16 Clark Road

Architectural Description: 

Style: old style

A one family, old style building with 3 chimneys, 1 1/2 baths, 7 rooms and 3 bedrooms. The main house has 2 stories with an unfinished attic. The attached ell has 1 3/4 stories. There is an open back porch. 1 garage on 0.214 acres.

Historical Narrative: 

This lot was once held by the Trustees of Phillips Academy and sold for $55 to Joseph Clark on Mar. 27, 1838 rec. Apr. 26, 1838. Clark then sold the vacant lot to Samuel Abbott Esq. on Mar. 27, 1838 rec. Apr. 26, 1838 for $55. This lot would become the first schoolhouse site for the newly created Ballard Vale School District. Prior to this district, children living on the west side of Shawsheen River in Ballard Vale attended the Osgood District School located on the farmland of Joseph Osgood on Osgood Street.

The Ballard Vale School District was created on February 23, 1837 from a division of southern end of the Osgood School District. At that time the schoolhouse was then located on the farm of Joshua Osgood on Osgood Street, a distance of nearly three miles from the center of the mill village. John Marland, who had established the Ballard Vale Mills one year before, was elected Moderator at the first district meeting. John Mann would assist Marland during the year to conduct all school business and select a site for their school building. Joseph Clark & Andrew Scott created a code of laws for the district to follow and district boundaries were settled with the Town. Joseph Clark would give land on Clark Road, north the corner of Chester Street for the schoolhouse. The new district purchased the old red Osgood school house, built in 1795, and moved it to site. Miss Sarah Noyes and Mr. Daniel Fox would be the first two teachers hired for the summer and winter terms. The one room building with low ceilings was hardly adequate to accommodate all the children and the district purchased an additional school building from the Ballard Vale Company in 1845.

By 1847 the old school house was “unfit in size, ventilation, convenience and health. Forty scholars were obliged to seek instruction elsewhere and others had no accommodations at all.” It was recommended to build a new two story building capable of holding 300 children. Two rooms on the lower floor to hold 150 students and one large hall on the upper floor for an additional 150. A full basement would provide space for two stores and bring in income for the district. In January 1848 a new site was selected at Center Street between Andover Street on the south portion of the Ballardvale Green.

in 1850 Ballard Vale School District, Charles Gibbs, Clerk sold the lot to James Shackelton on Apr. 24, 1850 for $385. The deed states the land under and around the schoolhouse, but not the building itself. It was customary, at that time, to auction off the building separately. The Andover Valuation schedule of 1850 lists Shackelton - West Parish - Dwelling house $750. House lot in B. Vale $50. James was born in 1816 in England, a wool sorter, married to Mary Ann b. 1818 in England. It is not yet known if Shackelton purchased the old schoolhouse.

Shackelton did own the property for 13 years before moving to Lawrence, MA. James sold to John Farmer, wife Elizabeth on Sept. 7, 1863 for $750. John Farmer died a few years later and his widow Elizabeth sold the home in Feb. 1866 and moved to Middleton, NY.

Hannah Partington purchased the home Feb. 3, 1866 for $800 and sold six months later to Patrick Devany on Aug. 8, 1866 for $850. Hannah Nolan, wife of Peter Nolan purchased the property for $1000 on July 22, 1867. Patrick Devany then bought it back on Aug. 9, 1870, paid $700.

Sylvanus Perry bought the property on May 2, 1874. Perry owned for 41 years. Sylvanus was b. on July 5, 1834 in Prince Edward Island. He married about 1863 to Catherine Ready, b. June 1834 in Ireland. A wool Pressman or finisher, he became a US citizen on Oct. 25, 1890. They had three children, Mary A., b. 1868 died young, Ellen "Nellie" b. 1869 and Charles J. b. Dec. 22, 1872. He and son are both working in the Ballardvale Mill in 1913. The Punchard Free School Trustees held Perry's mortgage on May 30, 1905 and sold it at auction to John C. Collins on Dec. 16, 1915.

Collins then sold to Benjamin Somers on Dec. 17, 1915. Somers (AKA Summers) held the property for 48 years. Benjamin Somers was born June 1871 in Digby, Nova Scotia, son of William Henry & Mary Jane Lawrence Somers. Benjamin immigrated in 1890's and boarded in a home on Pearson St. Benjamin married on June 9, 1902 to the widow Mabel Annie (Goines) Weems b. 1879 in Philadelphia, PA dau. of Hamie Goines. Mabel's first husband Charles died in 1900 and had one daughter Hazel K. Weems b. Apr. 28, 1901 in NH. They lived on Pearson St. before acquiring this property. Mabel died on Dec. 8, 1945.

There was a land boundary dispute in 1946 and Somers went through Land Court to correct the the issue and a decree was issued Dec. 16, 1946 - Certificate #3161.

Benjamin Somers died in 1962 and his estate was handled by his step-daughter Hazel Weams (Weems) Lawrence, Executrix on Feb. 19, 1963 via probate. Hazel K. married in 1917 to Benjamin Levi Lawrence. b. July 20, 1889 in Boylston, Nova Scotia. Benjamin & Hazel would have 15 children. The property was then sold to Clifford A. Lawrence, a son, on April 18, 1963. The Lawrence family continues as owners of record in 2016 now 53 years.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Maps of Ballardvale 1856, 1872, 1884
Map Plan #19823 - Feb. 1946 - Land court - Beng. Somers
Map Plan #1054 - July 1937 - Charles N. Marland

Trustees of Phillips Academy - 1838
Joseph Clark - Mar. 27, 1838 rec. Apr. 26, 1838 - b. 305 leaf 263 - $55
Samuel Abbott Esq. - Mar. 27, 1838 rec. Apr. 26, 1838 - b. 305 leaf 262 - $55
Ballard Vale School District, Charles Gibbs, Clerk - 1850 -
James Shackelton - Apr. 24, 1850 - b. 396 leaf 63 - $385
John Farmer, wife Elizabeth - Sept. 7, 1863 - b. 656 leaf 45 -$750
John Farmer estate, wife Elizabeth heir
Hannah Partington - Feb. 3, 1866 - b. 698 leaf 82 - $800
Patrick Devany - Aug. 8, 1866 - b. 708 leaf 47 - $850
Hannah Nolan, wife of Peter - July 22, 1867 - b. 730 leaf 2 - $1000
Patrick Devany - Aug. 9, 1870 - b. 5 p. 446 - $700
Sylvanus Perry - May 2, 1874 - b. 28 p. 416
Punchard Free School Trustees - May 30, 1905 - b. 220 p. 256 mtg deed
John C. Collins - Dec. 16, 1915 - b. 360 p. 526 - mtg deed - $390
Benjamin Somers - Dec. 17, 1915 - b. 360 p. 529
Benjamin Somers - Mar. 25, 1946 - b. 682 p. 426 - Notice
Benjamin Somers - Dec. 16, 1946 - Certificate #3161 - Land Ct. Decree
Benjamin Somers estate, Hazel Weams Lawrence, Extrx - Feb. 19, 1963 - Probate
Clifford A. Lawrence, Apr. 18, 1963 - Ctf. #5382
Clifford A. Lawrence, from Jean Y. Lawrence - Nov. 12, 1976 - rec. Mar. 15, 1977 Ctf. #7657
Richard Lawrence, Eljo L. Harper Lawrence, Clifford Lawrence - July 24, 1994 - Ctf. #9495
Eljo L. Harper Lawrence & Clifford Lawrence - June 1, 1999 - Ctf. #13171

Inventory Data:

StreetClark Rd
Historic DistrictBallardvale Local Historic District
Historic DistrictBallardvale National Register District
Historic NameShackelton - Perry - Somers House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1850 - 1860
SourceECRDS, ENRDL, style-njs
Architectural StyleOther
Wall/Trimclapboard/ asbestos shingles
Roofasphalt - gable
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresgarage
Conditionfair (1996)
Move Details1848
Acreage0.214 acre
Map and parcel137-47
Recorded byRuth A. Sharpe (Ballardvale Historic District), James S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Historical Society, Andover Preservation Commission
Date entered17 Aug 1996. 3/18/2016