16 High Street

Architectural Description: 

Federal/Greek Revival
4 fireplaces

Historical Narrative: 

Themes: architectural, community development

1830 - High St. was the Rd "from Ward's Tavern to the Alms House"
1858 - High Street was known as "Honest Row"

In 1850 tax list: 1872, H. Abbot; 1852, H. Abbot ( Herman Abbot sometimes spelled Abbott)

Herman Abbot was born on March 5, 1771, the son of Jebediah Abbot Jr. and his wife the widow Mrs. Rebecca Ballard. Herman married on October 3, 1799 to Lydia Farrington b. 1776. They had six children;
Lydia b. Oct. 5, 1800 - d. Apr. 6, 1882, Herman b. Mar. 25, 1803 - d. Sept. 23, 1805, Joshua b. Dec. 3, 1804 d. 1868, Herman Jr. Dec. 28, 1808 - d. Dec. 21, 1871, Joseph b. Sept. 6, 1811 - d. Nov. 22, 1899 and Benjamin Farrington b. Nov. 1, 1815 d. 1874.

Herman was a Cabinet Maker and also an Undertaker. He dealt in home furnishings, cabinets, frames and pictures, curtains and fixtures. Herman’s wife Lydia F. died on April 27, 1838 at age 62. Andover Advertiser, Feb. 6, 1858 – Death of Herman Abbott, age 86y 10m 28days. Mr. Abbott has been growing feeble for some years but retained his mental faculties.

It appears that son Herman Jr. inherited the house on High Street and bought out his siblings share. Herman Jr. Died on Dec. 21, 1871 of Pneumonia, age 62y 11m, 21d. In his last will and testament on December 14, 1871 his estate went to the American Missionary Association, in NYC. One half of the proceeds of the estate were "to be used in aid of the Freedmen of this country." The provision was that his sister Lydia had a life tenancy in the house, its contents and could draw off the principle for her comfort. Only after her death could the property be sold. Lydia died on April 6, 1882 at age 81 years 6 months of General disability. They are interred in South Parish Church Cemetery.

On May 8, 1882 the American Missionary Society, voted to sell the property, empowering H. W. Hubbard, the treasurer, to sell the homestead to Joseph Abbot, Herman’s brother. One quarter of the proceeds went to the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions, ¼ to American Missionary Society and ½ to the aid of the Freedmen of this country.

Joseph Abbott then turns the property over to his daughter Caroline E. (Abbot) Smith, widow of George E. Smith. She has one son George Albert. Smith born July 29, 1869. George was known as Bertie. Caroline takes a mortgage from the Trustees of Punchard Free School in May 1882 for $1200.
The mortgage was later sold to Henry W. Barnard who held it until 1901. Joseph, his daughter and grandson all continued to reside at 16 High Street.

Andover Townsman - Nov. 24, 1899 Obit. Joseph Abbott
Died on Wednesday 22, after a three year illness during which time he could not stand. Born in West Parish Sept. 6, 1811. Learned the cabinet trade with John Flint. Late engaged in the furniture business with his brother Herman, in a shop formerly on the site of the library. Also worked with his brother as an undertaker. Mr. Abbot then embarked in the picture selling and framing trade in a building now occupied by P. J. Hannon’s tailoring establishment.
Belonged to Free Church and was a charter member. He was much interested in the anti-slavery movement and it was from this cause that he withdrew from the South Church, to found the Free Church.
He married Abigail Caroline Foster who died in 1852. Joseph lived on High St. for about 30 years. Survived by one grandson George A. Smith, whose mother, Mr. Abbott’s daughter, died only a short time ago.

George Albert Smith inherited the property, but died a short time later on Jan. 18, 1901 at age 31. His estate was administered by Walter J. Morse and the estate was sold at public auction on Mar. 30, 1901. The mortgage paid off to Henry W. Barnard, it was his wife Mabel P. Barnard who purchased the property for $4740. In the 1910 Andover Valuation schedules Henry Barnard is listed as owning both #12 and #16 High Street.

Abbot brothers, Herman, Joseph and Joshua
On the site of Memorial Hall Library was once a home and business of Herman Abbott Jr. a cabinet maker who had his furniture business at that location. The property was acquired by the Boston & Maine Rail Road Company, who had purchased the former Andover and Wilmington Rail Road (1835-1848). The former rail line and the depot were directly behind the library until 1848 when the tracks were moved further west down Essex Street to the present location. The relocation was made to provide rail service to the new city of Lawrence then reconnecting to the Haverhill line.
The B & M Railroad owned most of the property from Essex Street to Amos Abbot’s house at the corner of Pearson Street. It appears that the company began divesting of un-needed property along Main Street and westward down the hill to the Shawsheen River.

On July 7, 1851 Joshua Abbott, brother of Herman Jr. purchased the corner five sided lot from the B & M Rail Road for $1135.80. The lot had two Federal style homes on the property with connecting out-buildings. The lot contained 1358 square feet of land. One exclusion within the deed was “The small house owned by Samuel G. Valpey on the above described land is not included in this sale.”

Nearly four years later Joshua sells half of his parcel #1, one undivided half part the property to Herman Abbott Jr. for $567.09. Joshua Abbott, now of Boston, sells his remaining half to Herman Abbott Jr. in Feb. of 1858 for $1500 subject to the mortgage of $1200 on the whole of the property. Herman Abbot Jr. had also purchased the Crystal Palace building on Pearson St., a form car building and repair shop of the railroad.

June 15, 1854 AA - Removal – Herman Abbott, Jr. has removed his furniture shop to the corner of Main & Essex St. opposite the P.O. Sept. 9th
Oct. 27, 1855 AA– Herman Abbott, Jr. Manufacturer and dealer in Cabinet Furniture – large ad. – Ware rooms opposite the Post Office.
March 20, 1858 AA- H. Abbott Jr. – Wholesale & Retail Dealer in Cabinet Furniture, chamber sets, pictures framed, furniture made to order, Repair & painted, coffins & robes made. Opposite the Post Office.
April 17, 1858 AA - WHITE WASHING – by Leonard Bean – order left at H. Abbott’s Furniture.
April 16, 1859 AA – Mrs. Springer – will give drawing & painting instruction to small classes for the present at their residences in Andover and vicinity. Her residence over Abbott’s Furniture Rooms, near the Post Office.
Joseph Abbott – Job Work at the Furniture Shop of Herman Abbot - 3/25/1859

Sept. 18, 1868 AA The Furniture ware rooms of Herman Abbott will be auctioned off on Saturday the 19th – household goods. [Essex & Main Street – Elm Square]

June 3, 1870 AA – Sunday morning May 29, 1870 a fire completely destroyed the entire block from the corner of Pearson Street south to Elm Square and the corner of Essex Street. “The fire was first discovered just before 2 o’clock, in a barn on North Main Street, owned by the heirs of the late Hon. Amos Abbott, and the flame soon communicated to an old house on the same premises, occupied by Michael McLaughlin, as a tenement, and by Charles Mayer, for a harness shop. Both buildings were entirely consumed, together with a cow and two swine, belonging to Mr. McLaughlin. His furniture and the stock and tools of Mr. Mayer, were saved. The paint shop next south of the above , owned by Eben P. Higgins, was soon enveloped with flames and destroyed with some stock and tools, a wagon left to be painted by George H. Chandler, a sleigh owned by John Findley, three pung sleighs and a lot of oats stored by Holt & Higgins…..

The livery stable of John Cornell, with hay, grain and three sleighs shared the same fate. Mr. Cornell saved all his horses, carriages and harnesses. The many friends of “Jerry” and “Jim”, two favorite horses were greatly relieved on learning that they were saved.
The fire next reached the wooden buildings of Herman Abbot, on the corner, and they with a portion of their contents, were entirely destroyed. The buildings were occupied by the owner for coffin and picture framing rooms, and by Joseph Abbott, as a residence, and for furniture ware rooms. The principal part of the furniture and other articles were saved, although a large number of coffins, caskets, and fixtures were lost.
The dwelling house of Mrs. Edward S. Merrill, on Essex Street, was almost wholly destroyed, the bare walls only remaining…..”

April 5, 1870 AA – Town got a pledge of $25,000 from John Smith to build Memorial Hall if the town will match and purchase the Herman Abbott lot on the corner of Essex and Main Street – former site of Joseph Abbott’s shop.

July 29, 1870 AA – Herman Abbott is preparing to erect a new building on the burnt district corner of Essex Street and Main Street. It will be 50 x 36 feet, three stories on Main St. and four stories on Essex St. and is to be fitted up for business purposes.

Sept. 2, 1870 Town is negotiating with Herman Abbott to purchase lot at Main & Essex Street- 11,675 square feet, price asked $3930. 3200 sq. feet will be cut off to straighten the street.

Sept 16, 1870 Herman Abbott Jr. sells his lot to John Smith for $3000. Mr. Abbott had commenced laying the foundation of a building upon the premises, but relinquished the undertaking for the sake of securing the erection of the “Memorial Hall” as a great public improvement.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Advertiser
Andover Townsman
Andover Assessed Valuation 1900, 1910
See Plans#1424 and #6589 – June 1971 – sub-divided lot

Thomas C. Foster -
Solomon H. Higgins - May 9, 1835 - b. 281 leaf 211
Joseph Abbott - July 21, 1836 - b. 292 leaf 124 - $400.
Herman Abbot Jr. - Aug. 9, 1838 - b. 307 leaf 255 - $1050 (1 undivided half)
Herman Abbot Jr. May 3, 1840 - b. 317 leaf 159 - mtg
Herman Abbot Jr. - Sept. 9, 1842 - b. 333 leaf 234
Herman Abbot estate – died Feb. 2, 1858 - Probate
Herman Abbot Jr. – 1858 - died December 21, 1871- Probate
American Missionary Assoc., NYC – Sept. 9, 1842 – b. 333 leaf 234 Salem deeds
Joseph Abbot – May 18, 1882 – b. 68 p. 45 – Lawrence deeds
Caroline E. (Abbot) Smith – May 18, 1882 – b. 68 p. 45
George A. Smith – 1899 – died Jan 18, 1901
George A. Smith Estate, Walter J. Morse, Adm. Probate
Mabel P. Barnard – April 24, 1901 – b. 184 p. 209 – Public auction
Henry W. Barnard Estate – Probate
Jacob W. Barnard Estate – Probate – April 8, 1943
Mabel Paradise Barnard Estate – June 5, 1943 -
William Shirley Barnard - June 5, 1943 – b. 658 p. 359
Arthur W. & Miriam B. Cole – June 5, 1943 – b. 658 p. 358 & 359
Arthur W. & Miriam B. Cole – Aug. 17, 1961 – 954 p. 152
Constance W. Cole Trust – Oct. 26, 1990 -
Constance Cole estate, Douglas B. Cole Trustee – Probate
Marcus P. Eckensberger – April 26, 2013 – b. 13442 p. 219

Inventory Data:

StreetHigh St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameHerman Abbot House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1820
Architectural StyleFederal
Foundationstone & granite
Major Alterationsporch added late 20th century New replacement windows 2013
Acreageless than one acre: 13,380 sq. ft.; approximate frontage 94.06'
Settingresidential/professional offices
Map and parcel38-57
MHC NumberANV.239
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, Nov. 18, 2014