Greenwood Farm and the Paine House

photo of Paine House
47 Jeffrey's Neck Road
Ipswich, MA 01938
978-356-4351

Located on a peninsula on the Ipswich River Estuary, Greenwood Farm comprises pastures, meadow, woodlands, salt marsh, and three tidal islands: Diamond Stage, Widow's, and Homestead. A trail meanders through an upland field before opening onto a broad vista of the historic Paine House at the edge of the marsh. The Reservation takes its name from Thomas S. Greenwood, a member of the Paine family, who built the 19th-century white farmhouse. The design, construction, materials, and craftsmanship of this late First Period (1694) house represent the unique style of the era. Recent archaeological investigations revealed a rare survival of an eighteenth-century milk room or dairy inside the house. In the 1640s, Robert Paine Sr. received a land grant from the Town of Ipswich for the Paine Farm. There he began a 250-year-old tradition of raising cattle, harvesting salt hay, and fishing. From 1916, Greenwood Farm was a summer retreat for Robert G. Dodge, whose family lived in the farmhouse and transformed the Paine House into a Colonial Revival guest house with late 17th- to mid-19th-century American furniture and decorative arts. Greenwood Farm provides a rich feeding and breeding ground for numerous birds, finfish, shellfish, and mammals. On a typical summer day, you may see swallows, waxwings, and dragonflies swooping over the fields for small insects, or a red-tailed hawk riding high on a thermal. Great blue herons and snowy and American egrets wade through the marsh. Occasionally at dawn or dusk, the air quivers with the soft hooting of a great horned owl or the raspy bark of a red fox. Bobolinks nest in the fields.

Hours: 

Grounds: year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Paine House: guided and self-guided tours 11AM–3PM on the first Saturday of the month, June through October, in conjunction with Essex County's 17th Century Saturdays program. Allow a minimum of 1 hour, 2 hours if taking Paine House tour.

Admission: 

Paine House admission is free the first Saturday in June, and members free, nonmembers $8 thereafter, through October.

Driving Directions: 

From Rt. 128 Exit 20A, follow Rt. 1A North to the Ipswich Town Green, continue straight onto County Rd. (turns into East St.). Follow for 0.9 mi., bear left onto Jeffrey’s Neck Rd., and follow for 0.7 mi. to entrance on right and parking (10 cars) is 1/4 mile down driveway, on left.

Site Notes & Advisories: 

Trails: 2.5 miles of trails. Easy walking. The Pain House Museum Paine House Museum, open seasonally, holds a collection of late 17th - 19th century American decorative arts, including furniture, paintings, and ceramics. The House is a fine example of first period architecture in its original location. Local painters and photographers often capture the vistas and view of the Paine House within the salt marsh landscape. Some include Dorothy Monnelly, Maragaret Taylor and Melynn Allen.

Flags: 

  • Family Friendly
  • Parking
  • Pet Friendly

Categories: 

  • Birding
  • First Period Architecture
  • Winter Sports
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Historic Resources
  • Natural Resources
  • Early Settlement Trail
  • Great Marsh
  • Parks
  • Museums
  • Scenic Vistas

Property Owner/Organization: 

The Trustees of Reservations
Essex Coastal Scenic Byway
Rail Trail
Rail Trail Trailhead