Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony by Thomas Franklin Waters, Sarah Goodhue, John Wise, Ipswich Historical Society
A little lower down, where the stream narrows in the beautiful gorge between the hills, a bridge, probably of logs, was built by the farmers, whose land abutted on the river on both sides, about 1667. In that year John Adams, Nathaniel Adams, Samuel Adams, Joseph Saiford, Nicholas Wallis and Thomas Staco were "freed from working in the common highway for 7 years to come," "upon consideration of there building a bridge over the river at there own expense."
Sar. Nicholas Wallis, whose farm is now owned by the Brooks heirs, received permission in March, 1686-7
to improve tho water by damming in the river against his own land not exceeding three foot for the building a fulling mill or mills, provided he do it within a year and a half.
Sergeant Wallis did not improve his privilege and in March. 1696-7, John Adams, Sen., his son John, Jim. and Michael Farley Jun. petitioned the Town for permission to build a dam, and operate a grist mill and a fulling mill. After a little delay, they received the desired liberty, and built the
dam, with a fulling mill on the north side and the grist mill on the south, in the year 1697