Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ipswich Alexander Knight House: Groundbreaking Ceremonies this Saturday 10 a.m.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Lisa-Marie Cashman

Groundbreaking Ceremonies for the Alexander Knight House on Whipple House Green July 25th
An authentic re-creation of a First Period Timber Frame House

Ipswich, Massachusetts. July 23, 2009 –Groundbreaking ceremonies on Saturday, July 25th at 10:00 a.m. on the Whipple House Green will set the stage for a momentous re-creation of the first authentic, live, on-going exhibit of a First Period Timber Frame House in the South Green District of Ipswich.

The re-creation of the Alexander Knight House is the brainchild of a team of professionals practicing the art of recreating American Colonial historic structures in conjunction with the Ipswich Historical Society and Museum. These five published, award-winning and peer-reviewed professionals will collaborate to re-create the story and building of the Alexander Knight House. Together with a blended team of award-winning writers, journalists, broadcast producers, graphic artists, a renown folk artist and a photographer with over 50 years cumulative experience. A year in concept, now this project emerges from the meeting room huddles and design plans to spring into action.

The core team includes: Mat Cummings, Cummings Architects; James D. Whidden, Woodright, LLC; Richard Irons, Restoration Masons; Sue Nelson, Architectural Historian; and Tim Chouinard, landscape specialist.

“If originally built as planned, the house would have been a modest 16x12 single-story building, possibly with only one room and probably with a loft space for storage,” notes Mat Cummings.

Construction will take place throughout the year and into next. Visitors can partake in some of the building activities during Olde Ipswich Days July 24-26 and during 17th Century Saturdays. Plans for lectures and a photo journalistic gallery showing are underway. Once completed, the Alexander Knight House will be donated by the team to the Ipswich Historical Society and reside as a permanent structure to be used for furthering the education of how early settlers may have lived and built their homes.

“Some examples of live demonstrations may include open hearth cooking and re-creating First Period furniture and children’s toys,” says James D. Whidden, a master joiner for over 20 years.

Members of the board of directors and the executive director will have a direct link on the Ipswich Historical Society website ( ) to the project website ( ) as well as the blog where team will blog about the progress of the project ( ). Johanne Cassia, renowned folk artist, ( generously donated her time and talent to portraying the Alexander Knight House in an original rendering which exemplifies incredible detail of the thatched roof and clamshell walkways and mortar on the chimney.

“We are excited and pleased to work with the Ipswich Knight House team, says Fred Hale, executive director of the Ipswich Historical Society and Museum. “Our goal is to expand upon the opportunities for our community and visitors to learn as much about the largest collection of First Period artifacts, artwork, and buildings in Ipswich. This is a natural extension of our collection since there were once many homes on the Meeting House Green where a thriving community of prosperous settlers made Ipswich famous.”

About the Ipswich Knight House Team
The Ipswich Knight House team represents some of the finest craftsmen, award winning designers, Emmy-award winning producers, writers, branding and graphic artists, photographers and a noted folk artist. All time, labor and materials are generously donated (approximately $50,000) to make this re-creation a local and national treasure for years to come. For more information, please contact Lisa-Marie Cashman at 978-233-2885 or email at

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Alexander Knight House – Groundbreaking Ceremony
Page Two/ July 23, 2009

To become a supporter for this live on-going exhibit, log-on to: All contributions will go towards continuing education programs and sustaining maintenance so all can enjoy for years to come.

About the Ipswich Historical Society and Museum
Organized in 1890 and chartered in 1898 by Reverend Thomas Franklin Waters and joined by preservationist George Francis Dow, the gentleman’s society housed and collected many First and Second Period Ipswich historic artifacts, famous paintings (including Arthur Wesley Dow) and documents—quite notably the largest collection in the country. Today these treasures showcasing Ipswich’s rich and diverse history can be viewed at both the Heard and Whipple houses in South Green District. For more information contact Wendy Evans at or call at 978-356-2811.

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