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

Architectural Description: 

Cape style home, the house was built in 1967 as a one family cape of 8 rooms with 1 bath, and 4 bedrooms. It has a clapboard facade, shingle sides and rear exterior and an asphalt roof cover

Historical Narrative: 

#15 Center St. today was formerly #13 Centre St. in earlier directories. Re-numbering and corrections were done in Andover in 1959. Centre St. on earlier maps and deeds was also referred to at times as Central St. in Ballardvale.

This contemporary Cape style home was built on the site of #13, formerly known as O'Donnell Sanatorium (ca. 1947). The Property was taken by the Town of Andover for back taxes in Dec. 28, 1956. The home was vacant for a few years then the Town auctioned the property off in May 1963 to Salvatore "Sam" J. DeSalvo. Sam was a local building and contractor and later Building Inspector for the Town. The former home on the property was razed and this cape was built in its place in 1966. Clear title of property boundaries was conducted by DeSalvo through Land Court in 1966. All deeds after are recorded in Certificate and documents via Land Court.

Thomas W. & Herta M. Sutton, Jr. purchased the home on Apr. 14, 1967 and were the first occupants. Tom b. 1938 was an Andover firefighter. Tom and Herta b. 1940 were avid skiers and instructors at Boston Hill in North Andover and Bradford Hill in Haverhill, MA. They have two children. They owned the home for 21 years then selling to Barry J. & Kathleen J. Dyke on Aug. 16, 1988.

Historical Narrative; 1847-1967
The Ballardvale Machine Shop Corp., John Marland, President, purchased much of the property in the center of Ballardvale in 1847. The land was then sub-divided the into house and store lots in 1847. John Marland and John Howe Jr. owned the parcel along Centre St. (now Center St.) and began auctioning off their 35 lots on July 28. 1847. The auctioneers were Loring, Abbott and Porter of Boston.

The Ballardvale Machine Shop Corp. would begin selling off their holdings in 1848 and Samuel Abbott and William Abbott followed suit with their property on Oak and Tewksbury Streets. The greater portion of the village center was developed at this period of time.

This lot, #10 on the Marland & Howe 1847 map, was sold to William Merrill on July 28, 1848. Merrill paid $94.29 for the 6286 sq. ft. lot. Merrill would later sell the lot to Wallace R. Mitchell in Aug. 1848 for $140. At the time of the sale to Benjamin Burtt the deed states that Mitchell owned one half of the property and Benjamin French of Merrimac, NH, a house-wright, owned the other half. It is possible that French built the house on the property and was part investor.

Benjamin Burtt of Tewksbury purchased the property from Mitchell and French on Oct. 24, 1849. Burtt was a farmer and invested in properties in the village. He also owned lots #8 and #25 of the Darracott 1848 map on Marland & Center Sts. The deed was recorded on Feb. 19, 1850. The 1856 map of Ballardvale center lists Burtt at this location. Benjamin Burtt's deed of Feb. 22, 1864 includes those parcels.

James O'Donnell and Hugh O'Donnell purchased the property on Apr. 6, 1864. The O'Donnell family would be connected with this property for the next 92 years. Hugh O'Donnell was born on Jan. 1, 1838 in Boston, son of James & Sarah O'Donnell. Hugh married on Oct. 1, 1868 in Boston to Catherine Duffey b. May 2, 1841 in Boston, dau. of Hugh & Eunice Duffey. At that time Hugh age 30, is listed living in Ballardvale, a Hotel keeper. By 1885 Hugh is running a Livery stable from their home on Center St. The 1891 Directory list his business as the Ballardvale & Lawrence Express. Hugh died on April 24, 1895 at age 56.

Hugh and Catherine had seven children of which five survived to adulthood: Hugh F. b. Aug. 1870, Catherine b. 1875, John A. b. July 1879, Thomas E. b. Jan. 1881 and one child is not yet known. These four children remained with their mother and provided her support until they wed. Hugh worked in the Merrimac Foundry in Lawrence as an Iron molder. He never married and remained in the home with his sister Catherine who became a nurse. Both John and Thomas worked for the Tyer Rubber Co., married in lived in the "Vale" close by on Tewksbury and Oak. Streets. Their mother Catherine died on March 17, 1921 and is interred at St. Augustine's Cemetery.

Daughter Catherine would then turn the house into the O'Donnell Sanatorium by 1926 and served as a midwife hospital for Ballardvale residents through 1946. A recent article in the Fall Newsletter of the Andover Historical Society, by Tom Adams states, " In 1926 Katherine O'Donnell, an enterprising, highly experienced, and caring nurse converted a house at 13 Center Street in Ballardvale, and named it The O'Donnell Sanatorium. In his book "Andover, As I Remember IT", Jim Doherty recalled O'Donnell as " a very pleasant person....who operated an obstetrics ward in her home....an important facility for the town in those days. Most children born in Andover in those days were delivered at the O'Donnell."
The O"Donnell Sanatorium provided a welcome facility for mothers-in-waiting and also offered a rest home for the elderly. Katherine, who answered to "Kate" reconfigured the house to accommodate extended patient convalescence. The Sanatorium had a long hallway running the length of the building from the front to the back. There were two large ward-type rooms sitting on either side of the hallway. The room to the right was the rest home for the aged: on the left was the maternity ward.
Bernice Haggerty recalls Kate O'Donnell quite fondly. "Two of my four children were born there." Bernice remembers the tender care that Kate provided for all the babies - and for the mothers as well."

The Sanatorium closed in 1946 and Kate retired. Sadly the Town took the property for back taxes on Dec. 28, 1956 and voted to sell of the property on April 23, 1962.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
National Register of Historic Places
Land Court Map - #34175 - July 25, 1962 & Jan. 6, 1966
Historical Sketches of Andover, Sarah Loring Bailey 1880
Andover Advertiser, Andover Townsman
Andover Historical Society Newsletter Fall 2015 - The O'Donnell Sanatorium
Marland & Howe map Ballardvale Center - house and store lots July 1847
Ballardvale Machine Shop Corporation May 1848 - Franklin Darracott Engineer
Samuel Abbott & William Abbott house lots amp 1848
Andover maps; 1852, 1856, 1872, 1884, 1888, 1906
Andover Valuation Schedules, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1900, 1910, 1920
National Register of Historic Places

John Howe Jr. & John Marland - b. 386 leaf 300 - lot #10
William Merrill - July 28, 1848 - b. 386 leaf 165
Wallace R. Mitchell - Aug. 23, 1848 - b. 401 p. 163 - $140 - 1/2
Benjamin French - Aug. 23, 1848 - b. 401 p. 163 - Housewright - 1/2
Benjamin Burtt - Oct. 24, 1849 - b. 424 leaf 101 - lot #10
Benjamin Burtt - Feb. 22, 1864 - b. 662 leaf 223 - lot #10
James O'Donnell and Hugh O'Donnell - Apr. 6, 1864 - b. 665 leaf 223
James O'Donnell - Apr. 29, 1865 - b. 683 leaf 158
James O'Donnell estate, Hugh O'Donnell - 1871
Bernard F. McEnroe & Peter McEnroe - Oct. 16, 1871 - b. 11 p. 398
Hugh O'Donnell - Sept. 25, 1889, rec. June 4, 1891 - b. 112 p. 169
Hugh F., William J., Catherine E., John A., and Thomas O'Donnell
Catherine A. O'Donnell - Feb. 24, 1908 - b. 258 p. 35 - lot #10
Catherine A. O'Donnell, John O'Donnell, Thomas O'Donnell - 1956
Town of Andover - Dec. 28, 1956 - b. 848 p. 20 - taking
Town of Andover - Apr. 23, 1962 - b. 956 p. 448 - sell
Salvatore J. DeSalvo - May 22, 1963 - b. 989 p. 327
Salvatore J. & Elaine E. DeSalvo - Aug. 16, 1963 - b. 991 p. 491
Salvatore J. & Elaine E. DeSalvo - Nov. 29, 1966 - Ctf. 5991 - b. 40 p. 365 - decree
Thomas W. & Herta M. Sutton, Jr. - Apr. 14, 1967 - Ctf. 6035 - b. 40 p. 541
Barry J. & Kathleen J. Dyke - Aug. 16, 1988 - Ctf. #10572
Matthew Sexton & Dominique L. (Melone) Sexton - May 28, 1993 - Ctf. #11656
John A. Adams & Emily W. Harris - Apr. 25, 1997 - Ctf. #12611
Richard C. Salmon - Dec. 22, 1997 - Ctf. #12786
Calvin J. & Michelle L. Archibald - July 15, 1999 - Ctf. #13211
Adrian M. & Karen W. Purtschert - July 16, 2001 - Ctf. #13695
David L. Blake Jr. & Catherine A. Blake - Feb. 26, 2008 - Ctf. #15983
Catherine A. Blake & Richard Hertrich - May 24, 2010 - Ctf. #16309
Catherine A. Blake & John M. Reck - Dec. 5, 2012 - Ctf. #16844

Inventory Data:

StreetCenter St
Historic DistrictBallardvale Local Historic District
Historic DistrictBallardvale National Register District
Historic NameThomas W. & Herta M. Sutton House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1967
Architectural StyleOther
Roofasphalt - gable
Demolition Details1960's original 1848 home razed
Acreageless than one acre; acreage: 0.14
Map and parcel138-45
MHC NumberANV.1168
Recorded byRuth A. Sharpe, James S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Historical Society, Andover Preservation Commission
Date enteredJun 1997, 3/7/2016