Monday, June 08, 2009

Ipswich Knight House team continued...

Richard Irons, master historical restoration mason in the head of the chimney at the Daniel Lummus House, High Street, Ipswich, Ma.

Ipswich Alexander Knight House team members

Mat Cummings, Cummings Architects and James Whidden Woodright LLC in front of the Whipple House, Ipswich, Ma.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Ipswich Alexander Knight House Authentic Reproduction Underway.

As the skies cleared late Saturday morning, I headed out to view the hewing of beams that will soon become part of the authentic reproduction of the first period one-room house: the Ipswich Alexander Knight House, circa 1657. To my pleasant surprise, the crew was involving the public in the actual work.

The project is the ingenious brainchild of a group of modern-day first and second period artisans who will lend their expertise, time and materials (estimated at about $45,000 from start to finish), to recreating this replica. The Ipswich Alexander Knight House will stand as a commemorative and lasting tribute to the historical significance of the Town of Ipswich, Massachusetts now celebrating its 375th year.

The group includes: Mat Cummings, Cummings Architects (; James Whidden, Woodright, LLC (; Richard Irons, Restoration Mason; Susan S. Nelson, Architectural historian and principal of Goodship Research; Tim Chouinard, Arborist. In addition, marketing and communications consultants including Lisa-Marie Cashman, principal of The Cashman Group (; Martin Sorga, principal of postproduct ( Cynda Warren Joyce, principal of CWJ Designs ( will not only help recreate the story of the past, but also will bring light to the significance of this project for the local community and nationwide, as part of the donation.

"The Ipswich Alexander Knight House recreation represents what many of the Town's First Period homes looked like during the early 17th century," remarks Mat Cummings. "It is the first authentic and only recreation in the Ipswich's history that will have a permanent home located next to the Whipple House and sited by Sally's Pond on the South Green." Cummings further adds, "According to our knowledge, our one-room home will be the only opportunity for one to see and experience how the common person lived in one of Mass Bay Colonies' settlements."
James Whidden adds, "Many of the First Period homes in Ipswich were only one room. As we entered the Second Period, many add-ons were incorporated into the historic homes--particularly downtown-- and the original one room house became part of a larger home existing with Georgian or Federal style embellishments."
Once completed, Ipswich Knight House will be donated to the Ipswich Historical Society ( and remain as part of its permanent collection. The Society hopes to incorporate the authentic one-room, First Period house into its educational programming including lectures, school tours, and other events. It will become an interactive tool for all to enjoy. All proceeds for such events will go to the Ipswich Historical Society.

"We are thrilled to have such dedicated and talented members of the Ipswich Historical Society and community," notes Fred Hale, President. "The dedication and passion these individuals have brought to the table will undoubtedly boost local and national recognition for Ipswich as the town that has the largest and most authentic number of First and Second Period homes in the country."

With the 375th celebration now moving full-speed ahead, this summer promises to be a great time for residents, families and tourists to view and participate in the progress of the Ipswich Knight House. Live demonstrations will take place and tourists and residents will have a chance to partake in helping to build this home. For more information on demonstration dates and other activities, please contact Lisa-Marie Cashman at 978-233-2885 or email at Stay tuned for additional blog postings on the progress as well as my "tweetdates" at