174 - 176 North Main Street

Architectural Description: 

Two family duplex - wood clapboard siding. This is the only house of the four duplexes that maintains its original exterion look as built. The home is well cared for.

Historical Narrative: 

166 North Main Street –
These four duplex apartment houses were built by the M. T. Stevens & Co. about 1916 on the former north lawn of the Nathan Frye estate. The property was once owned by Abraham Marland from 1828-1849 and after his death Nathan Frye succeeded Marland as the company president from 1849 - 1879.

Abraham Marland established a cotton mill in 1807 on the Shawsheen River at Abbott Village, which continued until 1811 when he began production of woolen goods. In 1821 “Marland leased from Peter C. Brooks of Boston a mill privilege on the Shawsheen, together with new buildings erected on the site of what had been a powder mill. This is now known as Marland Village. The buildings, which were leased for a term of twenty years, comprised a brick mill, the oldest of the present buildings at Atria Marland Place, and a row of brick tenement houses.” Abraham Marland built his homestead estate at 29-33 Shawsheen Rd.

In 1828 Marland bought the entire property which included the mill privilege, old paper and grist mills, and thirty acres of Land. In 1834 the business was organized under the name Marland Manufacturing Company. Abraham Marland was the president until his death on Feb. 20, 1849.

Nathan Frye was born in Andover and at age 14 entered the employment of Marland Manufacturing Co. He worked his way up to Superintendent of the mill and was elected president in 1849. The company sold Nathan ten acres land on the hill overlooking the mill pond and factory on December 31, 1852. The lot went from the Shawsheen River and mill pond, along Stevens St. to North Main St. and south to Railroad Street including the site of the Andover Commons, (former Tyer Rubber Co.) to the Free Church land and back along the ridge behind Bakers Lane and back down to the river. Nathan may have built the house (#166 No. Main St.) on the property prior to owning the land as his house and buildings are assessed 1850 at $4000. Through the years his entire family lived with them in the mansion house.

Nathan Frye married on Apr. 4, 1833 to Amanda Gleason, born Oct. 14, 1807, dau. of Jonathan & Sarah Gleason. They had two sons, Charles Horatio b. June 25, 1835 and William b. Feb. 12, 1840. Nathan built the house 1852-1853 and continued as president “for nearly thirty years, maintaining a name for probity and energy.”

The company defaulted on an 1873 loan from the Andover Savings Bank and the mill was sold at auction to Moses T. Stevens of North Andover in 1879. Sarah Loring Bailey notes, “In the recent financial crisis of the country, this manufacturing company became embarrassed, and, in July 1879, the mills, machinery, and all the property were sold to Mr. Moses T Stevens,”

Stevens began improvements at the Marland mill and in 1884 relocated the road, building a causeway across the mill pond, a new bridge, and additional operative housing on North Main Street and Stevens Street. As the 1913 Andover directory does not list any residents living at the addresses 170 – 184 North Main St. and with a downturn in the market in 1914, we currently give a date of construction circa 1916 for the four duplexes.

In 1896 the Marland Mill operation, now M. T. Stevens & Sons, Co., employed 200 operatives and manufactured 875,000 lbs. of wool yearly. The company later became known as J. P. Stevens & Co. Inc. after World War II.

In 1953 the J. P. Stevens Co. began to divest itself of all its housing stock in Marland Village which was then subdivided into separate parcels and sold to public residents. Approval of the subdivision plans #2619 and #2020 by the Andover Board of Appeals occurred in Nov. 1952 and plan #3356 in Oct. 1955. Many of the 62 homes were occupied by employees of the mill and it appears as if the Steven’s Co. may have given them “first right of refusal” as many homes were purchased by those who had been renting.

Ethel T. & Owen C. Staples purchased the property on Nov. 1, 1956. In 1943 Owen & Ethel Staples were living in unit 176. Owen was a foreman at Marland Mill. In #174 were Robert F. & Nina C. Souter. Robert was an Overseer at the mill. After the death of Owen widow Ethel, born 1890, continued to live here. Ethel T. Staples estate went to heirs, Barbara Oliver Carleton and Ethel Crockett Oliver. They sold to Ellsworth P. & Andrea J. Long on June 1, 1968.

The Longs owned for six years then selling to Richard T. & Pamela F. Finnerty on May 30, 1974. The Finnerty family had been already been renting the former Staple unit #176. They continue to remain as owner occupied home in 2014.


1926 atlas M.T. Stevens & Co.
1920 tax list - house 2 family #174 & 176, value $5,000
1926 dir. - Mildred and Fred J. Tapley, dyer
1923 Helen and Samuel Stubbs, dyer
1920 directory - Stubbs, dyer

Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Advertiser AA
Historical Sketches of Andover, S. Bailey 1880
Business History of Andover, 1896 Anniversary Souvenir.
Andover Historical Society files.
Andover Valuation and directories

Peter C. Brooks
Abraham Marland – 1828 - Feb. 20, 1849
Marland Manufacturing Co., Abraham Marland Pres., - 1834 – Feb. 20, 1849
Marland Manufacturing Co., Nathan Frye, Pres. Feb. 1849 - July 19, 1879
Nathan Frye – Dec. 31, 1852 – b. 471 leaf 223 Salem deed – Homestead lot
Nathan Frye – July 30, 1880 – b. 60 p. 540 – Andover Savings Bank mtg. discharge
Moses T. Stevens – Feb. 6, 1882 – b. 67 p. 540 – mtg. deed
Nathaniel Stevens – b. 88 p. 150 mtg. deed assigned
Moses T. Stevens Co. July 19, 1879 – b. 56 p. 482 - Mill complex and housing
Nathan Frye Estate, Amanda, Charles H. and William Frye – Oct. 15, 1886 – b. 88 p. 148
Nathaniel Stevens – Oct. 15, 1886 – b. 88 p. 149
M. T. Stevens & Sons Co. – Dec.17, 1912 – b. 325 p. 568
J. P. Stevens & Co. Inc. – after 1946
Ethel T. & Owen C. Staples - Nov. 1, 1956 - b. 844 p. 324
Ethel T. Staples estate, Probate #291521
Heirs, Barbara Oliver Carleton, Ethel Crockett Oliver -
Ellsworth P. & Andrea J. Long - June 1, 1968 - b. 1110 p. 48
Richard T. & Pamela F. Finnerty - May 30, 1974 - b. 1241 p. 689
Pamela F. Finnerty - Nov. 24, 1980 - b. 1471 p. 1

Inventory Data:

StreetNorth Main St
PlaceMarland Village
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameFinnerty House
Present Useresidences - 2 family
Original Useresidence - mill housing
Construction Datecirca 1916
Architectural StyleOther
Architect/BuilderM. T. Sevens Co.
Acreage0.093 acres
Map and parcel54-8
Recorded byRichard Finnerty, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredJuly 1992, 8/2014