17 Fletcher Street
Site of History 🛈The Site of History tag is given to properties that were lost before this building survey was undertaken.

Architectural Description: 

The single family home formerly on this site was similar to other houses on the street where period images have been posted. The house was wood clapboard, with a screen porch attached to the right side of the house. Also included a garage and the lot extended up to Union Street with the addition of a second parcel lot.

Historical Narrative: 

Fletcher Street was originally built with 14 homes, 10 were single family residences and 4 were double houses. With the construction of Route 495 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts took every property by eminent domain on Dec. 29, 1960. Five homes on Binney St. were also lost. By 1963 Fletcher Street no longer existed. Some homes were moved to new locations but the majority was demolished.

One of the goals of the Andover Preservation Commission is to identify historic places and sites. We re-list Fletcher St. as it was once a historic part of the Shawsheen Village development. We also honor the families that made their homes on Fletcher St. and their contribution to the community.
The homes were built as part of the Shawsheen Village development from 1918-1924 by William M. Wood, President of the American Woolen Company. With the construction of the Shawsheen Mill housing was necessary for operatives employed in the mill. Wood hired about eight different architects to design the homes and structures for the village. Homes were leased through the Homestead Association with offices in the Post Office building in Shawsheen Square, then later moved into the Administration Building.

Each home incorporated a different look, style and design modifications, most noticeable with the front door entrances. Decorative details on the corner boards and a variety of ornamental trellises, window boxes all added the “icing on the cake, of the original designs. Mr. Wood also incorporated two family duplexes in every section of the new Village.

The properties came with deed restrictions. No stores, factories, or other buildings of any business nature shall be erected.. only professional, doctor, dentist or other professional occupations,…No shed, hen houses or out buildings, except a one or two stall garage, which shall have a pitched roof and be of the same general architectural pattern & material, and of the same color, as the building on said premises,…have a cement, macadam, asphalt or crushed stone driveway. No single house erected less than$3500 and no double houses less than $5000. All buildings shall be kept painted white, buff or gray, all with the same setback from the street.

After the death of William M. Wood on Feb. 2, 1926 most of the residential and commercial buildings were then sold. Some were held by the Wood family in the "Arden Trust" and others with the American Woolen Company. The AWCo. Board of Directors authorized its President, Lionel J. Noah, to deliver all deeds, as deemed necessary to the Textile Realty Co. for sale on Dec. 29, 1931.
The Textile Realty then transferred ownership to the Andover Shawsheen Realty Company on June 30, 1932, holding the mortgage on the properties. T. Edwin Andrew, treasurer, was authorized to sell or lease the properties. With the Great Depression sales were sluggish and many homes were rented until the economy rebounded.
17 Fletcher Street Daniel & Edith Richard House – Parcel 9-69 – 9000 sq. ft. Lot #7
One of the first occupants of record to lease in the home on April 1, 1924 was Edward & Margaret Fritchy. Edward is listed as 38, a Mule fixer, AWCo. Edward was born April 19, 1887 in Mulhouse, Elsace, France/Germany, son of Edward & Henrietta (Lalleman) Fritchy. He came to the USA via NYC on May 5, 1903 on the La Aquitaine. Edward first settled in Newton, MA where he met and married Margaret Frances Murphy, b. 1895 in Charlestown, MA dau. of Thomas F. & Mary A. (Hayes) Murphy. They relocated to Lawrence, MA. Edward & Mary had 16 children; Mary H. b. 1914, Catherine H. b. 1916, John E. b. 1917, Joseph A. b. 1919, Agnes R. b. 1921, all in Newton, Albert b. 1923, Charles b. 1924, Margaret b. 1926, Emil b. 1927-.d.1929, Marie b. 1929, Anthony b. 1931, Theresa b. 1932, Bridget b. 1933, Michael b. 1935, Christen b. 1936 and Thomas b. 1938. They moved to 18 Jamacia St. in Lawrence in 1937.

The house was sold to Daniel & Edith Richard on July 10, 1937. Daniel was a steam fitter, at a paper mill in Lawrence. Daniel was born on Nov. 15, 1882 in Richibucto, Kent Co. Canada, son of Luke and Jane (White) Richard. The family immigrated to Millinocket, Maine, and worked as a plumber for a paper mill. Here he met Mary Edith (Ada) Lavasseur b. 1891 Jan. 22, 1891 in St. Frances, New Brunswick, Canada, dau. of Richard & Maud (Nadeau) Lavasseur. Her mother immigrated to Maine in 1894 and ran a boarding house. Daniel & Edith, her preferred name, married in June 21, 1909 in Millinocket. Daniel was a sawyer at the paper mill.
They had four children; Irene Gertrude b. 4/20/191, Melvin R. b. 9/6/1915 both in Millinocket, Yvette b. 2/28/1919 in Lawrence and Annette b. 1/8/1933 in Andover. Daniel would become a plumber/steamfitter and worked for mills in Lawrence. The deed was transferred to son Melvin R. on Sept. 20, 1941. The deed was then placed with Melvin and Irene M. Richard on April 29, 1949. The Richard family owned the property for 23 years before the property was taken by eminent domain by the State for construction of I-495 in 1960.


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
See Map plan #876 – June 1932 – Textile Realty Co.
Map #1050 – March 1937 – amended map #876 for narrowing street.
Plan 4205 - Comm. of Mass. lot 9-75
Plan 5056 - Comm. of Mass - Layout of order of taking
Ephraim Everson parcel 1 & Solomon Flagg parcel 2
William C. Donald - March 3, 1855 - b. 567 leaf 246 - parcel 1 Salem deed
William C. Donald - Jan. 15, 1861 - b. 623 leaf 128 - parcel 2 Salem deed
William C Donald estate, Gordon Donald, TR - 9.86 acres
Henry P. Binney - Apr. 24, 1919 - b. 398 p. 52 - 9.86 acres
American Woolen Company - Dec. 30, 1920 - b. 435 p. 215
Textile Realty Company - Dec. 30, 1931 - b. 563 p. 229
Andover Shawsheen Realty Co. - Oct. 30, 1937 - b. 565 p. 87
Daniel & Edith Richard – July 10, 1937 – b.609 p. 9
Daniel & Edith Richard – Oct. 7, 1939 – b. 626 p. 35 release deed

Inventory Data:

StreetFletcher St
PlaceShawsheen Village
Historic DistrictShawsheen Village NRH District
Historic NameDaniel & Edith Richard House
Present UseHighway Route 495
Original Useresidence - mill housing
Construction Date1923
Architectural StyleColonial Revival
Foundationstone, granite
ConditionRazed 1962
Demolition Details1962
Acreage3.83 acres
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredApril 8, 2023