1 Woodland Road

Architectural Description: 

American Georgian - Revival, center entrance home staying true to original materials, wood clapboard siding, cedar shingle roof, granite steps, reproduction windows, wide pine floor boards, ceiling beams.

Historical Narrative: 

Woodland Rd was named in 1905 but prior to that was called Missionary Lane, and was still referenced that in 1920 Andover Valuation Schedules. With the establishment of the Andover Theological Seminary nearby, some of these homes were occupied and owned by teachers and the name Missionary Lane was used. Old deeds list it as the “back road leading from Jonathan Holt 3rd,” and or “from Joseph L. Holt’s house to the Meetinghouse in North Parish” and later “from Charles Wardwell’s house to the Meetinghouse in the North Parish” in 1830.

The house is a reconstruction of a 1740 house and was reassembled in 1938-1939 by Frederick & Dorothy M. Johnson. Frederick was born in 1904, was an Archaeologist, teacher and a curator at the Robert Singleton Peabody American Archaeology Museum at Phillips Academy, with Douglass S. Byers from the 1930s to late1968. He was also a highly skilled woodworker and made fine furniture. Johnson also served on the board at the Andover Historical Society in the 1950s-1960s.

Johnson purchased the 1.75 acre lot from the Trustees of Phillips Academy on Nov. 3, 1937. The house is built from three period homes that were dismantled and reconstructed on the site. American Colonial Revival was popular during the 1920's and 1930's. Many homes of this type were either built or restored to original period details with salvaged beams, interior carpentry work, hardware, stone, granite and brick to create to look yet enjoy a 20th century updated home with the charm of the old. Johnson bought to 1740’s house in Groveland, MA. for $50.00 and moved to Andover in the 1938 and reassembled. During the house dismantling the original molding tools found in attic.

The deed came with a restriction as to the cost of the home, had to be a single family residence and should Johnson sell, the Trustees of Phillips Academy had first right of refusal to purchase the property back from Johnson or a family member. Trustees of Phillips Academy did purchase the property from the Johnson estate on May 13, 1996. Sarah Dillon Knapp, wife of Robert W. Knapp then purchased the home on December 23, 1996.

Historical background:
The Parker-Johnson house was originally located at 477 Main Street, Groveland, Massachusetts. Built by Samuel Parker in 1740, the house was kept in the Parker family for seven generations. In 1937 Fred Johnson, an archaeologist at Phillips Academy, purchased the house before it was to be demolished. Mr. Johnson had the house moved piece by piece, and rebuilt at the current location in Andover. Prior to dismantling the house, Mr. Johnson had it documented with detailed drawings and plans. Each piece of the house was stenciled with a sequential number corresponding to the plans to the detailed plans to facilitate reconstruction. Today the house has been elegantly decorated by its current owners with handmade floral and fruit designs, and each room is set with period furnishings blended with modern. The house also features a professional kitchen, two pantries, wood fired brick oven, and a wine cellar featuring wines from the owners’ family vineyard in Virginia.

JOHNSON HOUSE - Missionary Lane
Mr. Johnson has built this new house from three old houses, which have since become four. This new old house all started from a bucket of arrow heads. Some time ago Mr. Johnson and Mr. Byers were asked to go to Groveland to look at a bucket of arrow heads which had been collected on a farm there. Mr. Johnson immediately became interested in the very dilapidated old house, with all the sill gone and floor timbers all propped up underneath. As one room became intolerable the old man who was the last occupant of the house, moved to another room, until finally he died in the East room. Shortly after his first visit to Groveland, Mr. Johnson returned to purchase two old fireplace mantle pieces in the house, and came back to Andover the owner of the house as well.

Before tearing down the house Mr. Johnson realized that it was necessary to make a drawing of it and take down measurements of all the important parts before attempting to reconstruct the house on its present site. The stairway was taken down as a whole.

While there is some uncertainty as to the year in which the original house was built, the house was standing on that site in 1750. The rumor in the Parker family, from whom the house was purchased, was that the house was originally of the Salt Box type. However, from the earliest pictures which Mr. Johnson could obtain, it did not appear to be a Salt Box house. Records, letters, etc. show that the front of the house was remodeled in 1820. Each of two side rooms had a chimney, which did not go with a Salt Box house. It is believed that the house reached one of its various stages of ramshackleness and was rebuilt at least once. Also fairly sure the house was remodeled around 1740 or 1750.

Mr. Johnson employed an architect to draw up plans and decided that the original plan was not exactly what he wanted. It was finally decided to develop a Salt Box house, and with the help of the architect, this has been built. On putting the materials together, however, they discovered that they had a couple of extra rooms for which there was no trim from the Groveland house. Fortunately for Mr. Johnson, during last year’s (1938) hurricane a black walnut tree went through the roof of a house in Sudbury, which was known to be standing in 1690. Before this was demolished Mr. Johnson rescued the front door, boards which have since gone into his study, and various other odds and ends. Still he needed more materials and from three houses, which were being torn down in Dedham, he took a truckload of doors, door knobs, bent nails and pieces of glass. His last acquisition was boards about 23” wide and about 15 ft. long from the old house on Gardner Ave. here in Andover, until about a year ago occupied by the Gates family.
(From Mr. Fred Johnson – October, 1939)


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Building Marker Program: applicant: Sara Dillon Knapp
Plan #16513 – July 19, 2011 – lot 1 & 2

Trustees of Phillips Academy – 1.75 acres – Indenture deed to Johnson
Frederick & Dorothy M. Johnson – Nov. 3, 1937 – b. 611 p. 364
Frederick Johnson estate, Mary J. Schmidt, Extrx. – Probate
Trustees of Phillips Academy – May 13, 1996 – b. 4507 p. 88
Sarah Dillon Knapp, wife of Robert W. – Dec. 23, 1996 – b. 4662 p. 134
Sumit Chakravorty – June 29, 2012 – b. 13005 p. 281 – two parcels

Inventory Data:

StreetWoodland Rd
PlacePhillips District
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameParker - Johnson House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1740
SourceECRDS, ENRDL, style-njs, owners documentation
Architectural StyleOther
Roofcedar chingles - gable
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresgarage
Major Alterationsrebuilt 1938, smaller type
Move Details1938
Acreage1.75 acres
Map and parcel23-2
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975 - 1977, 8/17/2017