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one house, five families, 200 years of history

The Home of Immigrant Workers

As industrialization swept through Ipswich in the late 1800s, Irish immigrants rented this house as home and workplace.

Catherine Tracy, a young Irishwoman, sailed from Liverpool, England, to Boston in 1847. Thirty-three years later she and her daughter, Mary, lived in one side of this house on Elm Street.

Catherine Tracy Lynch was a 55-year-old widow; Mary was 25 and single. Cathe1ine took in laundry, Mary worked in a hosiery mill and together they made ends meet.

The house was old now, far from fashionable, and situated in a busy industrial district. It was divided down the middle into two apartments, and the Lynches rented this side.