Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory - Massachusetts


Abbot House

Paine-Dodge House, 53 Jeffrey’s Neck Road, Ipswich, Massachusetts (42.693589, -70.816230)


Primary House Felling dates: Spring 1693 Winter 1693/4 Spring 1694

Site Master 1546-1693 PHI (t = 10.79 OGC; 10.47 BALx1; 10.44 OCP).

The Paine House, which faces south, is five bays wide and two-and-one-half stories in height with an integral lean-to. The building retains many significant features from its original seventeenth century construction and from updatings and alterations in the eighteenth century. Notable survivals include shadow-molded sheathing in the stair hall, and an early-Georgian corner cupboard and bolection-molded fireplace surround in the southwest room, and a partially subterranean dairy in the lean-to. The house was restored in 1930 by Mrs. Robert G. Dodge, whose family acquired the property in 1916. The lean-to was opened up to form a single room, post and beam cases were removed and the revealed timbers stripped of paint (a condition that facilitated the recent core sampling). The southeast room was returned to a presumed early appearance. The plaster ceiling was removed and parts of the fireplace wall were fitted with reused vertical sheathing. Framing and sheathing were stripped of whitewash. The house, used primarily as a guest house, never received modern plumbing or heating.

According to deeds, when Robert Paine, Sr. transferred the property to his son, Robert in 1689, the son was already living in a house on the premises, though the location of that house is unknown.

The date of 1694 identified by dendrochronology, would mean that Robert Paine, Jr. built this house before he conveyed the property to his son-in-law, Daniel Smith. Some recent studies have suggested that the house was built after the transfer.

Miles, D H, Worthington, M J, and Grady, A A, 2002 “ Tree-Ring Dating Of The Paine-Dodge House, 53 Jeffrey’s Neck Road, Ipswich, Massachusetts ”, Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory, unpublished report 2002

Link to The Trustees of Reservations site for this building here.




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Contact Information

Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory

Michael Worthington
Jane Seiter, Ph.D

25 E. Montgomery St.
Baltimore, MD 21230