The Heard House (1795-1800)
Plan Your Visit
Visitors are welcome to walk the museum grounds any day between sunrise and sunset. We have two self-guided walking tours on the PocketSights App which is also free and may be downloaded on iPhone or Android devices. For more information about self-guided audio tours click here.
Onsite parking is available at the Heard House and is free to visitors.
The museum is currently closed for tours. We will reopen for tours on Saturday May 27, 2023
Our administrative office is open Tuesday-Thursday 10:00am – 4:00pm year-round.
Our tour season will open May 27th, 2023. They will run Thursdays-Saturdays from 10-4, unless otherwise noted. In the meantime, check our calendar for ongoing events.
For large group tours, please call ahead (978)-356-2811
Adults: $10 for 1 house / $15 for 3 houses
Students ages 13-17: $5 1 house / $7.50 3 houses
Children 12 and under: Free with an adult
The Ipswich Museum was originally founded in 1890 as the Ipswich Historical Society. Today, our collection reflects more than 100 years of acquisition and preservation by these early visionaries. We continue to honor the original mission of the society to preserve Ipswich’s social, cultural, and architectural history – with the goal of making these treasures more accessible, more relevant, and more connected to our day-to-day lives.
Our museum is anchored by two significant properties: the 1677 Whipple House and the 1800 Heard House, which serves as our headquarters. Both properties are filled with original architectural detail, furnishings, and artifacts that give visitors an intimate glimpse into the lives of early Ipswich residents. Beyond the physical structures and important objects that comprise our collection you will find our most valuable asset: the narrative of our town, its origin, why we grew, and what made Ipswich such an extraordinary place for immigrants, artists, and tycoons alike.
There are hundreds of stories to discover through the Ipswich Museum. We invite you to dig a little deeper, explore, question, and to come away with a better understanding of your own history.
Interior view of the Heard House
Before sending genealogy inquiries please see the links below for sources to help you conduct your preliminary research. We ask that you do this prior to contacting the museum so you have as much information as possible for us to aid you with. Genealogy inquiries will be seen during administrative office hours Tuesday – Thursday, 10am-4pm. Administrative staff is NOT in the office Friday through Monday. If you are planning a visit to Ipswich please submit any inquiries at least two (2) weeks before your arrival date.
- New England Historical Genealogical Society: Use the free, searchable index to the NEHGS Register linked below which the Ipswich Public Library has available in print form in our special collections, and are often available virtually through other institutions.
- HistoricIpswich.org: The Town Historian’s website has a useful search function that searches across the Historian’s posts and resources on his website.
- Ipswich Ancient Town Records: The Town’s website has made available PDFs of microfilm containing Town Records dating back to the 1600s. A valuable tool that encompasses many dimensions of Town history, do be aware that the PDFs are large and take a long time to load. Be patient with them!
- The Internet Archive: Offers scanned full-length PDFs of Ipswich Town Reports, yearbooks, and other items. Available through the Library website under the “Archives and Local History Section”.
5. Historic Newspapers Database: Offers scans of Ipswich newspapers through 1999. Available through the Library website under the “Archives and Local History Section”. Access to newer scans is available on a different website but only to users with an IPL card.
- Chronicling America: Free historical newspaper database available through the Library of Congress.
- Newsbank: Login through the Ipswich Public Library to access historical and contemporaneous newspapers- including Ipswich papers from 2000 to the present.
8. The Massachusetts Commonwealth Archives: The State Archives, located in Dorchester, MA provide access to their finding aids, contact information, Massachusetts Vital Records, and more, through this link.
9. MACRIS: The Massachusetts Cultural Resources Information System offers information on historic homes and structures, and more, through an easy-to-use search function. Ideal for house research projects. Before accessing the maps and the database, you must agree to the Terms and Conditions of use!