Ipswich is First… Period.

An homage to harvest, hearth & home.

Highlighting First Period Houses
November 15th ~ Thanksgiving 2014

First Weekend:

Voice Home 2014

Saturday, November 15th,   5 – 7 pm   American Voice, American Home
The Essex Harmony, sing acapella in The Parlor of The 1694 Paine House at Greenwood Farm A property of The Trustees of Reservation, 47 Jeffrey’s Neck Road, Ipswich, Massachusetts

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22 Mineral Street 1696 Ephriam Harris House Diane Mayo, Country Crossroads Realty

(978) 500- 0657

3 High Street 1725 John Gaines House Ed Dick,  J. Barrett Realtors

(508) 612 – 4240

90 County Street 1822 William Wade House  Ingrid Miles, Keller Williams Realty

(978) 471 – 9750

2 Meetinghouse Green 1842 Joseph Farley House Binni Hackett, J. Barrett Realtors

(978) 314 8103

Sunday, November 16, 2 – 4:30 pm  Ipswich Inn Open House 

Old House Experts, Craftsmen, Bankers & others discuss home ownership over light refreshments. Co-hosted by the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce at the Ipswich Inn, 1863 Robert Jordan House, 2 East Street, Ipswich

Sunday, November 16, 5pm  Assembly At The Tavern

At The Inn at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate Co-hosted by the Ipswich Historical Society Guest Speaker, Dennis Fiore, President, of The Massachusetts Historical Society. 280 Argilla Road, Ipswich, Massachusetts, Cash Bar. Space is limited. FREE Ticket required. Sold out.


Second Weekend


Friday, November 21st

4-7pm        Thanksgiving Farmers’ Market

Bringing Local Harvest for your Thanksgiving Table

Ascension Gym, 31 County Street,  Ipswich

5 – 7pm  Ipswich Museum by Candlelight

After dark opening of The 1677 John Whipple House

& The 1657 Alexander Knight House Replicia

54 South Main Street, Ipswich, Massachusetts

6-8pm       Community Harvest Dinner 

Hearty Soups & Crusty Breads

Donations benefit Ipswich Dinnerbell

Town Hall Dining Hall, 25 Green Street, Ipswich

8pm              Community Contra Dance

Traditional American Folk Line Dancing! Super Fun!

Town Hall Gym, 25 Green Street, Ipswich


Saturday, November 22nd

  11am – 12:30         Appleton Farm Tour

America’s oldest continuously operating farm!

219 County Road, Ipswich, Massachusetts


Sunday, November 23rd

2pm       Ann Bradstreet & Her Minister;   Poetic Prose Amid Political Turmoil.

A marionette play about America’s First Published Poet! Ipswich Public Library, 25 North Main Street

 3pm   Turkey Basket Concert

Northeast Massachusetts Youth Orchestras

$5 Donation To Benefit The Ipswich Food Pantry

First Church of Ipswich, 12 Meetinghouse Green

 Boston Globe 11/18/12: Ipswich is First… Period. Shines a light on towns History. By Joel Brown


Thanksgiving in Ipswich is about home

By Craig Idlebrook, AAA Horizons Southern New England, November 2014

If you’re looking for a simple way to mark the Thanksgiving season, consider traveling to Ipswich for a festival featuring the town’s 17th-century homes. More than just a showcase to highlight the town’s history, the Ipswich is First… Period festival also illuminates the importance of home, said Kerrie Bates, director of the Ipswich Department of ReCreation & Culture.

“We invited First Period homeowners to literally highlight their homes in the early dark of the holiday hubbub and encourage the public to take the long way home, the back roads, slowing long enough to reflect on what ‘home’ means to them,” said Bates.

The centerpiece of the weeklong festival may be a chance to see some of the oldest architecture in the United States, both inside and out, but there are many great events that are happening inside these homes, as well. For example, a local a cappella choral company will be performing at the 1694 Paine House at Greenwood Farm, a pristinely preserved property of the Trustees of Reservations.

The festival marks its fourth year with new events, as well, including a harvest farmers market and a marionette play about the life of America’s first poet, Anne Bradstreet. Bradstreet’s poems often celebrated the importance of hearth and home, said Bates.

“There is a scene in the play where the Bradstreets go to their Meeting House, the very place where, here, now, the play is being performed,” she said.

Every event of the festival is free and open to the public. Unlike many holiday festivals still to come in December, Ipswich is First… Period is designed to allow people to reflect on the importance of gratitude and family, Bates said. She said the tone of the festival has struck a chord with visitors and locals alike.

“Many come year after year to be reminded, because gratitude, plain and simple, is a good feeling,” she said.