, Salem, MA


October 10, 2013

Tour through Time

Ipswich open-door house tour features homes from different times in town's history


“If you went in that house you would feel, this is exactly how it felt 300 years ago,” Bruce said. “They’ve preserved things very much. It has that feeling of dark wood, big, heavy fireplace.”

But most of the houses have incorporated new technologies, while still maintaining a connection to history.

“In most cases, they do have to update their systems. A lot of the time, they aren’t well insulated, and need electrical work done, heating and plumbing,” Bruce said.

But the tasteful balance such homes display, between old forms and new functions, is what makes them so interesting to visit.

“One of these homes had bumped out the back and expanded the kitchen,” Bruce said. “They put all glass on the back wall, so it’s very light, all day long. There’s a marble bathroom off the kitchen and den that are very modern in feel.

“Then, you go into rooms they didn’t update, that feel like you’re in the early 1900s.”

In addition to ranging across time, the tour also covers a lot of ground and includes properties located all over Ipswich.

Bruce estimated it should take between two and three hours to see all 10 houses if a visitor drives between addresses and spends between 10 and 20 minutes inside each home, where access will be limited to the first floors.

Some people may want to dwell for a moment on the settings of these homes, which are often beautifully landscaped.

“One of the homes has spectacular gardens designed by a landscape architect named Arthur Shurtleff in the 1900s,” Bruce said.

Shurtleff worked with Frederick Law Olmsted — who designed Central Park in New York and the Emerald Necklace in Boston — and is often described as the father of American landscape architecture.

“Another home has extensive stonework, and the homeowner is a mason,” Bruce said. “There are walls around the yard, and he even has an in-earth oven.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Monday's Best Bets Best Bets for Monday, July 28

    Looking for something to do today? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Son-in-law’s abusive father makes gatherings painful Dear Abby: I adore my son-in-law, "Tom." He's a wonderful husband to our daughter. He's always inviting us to dinner along with his parents and family. We get along with them but can't stand how they treat Tom. We have never seen parents treat their

    July 28, 2014

  • This weekend's Best Bets Best Bets for Saturday, July 26

    Looking for something to do today? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • North Shore religion news in brief Congregation Shirat Hayam is offering a free, five-week Hebrew Reading Crash Course on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. from Sept. 2 through Oct. 7, at the synagogue, 55 Atlantic Ave., Swampscott. Led by Nancy Miller, the course is open to the community and is

    July 26, 2014

  • North Shore religion calendar Wednesday, July 30 Book Club, 7 p.m., Aviv Centers for Living, 240 Lynnfield St., Peabody. Women of all ages are invited to a free book group with conversations about Jewish identity. Group will discuss "The Harem Midwife" by Roberta Rich. RSVP to Sh

    July 26, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Teen is looking for direction after high school graduation Dear Abby: I am an 18-year-old high school senior who is scared about what's going to happen after graduation. For the past three years I have known exactly where I'll be and what I will be doing in the general sense. Now that I have one more year to

    July 26, 2014

  • macaws Vet Connection: Pet birds need training, social interaction and time out of the cage People are fascinated with the big colorful birds on display at Animal Kingdom and wild bird sanctuaries. It's always fascinating to see someone walking down the street with a big-beaked bird on his or her shoulder as a companion. We are all drawn to

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ask Dog Lady: Her little dog is obsessed with food Dear Dog Lady: I have a 3-year-old, long-coated Chihuahua named Mexipep (after a brand of hot sauce). She has many fine attributes -- she's very sweet, not nervous and barky like the short-coated Chihuahuas can be. On the subject of food, however, th

    July 25, 2014

  • howe Book Notes: Local novelist sees ‘conversion’ syndrome in witch trials The parallels between 1692 and today are so close, they're frightening. That's one conclusion you could draw from reading "Conversion," Marblehead resident Katherine Howe's new novel, which compares the world of the Salem Witch Trials to the life of

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • vehicles Quick pick: Festival of vehicles

    Festival of vehicles Take a ride over to the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library for the 16th annual Vehicle Night on Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The festival of fire trucks, emergency vehicles, cruisers and snow plows takes place in the library park

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

NDN Video
Comments Tracker