Hamilton, Massachusetts began as farms in the southern part of Ipswich, MA. The first recorded land grant in this area was given to Matthew Whipple to farm, dated 1638. In 1640 the new stagecoach road (Bay Road) from Boston to Newburyport was laid out through Whipple’s land. In this area, which was then called “The Hamlet” (a village without a church), houses were built for early settlers, who were attracted by countryside similar to the English farms and estates they had left behind in England. Centuries later, with a new name (after Alexander Hamilton) and with the arrival of Boston and Maine Railroad in 1839, the town grew much more and the population increased, with the town retaining its rural character. The town sought to build a town hall, separate from its location in the church, to distinguish itself as separate from ecclesiastical affairs. The town hired Ernest Miguel Antonio Machado of Salem, the son of a Cuban immigrant to design the building: he was paid $885 for his plans, a fraction of the total $12,000 it cost for the building’s construction.