Making a Home
one house, five families, 200 years of history
Making a home in this house was different for the Lynches than for earlier residents. Renters could rarely make changes to the building. The homes of immigrant workers also tended to be crowded with people and the equipment they needed for work.
Immigrant families brought cherished objects from their homelands for decoration. And as their tastes and budgets allowed, they bought inexpensive products of a booming industrial economy to furnish their homes.
New Industry, New Americans
Mary Lynch was one of thousands of workers employed by Ipswich Mills. The factory, only a few blocks from her house, began large-scale production of cotton stockings in 1868.
As immigrants from Ireland, French Canada, Poland, and Greece came to work in the mills, Ipswich grew by more than a third between 1860 and 1900. Like the Lynches' home, many other houses in the neighborhood were converted to rental units for workers at the mill.