154 Andover Street

Architectural Description: 

Late Greek/Picturesque

Steam & auto burners heating

This building was designed as a meeting place with large windows and a large centered double door. The ceiling in the meeting room was lowered from 12 ft to 9 ft in 1909 and a bay window was added on the South side at the same time. The windows lost about 2 ft. in height. 1 unit - 5 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1 bath built in 1888 by Hardy and Cole; 2 sheds; 1 deck

Historical Narrative: 

Themes: architectural, community development, education, recreation

Built as a social club for German employees of Craighead & Kintz and the Bradlee Mills at Ballardvale. Named the "Cosmopolitan Singing Society" or Cosmopolitan Club/Society.

Many German workmen came to Ballardvale with their families in the early 1880s to work for Craighead and Kintz Co. who produced oil lamps and fixtures and artistic bronzes. In 1885 they founded a German club and The Club incorporated Feb. 10, 1890. The club sponsored the Cosmopolitan Singing Society, taught a German School on Saturday with classes held every Saturday from 2:30 - 5:30 pm (Americans admitted). Members held an annual clambake on the Shawsheen River every fall. Many members also attended the Ballardvale Methodist Church which held some Sunday services in German.

This property was once owned by the Ballard Vale Machine Shop in 1847 and purchased by the Whipple File & Steel Manufacturing Co. in 1858, which went bankrupt in 1869. Assignees of the company; Edward Page, John W. Beals, Thomas J. Homer of Boston and Thornton K. Lothrup of Milton, MA sold off the holdings at auction. Craighead & Kintz would purchase the manufacturing plant and Stephen Blaney of Peabody, MA purchased six parcels of land along Andover St. and one on River St. on April 20, 1870. This lot was one of Blaney's six parcels.

Blaney's land on the east side of Andover Street extended from Clinton Court to north of this property and included the present day Ballardvale Playground. Blaney sold to Henry Isler on Feb. 20, 1888 a 6000 sq. ft. lot 60' wide and 100' feet deep. Isler would then take a mortgage through the Andover Savings Bank on July 2, 1888. Hardy & Cole, Andover builders were contracted to build the clubhouse. The deed was placed with the Cosmopolitan Singing Society on July 24, 1890 b. 107 p. 146. The assignees in the mortgage were Carl Hofmann and Jacob Klisserath. Klisserath later transferred his share to Hoffmann.

Craighead & Kintz Company was completely destroyed by fire in 1898. It appears that many members sought employment elsewhere. On June 3, 1899 the Andover Savings Bank took possession of the Isler loan on the property. The clubhouse and land were sold at auction on June 6th 1899 to George W. Foster for $1030. The deed was then transferred to Carl Hofmann on Sept. 21, 1899.

Carl Hofmann died on January 12, 1907 and one heir to his estate was his mother Johanna Rosina Hofmann. Johanna was living in Klotscha, Saxony Germany at the time of his death. She would quit claim her deed share to Emil K. Hofmann (Hoffman), wife Clara C. on May 25, 1907. Emil Hofmann served as the club president.

Patrick Joseph Murnane purchased the property from Hofmann on Nov. 19, 1909 and then converted the building into a residence. Murnane would then purchased two additional adjoining lots in 1922 and 1932 from Edward A. Blaney heir of Stephen Blaney. Descendants of Emil Hoffman still live in this former club house (1996). Many of the men in the Murnane family were firemen in town and related to the Hoffman family.

Heirs of Patrick Joseph Murnane: Eugene, Charles and John J. Murnane then sold the property to John J. Munane on Dec. 27, 1951. In 1996 the Murnane family sub-divided the property and built a new home at 152 Andover St. The former clubhouse was sold to Jeffrey & Colleen Fuller on September 28, 2009. Fuller enlarge the home with and ell and attached garage. Architect on the project was Joanna Reck.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
1891 Andover Street Directory
A.H.S. files
Town of Andover Assessment summary
Family history related by John Murnane, the present (1998) owner and included news clippings

Ballard Vale Machine Shop - 1847
Whipple File & Steel Manufacturing Co. - 1858 - 60
Edward Page, John W. Beals, Thomas J. Homer, Thornton K. Lothrup, assignees - 1870
Stephen Blaney - Apr. 27, 1870 - b. 6 p. 236 - six parcels
Henry Isler - Feb. 20, 1888 - b. 95 p. 3 - lot 6000 sq. ft.
Andover Savings Bank - July 2, 1888 - b. 96 p. 439 - mtg.
Carl Hofmann & Jacob Klisserath - June 3, 1899 - b. 172 p. 170 - Poss.
George W. Foster - June 6, 1899 - b. 172 p. 171 - at auction - $1030.
Carl Hofmann - Sept. 21, 1899 - b. 172 p. 173
Carl Hofmann estate, died Jan. 12, 1907, heir Johanna Rosina Hofmann
Emil K. Hofmann (Hoffman), wife Clara C. - May 25, 1907 - b. 247 p. 484
Patrick Joseph Murnane - Nov. 19, 1909 - b. 283 p. 359 - clubhouse lot
Patrick Joseph Murnane - Sept. 7, 1922 - b. 464 p. 453 - second lot
Patrick Joseph Murnane - June 9, 1932 - b. 564 p. 289 - third lot
Mary G. Lyons - Dec. 27, 1951 - b. 758 p. 350 - deed transfer
John Joseph Murnane - Dec. 27, 1951 - b. 758 p. 352 - 3 parcels
John J. Murnane estate, Michael P. Murnane - Probate #06P1812EP1
Jeffrey & Colleen Murnane Fuller - Sept. 28, 2009 - b. 11779 p. 163
Colleen Murnane Fuller - Dec. 16, 2014 - b. 14073 p. 205

Inventory Data:

StreetAndover St
Historic DistrictBallardvale Local Historic District
Historic DistrictBallardvale National Register District
Historic NameCosmopolitan Society Hall
Present Useresidence
Original UseSchool, German Club, Cosmopolitan Singing Society
Construction Date1885
SourceECRDS, ENRDL, style-njs
Architectural StyleGreek Revival
Architect/BuilderHardy & Cole
Roofasphalt - gable
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresrear garage and shed
Major Alterationsfront porch original to structure, south bay window added by Murnane abt. 1909, south ell, roof dormers and attached garage added abt. 2010.
Acreage0.520 acre; 22,746 sq. ft.; Approx. frontage: 125'
Map and parcel137-37
MHC NumberANV.27
Recorded byStack/Mofford; Ruth Sharpe, James S. Batchelder (Ballardvale Historic District)
OrganizationAndover Historical Society, Andover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77/1993 (L.L., B.M.H.), 11/11/2016