South Main Street, early urban planning: In March 1692 several persons petitioned “to have liberty granted them to build shops upon ye bank by ye river side.” The Selectmen laid out this stretch of land in twenty-three small lots and granted them to as many individuals with the conditions that they not encumber the highway, make provision for drainage under the buildings, that each person “provide paving four foot wide all along before ye said buildings for the convenience of foot travelers, and erect posts to keep horses from spoiling the same.” It was stipulated by the Town that the lots extend no farther into the river than “ye low water mark”, thus giving this view the nickname “Little Venice.” The Philomen Dean house, 59 South Main is on the right after crossing the footbridge.
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The mill buildings later housed Sylvania’s fluorescent lighting plant and are where the company manufactured proximity fuses for WWII bombs.
The buildings are now the home of EBSCO Publishing, which provides electronic databases to colleges, libraries, medical institutions and corporations.
The tour offers a basic 2 mile short option as well as an extended 4 mile option that covers most of the town from Market Street to South Village Green, along the River and East Street to the town Wharf, and out High Street to the railway bridge.
Options are presented at various points that allow one to shorten the tour to the core of the historic district.
Augustine Heard retired to Ipswich and started the Ipswich Manufacturing Company in 1828 with Joseph Farley, building a new dam and the Old Stone Mill.
The Heard house was purchased in 1936 by the Ipswich Historical Society and houses the Ipswich Museum.During the 1913 Ipswich Mills labor strike a Greek girl was killed and striking workers were evicted from their mill homes.Failing to modernize and keep up with fashion trends, the mills closed in 1928.(Download this tour as a PDF) Ipswich Riverwalk Mural, Start location: In 2005 EBSCO Publishing commissioned artist Alan Pearsall to paint a 2,700-square-foot mural on one of the old mill buildings as part of the new Riverwalk.Alan based the mural on the history of Ipswich from the time of its settling to the current day.I also consider the effects of medication, diet, or other environmental factors.