16 Haverhill Street

Architectural Description: 


Historical Narrative: 

Themes: Agricultural, Architectural, Community development, Industry, Social/humanitarian

Shawsheen Village was named after the Native American name for the river Shawshin, which means Great Spring. Prior to Shawsheen Village this area was known as Frye Village.
The site is historically significant as it was the location of the first Mill building of business partners, John Smith, Joseph Faulkner and Warren Richardson. The mill was constructed in 1824 for the manufacture of cotton machinery. After the deaths of both John Smith's partners, John with his brother Peter Smith and friend John Dove switch over to flax production to linen threads in 1833, the first such mill in America under the name Smith-Dove Company. This later became the Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co. which purchased the Abbott Mill in Abbott Village in 1843 and later relocated up-river by 1890. The complex in Frye Village was sold in 1906.

The Hardy Brush Factory building is in the Shawsheen Village National Register Historic District, surveyed in 1975 and created in 1979. It was designated a National Register Historic District in 1980 by the Massachusetts Historical Commission, of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

This building housed the manufacturing of "textile machine brushes of all descriptions". It was also the site of much woodworking activity and supplied the woodwork for most of the Shawsheen public buildings, including the Post Office & Administration Buildings. Also furnished doors, windows, screens for Shawsheen residences, as well as interior woodwork. Frank H. Hardy was the owner of the company. Hardy's father Charles purchased in 1891, the stone house at 183 Lowell St. across form West Parish Church. Charles then set set up his brush business in a barn on the property. In 1910 his son Frank H.Hardy moved the business into the vacated Smith & Dove Mills in Frye Village.
AT - Feb. 18, 1910 Frye Village – It is rumored that a brush factory is to be started shortly in the old mill on Haverhill Street which has been standing idle for almost twenty years
AT - Feb. 25, 1910 pg. Brush Factory at Frye Village. Frank H. Hardy to move to old mills from West Andover.
AT - Oct. 7, 1910 pg. 1 Frye Village. Work commenced in the brush factory on Haverhill St. on Monday. (Mon. - Oct. 3rd)

Frank was born in Buckfield, ME on Oct. 15, 1871. He graduated from Phillips Academy in 1896, worked briefly in Boston and then returned to Andover and purchased his father's brush business. Frank married Edith E. Downing and they had one son Frank Kenneth Hardy. Frank was a member and Deacon of the West Parish Church, and was instrumental with the expansion of the West Parish Cemetery in 1908 -1909, which was built and paid for by William M. Wood. Perhaps this is when they became friends and Frank would later become an agent for the American Woolen Co. in charge of the construction of the Mills, Power plant and Administration building in Shawsheen Village. Frank Hardy was Chairman of Board of Selectmen and Assessor form 1923-1935. A member of the board at the Andover Savings Bank, and Cambridge & Merrimack Mutual Insurance Co.s. His memberships included, St. Matthews Lodge, Oddfellows Lodge of Andover, Square and Compass Club, Phillips Club and occasionally acted with the Andover Barnstormers. The Hardy Brush building was built and owned by the American Woolen Co. and leased to Hardy Brush. Wood purchased the former Smith & Dove mills and razed the buildings to develop the Village. Hardy Brush Factory may have been the first structure built. Frank Hardy died Feb. 4, 1946.

This history appeared in the Andover Townsman - Nov. 26, 1926 p. 7 - Name of Hardy Has Been Associated With Mill Brush Manufacture Since Civil War - Modern Plant In Shawsheen Village Turns out Largest Quantity of Mill Brushes In United States - Hardy Brushes Spread Andover's Fame Everywhere - Excellent Service Offered Feature of This Company.

Shorty after the Civil war, Mr. Charles A. Hardy started the manufacture of mill machinery in Fall River, and since that time the name, Hardy, has been associated with the manufacture of the finest brushes which are sold in the American Market today. Mr. Hardy was an expert in his line and because of the quality of the product which he manufactured over a half century ago, Hardy brushes are now recognized as a standard of caparison.
Moves to Canada - After a few years in the mill center of Fall River, Mr. Hardy transferred his business to St. John, New Brunswick, where he became identified with the T. S. Simms & Company Limited. After a short connection with this concern he established his own manufacturing plant and produced a general line of industrial, textile, paint, varnish and household brushes that became famous in Canada and this country.In 1891 Mr. Hardy returned to the United States and selected West Andover for the site of his American plant. Her he continued the manufacture of the brushed which had made him famous.
Frank H. Hardy Buys Business - In 1897 the company was purchased by his son, Frank H. Hardy, who has operated the business successfully since that time. The company since the new ownership has been specializing in Textile mill and vacuum cleaner brushes. Under the efficient management of Mr. Frank Hardy the company has steadily grown so that today it is manufacturing more textile brushes than any other plant in the United States.
Plant a Model - The home of Hardy brushes, photograph of which appears above on this page, is located in Shawsheen Village ans is one of the most efficient manufacturing plants in this locality. The modern daylight facilities coupled with the most modern of machinery make possible a large and satisfactory production of brushes. Much of this improved machinery was manufactured in the Hardy Machine shop and the engineers of the plant are constantly improving the present equipment. This is on of the reasons that the Hardy company has steadily progressed and Mr. Hardy intends to keep constantly apace with modern methods of manufacture.
Service a Feature - The service department of the Hardy company is ready at all times to give to the manufacture the benefit of years of experience in filling the needs of mill owners without any obligation whatsoever. Quotations are furnished and suggestions given. A catalogue containing photographs of nearly all the brushes, with specifications, has been published by the Hardy company which will be sent free on request.

In Nov. 1928 a portion of the building was leased to Harold R.Rafton founder and owner of Rafton Laboratories inc,in 1916 and Rafton Engineering Corp. Rafton Laboratories was a pioneer in the use of chalk pigments for the paper industry. Affiliated also with Raffold Company of America, Raffold Process Corp. and Raffold International Corp. all operated from 16 Haverhill St. The group of companies was concerned with the utilization of white pigments, chiefly in the paper industry and later included in rubber. Raffold is a chemical compound containing chalk and magnesia. The compound was used to coated and filled paper, applied to the surface which improved the finish and printing quality. High gloss finishes on magazines, catalogs, box wrapping were made possible by the process. Rafton Labs worked with the chemical process while Raffold Co. of American markets the paper industry. Faffold was made at Champion-International Company of Lawrence.

Harold Rafton is remembered as an advocate for open spaces in Andover and was instrumental in acquiring land for Andover Village Improvement Society - AVIS. The Harold Rafton Reservation on Wood Hill off High Plain Road is named in his honor.


June 1990: Andover Preservation Award

Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Maps, 1852, 1872, 1888, 1906, 1926
Andover Street Directories
Andover Townsman
Mills, Mergers and Mansions, by Edward Roddy 1982
Town Crier: A Business Directory of Shawsheen Village, Andover Press, 1922-1923
See Map plan #704 - American Woolen Company - Sept. 1927
#708 - Nov. 1927 - AWCo.
Plan #826 - Sept. 1930 - Shawsheen Dairy - AWCo.
Plan #3511 - July 1957 - NE Milk Producers' Association Parcel A & B
Plan #9209 - Jan. 19, 1983 - Parcel D

John Smith & Peter Smith – Dec. 29, 1841 –b. 335 leaf 99
Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co. – July 1, 1864 - b. 677 leaf 259 Salem deed
Robert Braisford, General Degreasing Co. – July 21, 1902 – b. 197 p. 32
Beacon Trust Company. – Dec. 23, 1904 – b. 217 p. 80
Daniel C. Smith –Mar. 28, 1909 – b. 258 p. 446
Arlington National Bank – June 11, 1909 – b. 274 p. 565
James E. McGovern – July 17, 1909 – b. 275 p. 400 – mgt sale
Henry P. Binney, Trustee of A. W. Co. – Aug. 14, 1909 - b. 277 p. 310
American Woolen Co. of NJ - Dec. 30, 1920 - b. 435 p. 215 parcel 2A
Textile Realty Co. Moses Pendelton - Dec. 30, 1932 - b. 569 p. 27 - 1st parcel
American Woolen Co. - Dec. 20, 1940 - b. 637 p. 436
American Woolen Co. - Feb. 17, 1955 - vote to merge - Textron, Inc. & Robbins Mills, Inc.
Textron American, Inc. - Feb. 23, 1955 - b. 809 p. 1955
Textron Inc. - Dec. 13, 1956 - vote name change
Hardy Brush Corporation - Dec. 20, 1956 - b. 847 p. 446
Eastern Tag & Label Corporation - May 12, 1972 - b. 1192 p. 707
Barclays American Business Credit, Inc. b. 1561 p. 131
Augustine P. Sheehey - Apr. 7, 1982 - b. 1583 p. 183
Shawsheen Village Commerce Partnership of Boston - June 12, 1985 - b. 1986 p. 247
Shawsheen Village Commerce Partnership of Boston - Aug. 30, 1983 - b. 1715 p. 221
Shawsheen Village Commerce Partnership of Boston - Mar. 21, 1987 - b. 2464 p. 194
J.P.N.R. LLC - Oct. 8, 2002

Inventory Data:

StreetHaverhill St
PlaceShawsheen Village
Historic DistrictShawsheen Village NRH District
Historic NameShawsheen Brush Mill - American Woolen Company
Present UseHardy Brush Corp. Factory
Original UseBrush Mill
Construction Datec. 1920's
SourceERDS, ENRDL, assessers' rec./style-njs
Architectural StyleColonial Revival
Foundationstone foundation
Wall/Trimbrick and concrete
RoofSlate hip roof
Acreage1.4 acres; lot size: 30065 sq. ft.
Map and parcel35-7
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredAugust 1977, 9/2/2015