In 1913, a group of town residents concerned about preserving the town's historical resources founded the New Ipswich Historical Society. The hopes and goals of the founding members, Sarah Fiske Lee, William A. Preston, Mary F. Preston, Herschel W. Lewis, Helen M. Brooks, and Helen A. Sargent, have persisted for all of these years. Their original mission was "to discover, secure, and preserve whatever may relate to the natural, civil, literary, family, and ecclesiastical history of the town." Although the Society has grown, relocated, and modernized, it remains essentially an expression of those original sentiments--an institution committed to preserving and presenting the history of New Ipswich, in as many ways as we can imagine.
Today, the collection of the New Ipswich Historical Society includes books, photographs, maps, letters, paintings, samplers, trade signs, bandboxes, furniture, cooking implements, tools, clothing, firefighting equipment, and a myriad of other historical artifacts that enrich our understanding of the history of this place.
The Historical Society will be open to the public on the second and fourth Saturday of the month, June 6th - October 11th 2020 and open for special events as published here.
The New Ipswich Historical Society Board is comprised of volunteers who open the building every other week on Saturdays (generally 1-3 p.m. and by appointment) from early June through mid-October. We welcome visitors to use the resources available at the Society to do their own research and will do our best to refer visitors to other local and regional resources if we do not have the materials they need. The New Ipswich cemetery records have been digitized, and interested individuals seeking genealogical information may contact Ollie Niemi, Sextant of the Cemetery Committee (New Ipswich). In addition, the New Ipswich Town Offices have records of vital statistics that visitors to the Society may be seeking.
The Cemetery Database can be downloaded, from here.
New Ipswich Center Village Historic District
If you live in one of the houses listed on the National Register of Historic Places (the New Ipswich Center Village Historic District), or if you are just interested in the architectural history of New Ipswich, see our new page dedicated to the Historic District.
Session 2: Newspaper Treasures: Beyond the Obit (April 27, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.)
How can newspapers help us with our genealogical research? What treasures do they hold beyond the standard obit? The truth is, historical local newspapers are equivalent to our current day social media. They often told of social calls, well-being and personal anecdotes of people around town. But where are these newspapers? How can we locate and access them and what strategies can we use to calibrate our search in digitized collections? Join us for a tour around the web as we peek into subscription and free newspaper collections.
Session 3: What’s the History of Your House? (May 11, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.)
The best thing about tracking down the history of a house is that your research subject usually stays in one place! And yet, house history projects give us the opportunity to access and explore records we also see in genealogical projects: newspapers, land deeds, city directories and more. Join us to delve into the history that is underfoot each day.
Al Jenks’ Talk on the History of Windblown Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
In 1963, when Al Jenks was a high-school senior in Acton, MA, he borrowed money from his grandfather to purchase a 400-hundred acre lot from two neighbors, Marion Davis and Schuyler Hollingsworth. After attending college and spending three years in the military, he returned to his property and opened Windblown in the winter of 1972.
A captivating storyteller, Jenks will reflect on his memories of Marion Buck Davis, owner of the former Wapack Lodge and Wapack Trail blazer, share stories of his experiences running the business that drew Nordic skiers and snowshoers from throughout New England, and factors that led to his decision to close Windblown at the end of winter in 2020. A Q & A session will follow.
Click to read about our latest Preservation Project and signup to receive out New Ipswich Historical Society Newsletter.
We also have a ongoing project called “The Greatest Generation,” which involved scanning and interpreting a photo album in the collection with pictures of the young men and women from New Ipswich who went to fight in World War II. We would love to have you contribute your memories to this project.