54 Abbot Street

Architectural Description: 

Well-sited, Symmetrical facade, front entrance flanked with Palladian windows as is the window above the entrance. Arches define front porch to the east wing facade, engaged pillars with Corinthian capitals, Ionic scroll capitals on the fluted columns of the front porch, dentils on eaves and roof balustrade all lend to a cohesive high style Colonial Revival home.

Historical Narrative: 

This property was once owned by John H. Abbot and comprised two parcels; one of 9 acres on the north end, once owned by John Abbot, and a second parcel of about 3 acres on the south end of David P. Abbot of which John H. Abbot was an heir. John H. & wife Jessie L. Abbot were living in Big Spring, Nebraska when he sold the 12 acre lot to Frances A. Flint, wife of John H. Flint of Andover, MA. Frances Flint held the vacant property for a year before selling to Susanna Ward Smith. Susanna W. was born on Dec. 12, 1843, the daughter of Peter & Esther (Ward) Smith. Her father was one of the founders of the Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co. and one of the wealthiest families in Andover. Susanna’s father died in 1880 and her mother died in May 1889. Her inheritance may have funded the construction of her house on the southwest corner of Abbot and Phillips Street (now 50 Phillips St).
On June 5, 1895 Susanna W. Smith sold off a portion of her property (99267 sq. feet) to the south of her home to T. Dennie Thompson. Thompson then hired Boston architect James T. Kelley to design the Colonial Revival home.

The house was sited on the rise just above the former Andover & Wilmington Railroad line (1838-1848) which once ran along the south side of Abbot Street and crossed the road at this intersection of Phillips St. The old railroad bed acted as a long lane for pedestrians to stroll on their way to Pomp’s Pond or Spring Grove Cemetery and is now a portion of the driveway leading up to the house.

When the house was completed Dennie placed the property into his wife's name Abby L. Thompson. This was a common practice to protect the wife and family in the event of financial ruin and creditors. In 1924 Abby Thompson purchased an additional 6 3/10 acres from the estate of Susanna W. Smith. The Thompson family owned for 49 years then with the death of Abby the property was sold by son Phillip W. Thompson to Henry C. & Marion L. Morrison of Chicago, IL on Aug. 14, 1944. Sadly Henry died seven months later on March 19, 1945. Wife Marion remained until 1948 when she sold the property to ALfred L. & Eleanor T. Castle on Aug. 2, 1948. A boundary line dispute between the 50 Phillips St and 54 Abbot St properties was settled in 1950. The Chapin and Castle families facilitated an agreement on the boundary line on May 1, 1950 recorded in b. 734 p. 585.

The Castle family owned the property for 36 years then selling on April 27,1984 to Raymond & Joan Cannon who continue as owners of record in 2017.

Bibliography/References: 

Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Ancestrey.com Smith & Means family
Federal Census records
West Parish Garden Cemetery burial records
S.P.N.E.A. archives - Architectural drawing for residence of T. Dennie Thomson, by James T. Kelley of Boston, architect. Drawer 2, File 5 - no date on drawing
See Thomson family file at Andover Historical Society
See plan map #2194 - Alfred L. Castle - Aug. 1948

Owners;
John H. Abbot – 1888 – two parcels of land 12 acres
Frances A. Flint, wife of John H. Flint – Jan. 1, 1889 – b. 98 p. 547 – 12 acres land
Susanna W. Smith – Jan. 25, 1890 – b. 105 p. 10 – 12 acres
T. Dennie Thompson - June 5, 1895 - b. 105 p. 10
Marcus Morton - June 22, 1896 - b. 148 p. 87
Abby T. Thompson - June 22, 1896 - b. 148 p. 89
Henry C. & Marion L. Morrison - Aug. 14, 1944 - b. 667 p. 42
Henry C. Morrison estate - died March 19, 1945 - Probate will
Marion L. Morrison - 1945
Marion L. Morrison estate, Elliott V. Grabill, Extr. - July 30, 1948 Probate
Alfred L. & Eleanor T. Castle - Aug. 2, 1948 - b. 714 p. 307
Raymond & Joan Cannon - Apr. 27, 1984 - b. 1801 p. 224

Inventory Data:

StreetAbbot St
PlacePhillips District
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameThompson - Castle House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1895-1896
Sourcestyle-njs, ERDS, ENRDL
Architectural StyleColonial Revival
Architect/BuilderJames T. Kelly
Foundationstone & granite
Wall/Trimclapboards
Roofasphalt
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresgarage / carriage house
Conditionexcellent
Acreage2.32 acres
Settingresidential
Map and parcel56-15
MHC NumberANV.13
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, Dec. 12, 2014

Map: