18-20 River Street

Architectural Description: 

LHD - Other features: double house, attractive stone work

Stone house construction is unique in Andover as there are only nine remaining houses of this construction material. This is the only double house and sports large granite lentil over the front entrances, dividing post and threshold. The windows are replacement windows most likely done during condo conversion in 2010. End gables are wood clapboard. And two rear side entrances as wood construction.

Historical Narrative: 

Original owner: Hiram O. Tuttle, a mason, then brother Nicholas.
Previous owner: Sparks, George & Jeanie (20 Feb 1946)
Present owner: Perry, Judith, Walter & Stella (1987) last before condo conversion 2009.

Themes: Architectural, Community development
Many early deeds on River St. refer to the road from Daniel Poor's house to Andrew Stimpson's dwelling house or the road from Ballard Vale Company to J. L. Websters. River St. was also the Way to Wilmington or the Wilmington Road. River Street was developed in 1844 as Ballardvale Mills required housing for its employees. A few mortgage deeds also call it Water Street.

18-20 River St.
This property was owned by John Marland in the 1840s and the lot sold to Hiram O. Tuttle, wife Harriet, for $100 on September 30, 1847. No mention of a dwelling house or building on the lot. Hiram O. Tuttle was a stone mason and most likely built the home. Hiram Osborne Tuttle was b. Aug. 25, 1815 in Effingham, NH, son of George & Sarah (Guile) Tuttle. Hiram married in Andover on Dec. 6, 1838 to Harriet Newell Hodgon b. 1815 in Ossipee, NH, dau. of Ebenezer & Sally (Wentworth) Hodgon. They had four children in Andover; Ebenezer H. b. 1840, Harriet N. b. 1844, Hiram C. b. 1846 and Louis b. 1847-d. 1849.

On Dec. 29, 1849 Hiram Tuttle takes a mortgage of $2000 from Jeremiah Dearborn of Exeter, NH. The deed includes other parcels, but it is the 3rd parcel “with stone house and wood shed, one half in possession of Mrs. Bailey and one half by John Consentino, both tenants” that reveals the double stone house. The May 1848 Franklin Darracott map of “Plan of the Village of Ballard Vale Co. & house lots belonging to the Ballard Vale Machine Shop Co.” also sites this house on the map.

The 1850 Valuation Schedule lists Hiram O. Tuttle; Dwell. House $1300. The loan is paid and Hiram sells the property to Abijah Dearborn, wife Elizabeth, on Oct. 21, 1850. Dearborn is also a mason.

Abijah sells to Nicholas Tuttle of Georgetown, MA, a mason who paid $700 on Aug. 6, 1851. Nicholas is the brother of Hiram. Nicholas married on Nov. 2, 1837 in Topsfield, MA to Hannah Wood Averill b. 1819 in Topsfield. They lived in the North Parish of Andover prior to this property. They had six children; Anna b. 1838, Francis b. 1840, Leverett S. b. 1842 - d. 1844, George H. b. 1844, Emma J. b. 1846, and Margaret W. b. 1848. In 1860 they are in North Andover. Nicholas enlisted on Sept. 13, 1862 and served as a Private in Co. B, 50th Mass. Volunteers age 45. Nicholas died in Louisiana in April 1863. Tuttle had owned for 12 years when his widow Hannah, and family sold to William P. Pierce of Boston, on October 19, 1863.
Alfred Poore writes of occupants here 1863: James Riley and Sarah and Patrick Slaven and Margaret Slaven; also Michael McGovern and James Caffrey - workers at Ballardvale Mills.
Pierce was President of the Whipple File Co., which had purchased the Ballard Vale Machine Shop on June 16, 1859. The named changed to Whipple File and Steel Manufacturing Co. which later went bankrupt in 1867. The holdings were assigned to Edward Page, John Beale, Thomas J. Horner and Thornton Lathrop and the holdings were then sold off.

Stephen Blaney of Peabody, MA purchased several parcels including this home on May 7, 1870. Blaney held the income property for 14 years renting the apartments to operatives in the mills. James Dearborn purchased the home in May 1884 and owned for five years. James & Alice Coates were the next owners from Dec. 11, 1889 to March 11, 1895.

Sleigh Rowland bought from Coates and remained in the family for 25 years. Sleigh was born Sept. 10, 1823 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. He immigrated to America in 1843 to NY, later settled in Buckland, MA prior to coming to Andover. Sleigh’s occupation is listed as Table Cutter. He was married four times. He had a son Joseph F. b. 1847 from his first union and six children with 2nd wife Susannah Whitaker b. 1823 in England. Children: William b. 1855 – d. 1855, Martha b. 1856, Sleigh Jr. b. 1857, Mary Elizabeth b. 1859, Lizzie, b. 1862 – d. 1862 and George E. b. 1863. Wife Susannah died Feb. 6, 1864 in Greenfield, MA. Sleigh then married Hannah Davis b. 1825 and moved to Andover. They are listed in the 1870 census. Hannah died June 25, 1878 in Andover. He married on May 12, 1887 to 4th wife Ellen (Fairburn) Ibbetson b. abt. 1830, dau. of George & Elizabeth (Ripley) Fairburn. In 1900 census Sleigh, now a Watchman, is a widower again, living on Chester St. Sleigh died on Dec. 26, 1916.

The stone house went to his daughter Mary Elizabeth Rowland b. October 4, 1859 in Buckland, MA and died in 1920 in Andover. The property was sold to George N. Sparks on Sept. 27, 1920. George Napier Sparks was b. May 12, 1889 in Andover son of William & Betzy (Napier) Sparks. George married on May 14, 1909 to Jeanie Manzie Bailey Mackenzie, b. 1888 in Scotland, dau. of Farquhar F. & Annie (Bailey) Mackenzie. They a one son James Sparks b. Feb. 24, 1912. George worked as a grocery clerk for Poor & Riley in Ballardvale in 1917 and later for Tyer Rubber Co. George died in April 1972 and his son James inherited the property which remained with the family until 1984. James and wife Mildred lived in #18.

Judith M. Perry and Joseph J. Nicolosi purchased the property on Apr. 5, 1984 and the following year to
Judith M. Perry, Stella C. Perry, Walter L. Perry on Nov. 25, 1985. Judith M. Perry, her brother Walter Perry of Alexandria VA. and his wife Stella C. Perry also of Alexandria, VA.
Anthony J. Rotsart purchased the double stone house on June 17, 2009 and converted it to condominiums under the name 18 – 20 River Street Condominiums on May 11, 2010.

Recent research has found that the Eaton Green house was the home at 22 River St. and not this stone double house on the building marker.
1999 building marker reflects Eaton Green circa 1843.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Poore, Alfred: “Historical - Genealogical Visitation of Andover, Mass in the Year 1863" Essex Institute Historical Collection vol. 48 - 49
Ancestry.com - Tuttle, Rowland and Sparks family histories.

John Marland - 1843 land
Hiram O. Tuttle, wife Harriet N – Sept.30, 1847 – b.388 leaf 229 - $100 for lot
Jeremiah Dearborn – Dec. 29, 1849 – b. 421 leaf 250 – mtg. loan
Abijah Dearborn, wife Elizabeth B, Oct. 21, 1850 – b. 438 leaf 68
Nicholas Tuttle – Aug. 6, 1851 – b. 449 leaf 243 - $700
Nichilas Tuttle estate, heirs, wid. Hannah W. Tuttle, Anna M. Weil, Sarah F. Chase, George H. Tuttle, Margaret W. Tuttle.
William P. Peirce – Oct. 19, 1863 – b. 657 leaf 204 - $700
Whipple File Manufacturing Co. – Mar. 20, 1866 – b. 699 leaf 203
Whipple File Manufacturing Co. assignee's; Edward Page, John Beale, Thomas J. Horner, Thornton Lathrop - 1867
Stephen Blaney – May 7, 1870 – b. 6 p. 236 –( 4th parcel, p. 237)
James E. Dearborn – May 10, 1884 – b. 76 p. 216 - $750
James Coates, wife Alice – Dec. 11, 1889 – b. 105 p. 367
Sleigh Rowland – March 11, 1895 – b. 138 p. 351
Sleigh Rowland estate, Mary E. Rowland heir
Mary E. Rowland estate, Eldon E. Fleury, Extr. – Sept. 27, 1920 Probate
George N. Sparks – Sept. 27, 1920 – b. 431 p. 523
George N. & Jeanie M. Sparks – Feb. 19, 1946 – b. 681 p. 173
George N. Sparks estate, heir James Kenneth Sparks Sr.- April 1972 - Probate
James K. Sparks Sr., Thelma Clementi, Beverly Fiorenza - Aug. 3, 1979 – b. 1382 p. 40
Mildred F. Sparks life Estate, Thelma Clementi, Beverly (Fiorenza) Sparks – Dec. 19, 1980 - b. 1477 p. 48
Joseph M. & Thelma J. Clementi – June 7, 1983 – b. 1682 p. 18
Judith M. Perry & Joseph J. Nicolosi – Apr. 5, 1984 – b. 1793 p. 281
Judith M. Perry, Stella C. Perry, Walter L. Perry – Nov. 25, 1985 – b. 2089 p. 167
Anthony J. Rotsart – June 17, 2009 – b. 11773 p. 350
18-20 River St. Condominium, Anthony J. Rotsart - May 11, 2010 – b. 12033 p. 201
Unit 2 #20
Cynthia M. Stack – May 11, 2010 – b. 12054 p. 29
Cynthia M. Stack Life Estate – Aug. 21, 2012 – b. 13079 p. 183
Ruthy A. Olney – July 13, 2017 – b. 15151 p. 33
Ruthy A. Olney Living Trust – Aug. 6, 2018 – b. 15576 p. 119
Unit 1 #18
Matthew Olsen – Aug. 25, 2011 – b. 12592 p. 118
Kristopher D. Cui & Gillian R. Baresich - Aug. 30, 2018 – b. 15601 p. 335 – Unit 1 - #18

Inventory Data:

StreetRiver St
Historic DistrictBallardvale Local Historic District
Historic DistrictBallardvale National Register District
Historic NameBallardvale Mills Worker Housing
Present Useresidences - 2 family condos
Original Useresidence - 2 family
Construction Date1848
SourceECRDS, ENRDL, style-njs,
Architectural StyleGreek Revival
Architect/BuilderHiram O. Tuttle / builder
Foundationstone & granite
Roofasphalt - gable
Major Alterations20 River Street side, summer kitchen rebuilt Garage razed (1976)
Acreage1/8 acre; lot size 8,905 sq. ft.; approx. frontage: 110'
SettingCottage style setting, stone house surrounded by trees
Map and parcel139-61
Recorded byJudy Perry; N. J. Stack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975 - 1977, May 3, 2019