1 Church Street
Site of History 🛈The Site of History tag is given to properties that were lost before this building survey was undertaken.

Historical Narrative: 

1 Church Street - aka 181 Andover Street - Ballardvale – 138-56 - .0108 acre – 2 family

This property, numbered Lot #31 on plan of land of John Marland and Jonathan (John) Howe Jr. dated 1847 as recorded by Registry of Deeds, Salem, MA. Marland & Howe of the Marland Mill in Ballardvale owned a large parcel of land and sub-divided it into building lots. They sold at auction on Wednesday, July 28, 1847, several house and store lots in the center of Ballardvale. The auctioneers were Loring, Abbot and Porter of Boston.

This lot was purchased for $295.19 at auction by Charles Pray and recorded on Aug. 4, 1847. Pray then sold to Ezra Pray for what he paid. In the 1850 Andover Valuation schedule, Ezra Pray, of Rochester, NH is assessed $75. for a house lot in Ballardvale. The deed was recorded on Feb. 18, 1851 and held by Pray six more years. Benjamin Burtt, of Tewksbury, wife Mary Ann, then purchased the lot, with buildings on Mar. 13, 1857 for $300. Burtt was a farmer but invested in property in Ballardvale. Burtt held for six years then selling to the Rev. Henry S. Greene, of the Ballardvale Union Society on Feb. 18, 1851. Greene had also acquired the adjoining lot #20 that day from George L. Abbott for $93.43.

The Ballard Vale Union Society was formed on March 18, 1850. The name was derived from the membership which included several religious sects. The first service was officiated by Rev. Professor Edward A. Park of the Andover Theological Seminary. The church held their services in the Ballardvale Schoolhouse hall on the second floor. The congegation rented the hall form the town from 1850-1876. The former schoolhouse, built in 1849, was directly behind this lot and would become the Ballardvale Community Center from 1891 - 1980 after Bradlee School was built in 1890. Seminary students filled the pulpit until the parishioners call to Rev. Henry S. Greene in September 1850 to be their minister.

Rev. Greene owned the brick home at 8 Marland Street. Henry Solomon Greene was born in Boston in 1807, son of Henry Greene. He graduated from Amherst College in 1834 and the Andover Theological Seminary in 1837. Henry’s first church was in Lynnfield, MA which he served for 13 years. Henry married on Jan.1, 1840 in Andover, to Mary E. Philips Abbot, b. Jan. 5, 1807 in Andover, daughter of Stephen & Hannah (Russell) Abbot. Henry & Mary had five children of which only one son survived to adulthood. Children: Stephen Abbot b. Oct. 21, 1840 – d. Oct. 24, 1840, Henry Mathias b. 1842 – d. Jan. 19, 1867, Mary Phillips b. 1843 d. Nov. 3, 1845, Mary Gardiner b. 1848 d. Aug. 18, 1848, and Sarah Parker b. 1850 d. Aug. 25, 1851. Son Henry M. also graduated from Amherst College in 1865. He attended Phillips Academy.

The village population was growing and the town needed to convert the school hall into classroom space and would no longer be able to lease the space to the church. On November 1, 1875 several members met at the Parsonage to form a committee for the proposed new church building. They had raised $2451. for its construction. The congregation purchased the two adjoining lots on Village St. (now Church St.) from Rev. Greene for $150 and erected the church on this site.

Andover Advertiser -(AA) Apr. 1, 1876 -- The Union Society at Ballard Vale have contracted with Messrs. Abbott & Jenkins to build their new church edifice. It will be of Gothic architecture, 32 x 50', with 250 sittings and will be completed within a few months. The location is next south of the school house. The stone work is done by John Stack, the mason work by Gile & Gleason and the wood work by the contractors.

AA - June 9, 1876 Ballard Vale - On Tuesday a very handsome and substantial weather vane, with cardinal points, gilt balls and other appurtenances, was placed on the top of the steeple of the new church, the contribution of our generous hearted people.
AA June 16, 1876 - The united choirs of the South, West and Free Churches contemplate giving a concert for the benefit of the Union Society at Ballard Vale.
AA Aug. 18, 1876 - The new church erected by the Union Society at Ballard Vale, will be dedicated about the first of [sic] December. (September)
AA Friday - Sept. 1, 1876 - The new church at Ballard Vale will be opened with appropriate exercises next Sabbath evening commencing at 6 o'clock.

AA Sept. 8, 1876 - The new edifice erected by the Union Society at Ballard Vale was dedicated on Sunday evening. Upon the pulpit and piano were a number of tastefully arranged bouquets of beautiful flowers......The singers of the church were assisted by embers of the several choirs in town and the music was under the direction of James R. Murry and J. Morrison, David Shaw presiding at the piano.
The church is neat and symmetrical, having double windows with enameled figured glass. The auditorium has a seating capacity for two hundred and fifty persons. In the basement is a large and small vestry and kitchen. Rev Greene has been the pastor of the Society twenty six years and during this protracted period has labored most faithfully for the moral and religious elevation of the people, always counseling charity, peace and good will and receiving the respect and esteem of the entire community for his many virtues and kindly service.
AA Oct. 3, 1879 - Ballardvale: The Union Society have purchased a steel bell for their chapel and are about to obtain a splendid chandelier to hang in the center of the auditorium.

The Parsonage would come later in 1890. Mary E. P Green died on Jan. 29, 1878. “The age minister is thus, to use his own words, “left alone – yet not alone.” Rev. Henry died on June 11, 1880 of Heart disease. He had served the congregation for thirty years. He is interred at the South Parish Cemetery in the family lot.

The Union Society of Ballardvale became the Union Congregational Church on Dec. 31, 1854 at a meeting in the home of Rev. Greene at 8 Marland St. Charter members: Henry S. Greene, Mary P. A. Green, Mathew Chandler, Dorcas Chandler, Lydia Goldsmith, Ellen Morrison, Mary Holmes, Mary Meginty, Zoa Mann, Mary A. Winning and Jerusha J. Crane. On the following Sunday about 25 more residents united with the church. In April 1855 Rev. Green was officially installed as pastor of the church. In 1936 the church incorporated dissolving the Ballard Vale Union Society. In 1955 the church merger with the Methodist Church on Tewksbury Street. The name was then officially changed to the Ballardvale United Church. Services continued at this church with occasional services held in the former Methodist Church building. In 1961 they sold off the Methodist Church and Parsonage buildings.

The Ballardvale United Church erected a new building on the corner of Clark Rd and Hall Ave. in 1967. On the dedication day the Rev. Robert Bossdorf led the congregation form the old church to the new one, singing all the way, to the first service in the new church .

The old church building which had been in use for 92 years was then sold to C. Lincoln Giles, 1700 Estate Trust on Oct. 25, 1968. Giles was a noted architect and developer in town who had done several conversion and rehabilitation projects of homes, barns and factories into apartments and retail space. Giles liked to preserve the architectural integrity of the structures. Giles began work transforming the former church into apartments with a plan for retail space in the basement. The long porch was added on Andover Street side. A fire however destroyed the main body of the church and roof before completion of the project. As much of the original church structure was that was able to be saved was incorporated into the current design. The gambrel roof was added and two units were placed on the upper level with entrances off Church Street.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Historical Sketches of Andover, Sarah Loring Bailey 1880
Andover, A Century of Change, Eleanor Richardson 1995
Andover Advertiser, Andover Townsman
Andover Historical Society files, church records.
Historical sketch

John Marland & John Howe Jr. – 1847
Charles Pray - Aug. 4, 1847 – b. 389 leaf 62 – lot 31 - $295.19
Ezra H. Pray, wife Hannah – Feb. 18, 1851 – b. 441 leaf 100
Benjamin Burtt, wife Mary Ann – Mar. 13, 1857 – b. 547 leaf 95
Henry S. Greene, wife Mary P. A. – Mar. 31, 1863 – b. 649 leaf 216
Ballard Vale Union Society – Nov. 20, 1876 – b. 44 p. 351
Union Congregational Church of Ballardvale, Inc. – Mar. 24, 1936 – b. 597 p. 291
Ballardvale United Church – Jan. 1, 1961 – b. 930 p. 441
1700 Estate Trust, C. Lincoln Giles – Oct. 25, 1968 – b. 1117 p. 339
John Dana & Ann Hamblet Hill – Dec. 11, 1969 – b. 1145 p. 367
Leslie J. & Valerie E. Trombly – Apr. 19, 1978 – b. 1191 p. 495
Leslie J. Trombly estate, heir Valerie E. Trombly – May 23, 1991 – Probate
Valerie E. Trombly & Veronica V. Croke-Golden – Feb. 18, 2003 – b. 7626 p. 86
Veronica V. Croke-Golden – July 2, 2008 – b. 11239 p. 138

Inventory Data:

StreetChurch St
Historic DistrictBallardvale Local Historic District
Historic DistrictBallardvale National Register District
Historic NameUnion Congegational Church of Ballardvale
Present Useresidence - two family
Original Usechurch
Construction Date1876
SourceECRDS, ENRDL, style-njs
Architectural StyleOther
Wall/Trimclapboard/wood/vinyl siding
Roofasphalt - gable
Major Alterationsabout 1968 fire destroyed the interior structure and roof.
Acreage0.0108 acre
Map and parcel138-56
Recorded byStack/Mofford; Ruth A. Sharpe, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Historical Society, Andover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, 7/28/2016