15 Buxton Court

Architectural Description: 

Town Yard

Historical Narrative: 

This land was once a portion of the Major Joseph Low estate which was built on the Essex Turnpike in 1820 at the corner of North Main and Lewis Streets. The property was purchased by Hardy & Cole on June 30, 1892 from Mary Ann Low and the remaining heirs of the property. The Low house was built on the Essex Turnpike (Main Street) after its construction about 1806 - 1810. The new road became the main street for the business district and residents of the South Parish of Andover. The house, built in 1820, in the Federal style became the home of Major Joseph Low, yeoman. Salem Deeds record a contract by Joseph Low with John Brown in 1820, to build a house like Amos Blanchard’s.

The firm of Hardy and Cole purchased the business of the Abbott & Jenkins, the building and contracting company, in 1890. The buildings were located between Essex and Pearson Streets, in the area now used for the town library parking lot. Some of the structures were the former Andover & Wilmington Railroad car assembly shops and barns from 1837 – 1848. The Low estate property at 70 North Main St. was an ideal location to develop being central to their business and abutting the Boston & Maine Railroad tracks. Hardy and Cole would later created a spur line off the tracks which would serve as an off loading area for lumber and supplies for the company.

Lewis Street & Buxton Court was planned about 1893-5 by Lewis T. Hardy and Joseph Cole, partners in the firm of Hardy and Cole 1874-1915. The partners divided up the Low estate, creating parcels to the north of the house on North Main St., then selling off lots #84 through #122 in 1895 and 1896.

They built a new road and court to the south and west of the Low house, later named Lewis St. (after Lewis Titus Hardy) and Buxton Court. It appears that #3 Lewis Street was the first home constructed by Hardy & Cole. It was purchased by Abby Stimson on November 20, 1897, the land included a building. Annie M. McMillan purchased the first lot on Buxton Ct. at #3 on June 20, 1897. Ira Buxton followed in November 12, 1897 with lot #5. Buxton was the first to build a home on the Court in 1898. Ira was a carpenter for Hardy & Cole at that time. Buxton Court was named for him, although it was sometimes referred to as Lewis Court and “Tyrian Way” in deeds. The former Low house was parceled off and sold to John J. Donovan, a plasterer, in 1899.

It is interesting to note that for 40 years Lewis T. Hardy was connected with the Andover Fire Department, 29 years of which he served as Chief Engineer. He was also a member of the Board of Public Works from 1903 to 1916, nine years spent as chairman. He lived at 11 Maple Street with wife Harriet R. Abbott, two daughters Louise & Evelyn, and sons William, Philip and Roy. Lewis died Dec. 25, 1916. Roy Hardy served as a town Selectman. Cole’s son Philip was a mason and in the concrete construction business. Philip L. Cole would later use the storage sheds on the north edge of the property for his masonry and concrete company.

The Town of Andover purchased property at the end of Lewis Street between Buxton Ct. and the railroad tracks from Hardy & Cole for the Board of Public Works in 1910. The location was central to the town center. As more land was needed for the expanding town yard, the community would purchase abutting property from private residents and businesses.

In 1925 Henry D. Rockwell purchases land at the end of Buxton Ct. on the west side # 11-14 from Anna Hardy, wife of Philip and another parcel in 1928 from Emma White. Rockwell and Frederick Jones adapted the former Hardy and Cole carpentry shops for the Merrimack Card Clothing Company. It wass in operation here until about 1947. This property then became the Andover Lumber Co.

The Town took this property at town meeting in March 1977. The building was used by the Public Works dept. for many years but was razed and new maintenance buildings constructed.

Bibliography/References: 

See Area Form Survey A - Abbott Village and Railroad Street
Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA

Inventory Data:

StreetBuxton Ct
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameHardy & Cole carpentry shop
Present UseTown Yard
Original UseLow Estate - Hardy & Cole wookshop yard
Construction Date1893 - 1895
SourceERDS, ENRDL
Architect/BuilderHardy & Cole builders
Demolition Detailscirca 1980
Acreage.600 acre
Settingresidential/commerical
Map and parcel38-32
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredSept. 13, 2014

Map: