Within These Walls

Entrance to the Within These Walls exhibition

At the center of this gallery is a partially reconstructed house that stood for 200 years at 16 Elm Street in Ipswich, Massachusetts, about 30 miles north of Boston. The house and the exhibition that surrounds it tell the stories of five families who lived there over the years and made history in their kitchens and parlors, through everyday choices and personal acts of courage and sacrifice. Through their lives, the exhibition explores some of the important ways ordinary people have been part of the great changes and events in American history.

The exhibition features:

  • the largest artifact in the museum, a Georgian-style, two-and-a-half-story timber-framed house
  • an 18th-century tea table
  • an anti-slavery almanac and the Wedgwood Anti-Slavery medallion
  • a Philco radio from the 1930s
  • World War II-era cookbooks, posters, rationing coupons
  • a proximity fuse, used to detonate bombs and artillery shells.

Highlights Tour

An online self-guided highlights tour is available in the following languages:

Online Exhibition

View 200 years of American history as seen from the doorstep of one house that stood from Colonial days through the mid-1960s in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Meet five ordinary families whose lives within the walls of the house became part of the great changes and events of the nation's past, and learn how to look for clues to the history of your own home and neighborhood. Visit the website.