Historical Commission

About the Commission

The Ipswich Historical Commission was established in 1964 by Town Meeting to support the preservation of the Town's historical properties and archaeological assets. It acts to advise property owners, implements the town’s Demolition Review Bylaw when necessary, and works with the Planning Department and in cooperation with the Building Department. The Ipswich Historical Commission has information on historic houses, the Mary P. Conley award, historic publications, and much more.


The Historical Commission typically meets at 7:00 P.M. the 2nd Monday of every month. The Planning & Development Department provides administrative assistance to the Commission. 

If you have an inquiry for the Historical Commission, please attend the meeting during the Citizens' Queries portion of their meetings. You may also call 978-356-6607 or submit an inquiry in writing to the Planning Office at andreab@ipswichma.gov which will then be shared with the Commission.

Ipswich also has an active Architectural Preservation District Commission (APDC). For more information about the Architectural Preservation District, including a map of the district and the bylaw and regulations that govern the District, please visit this webpage.


  • Laura Gresh, Vice-Chair (2026)
  • Gordon Harris (also serves as Town Historian) (2024)
  • Rachel Meyer, Treasurer (2025)
  • Stephen Miles (2024)
  • Mariana Ovnic, Chair (2024)
  • Lindsay Randall, Clerk (2024)
  • VACANCY (2024)

Alternate Members

  • Open
  • Open
  • Open
  • Open
  • Open
  • Open
  • Open

Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.
View Most Recent Agendas and Minutes | View All Agendas and Minutes Prior to 2013

Historical Commission Resources:


-Section 8D states, that the historical commission will conduct research on the said property and will evaluate its historical and archeological assets to the town.

Town of Ipswich Administrative Manual  - Section 10.5 Historical Commission

-The following admin are included in the document: Historical Commission, Historic District Study Committee, and Industrial Development Finance Authority. This document goes over their roles, etc.

An inventory List of Historic Buildings in Ipswich, updated in October 2021, can be viewed here

Useful Links:

First Period houses walking tour- A map with locations of First Period homes. 

Painting your house in an historical color- Describes the historically accurate house colors for Colonial and Federal time periods.

*Secretary of the Interior Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties- Encompasses historic preservation standards and guidelines for the rehabilitation of historical homes.

Architectural Preservation District- A commission that is dedicated to protecting historically or architecturally significant properties. 

Master Plan for the Old North Burying Ground- - A Detailed description of the burying grounds inventory, assessment of the burying grounds natural and built features, and specific recommendations on how to preserve the burying ground. 

Historic Ipswich Links:

Historic houses- interactive map and info.

First Period houses - Houses built in the years of 1625 to 1725.

Obtaining plaques for historic houses - Directions and requirements for obtaining a plaque. 

Preservation agreements- A binding agreement between commission members and homeowners, it allows for there to be limited historical damage to the said home.  

Mary Conley award- Historical Preservation Award

Historic districts-The link walks one through Ipswich’s historic districts and neighborhoods, giving photos and blurbs about each district. 

Old North Burying Ground- Key chart and map to the burying ground, as well as a preservation plan for the burying ground. 

Town Historian’s website

Ipswich Visitor Center