157 Main Street

Architectural Description: 

NRDIS NRMRA
Federal/Greek Revival
Interesting form - 5 bay "gable end" with full pediment return

Historical Narrative: 

Themes: Architechural, community development, commerce, education

Stationery store, 1850s; boarding house - dormitory, 1890s

Typical white picket fence enclosed all the residences along "Faculty Row" on " Hill" and all were originally painted white. At corner of Main and School Streets nearly directly across from Wheeler Street the Cheever house once stood. [Main Street or Essex Turnpike laid out 1806 -1810].

In 1850, it was a book and stationery store kept by Mr. Pierce who also lived here. Solid stone steps and entry porch added after 1850's. Residence of Edward Farwell.

In 1855 Mrs. Betsy L. Cheever, widow of John Cheever was living here conducting a boarding house for boys attending Phillips Academy. The Massachusetts State Census of that year lists eight boys 15 - 17 years of age living in the house. Betsy's two daughters Sarah S. and Ella T. and two Irish domestics lived here.

Betsy L. (Gardner) Cheever was born in 1804 in Beverly, MA daughter of John & Joanna (Lovett) Gardner. She married John Cheever and was living in Bluehill, Maine in 1850. Husband John was a merchant and six children were listed in the census record; Betsy 26, Sarah 19, Horace 17, Arthur 14, George 12 and Ella 6. After John's death Sarah moved to Andover with Sarah and Ella.

In 1880 a niece, Alice B. Cheever age 13 is also living with her. Two boarders Mary A. Thompson age 55 boards and is an artist and a Hannah Brown age 84. Daughters Sarah & Ella help with the running of the house and Mary B. Hawks 55 is a domestic servant.

Betsy L. Cheever died on Oct. 19, 1886 and her daughter Ella T. Cheever steps into the role of Head of the house. In 1900 Minnie S. Cheever, a niece, b. Mar. 1864 and niece Alice B. Benson b. Jan. 1868 and grand niece Amy F. Steele b. Jan 1896 age 4 have joined the household. Six boys are boarding in the home and three Irish servants; a cook, waitress and chamber maid help with the domestic duties.

By 1920 Ella now 74 and niece Minnie S. Cheever 55 and one servant Annie McGrath are all that are listed in the house.

House was slated to be torn down, condemned as dorm as structurally unsafe, but faculty members fought to save it.

Bibliography/References: 

Robbins; Sarah Stuart; Old Andover Days: Memories of a Puritan Childhood, Boston: Pilgrim Press, 1908.
Fuess, Claude; An Old New England School - History of Phillips Academy, 1917. Interview with former faculty resident, Thomas Rees.
Carter, Emily; " A Walk up from Punchard Avenue to Wheeler Street in year 1850 " - Andover Townsman, Jan. 22, 1934.
Andover Directory, 1899
Federal Census, 1850, 1860, 1880, 1900, 1920 and Mass. State Census 1855 and 1865
Ancestry.com - Cheever family

Inventory Data:

StreetMain St
PlacePhillips District
Historic DistrictAcademy Hill NRH District
Historic NameCheever House - Phillips Academy - razed 1981
Present UseGreen space
Original Useresidence & boarding house
Construction Date1830 - 1840's
SourceERDS, ENRDL, AHS file, njs, style
Architectural StyleGreek Revival
Foundationcobblestone/country stone
Wall/Trimclapboards/wood
Roofasphalt - gable
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresbarn attached
Major Alterationswing added & remodeled
Conditionrazed
Demolished?Yes
Demolition DetailsSeptember 1981
Acreage13,000 sq. ft.; approximate frontage 127'.
SettingResidential/Educational
Map and parcel40-26
MHC NumberANV.354
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, 3/19/2015

Map: