Whipple House, Ipswich Museum

The 1677 Whipple House is one of the finest examples of  “first period” American architecture (1625-1725). The oldest part of the house dates to 1677 when the military officer and entrepreneur Captain John Whipple constructed an impressive townhouse near the center of Ipswich to showcase his wealth. Before 1683, he expanded his half-house to become a full house. His son, Major John Whipple, constructed a lean-to that more than doubled its size. Eighteenth century Whipples added Georgian “improvements” that are still visible. Nineteenth and 20th century Colonial Revivalists (the original founders of what is now the Ipswich Museum) saved the house from destruction, restored it, and moved it to its present location in 1927. Today, the house’s frame of oak, chestnut, and tamarack is largely intact. Wall sheathing and clamshell ceiling plaster retain their first period charm. Seventeenth and 18th century furnishings and decorative arts by local and regional craftsmen fill the home. A colonial-style “housewife’s garden” greets visitors at the entrance.


54 South Main St. Ipswich, MA 1938

Driving Directions

From Route 128, take Exit 20A (Route 1A North). Follow to Ipswich Center (Route 1A becomes South Main Street). Ipswich Historical Society’s 1800 Heard House will be on the right, the Whipple House is on the left.

Notes & Advisories

Stairs to the second floor are narrow and steep. Restrooms are not available at the Whipple House, but are available across the street at the 1800 Heard House, another property of Ipswich Museum.


  • Historic Resources
  • Museums