|"My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the Pilgrims' pride,
From every mountain side
Let freedom ring."
|Phillips Academy founded||
|Andover Theological Seminary opened||
|Abbot Academy founded||
|One section became North Andover and what had been known as South Parish became the present Andover.|
|Population 1945 census||
Andover is just north of Boston, an easy drive of twenty-three miles on the old Turnpike which in Colonial days was the route of the stage coaches from Boston to Concord, New Hampshire.
The town is in rolling country which owes much of its present relief to glacial action. Formerly it supported a forest of mixed hardwood and white pine, with some canoe birch and hemlock in favorable locations, and swamps of cedar which was used for shingles. A few patches of wild mountain laurel still persist in isolated woodlands. Before the coming of the colonists the forests were kept clear of brush by fires set annually in the fall of the year by the Indians. After the shipyards were established at Essex, oak timbers for the yards were cut in Andover.
In spite of its name and long-standing tradition, Indian Ridge appears not to have had any connection with Indians, save as its top may have provided a pathway. This ridge is part of an esker system, the gravelly bed of a river which, near the close of the last Ice Age, flowed in a tunnel cut through the bottom of the continental ice sheet. It can be identified in Manchester and in Salem, New Hampshire, whence its course can be traced through Methuen, across the Merrimack River into South Lawrence, Andover, and Ballardvale, where the river at one time discharged into a large lake, or possibly an arm of the sea. Sand and gravel carried by the stream built up the delta which is the Ballardvale sand plain, in the process burying blocks of ice of different sizes. Pomp's Pond and the neighboring kettleholes, and Haggett's Pond, in West Andover, were formerly occupied by such ice blocks.
This region for many years offered ideal sites for the ancient Indians. Tools and weapons have been found at a series of camps along the course of the Shawsheen River, showing that the earliest occupants whose traces have up to this time been identified, made their homes on its banks. The history of the occupation of Andover has been traced through excavations made for the Robert S. Peabody Foundation. Objects recovered may be seen in the cases in the Archaeology Museum.
The esker system, the Ballardvale sand plain, and the kame and kettlehole region around Pomp's Pond are remarkable and classic examples of glacial phenomena. Indeed, the esker was among the first in America to be described. George Frederick Wright, then pastor of the Free Church at Andover, published accounts of it in the Bulletin of the Essex Institute of Salem in 1875, in the Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History in the following year, and in other publications. F. S. Mills, of Andover, described the Ballardvale sand plain in the American Geologist for September, 1903, while J. H. Sears discusses these as well as other features in his exhaustive The Physical Geography, Geology, Mineralogy, and Paleontology of Essex County, Massachusetts, published by the Essex Institute, Salem, Massachusetts, 1905.
On a field on the lowest terrace of the Merrimack River, a part of the Shattuck Farm now about ten feet above the level of the waters backed up by the dam at Lawrence, there was formerly a large Indian village. Although a large collection was made there in the latter part of the nineteenth century that collection was destroyed in a fire in Worcester. In digging sand from the edge of the terrace back of this field, workers for the farm have uncovered many Indian graves. Collections from this source have been dispersed. Finally, the disastrous floods of 1936 and 1938 so gouged and eroded the plowed land that lamentably nearly all evidence has been destroyed.
From collections in private hands it is estimated that the village was probably a large one, and that it was occupied, perhaps, during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Possibly the Indians were the ancestors of the Pennacooks whose territory included the Merrimack River in colonial times. A restoration of a part of the village as it may have looked during its life is to be seen in the Robert S. Peabody Foundation for Archaeology.
Recent years have wrought many changes at Phillips Academy, but the new buildings are worthy of the early traditions; the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library, George Washington Hall, Samuel Phillips Hall, Addison Gallery of Art and the Cochran Chapel are models of utility and beauty. Memorial Tower, with its carillon of thirty-seven bells, stands like a beacon on the top of Andover Hill.
The Robert S. Peabody Foundation for Archaeology, established in 1901, is on the west side of Main Street, at the corner of Phillips Street. Here are collections of the handiwork of Indians in the form of objects of stone, bone, pottery, and shell recovered from excavations carried on by the Foundation in New England, the southern states, and the Southwest. Two models of Indian villages and a large decorative map by Stuart Travis are also to be seen. The Foundation maintains a library of books in its field which is open to the public, as are the exhibition halls.
The Addison Gallery of American Art, established in 1931, houses a permanent collection of the works of native or naturalized American painters. There are also on exhibit examples of early American glass and silver. Special exhibitions on various subjects are on display for intervals of time. The Gallery is open to the public from nine to five daily, and on Sundays from two-thirty until five.
Down the hill a bit the Abbot Academy buildings, grouped about the green circle and approached through the dignified Merrill gates, will attract attention. Abbot Hall, the original school building with columns, was erected in 1829. The school was founded by a group of Andover citizens, with assets consisting of a note for one thousand dollars plus one acre of land, given by Madam Sarah Abbot. From that time on the school has been an integral part of the life of the town. Changing and progressing with the years, it has entered upon its second century with the same high standards, assured of the loyal interest of a strong body of alumnae scattered over the world in places of responsibility and influence.
Memorial Hall Library stands in Andover Square. It was erected by popular subscription as a memorial to the men who fell in the Civil War. The cornerstone was laid in 1871. It was remodeled by the town in 1926. On the second floor is Memorial Hall with relics and tablets; the public library, which includes a charming boys' and girls' room, occupies the rest of the building. It has 40,742 books and in 1945 issued for home use 101,554 volumes.
The Homestead was erected by Benjamin Abbot probably at the time of his marriage to Sarah Farnum in 1685 and has been in the possession of his descendants to the eighth generation. Entrance is by a pedimented vestibule, characteristic of old Andover houses. Four large rooms on the ground floor are centered by a huge chimney and there is a fireplace in every room. Unexpected nooks and cupboards, old hinges, latches and locks bespeak its age. Bricks covered with plaster made of clay and straw are laid between the inner and outer walls as an additional protection against the weather.
At the eastern end a quaint well house enabled the occupants to draw water without going out of doors.
The house was used in 1835 by students for an abolition meeting when churches and school were closed to them.
Unfortunately the majestic elm, nineteen feet in girth, which undoubtedly attained an age of 250 years, no longer shades the rooftree.
Samuel Abbot bought of Daniel Poor, in 1776, nine acres of land near the South Meeting House, a part of the homestead land belonging to Joseph Abbot. A portion of the old buildings then on the land was incorporated with the new mansion, the frame of which was raised June 5, 1792. Mr. and Mrs. Abbot took up residence in November 1793, seventeen and a half years after the purchase of the property and he lived to enjoy his new home for eighteen more years.
Mr. Abbot was an importer with his business career in Boston from which he withdrew as the British took possession. He was one of the founders of the Theological Seminary and a leading member of the South Church to which his gifts were numerous and substantial.
Built in 1678, by one of the sons of George Abbot (1638-1681), what was then the kitchen is one of the oldest rooms in Andover. The house has been "restored" by various owners, one of whom moved and converted a part of the adjacent barn into a living-room. In spite of many changes the old beams, part of the feather-edged pine panelling, old hand-wrought H and L and strap hinges and thumb latches may still be seen.
Until 1926, this was a part of the Abbot house, now numbered 59 Central Street. At that time, it was moved to the north, attached to the barn and made a separate dwelling.
The builder of this house was also a descendant of George Abbot, the date of its construction being set as 1734. Until 1926, it was joined to the house at No. 57. The front room is panelled in pine and its inside shutters which leave a space at the top for observation or defense are an interesting feature.
Homestead of George Abbot "the emigrant" and occupied by eight lineal generations of the family. The "old Red House" built in 1704 and razed in 1862, and the original garrison house stood near the fine elm tree at the south of the present building, which was erected in 1796.
The detail of the doorway is of special interest with its fluted pillars and Greek fret worked into the pediment.
An old house whose history is somewhat obscured by the mists of time is the Deacon Isaac Abbot Tavern. The house was probably built in 1680, but it first appears on the records in 1776, when Deacon Abbot petitioned the General Court to be allowed to keep a house of general entertainment. He speaks of the "extraordinary travel which is rendered necessary by means of the army before Boston," mentions that his house is "near the old stage road," and complains that the house near him having been closed, he had been subjected to no small inconvenience from applications of passengers for refreshment.
In 1795 Deacon Abbot's tavern became the first post office in Andover, but the great event in its history was the visit of General Washington there in 1789, shortly after his inauguration as President. It is best described in the words of Judge Phillips's biographer.
"Thursday morning (November 5th) he drove early to Andover, and breakfasted at Deacon Isaac Abbot's tavern... Here, as he stood in front of the house, some of our most aged citizens remember to have seen him. While tarrying here, he asked the little daughter of Deacon Abbot to mend his riding glove for him; and when she had done it, took her upon his knee and gave her a kiss, which so elated Miss Priscilla that she would not allow her face to be washed again for a week."
This very old residence was once known as "the little red house on the Woburn Road." When the house was remodeled and painted white, the beams and nails were found to be of great age, possibly going back to before 1750.
The place belonged to a family line of Chandlers down to about 1805. The last one occupying it was John, son of David. The next permanent settler was Moses Abbot's father, also named Moses, who evidently bought it after residing there several years. Other tenants had been Lieut. Gov. Phillips while he was erecting his mansion house (1780-82), workmen while the Turnpike was being built, and a carpenter who was working on the Seminary buildings.
The land of this homestead was in the Abbott family for nine generations from the time of the grant from George III until the 1920's. The original farm extended from the Reading Road to Woburn Street. A fine spring of water, around which many relics have been found, indicates the site of an Indian village
The present house, the third on the farm, was built in 1825. All the lumber was cut on the Abbott land, two years being required for its preparation. There are seven fireplaces and two brick ovens, one having a capacity of seventy-five pies.
In 1756, twenty-two exiled Acadians were sent to Andover and the family of Jaques and Charles Esbert were placed on the farm of Jonathan Abbott where there was a vacant house. By their industry and frugality these Roman Catholics conquered the prejudices of the Puritan farmer and they finally parted with mutual regret. A few years ago an icon, Christ bearing the cross, was found by Mrs. Jenkins while working in her garden. Similar relics are said to have been brought from Europe in 1743.
This was the homestead of Timothy Abbot who was captured by the Indians in 1676. The first house was built about 1690 on the south side of the road. The cellar hole was visible until about 1890. The second house was built just across the road where in 1839 the third and present double house was built by two brothers, Asa and Sylvester Abbot, of the 7th generation. Tradition says the earliest homestead was a garrison house, and the home of Timothy who was captured by the Indians at the age of thirteen. He was kept several months and brought back by a squaw who knew the family and was friendly. Joseph Abbot, an older brother, resisted the Indians and was killed.
Thomas Abbot bought this property from Job Tyler, whom the original proprietors of the town found occupying it. The Abbots owned it for about 100 years. Dr. Symonds Baker occupied the house in the late 1700's. The dwelling has been restored by Mr. White.
The front part of this house was built by Jeduthan Abbott in 1819 after he had purchased the property from Alacy Faulkner, whose family operated the grist mill. To settle an estate, Faulkner had removed the front portion leaving the present ell which with its huge fireplace, brick oven and generous summer beam was a part of one of the earliest houses to be built in Frye Village, dating from approximately 1700.
Winslow Battles occupied the house in 1844 and it was in the possession of the Battles family for nearly 100 years.
The house is said to have been occupied by the Shattucks since 1807. The land is believed to be part of the Colonel Dudley Bradstreet farm, a part of which came into possession of Sarah, the wife of Benjamin Abbot and then into that of David and Jonathan Abbot. The latter's daughter, Phebe, was the wife of Joseph Shattuck, Jr.
The Indian village mentioned in the Foreword was located on what is now the land of this farm.
The "Country Store" is the 200-year-old "Paddy Burke" house moved in 1941 to its present site from the west side of Shawsheen Road between the Shawsheen River and Cuba Street.
What the America House lacks in architectural beauty is more than made up for by its historical associations, for here in 1832, "America" was written. Samuel F. Smith, the author, was only 24 years old, a recent graduate of Harvard, and a student at the Andover Theological Seminary when he wrote it. In 1895 Dr. Smith wrote the Reverend C. C. Carpenter, of Andover: "America was written in my room at the house of Mrs. Hitchings; while standing before the front window, nearest the front door of the house, in the north parlor."
One dismal day in February, 1832, Smith was in his room looking over a collection of German music sent him by Lowell Mason, a noted composer and choir leader. Since Mr. Mason did not understand German, he had asked Smith to translate the verses or to write a few original poems to go with the music.
As Mr. Smith glanced through the collection he was struck by a tune which appeared to him both simple and spirited. He noted that the German words were patriotic, and as he relates it, "I instantly felt the impulse to write a patriotic hymn of my own, to the same tune. Seizing a scrap of waste paper I put upon it, within half an hour, the verses substantially as they stand today." Slipping the paper carelessly among his translations, the youth returned them to Lowell Mason.
The verses were first publicly sung at a Sunday school rally, in 1832, at the Park Street Church, Boston. Although Dr. Smith stated, "I did not propose to write a national hymn. I did not know I had done so," his anthem caught the attention of the public and rapidly spread throughout the country.
The house built by Deacon Amos Blanchard in 1819 stood at that time in the center of a real farm, surrounded by its apple orchard, vegetable garden, grape vines, blackberry patches, and hay fields. Withindoors the main part of the house is as originally built, the floors, the windows, the doors, the fireplaces, mantels, window shutters, staircases, all show the careful handwork of master builders which has well withstood the many years of service. After Deacon Blanchard's death in 1847, the house was occupied in turn by Deacon Edward Taylor, and Dr. Selah Merrill, the latter U.S. Consul at Jerusalem for many years. Since 1929 it has been the home of the Andover Historical Society.
The westerly end of the south part of this house was purchased by William Foster in 1696 from William and Eleanor (Phelps) Chandler. At that time it stood on Reservation Road on the land now owned by Clyde A. Fore. About 1750 it was moved down Reservation Road and across the Shawsheen River on a causeway, there being no bridge at that time, and attached to the William Ballard house which had stood on the present site since 1635.
Here from 1796 to 1815 Master Foster kept a family school for boys who did not wish to take the classical course at Phillips Academy, his household sometimes numbering more than twenty-five persons. It is thought that the north end was added by Master Foster about 1800 to accommodate this large family.
In the entrance hall hang firebuckets of the Friendly Fire Society marked W. P. Foster, 1829. On the walls are curious wooden pegs for hanging outer garments. The entrance door is noteworthy for the massive key to its lock and the lovely tulip latch. The 20-inch floor boards of the southwest parlor are still in good condition. A portrait of Master Foster in dark coat and white stock, his fingers between the pages of a half-opened book, has looked-down on succeeding generations.
In the living room, with its deep casements, fireplace and brick oven (now cemented up) is a tall clock, a wedding gift from Judge Phillips to Hannah Abbott when she married William Foster January 9, 1755. The clock is still accurately marking the passing hours after nearly two hundred years.
A glimpse into the cellarway reveals the generous proportions of the 14-foot chimney.
Towne inhabited a very old dwelling on that site, a dwelling so dilapidated and weather worn that the Academy Trustees in that very year were driven to make extensive alterations and even to add a wing or annex, the lines of which are still clearly discernible. The "new house," as it was called rather euphemistically after this renovation, was for over a year without a tenant. At last, in 1806, the Trustees offered it for one year rent-free to Dr. Pearson, formerly the first Principal of Phillips Academy and then the President of the Board, with the object of inducing him, now that the theological controversies had led him to leave Harvard, to return to Andover. Pearson lived in the house until 1810, when he moved to give place to the new Principal of the academy, John Adams. There Adams made his home until 1833, with his wife, ten children of his own, and usually at least six students from the school, all huddled together.
About 1881 the older section was removed entirely and replaced by a new "ell," so that today no part of the building dates back before 1805.
The house was built prior to 1800 on the Academy campus just south of the Oliver Wendell Holmes library. Since then it has been moved twice and much altered, so that it retains only a few of its original architectural features. However, it is the oldest building on the Academy campus and ever since 1802 (and no doubt earlier) it has been a dormitory for Academy boys. It was built by John Blanchard, and was subsequently occupied by Amos Blanchard (see Amos Blanchard House), Madame Phoebe Phillips, and the eccentric Josiah Clough together with his equally eccentric daughter, Lizzie Clough. It was purchased by the Trustees of Phillips Academy in 1812.
The house, otherwise known as the Margaret Ward House, was built by Captain Thomas Chandler before 1673. His daughter, Hannah, and her husband, Captain Daniel Bigsby, continued to occupy it after the death of her parents. The sixty-acre farm on which it stood extended along the south side of the road to the Shawsheen River. Several additions have been made to the original house, which is believed to be among the oldest now standing within the present limits of Andover. Three generations of Bigsbys have occupied the house. Other occupants were William Abbott, who married a Bigsby, Jeduthan Abbott, and Amos Abbott, member of the House of Representatives.
The weathering of many years has necessitated the replacing of the old "lap-streak" clapboards on the outer walls, but those protected by more recent additions to the house are still in good condition. Another curious feature is the protrusion of the massive sills along the floor of the front room. A huge central chimney was removed some years ago.
This house was built in 1811-1812 on land owned by the Chandlers ever since the forest was first cleared, probably by Philemon, William or Isaac. David Hidden, who came with William Bartlet when they built the Andover Theological Seminary buildings, became a permanent resident of Andover and later occupied this house. Joseph Hardy Neesima (1843-1890), the first Japanese student at Phillips Academy, lived with the Hidden family while an undergraduate.
The first recorded deed of this property is dated 1711. Jacob Johnson (1727-1808) built the house now standing shortly after his marriage to Sarah Dolliver in 1758. Reports indicate that there were three houses on the Johnson place. The second was east of the first and the south part of the third was built in 1800.
Jacob Johnson was a blacksmith and had his shop upon this land. He left his home, barn and blacksmith shop to his son, Osgood, who was also a blacksmith. Osgood Johnson had a son, Osgood (1803-1836), who graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover, in 1823. He gave a quitclaim deed of their place to Jacob Dascomb. Jacob Dascomb was known as a mild-mannered, pious man, and was elected to be fourth Deacon of the West Parish Church in 1832.
The house at present has been considerably altered but retains its simple colonial lines and fine old barns.
This house has been carefully arid beautifully restored to a likeness of its original condition. The construction of its two original rooms places it in the period of the 1720's. A beehive oven in the front room, fine beams, and a corner cupboard filled with pewter are items of unusual interest. The back of the house appears to have been built over the foundation of an old barn. Mrs. Arnold believes the house to have been the home of Sheribiah Ballard (1688-1749) and to have been built upon the land of his father John Ballard. Ballard sold the land to Captain John Foster. William Foster sold the land to John Emery in 1831, at which time the house was enlarged.
This house until 1880 stood at the northwest corner of Main and Phillips Streets where the Archaeology building now stands. Not only was Squire Farrar the first President of the "Andover Bank" (The Andover National Bank) from 1826 to 1856 and Director from 1826 to 1857, but he was also Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the Andover Theological Seminary, Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of Phillips Academy and a Trustee of Abbot Academy.
It is said that "his influence as a Christian gentleman was hardly second to that of any man in Andover." Here he held family prayers at precisely nine minutes after six every morning and in the parlor was the famous clock which ran down only three times in forty years.
Madam Phoebe Phillips was given a home here by Treasurer Samuel Farrar, where she died in 1812. Squire Farrar was Treasurer of Phillips Academy for over fifty years and bequeathed the house to the Trustees of Phillips Academy at his death in 1864. In 1880 it was moved farther west along Phillips Street to make room for Professor Churchill's house.
The land on which this house was built was deeded in 1750 by Stephen Osgood to his son Joshua, who sold the place to John Flint. The house, an example of the Federal style of architecture, was built in 1809, a fact authenticated by the date marked on the chimney. John Flint died in 1824 leaving the house to his son Alanson. It was later restored and for many years was the residence of Mr. and Mrs. William Corliss. The house is typical of the Eighteenth Century with formal rooms and oak beams held together with pegs.
Gray Farm dates from 1699 when Robert Gray, mariner, bought some of the land from Nicholas Holt and Dudley Bradstreet. The first house was built just south of the present one. The little house across the road is said to have been the ell of the original house. The blacksmith shop which stands beside it is mentioned in a will dated 1737. The present house was built by David Gray in 1812. The first Robert Gray is designated mariner. The next two generations sign themselves yeoman and after that it is Mr. Gray, gentleman.
Tradition has always maintained that this house, located just behind the Memorial Tower and facing Main Street, is on the site of the oldest building on Andover Hill. In 1804 a certain Captain ...[missing pages] ...
Built about 1740 by Jonathan HoIt, a blacksmith, on land of his father, Oliver Holt, this house was sold by Thomas Holt and his wife Dorcas to Samuel Cogswell in 1764. Samuel Cogswell and wife, Elizabeth Perkins, came to Andover from Ipswich. It later became the property of Herbert W. Holt, direct descendant in the tenth generation of the original Jonathan HoIt.
This homestead is a typical early New England farmhouse and was built shortly before 1715 on land granted to the owner's forebears by the Province of Massachusetts Bay. It is still in the possession of descendants of the original owner. Holt's Hill, for a limited time called Prospect Hill, is a glacial drumlin and the highest piece of land in Essex County. From the summit of this hill townsfolk watched the burning of Charlestown on June 17, 1775. Today the sixty-foot State Forestry tower overlooks an even wider range including New Hampshire mountains over sixty miles away.
Captain Benjamin Jenkins was the son of Colonel Benjamin Jenkins and father of Flint, William Stewart, Caroline, John B., and E. Kendall Jenkins. The main house was built about 1807 by Benjamin Jenkins, son of Samuel, for his eldest son Benjamin. The ell was added in 1849 and later the porch and piazza. The window glass is the original glass. In stage-coach days passengers were entertained here during the changing of horses. A rear upper room was used for dancing, lanterns being hung on the wall for light. The spikes upon which they hung are still in place. Three generations of the Jenkins family were born here, and four generations lived here. For more than a century the house remained in the Jenkins family. In 1928, it was sold by the heirs of John B. Jenkins to the Conways who occupy it at this time.
This house was protected by Policy No. 1 of the Merrimack Mutual Fire Insurance Co., dated April 9, 1828, and has been continuously insured by this company.
Its liberal fireplaces, fine panelling, hand-carved cornice, and kitchen dresser place this house in the class of fine New England homesteads of the early nineteenth century.
Situated in the Cape District, just off the direct road from Boston to Haverhill, this house was built about 1765 by Samuel Jenkins, grandfather of William, and was the second house occupied by him on this site.
In the time of the anti-slavery agitation it was used by William Jenkins and his good wife Mary, who were strong Abolitionists, as a station of the "Underground Railroad." In recent years, loose boards were discovered in the attic floor, which, when lifted, disclosed a space next the chimney in which a man might stand, a niche where fugitive slaves may have found a safe place of concealment.
Among the visitors to the William Jenkins home were William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglas, the Stowes, and that famous quartet of musicians, the "Hutchinson Family."
The house has interesting soapstone mantels taken from the nearby quarry. Many tombstones in the West and South Church yard were also quarried here.
This house, which was probably built by Samuel Abbot, was the residence from 1796 to 1831 of Squire John Kneeland, a patriot of the Revolution. Mr. Kneeland made the address of welcome to Lafayette when the latter visited Andover in 1825. The building was used as a tea-room in the early 1900's under the name of "Rose Cottage" and was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. James Anderson in 1919. The arched window at the side of the outer vestibule is a favorite touch of some late Colonial builder and is frequently found in Andover.
In 1818, Major Daniel Cummings, who lived in the Ebenezer Jenkins place in Scotland district (where he kept Merino sheep), bought the land of the South Parish, for $700, the money being turned into the Ministerial Fund. He built this house the next year, and Phillips Academy students as well as those at the Theological Seminary boarded there from 1820 to 1823.
In 1824 Major Cummings drops out, and in 1825 boys boarded at James Locke's. James Locke was the proprietor of the Mansion House from 1817 to 1825, when he evidently moved down Main Street. James Locke is referred to in Oliver Wendell Holmes' poem, "The School Boy," written for the Centennial celebration of Phillips Academy, as "the old landlord, saturnine and grim."
Locke's tavern became a meeting place for members of the community bent on new enterprises: the projectors of Abbot Academy met there in 1828; and in 1832 a group interested in getting a branch railroad line built between Andover and the then partly completed Boston and Lowell Road met to discuss their proposal. The house passed to Squire Hazen about 1840 and has changed hands several times since then before passing to the present owner.
A plaque bearing the date 1758 is over the doorway of this old gambrel-roofed house. A still older house once stood about forty rods to the west of it. The farm of 48 acres, owned by Joseph Ballard and his widowed mother was bought by Mr. Manning's greatgrandfather, Thomas Manning, a shoemaker from Billerica, about the time he was married.
The main part of the exterior is as it was originally. In 1913 the interior was restored, retaining the panelling and old fireplaces.
While the Phelps House was still under construction, work was begun on a new house for Deacon Newman, who from 1795 to 1809 had been Principal of Phillips Academy. In 1809, Mr. Newman had bought of Isaac Blunt one acre and nineteen poles of land. The house was completed in 1811, and was Deacon Newman's residence until 1817. Under Professor Murdoch, the next occupant, little Oliver Wendell Holmes was there as a boarder in 1825, and alludes to this house in his poem, "The School Boy," which was delivered at the Centennial celebration of the founding of Phillips Academy in 1878.
It was on the Old Training Field in front of Newman House, where the Memorial Tower now stands, that General Washington in 1789 held an informal reception on horseback for the Academy students and townspeople.
Architecturally the house is chiefly interesting for its doorway and Palladian window archway which are enriched by ornamental patterns carefully grooved by a carpenter's gouge.
The land on which this house stands was thought to have been part of the farm of Colonel Dudley Bradstreet. Sarah (Farnum) Abbot gave her share to her son David and the property was owned by successive generations of Abbots until it was sold in 1818 to Frederick Noyes.
This house is best known as the building where James Otis, the patriot, was killed by lightning in 1783, while standing in the south doorway, destroyed by fire in 1920. Mr. Otis, one of the leading spirits of the Revolution, spent his later years at this farm recuperating from a mental disturbance caused by a blow on the head. It was built by Hannah Blanchard Osgood and her husband Stephen, probably at the time of their marriage in 1699. Their second son Isaac, a redoubtable French and Indian War Captain, spent his life here and is said to have always worn a wig to emphasize his position in a simple farming community. Isaac's fourth son, Jacob, inherited the property and was a wealthy and highly respected farmer. He served in Nicholas Holt's company during he Revolution and was friend and host to Mr. Otis. The house originally consisted of four square rooms built around a central chimney and later had a colonial L-shaped wing added.
Wadleigh Jones is said to have kept an inn here from 1853 to 1863.
A schoolhouse stood on this land at the time of Mr. Otis' death, one of the Osgoods acting as schoolmaster. In 1837 the same building was moved to Ballardvale where it was the first schoolhouse.
The land on which this house stands was once known as "yeomen's land," and the house was one of the first built in the immediate neighborhood. It originally faced south, but when the new road, Bancroft Road, was put through, the house was made to face north by the simple means of moving the ell from the north to the south and the entrance vestibule from the south to the north end.
The property was bought by Joseph Pearson of Wilmington in 1818 from Israel Putnam, although the Pearsons may have lived there before that time. It passed to his daughter Hannah (born there) who married Albert Bancroft of Reading, then to their daughter Alice, who married George Cheever. Mrs. Cheever, who was born in the old house in 1860, now resides there.
The barn, which was originally the Universalist church from 1839 to 1865, stood at the corner of Main Street and Punchard Avenue. It was afterwards used as the town grammar school. In the 1870's it was cut in two and moved to its present site by means of twenty-six yoke of oxen. In this building, when it stood on Main Street, the first meetings for worship were held by the Free Christian Church.
Architecturally, the finest house in Andover is the Phelps House, now the residence of Headmaster and Mrs. Claude M. Fuess; it is moreover the richest in the recollections that cluster about it. It was the first of the residences to be built for the Theological Seminary faculty, and was the gift of William Bartlet, of Newburyport, one of the associate founders of the Seminary. The Phelps House was finished in 1812.
Dr. Edward Dorr Griffin, who was to be the first occupant, received "carte blanche" from Mr. Bartlet to construct and furnish it according to his own taste, and he took this permission literally. At one time the donor saw fit to protest mildly at the gorgeous wall paper, costing a dollar a roll that was being hung in the rooms, whereupon Dr. Griffin had paper of a twenty-five cent grade pasted over the more expensive variety and sent the bill for both to Mr. Bartlet.
Dr. Ebenezer Porter, the third Bartlet professor at the Seminary, was the first actually to occupy the house. His large study room became the center of New England Calvinism. Here such men as Dr. Woods, Professor Moses Stuart, 'Squire F'arrar, Dr. Justin Edwards, Principal John Adams, and Deacon Mark Newman met regularly and organized the American Board of Foreign Missions, originated the American Educational Society, started the Boston Recorder, the first religious newspaper in the world, and founded the American Temperance Society and the American Tract Society. In those days the "Hub of New England thought" was not far from Andover Hill.
Dr. Edwards succeeded Dr. Porter as occupant of the Phelps House in 1834, and in 1848 came Professor Austin Phelps. Here Professor Phelps, one of the most eloquent of Andover's many brilliant preachers, wrote the sermons which so stirred his congregations; here his daughter, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, was trained to reach a far wider public in her novels and stories. The little white garden house where she sought seclusion for her work still stands nearby.
The first record of ownership of this property mentions a William Clark, who sold his holding and moved to Tewksbury between 1790 and 1795. It was later sold to the French family. Peter French kept a store across the street from his home. In 1841 it was sold to Joseph Battles of Lowell, who, in turn, sold it to Captain Paul Pearson Pillsbury of Cow Island, New Hampshire in 1843. It remained in the Pillsbury family until 1926. At the present time it has been restored to its original condition and contains some very fine antique furniture.
"Elm Knoll," as this property was known, was built in 1763 by Deacon Daniel Poor. It was afterwards occupied by Francis Cogswell and Captain Oliver Hazard Perry, the son of the famous Commodore. Daniel Poor was among the Minute Men, fought at Bunker Hill, and served in the Revolutionary army for seven years.
The Samaritan House was erected in 1824 on the present site of the Cochran Chapel, to serve as an infirmary for the theological students. It was moved to its present position in 1929. It has been the residence of Dr: Elias Cornelius, Secretary of the American Board of Foreign Missions, of Professor Calvin E. Stowe (the Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin was written here), of Principal Cecil F. P. Bancroft, and of Headmaster Alfred E. Stearns.
On Bartlet Street stands a stone house now known as the Stowe House from Harriet Beecher Stowe, who once lived there. It was put up in 1828 and used as a carpenter's shop where the students of the Theological Seminary made coffins as their chief project.
In 1852, this old carpenter shop was remodeled as a home for Calvin E. Stowe and his talented wife, Harriet Beecher Stowe. There in her attractive study on the lower floor many of her books, including Dred were written.
In 1888, after the burning of the Mansion House, the Stowe House became the Phillips Inn, and in 1929, having been moved from the site of the present Inn, became once more a private residence. By her own wish Mrs. Stowe's body lies buried in the quiet cemetery near the home which she made so delightful through her personality.
The Stuart House, finished in 1812, was built by William Bartlet for Professor Moses Stuart "the father of Hebrew literature in America." The old house is pervaded with memories of that remarkable man. Professor Stuart wrote the first Hebrew grammar printed in America. Since no one knew how to set Hebrew type, he went to work in the old printing shop a few yards to the north of the Stuart House and set it himself. Many a Seminary graduate carried the inspiration derived from Professor Stuart's work to far-off mission fields and allowed no difficulties of language to prevent the writing and printing of religious works. In 1878 Professor Park declared with justifiable pride, "There is no man now living who can read the alphabets of all the languages in which the alumni of our Seminary have published their thoughts."
It was in the Stuart House that Sarah Stuart Robbins, Professor Stuart's daughter, grew up, and about it she has centered her book, Old Andover Days, which gives the most vivid and charming picture extant of life on Andover Hill when it was the world's center of Calvinistic thought and activity.
When Jonathan Swift, born in Milton in 1758, first came to Andover, he lived in a cottage nearly opposite the present house. The Swift land-holdings took in much of the land between Main and Central Streets. The inventory of his estate included this Mansion house (built in 1795), a barn, the cottage, tannery, orchard and mowing lot.
Jonathan died in 1808 and his widow, Silence, in 1817 after having sold the house to his nephew, Dr. Nathaniel Swift who was born in Dorchester in 1778. Dr. Nathaniel spent the greater part of his life in the practice of medicine, but held several public offices, including justice of Peace, Coroner, Notary Public, and Director of the Essex Bank. He was appointed Postmaster about 1828, succeeding Isaac Abbot, and held that office till the time of his death, December 7, 1840. The postal business was carried on in the north room of his house for seven or eight years, his sons acting as clerks. It was then moved to a building on Main Street, afterwards burned, which stood where Burns' store now is.
Not only does this house have the characteristic Andover vestibule with arched side windows, but the arch is also worked into its pediment and is seen in the range of sheds at the rear. It is a particularly sturdy and successful example of the later Colonial type, with its interesting monitor roof treatment and virile detail.
This house is a fine example of one of the early "saltbox" houses. It has been altered only slightly over the years and is particularly interesting for its two massive, open-hearth fireplaces, each ten feet wide. The original upstairs bedroom is believed to be the only pine-sheathed room with the sheathing on all four sides. About 1699 the house was built by Thomas Blanchard (1674-1759), a cordwainer and the son of Samuel Blanchard, who owned the extensive property in the West Parish known as "Blanchard Plains." The house remained in the Blanchard family for three generations and was then sold to Abiel Upton in 1792. The Upton family lived here until 1931 except for a brief ownership by Samuel Jenkins from 1820 to 1842. Both the Blanchards and Uptons were cobblers as well as farmers, and the old cobbler shop is still standing with many of the wooden lasts and benches intact. The house has been restored as accurately as possible to its earliest period and the land remains as a farm with the original barn still in use.
This house was built in 1816 as an addition to "Faculty Row" on Main Street. Construction was made possible through a bequest of Squire Samuel Abbot, and the finished dwelling became the residence of Professor Leonard Woods, who lived there until 1854. Since that time it has been the residence of such theologians as Dr. Barrows, Dr. Mead, Dr. Gulliver and Professor Pease. The property was purchased by Phillips Academy together with the other buildings of the Andover Theological Seminary in 1908.