17 Abbot Street

Architectural Description: 


Greek Revival built in 1858

Historical Narrative: 

The section of Abbot Street from School to Phillips Streets was built and accepted by the town in 1853. House lots were created along the north side of the street and sold off. The Rev. Asa Farwell of Haverhill purchased this parcel and later sold it to Mrs. Phebe Atkinson of Andover for $100. It is believed that Phebe had the house built after the death of her mother in 1856.

Phebe was born April 16, 1799 in Andover, daughter of Nathan & Dorcas (Farnum) Jones. Phebe was one of nine children. Her father Nathan was an Inn Keeper who died on Aug. 14, 1804 at age 37. Her mother Dorcas inherited the estate. Phebe married about 1820 to Atkinson, but later lived with her mother and sister Anna Jones in the 1850 & 1855 census. Dorcas Jones died on May 6, 1856 at age 89.

Phebe and Anna, b. July 17, 1801, would live in this home at 17 Abbot St. It appears that Phebe provided for her sister Anna. Phebe’s income may have come from her marriage to Atkinson. She was the first depositor of the Andover National Bank in 1824. Phebe and family were members of South Church. On June 15, 1869 Phebe drew up her will. Her household items were to go to family members. To my sister Anna “my wearing apparel which may suit her, also single bedstead and bedding.” Phebe place the estate in the hands of George H. Poor, her executor. Her estate was to provide for Anna’s care and under no circumstances was she to go to the Alms house. After her death the house would go to the South Church.

Anna Jones died on March 18, 1878. Andover Vital Records state cause of death “unknown” age 75y 9m. A note in the Andover Center of History and Culture states Phebe “killed her sister and fled to Stoneham, MA.” Anna’s death was most likely accidental. No local papers of 1878 have survived. Phebe did move to Stoneham where she died in 1881 of Gastritis. Her occupation listed as Nurse. The Andover Advertiser 4/29/1881 – “Mrs. Phebe J. Atkinson, formerly of the town, died in Stoneham, on the 21st inst., at the age of 81. She resided in Stoneham since the death of her sister, Annie Jones, which occurred about two years ago.” Phebe is interred at South Parish Cemetery.

The South Church did receive the home through probate on May 16, 1881. The Rev. James H. Laird was the minister and trustee; Income from real estate to go to poor and needy female church members; account book of monies is in the Andover Historical Society Archives. [Andover Center of History & Culture]

George Ripley purchased the home from the church on July 3, 1882. Ripley was a prominent Andover citizen who lived at 48 Central Street. A small portion of this property abutted to Ripley’s estate. Ripley used the home for his gardener and chauffeurs. The house remained with the Ripley family until 1945 when it was willed to Samuel J. Cromie, who was the former family chauffeur.

The Cromie family held the property until 1962 when it was acquired by Abbot Academy. With the merger of Abbot and Phillips Academies in 1973 all the properties were transferred to the Trustees of PA. This home was then sold to Brian J. & Cheryl A. Francis on June 12, 1975.

David B. & Jean K. Sand purchased the house on May 31, 1978 and continue as owners of record in 2019.


Essex Country Registry Deeds, Salem
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence
File at AHS
Phoebe Atkinson Account Book - AHS
Andover Advertiser, Obits
Andover Townsman, Obits
Ancestry.com Jones & Atkinson genealogy

Rev. Asa Farwell, wife May A. 1853 – lot
Phebe (Jones) Atkinson – Sept. 20, 1853 – b. 573 leaf 104 - $100 lot
Phebe Atkinson estate, – May 16, 1881 – Probate will
Rev. James H. Laird – Trustee – 1881
George Ripley – July 3, 1882 – b. 68 p. 520 - $1500
Sarah F. Ripley – Feb. 12, 1883 – b. 72 p. 229
Mary E. Ripley – Feb. 12, 1883 – b. 72 p. 230
Mary E. Ripley estate, - d. Dec. 31, 1927 - Alfred L. Ripley heir
Alfred L. Ripley d. Oct. 13, 1943 - estate
Thomas L. Shipman, wife Frances E.
Samuel J. Cromie – Jan. 8, 1945 – b. 670 p. 378
Samuel J. Cromie estate, heirs
Marianna Souter, Gilbert Cromie, Agnes G. Boutwell
Nettie G. Cromie estate, Gilbert J. Cromie, Csvr. – July 8, 1963 – Probate
Trustees of Abbot Academy – July 11, 1963 – b. 990 p. 3
Trustees of Phillips Academy – June 30, 1973 – b.1222 p. 85 (p. 86 P. 5)
Brian J. & Cheryl A. Francis – June 12, 1975 – b. 1261 p. 579
David B. & Jean K. Sand – May 31, 1978 – b. 1339 p. 619
Jean K. Sand 2004 Revocable Trust – Dec. 21, 1978 – b. 9261 p. 276

Inventory Data:

StreetAbbot St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictAcademy Hill NRH District
Historic NamePhoebe Atkinson - Samuel Cromie House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1858
SourceSalem deeds, AH Society
Architectural StyleGreek Revival
Foundationstone & granite
Outbuildings / Secondary Structures2-stall garage - 1950's
Major AlterationsRear addition - 1979; porch - 1950's; porch opened to kitchen - 1994
Acreageless than one acre; 5/8 acre
Map and parcel74-7
MHC NumberANV.1063
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-1977, 6/2014