A map of the farm in 1847 at the historical society shows a sketch of the home and adjoining barns. Not much has changed in 168 years.
The Federal period home, center entrance, double chimneys, pediment entryway, simple, understated, yet elegant facade.
The attached barns create a courtyard feel. A 20th century detached stone garage is unique feature on the property.
The glass windows on the barn hint a poultry use at some time.
Original owners: Joshua Holt and Solomon Holt
Themes: Agricultural, Architectural, Community development
Historical significance: Located near West Parish Church.
Original farm with barns.
111 Reservation Road – Solomon Holt Farm
This farmhouse was once the homestead of Joshua & Phebe (Farnum) Holt. Said to have been built in 1790 by Joshua Holt and enlarged through the years. Joshua Holt was b. on Jan. 30, 1730, son of Nicholas & Dorcus ( Abbott) Holt. He married on Dec. 2, 1755 to Phebe Farnum b. Oct. 10, 1731, dau. of George & Fanny Farnum of Andover, MA. Joshua Holt became a member of South Parish Church on May 13, 1753.
"He was elected a deacon in the South Parish Church, Andover, April 16, 1766, and served until his death, a period of 34 years. All of his family (12 in number) were born in Andover, and baptized the Sabbath succeeding their birth; were brought up in the strictest puritan manner, and were exemplary Christians, and members of Orthodox churches. He represented his town in the state legislature 21 years; and held the office of justice of the peace, and other town offices." ["A Genealogical History of the Holt family in the United States: more particularly the descendants of Nicholas Holt", by Daniel S. Durrie, 1864, pp. 22-23; 44-45]
Joshua Holt, was also a veteran of the Revolutionary War. Joshua & Phebe had 12 children; Phebe b. 1756, Ruth b. 175_, Richard b. 1757, Joshua b. 1758, Mary b. 1759, Abijah b. 1761, Peter b. 1763, John b. 1765, Timothy b. 1767, Solomon b. Dec. 18, 1768, Hannah b. 1771, Stephen b. 1773 and Chloe b. 1775.
Phebe Holt died on Jan. 26, 1806 and Joshua Holt four years later on July 24, 1810. Both were interred in the West Cemetery nearby. The West Parish was not created until 1826.
Their son Solomon Holt would acquire the family home after the death of his father Joshua in 1810. Solomon was baptized on Dec. 18, 1768 at South Parish Church. He married on May 22, 1798 to Mary Cummings b. Nov. 1, 1774 daughter of Jonathan & Mary Cummings, Jr. Solomon Holt became a member of the South Church on Oct. 30, 1814 and served as a Deacon. He left South Church on November 28, 1826 to become a charter member of the newly formed West Parish Church. Solomon is listed as the 15th member on the church roster. It was Solomon who deeded an acre of his land for the church to be built upon. Solomon served as one of three of the first Deacons of the church from Dec. 30, 1826 until his death on Apr. 15, 1830.
Solomon & Mary Holt had eight children; Solomon b. May 1, 1799 - d. Apr. 3, 1883, Mary b. Mar. 8, 1801 - d. Feb. 17, 1803, Joshua b. May 6, 1804 - d. Sept. 24, 1886 , Mary b. Feb. 20, 1806 - d. Feb. 23, 1900, Nathan b. Apr. 18, 1808 – d. Dec. 26, 1891, Phebe Cummings b. Apr. 30, 1810 - d. Aug. 14, 1852, Abiather b. Jan 31, 1813 - d. Oct. 18, 1846 Lowell, MA, and Stephen b. Feb. 12, 1816 - d. Nov. 17, 1860. Solomon died on Apr. 15, 1830 age 61. His wife Mary died Oct. 8, 1852.
Solomon & Mary’s son Solomon Holt b. May 1, 1799 married Phebe Abbott. b. Nov. 27, 1798, dau. of Benjamin & Rhode Abbott. Solomon would inherit the homestead of his father after his death in 1830. Solomon was also a farmer. The Holt farm extended north to Lowell St. and, what would later become, Shawsheen Rd. It extended to the west by Cutler Rd and south along Reservation Rd. to the Indian Ridge Reservation. In the 1850 Tax Valuation schedule the Holt farm includes 147 acres, dwelling house, barn, and two other buildings all valued at $5208.
Solomon & Phebe both joined the West Parish Church on July 4, 1830 by letter. Solomon would serve as Treasurer of West Parish Church from 1863-until his death on Apr. 3, 1883. Solomon also sold off about 4 additional acres for the cemetery expansions in 1849 and 1878. The green in front of the church was also Holt property and parcels were sold for the church vestry, horse sheds and the Andover Grange.
Solomon and Phebe’s children; Solomon Jr. b. Feb. 6, 1826 - d. Feb. 18, 1826, Solomon Augustus b. Jan. 12, 1829 - d. Jan. 28, 1896 NJ, Edward Francis b. May 19, 1831 - d. Aug. 12, 1832, Edward Francis b. May 6, 1834 - d. June 11, 1906, Phebe Elizabeth b. Dec. 17, 1835 - d. Feb. 15, 1905 and Jonathan Abbott b. Mar. 1, 1841 -d. May 19, 1864, Harris Farm, Spotsylvania, VA.
Solomon’s health began to fail and his son Edward Francis Holt gave up his teaching career to help his father with the farm. Edward Francis Holt was b. May 6, 1834. Known as Francis to family and friends, he graduated from Phillips Academy and studied under professor of mathematics James Eaton. He taught in the local district schools and then Old South School in Marshfied, MA and an Academy in Middleton, NY as instructor of sciences. E. Francis Holt returned to Andover. He and his sister Phebe Elizabeth joined the West Parish Church on July 6, 1851. E. Francis would follow his grandfather and father becoming a Deacon in 1893 and served as treasurer from 1885-1888. In the 1870’s he became responsible for religious meetings held at the Osgood District Schoolhouse. E. Francis also served on the Andover School Committee as secretary and was instrumental in bringing a Superintendent of Schools to oversee the system and curriculum.
E. Francis Holt married May 17, 1864 to Parthinia Pelham Boutwell b. Sept. 23, 1835 dau. of George & Fanny (Hyde) Boutwell of High Plain Rd. in Andover. Francis and Parthinia would have four children; Francis Boutwell b. Apr. 30, 1861 – d. Oct. 17, 1889, Jonathan Edward b. Nov. 1863 - d. Oct. 17, 1939, Porter Wilder b. Jan 21, 1869 d. Oct. 15, 1873, and Gertrude Elizabeth b. Oct. 22, 1875 – d. July 10, 1928.
In 1893 the Andover Savings Bank called in the mortgage on the farm and E. Francis Holt sold to the bank and moved to School St. in the center of town. He served several years as superintendent of Abbot Academy. He left West Parish Church in 1897 to join the South Church. Parthinia later purchased the home at 77 Bartlet St. in 1902 and ran a boarding house for students and teachers. E. Francis died on June 11, 1906 at age 72 and Parthinia died on Feb. 20, 1922. Four generations of the Holt family are interred in West Parish Garden Cemetery. The family lot with marble obelisk is located next to the cobble road leading from the stone office building to Lowell St.
The Bank sold the 126 acre farm property to Frederick H. Shattuck, wife Gladys , on Jan. 30, 1895 for $4500. Shattuck then sold to George L. & Elvira L. Averil of North Andover on Apr. 4, 1895. Andover Townsman, March 27, 1895: "The well known E. Frances Holt Farm near the West Parish Church, lately owned by Fred H. Shattuck, has been purchased by Geo. L. Averill of North Andover on private terms. The sale was made by Real Estate Agent Barnett Rogers."
George L. Averil was born in April 6, 1859 in North Andover on the family homestead. His parents were Joseph & Susan M. (Perley) Averill. George married on Dec. 20, 1882 in Topsfield, MA to Elvira Lake Towne b. Sept. 22, 1856 in Topsfield, daughter of Sewall Lake & Mary Ann (Severance) Towne. George was a dairy farmer and active Granger. He named the former Holt farm “Oakdale Farm” and stocked it with Ayrshire cows. Averil was a charter member of the Andover Grange and past Master of Andover, North Andover and Essex County Pomona Granges. He served as vice president of Essex County Farming Association, and was a member of the Crystal Rebekah Lodge of Lawrence, the Andover club and the local Odd Fellows lodge. George was a Mason, president of the Essex County Cooperative Assoc., member of the Ayrshire Breeders Association and a member of the Andover Finance Committee.
The 1900 census lists three farm hands, Frank Tupper 33 b. Nova Scotia, James Bullick 20 b. Canada and Nicholas Halpin 16 b. NY. One servant Mary Boyle 22 from Ireland rounds out the household staff with the Averills.
In 1908 George Averil was approached by William M. Wood, President of the American Woolen Company with a request to sell about 44 acres of his farm on the west side of Reservation Rd. to Wood for expansion of the West Parish Cemetery. Averil did sell allowing Wood to develop the once rural burial ground into a beautiful garden cemetery. Averil chose a lot for himself on the highest point of the cemetery with a great view of his farm and the new cemetery below. George died on Sept. 8, 1926 and his wife Elvira then sold the farm on April. 26, 1927 to Isaiah R. Kimball and Elizabeth M. McDonnell. Elvira died on Dec. 23, 1941. There were no children;
It appears that the new owners Isaiah R. Kimball and Elizabeth M. McDonnell leased out the farm. Matilda Pelletier, widow of Joseph and William Pelletier, a farm hand live in the homestead in 1932. A Charles W. & Marion Innis occupy the place in 1938. List as vacant in 1939.
The Andover Savings Bank ultimately took possession on May 27, 1940. The farm was auctioned off to Clyde A. Fore and wife Marion J. purchasing it on Jan 31, 1941. Clyde was the New England representative for Pepsi-Cola Company. Clyde Fore registered the land with Land Court and began selling off house lots along Reservation Road in the 1940's.
John B. & Katherine Temple Edmonds purchased the remaining farm and land on Dec. 10, 1951. The Edmonds followed suit selling off the east corner of the farm for the development of Mayflower and Pilgrim Drives. John B. Edmonds died on March 28, 1966 and his wife Temple then sold to Garrett G. & Elizabeth B. Gillespie on July 1, 1966.
The Gillespie family owned for 11 years. The West Parish Church then purchased the homestead and farm on May 6, 1977 as part of and agreement with their new minister Rev. Otis A. Maxfield. Rev. Maxfield and his wife E. Virginia would purchase the house and two acres if the Church acquired and held the remaining property. The church considered development of the land for retirement use or nursing home. The West Parish congregation later sold the property to AVIS as conservation land trust for all to enjoy. The proceeds of the sale allowed the church to make major repairs to the steeple and restoration of their building in 1989.
When the Maxfields owned the homestead the church used the barn as a stage setting for their annual Christmas pageant which has now moved to the Archway into the cemetery.
When the Maxwells left West Parish in 1987 they sold the homestead to N. George MacNaughton & Deborah Warren on June 18, 1987. It was recently purchased by Donald W. & Kristian W. Hunt Sept. 5, 2014.
Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Advertiser and Andover Townsman
"A Genealogical History of the Holt family in the United States: more particularly the descendants of Nicholas Holt", by Daniel S. Durrie, 1864, pp. 22-23; 44-45
Ancestery.com – Joshua Holt Family
Land Court plan #20346 – Nov. 13, 1989
Andover Historical Society files
Dorman, Moses: Man of Andover, 1830
See also: Barn Survey, AHS files
Joshua & Phebe F. Holt -1780 – July 24, 1810
Solomon & Mary C. Holt, heir,– July 24, 1810 – Apr. 15, 1830 – by will
Solomon & Phebe A. Holt heir,– Apr. 15, 1830 – Apr. 3, 1883 – by will
Edward Francis & Parthinia Holt heir,– Apr. 3, 1883 – 1893 – by will
Andover Savings Bank – Sept. 8, 1885 – b. 83 p. 105 - mtg
Andover Savings Bank – Dec. 24, 1892 – b. 122 p. 539 – Poss.
Andover Savings BK, Frederick S. Boutwell – Apr. 26, 1893 – b. 124 p. 581 mtg. sale
Frederick H. Shattuck, wife Gladys – Jan. 30, 1895 – b. 130 p. 492–
George L. & Elvira L. Averil – Apr. 4, 1895 – b. 139 p. 307
George Averil estate, Elvira L. Extrx. – Apr. 26, 1927 – b. 531 p. 86
Isaiah R. Kimball & Elizabeth M. McDonnell - Apr. 26, 1927 – b. 531 p. 88
Andover Savings Bank – May 27, 1940 – b. 631 p. 428
Clyde A. Fore – Jan 31, 1941 – b. 637 p. 518
Clyde A. Fore – Nov. 3, 1847 – b. 701 p. 97 – Notice
Clyde A. Fore – Dec. 2, 1947 – b. 702 p. 82 -
Clyde A. Fore – Oct. 31, 1947 – Doc. #20346 Land Court
John B. & Katherine Temple Edmonds – Dec. 10, 1951 – CTf - # 3798 Doc. #11236-1
John B. Edmonds estate – Jan. 17, 1968 – CTf # 5891 Doc. #20224-1
Katherine Temple Edmonds – July 1, 1966 – CTf.#5891 – Doc. 19164-1
Garrett G. & Elizabeth B. Gillespie - – July 1, 1966 – CTf.#5891 – Doc. 19164-1
West Parish Church – May 6, 1977 – CTfs. #7698 & #7699 - b. 51 p. 597
Otis A. & E. Virginia Maxfield – May 6, 1977 – CTf # 7700 – b. 52 p. 5 –Doc. #26487-1
N. George MacNaughton & Deborah Warren – June 18, 1987 – Ctf #10282 – Doc. #43373-1
N. George MacNaughton & Deborah Warren - CTf #10937 – b. 80 p. 153
Donald W. & Kristian W. Hunt – Sept. 5, 2014 – CTf. #17181
|Place||West Parish - West Andover|
|Historic District||West Parish Center NRH District|
|Historic Name||Holt, Joshua & Dea. Solomon House and Farm|
|Original Use||residence, farmhouse|
|Source||Assessors records; style - njs|
|Foundation||stone & granite|
|Roof||asphalt - gable|
|Outbuildings / Secondary Structures||barns,sheds and field stone garage|
|Acreage||2 acres; approx. frontage: 680'|
|Map and parcel||89-56|
|Recorded by||Stack/Mofford, James Batchelder|
|Organization||Andover Preservation Commission|
|Date entered||1975 - 1977. 5/18/2015|