48 Central Street

Architectural Description: 

NRDIS NRMRA

Style: Picturesque; Mid-Victorian Mansion

Other features: front entry porch added ca. 20th century
8 fireplaces; elaborate detailed trim, even at chimney-top, under eves and above windows.

Historical Narrative: 

Present owner: Lally II Real Estate Trust

Subsequent uses: John Aikin Homstead, brother-in law to Franklin Pierce.
"President Franklin Pierce's Summer White House"

Themes: Aboriginal, Architectural, Community development, Education, Political, Transportation

Historical significance: Owner Richard Lally claimed that there was once an Indian settlement on grounds - archeology digs have been made recently.

Original builder - owner not ascertained, but house is earlier than 1849, when John Aiken, "Lowell manufacturer, moved to the large house on Central Street". Judge Aiken was agent for Tremont Mills/Lowell (Appleton Manufacturing Co.) In 1840s he was agent for Bay State Woolen Mills, Lawrence, owned by Samuel Abbot & Amos Lawrence. Aiken was President of Phillips Academy and Andover Seminary Trustees, 1854 - 1857 and lived here until his death in 1867.
Aiken's second wife, Mary Means Appleton, was the elder sister of Franklin Pierce's wife Jane Means Appleton. It was after the president-elect spent Christmas holidays here that their only surviving child, 11 year old son Bennie, was tragically killed in a railroad accident near the Almshouse in Frye Village (Shawsheen Village) Jan. 6, 1853. The body was brought back to this house and the funeral held here Jan. 10, officiated by their minister from Concord, N.H. Bennie's school chums were the pall bearers. He was interred in the family lot at Old North Cemetery in Concord, NH.

During President Pierce's term in office, 1853-1857, he made numerous visits to this house and later addressed Andoverites at the time of the Civil War Rally. During Pierce's visits, this was "the Summer White House" with his administrative staff across the street at #47 Central St. (Samuel Abbot House).
Pierce and Rev. Calvin Stowe, husband of Harriet Beecher Stowe, were close friends from their Bowdoin College days in Brunswick, ME. The Stowes lived in Andover from 1852-1864 while Rev. Stowe taught at the Andover Theological Seminary. It has been stated that after President Peirce signed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, permitting state option on slavery, nullifying the Missouri Compromise and supporting pro-slavery forces in Kansas, that Mrs. Stowe would not allow Peirce in her home in Andover.

Mrs. Jane Pierce, was born Mar. 12, 1806 in Hampton, NH. She was the daughter of Rev. Jesse & Elizabeth Appleton. When Jane became First Lady of the White House on March 4, 1853, With the death of her only surviving child, "Her grief was so great she lost interest in other other matters. She always dressed in black while in the White House." Always resentful of the demands the political life made on her husband, she chose to believe the God willed her son's death, thus enabling her husband to undertake his White House duties undistracted by concern for their child's well being."
The second wife of Mrs. Pierce's uncle, Mrs. Abby Kent Means, acted as White House hostess." Jane Peirce never recovered mentally from her son's death and died here on Dec. 22, 1863. The former First Lady's funeral also took place at the Aiken house.

The house was later known as "The Ripley House" - for Col. George Ripley (1873). He had green-house and barn on the property - He also owned Atkinson House, 17 Abbot Street, 1900 and had large farm at end of Abbot Street.
Advertisement "Andover Townsman", May 9, 1890 - "excellent new milch cows, carefully bred, are offered for sale by Col. Ripley's Rock Farm on Abbot St. Near Spring Grove Cemetery".

It came into Barnard family possession in November 1950, when W. Shirley & Winifred M. Barnard purchased the property. The Barnard daughters, Nance Soule and Particia Lally inherited 1964. Richard & Patricia Barnard Lally have owned since 1965. Since their deaths the property has been placed in the Lally II Real Estate Trust, John J. McCardle III Trustee - Apr. 23, 2001

Bibliography/References: 

Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA

*Andover Historical Society files: "Aiken"; also C. C. Carpenter's "Scrapbook" vol. 111
*Directory of Andover, 1900
*Andover Townsman, May 9, 1890
*Fuess, Claude:" Andover, Symbol of New England", 1959, pg. 279-280 (1852 Andover map)
*Lawrence Courier, Jan. 11, 1853
*Interview with Richard Lally, present owner.
*Nichols, Roy: "Franklin Pierce", a bibliography
*"Sermon of the Life and Character of the Honorable John Aiken", delivered in the South Church, Andover, Feb. 1867 by Rev. Chas. Smith, Boston: John D. Flagg, 1867.
*Mofford, Julie: "Presidents Who Passed Our Ways", Lawrence Eagle Tribune, May 8, 1976.
*Andover Townsman, Sept. 9, 1976
Facts About the Presidents - Joseph Nathan Kane 1989

Owners;
Mark Newman
John Aiken - August 14, 1849 - b. 415 leaf 281 Salem deeds
George Dow
Daniel Noyes - Apr. 1, 1850 - b. 427 lf. 234
Mary H. Noyes, et al,
John Aiken - July 19, 1858 - b. 657 lf. 97
Trustees u/m John Aikin, Charles A. Aiken, William A. Aiken & George Ripley - probate March 12, 1867
Frank M. Spaulding - Jan. 1, 1873 - b. 28 p. 149 Lawrence deeds
Mary E. Ripley - Jan. 1, 1873 - b. 28 p. 151
Mary E. Ripley probate #160045
Alfred L. Ripley probate #207,678
Thomas L. & Frances Ruth Shipman
Marshall Rawle - Oct. 17, 1945 - b. 677 p. 182 - 48 Central St.
M. Lawrence & Ruth (Pike) Shields - Sept. 27, 1946 - b. 689 p. 128
W. Shirley & Winifred M. Barnard - Nov. 9, 1950 - 743 p. 355
Sub divided property see plan #2360 Dec. 1950 - parcels #1 - #7 Central Lane
Winifred M. Barnard Estate, Nancy B. Soule & Patricia B. Lally, extrx.
Richard W. & Patricia B. Lally - May 10, 1965 - b. 1033 p. 226
Patricia Lally died Nov. 2, 1988 - b. 4725 p. 234 - estate
Richard W. Lally - 1988
Lally II Real Estate Trust, John J. McCardle III Trustee - Apr. 23, 2001 b. 6104 p. 348

Inventory Data:

StreetCentral St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictCentral Street NRH District
Historic NameAiken, John - Ripley, Col. George House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Dateby 1850
SourceERDS, ENRDL
Architectural StyleOther
Foundationstone
Wall/Trimclapboards
Roofasphalt
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresmodern garage
Major Alterationspool (1968); renovated by present owner
Conditionexcellent
Acreageless than one acre; Lot size: 47,680 sq. ft.; approx. frontage: Central Street - 348', Central Lane - 120'
Settingresidential
Map and parcel55-141
MHC NumberANV.112
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-1977, 4/2014

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