that shot when walking the dog last night [when this was written – published a day later]. It might be the oldest building in the neighborhood but not necessarily. Its plaque says Built Before 1659. The oldest confirmed date I’ve seen is Built 1652.

The plaques I assume are partially for the tourists but these are lived in houses. This isn’t Colonial Williamsburg, it’s a neighborhood. I saw one from the 1600’s which has a For Sale sign on it, Appointment Only. I have no idea if any of these houses are still owned by the families that built them. In some cases I doubt it, as the house in the picture was an inn, not a residence.

Sometimes age startles me. I’m looking at buildings in the US that were around for at least a quarter of a century before Bach, Handel, and Vivaldi were born. The Mayflower landed in 1620. The guys who built or inhabited these buildings probably knew people who were at the first Thanksgiving. For all I know some of them were themselves. I suppose the information is there if I want to delve into it.

It’s not like I have that much to write about it, just a reaction to really old age. The two houses across the street from the Inn date from around 1730. For here that’s kind of normal.

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