2 East Street, the Robert Jordan house (1863)

2 East Street, the Robert Jordan house (1863)

The house at 2 East Street at the end of North Main Street is the Ipswich Bed and Breakfast or Ipswich Inn. It was built by clothing store owner Robert Jordan. Robert Jordan bought this lot in 1862, and enlarged the lot by purchasing pieces of two adjoining lots in 1863. On this enlarged lot Jordan built a fine Italianate mansion. Robert Jordan was a merchant tailor and dealer in ready made clothing on Market St. Dr. George C. Bailey was the next owner.

This house is a fine example of Italianate Victorian architecture. The rear of the property once featured terraced land used for orchards and the short-lived silkworm/silk industry of the 1800s. Interesting architectural features of the house include the “belvedere” on the main roof, and a curved front stairway. The house originally had a wrap-around porch. A brick house once sat in the location of the driveway but was torn down by Harry Brown, owner at that time of the “Olde Manse” next door. View MACRIS

The Jordan House in the early 1900s.
The Ipswich Inn, looking down East Street at the beginning of the 20th Century
The Ipswich Inn, looking down East Street at the beginning of the 20th Century
Ipswich original Methodist Church
The first Methodist Church meeting house was on East Street at the present day location of the Ipswich Inn. The house next door was the parsonage, still standing.

Jane Hooper, the Fortune Teller

This story is adapted from the Reminiscences of Joseph Smith and Reminiscences of a Newburyport Nonagenarian, and brings together no less than four incredible old tales.

Francis Wainwright house
The “Old Brick,” the home of Col. Francis Wainwright.

The “Old Brick,” a house built by the esteemed Francis Wainwright was approximately where the Ipswich Inn is now. Superstitious people thought the cellar of the house was haunted by the ghost of Francis Wainwright, whose widely anticipated wedding to his second wife had instead become his funeral. The honorable gentleman took ill and died suddenly on a hot August day in 1711, a few days before the wedding. So that the body might be kept until the invited guests arrived, the coffin was carried into the cellar.

His demise was a complete and surprising disappointment to the stately guests who arrived from far and wide only to find him laid out in his wedding clothes beside the bride’s attire, but no bride and no wedding. Great provision had been made for their entertainment, and so it was with mixed emotions that they stayed on.

Francis Wainwright was laid in a new tomb recently of his making, and his dead first wife was taken out of another and laid with him. At the funeral, the intended bride Betty Hirst became instead the Principal Mourner for the crowd assembled.

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