13 - 15 Fletcher Street
Site of History 🛈The Site of History tag is given to properties that were lost before this building survey was undertaken.

Architectural Description: 

13-15 Fletcher was designed as a duplex house, side by side units, wood clapboard siding, shutters and hip roof. Two front porchs. Four of this style construction were on Fletcher Street at 5-7, 13-15, 4-6 and 12-14.
Three houses of this style survived on original locations at 1-3 and 9-11 Binney Street and 45-47 Union Street.
See 9-11 Binney Street is same style house.

Historical Narrative: 

Fletcher Street was originally built with 14 homes, 10 were single family residences and 4 were double houses. With the construction of Route 495 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts took every property by eminent domain on Dec. 29, 1960. Five homes on Binney St. were also lost. By 1963 Fletcher Street no longer existed. Some homes were moved to new locations but the majority was demolished.

One of the goals of the Andover Preservation Commission is to identify historic places and sites. We re-list Fletcher St. as it was once a historic part of the Shawsheen Village development. We also honor the families that made their homes on Fletcher St. and their contribution to the community.
The homes were built as part of the Shawsheen Village development from 1918-1924 by William M. Wood, President of the American Woolen Company. With the construction of the Shawsheen Mill housing was necessary for operatives employed in the mill. Wood hired about eight different architects to design the homes and structures for the village. Homes were leased through the Homestead Association with offices in the Post Office building in Shawsheen Square, then later moved into the Administration Building.

Each home incorporated a different look, style and design modifications, most noticeable with the front door entrances. Decorative details on the corner boards and a variety of ornamental trellises, window boxes all added the “icing on the cake, of the original designs. Mr. Wood also incorporated two family duplexes in every section of the new Village.

The properties came with deed restrictions. No stores, factories, or other buildings of any business nature shall be erected.. only professional, doctor, dentist or other professional occupations,…No shed, hen houses or out buildings, except a one or two stall garage, which shall have a pitched roof and be of the same general architectural pattern & material, and of the same color, as the building on said premises,…have a cement, macadam, asphalt or crushed stone driveway. No single house erected less than$3500 and no double houses less than $5000. All buildings shall be kept painted white, buff or gray, all with the same setback from the street.

After the death of William M. Wood on Feb. 2, 1926 most of the residential and commercial buildings were then sold. Some were held by the Wood family in the "Arden Trust" and others with the American Woolen Company. The AWCo. Board of Directors authorized its President, Lionel J. Noah, to deliver all deeds, as deemed necessary to the Textile Realty Co. for sale on Dec. 29, 1931.
The Textile Realty then transferred ownership to the Andover Shawsheen Realty Company on June 30, 1932, holding the mortgage on the properties. T. Edwin Andrew, treasurer, was authorized to sell or lease the properties. With the Great Depression sales were sluggish and many homes were rented until the economy rebounded.
13 - 15 Fletcher Street – Foster – Caruso House, Parcel 9-78 – 9000 sq. ft. Lot #6 – Two Family duplex
One of the first occupants of record to lease in the duplex home on April 1, 1924 was James W. & Alice Finnegan in Unit #13. James, age 41 is listed as a “Watchman”. In Unit #15 was Walter & Florence Traurman. Walter age 28, was a “Finisher”

The property was sold by the Andover Shawsheen Realty Co. to Russell J. & Mabel W. Foster on August 12, 1940. Russell Joel Foster was born Sept. 1, 1896 in Methuen, son of Frederick W. & Alice (Russell) Foster. Russell was an Electrician at Arlington Mills in Lawrence. He married in 1919 to Mabel Ward b. April 1, 1899 in Andover, dau. of George & Laura Ward at 78 Lowell St.. Russell and Mabel lived in #15 Fletcher, had two daughters, Dorothy Louise b. 1927 and Evelyn Shirley b. 1931 both graduated from Punchard High School in 1944 and 1948 respectively. The Fosters owned for nine years than sold to Nicholas F. & Mary Ann Caruso on June 28, 1949.

Nicholas F. Caruso was the son of Frank & Margaret Ellen Caruso, born in Lawrence abt. 1911. His father was a Machinist and his mother a Burler in a Worsted Mill in Lawrence. His father died in the 1920’s as his mother is a widow in 1930 Census. Nicholas & Mary Ann lived in #15 briefly before he joined the US Navy in 1949. His mother Margaret moved into #13 and remained until the property was taken in 1961. #15 became rental property through the 1950’s. William & Geraldine Flaherty were tenants from 1953-1961.

The duplex home however may have survived demolition as we know two of these were moved to Lawrence and 5-7 Fletcher was one of them.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Maps, 1852, 1872, 1888, 1906, 1926
Andover Street Directories
Andover Townsman
Mills, Mergers and Mansions, by Edward Roddy 1982
See Map plan #876 – June 1932 – Textile Realty Co - Lot #12
Map #1050 – March 1937 – amended map #876 for narrowing street.
Plan 4205 - Comm. of Mass. lot 9-75
Plan 5056 - Comm. of Mass - Layout of order of taking
Ephraim Everson parcel 1 & Solomon Flagg parcel 2
William C. Donald - March 3, 1855 - b. 567 leaf 246 - parcel 1 Salem deed
William C. Donald - Jan. 15, 1861 - b. 623 leaf 128 - parcel 2 Salem deed
William C Donald estate, Gordon Donald, TR - 9.86 acres
Henry P. Binney - Apr. 24, 1919 - b. 398 p. 52 - 9.86 acres
American Woolen Company - Dec. 30, 1920 - b. 435 p. 215
Textile Realty Company - Dec. 30, 1931 - b. 563 p. 229
Andover Shawsheen Realty Co. - Oct. 30, 1937 - b. 565 p. 87
Russell J. & Mabel W. Foster - August 12, 1940 – b. 632 p. 489
Nicholas F. & Mary Ann Caruso - June 28, 1949 – b. 724 p. 372
Commonwealth of Massachusetts – Dec. 29, 1960 – b. 929 p. 334-352

Inventory Data:

StreetFletcher St
PlaceShawsheen Village
Historic DistrictShawsheen Village NRH District
Historic NameFoster - Caruso House
Present UseHighway Route 495
Original Useresidence - mill housing
Construction Date1923
Architectural StyleColonial Revival
Foundationstone, granite
Demolition Details1962
Acreage9000 sq. feet
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredApril 8, 2023