Essex, Mass.
Chronology of Roads and Buildings


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This chronology lists history of schools, firehouses, churches, mills, and other buildings in Essex. It also lists roads, canal, and railroad activity.
See also the general Essex history, or chronology of Weather phenomena and epidemics


YEAR

EVENT

1650

"Latin School" established in Chebacco to prepare youths for Cambridge

1654

Road from Ipswich to Chebacco laid out (little more than a footpath)

1656

First sawmill in Chebacco

1679

Sills laid for a meeting house in Chebacco; work halted by court order. Building raised, despite order, through efforts of the women of the Parish (April)
Building completed (July) following court permission

1681

First Meeting House dedicated. Gallery and turret added.
Parsonage built for John Wise, near the Meeting House

1687

Spring Street opened when John Cogswell divided his 300 acre grant among his four sons.

1695

Nathaniel Rust, the first schoolmaster, began teaching in a room in his home (now on John Wise Ave.)

1700

In Chebacco were a church, a school, five sawmills, one shipyard, three bridges, and two causeways.

1702

First school house erected (on the common)

1712

Tanning yard established alongside brook, in back of Burying Ground

1718

New (second) Meeting House built on the common

1733

A Pound constructed

1741

School held in a house at the Falls two months each year

1742

School sessions held two months at the Falls, two months on the South side of the River, and two months at the schoolhouse on the Common (an annual arrangement)

1752

Separatists' new meeting house built on site of present Congregational Church

1754

Sixth Parish purchased property on spring Street as location for parsonage for Mr. Cleaveland

1757

First schoolhouse sold; second schoolhouse built on same site.

1761

First schoolhouse at Falls

1774

A pound, built of stone, established.

1779

First schoolhouse built on south side of Chebacco River

1793

New Meeting House constructed on site of third meeting house (present Congregational Church)

1797

Bell cast by Paul Revere installed in meeting house

1800

A new schoolhouse was built as the Falls, on the site of the first one.

1801

A second schoolhouse built on the south side of the river
A new schoolhouse in the North district

1809

The Christian Baptist society erected a meeting house on site of present United Methodist Church

1817

New road to Manchester built

1819

Chebacco Parish, separated from the Town of Ipswich by the Massachusetts Legislature; incorporated as the Town of Essex

1821

Essex Canal opened, for moving timbers between the Merrimac and Chebacco Rivers

1824

Engine house built across from congregational church at site of present White Elephant Shop. Engine and equipment purchased by Town.

1834

A new "poor house" built in the town
A bark mill established at the Falls for a tanning business

1835

A school house constructed in the center of Essex (now the Shipbuilding Museum)

1836

The Universalist church constructed in the center of Essex

1841

New schoolhouse in the South District

1842

Congregational Meeting House remodeled to provide a second-floor Sanctuary and a first-floor meeting hall. The selectmen occupy an office in the corner of the meeting hall

1845

Schoolhouse built in the East District

1851

New engine house on Thompson Island, near the causeway
New fire engine for the town

1854

Horse/ carriage sheds built at Congregational Meeting House

1860

Records indicate operation of four rope-walks in Essex at this time

1864

Hardy's Hall and the engine house at the end of the causeway destroyed by fire

1865

Construction of a new engine house on the causeway

1867

First Essex post office located in Richardson's Hall

1893

Construction of Essex Town Hall; transfer of all Town offices and all Town meetings from the Congregational Meeting House to the new building

1946

Universalist church destroyed by fire. Rebuilt on same site.

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Copyright © 2000, 2010 by Kurt A. Wilhelm