The Heard House on South Main St. is within view of the Ipswich Visitor Center. The building was purchased by the Ipswich Historical Society from the Heard family in 1939. With the additional space, the Society was able to expand its program to showcase later centuries of Ipswich history including a collection of works by the nineteenth century “Ipswich Painters, “including Society founder Arthur Wesley Dow, as well as other collections dating to the early twentieth century. The Heard House is now the Ipswich Museum.
Across the street from the Heard House is the 1677 Whipple house a National Historic Landmark, one of the finest examples of “first period” American architecture (1625-1725). Both properties are filled with original architectural detail, furnishings, and artifacts that give visitors an intimate glimpse into the lives of early Ipswich residents.
Next to the Whipple House is the recreation of the Alexander Knight House, a re-creation of an early, English-style timber frame house from 1657 as described in Ipswich town records. This exhibit was built with traditional tools, materials and construction methods of the First Period, complete with a stone foundation, timber frame, wattle and daub chimney, water-sawn white oak boards and thatched roof. Jowled posts, girts, and braces were fitted to form an end wall. after which plates, studs, joists, principal rafters and purlins were pegged in place to complete the frame.
All museum properties and gardens are within walking distance of each other. The Ipswich Museum is open for guided tours from May through October. In 2017, we will be open for tours from May 27 to October 8.
- Thursday: 10 AM-4 PM
- Friday: 10 AM-4 PM
- Saturday: 10 AM-4 PM
- Sunday: 1-4 PM
- $15 for tour of three houses
- 10 for tour of one house
- Half price admission for students 13 to 17
- FREE for children under 13