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November 14, 2013

Ipswich highlights its First Period homes

IPSWICH — From now until Thanksgiving, many First Period homes in town will be illuminated at night.

It’s part of an event called Ipswich is First ... Period, which aims to highlight the town’s 17th century homes.

“It is the closest thing to a living museum,” said Kerrie Bates, the town’s recreation and culture director. “Ipswich has more First Period homes than any other community, and they are in their natural streetscape.”

The event is designed to get people out and about to celebrate the preservation of these buildings and the town’s history.

“It’s really about Thanksgiving, heritage, history and harvest,” Bates said. “In the early dark of the holiday hubbub, travelers are encouraged to take the scenic route and venture off Route 1A and drive along High, County, Summer and Water streets.”

The event will kick off with a gathering Sunday from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at The Tavern at the Inn at Castle Hill, 280 Argilla Road, hosted by the Ipswich Visitor Center and the Ipswich Historical Commission. Guest speakers will be Joe Cornish of Historic New England and Susan Hill Dolan of the Trustees of Reservations.

There will be a cash bar and light hor d’oeuvres from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

Everything will wrap up Saturday, Nov. 23, with a 17th Century Family Fun Day from noon to 2 p.m., which will include family activities, games and crafts at the Ipswich Museum, 54 South Main St.

Staff writer Jonathan Phelps can be reached at 978-338-2527 or by email at Follow him on Twitter at JPhelps_SN.

Sunday, Nov. 17 Olde House Open House, featuring 17th century homes currently listed on the market, in cooperation with local real estate agents, 2 to 4 p.m. 178 Argilla Road, 8 Water St., 27 Summer St. and 11 County St. Olde House Gathering at The Tavern, Inn at Castle Hill, 280 Argilla Road. Guest speakers are Joe Cornish of Historic New England and Trustees of Reservations Susan Hill Dolan. There will be a cash bar and light hors d'oeuvres from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Free, donations welcome. Wednesday, Nov. 20 1677 Whipple House and the 1657 Alexander Knight House will be open and lit with candles. Sponsored by the Ipswich Museum. 6 to 7:30 p.m. Free. 54 South Main St., Ipswich. Author and historian Missy Wolfe presents "Insubordinate Spirit: A True Story of Life and Loss in Earliest America, 1610-65." Hear how Elizabeth Winthrop's life intersected three colliding cultures and politics. 7:30 p.m. Free for members, $10 nonmembers. 54 South Main St., Ipswich Thursday, Nov. 21 American voices in an American home: The Essex Harmony at the 1694 Paine House, Greenwood Farm, Drop-in 5 to 7 p.m. Tour the interior and enjoy The Essex Harmony, an a cappella vocal ensemble that performs music of the "singing school" period of late 18th and early 19th century New England. Free, donations welcome. 47 Jefferies Neck Road, Ipswich. Saturday, Nov. 23 17th Century Family Fun Day, including family activities, games and crafts at the Ipswich Museum, noon to 2 p.m. 54 South Main St., Ipswich.

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