The Boston & Maine Rail Road Corporation bought the Andover - Wilmington Railroad line (1837-1847) that originally connected Andover to the Lowell rail line. This line was originally located east of the present day tracks and came across River St., the South School playground crossing Andover Street just west of Woburn St. The former railroad bed is now the road into the Andover Recreation Park which continued through the current day Spring Grove Cemetery and down the south side of Abbot St. The Andover Depot was behind the current Memorial Hall Library in a building which later became the Colonial Theater, then the Andover Playhouse movie theater and the 1960s' the Andover Haven.
The railroad tracks were re-located in 1847 to the current day location to service the Ballard Vale Mills, Andover Center and then on to the new city of Lawrence founded in 1845. The line then reconnected to the former Andover - Haverhill line at Sutton St. in North Andover, MA. The depots were built after the trains started running and most were first made of wood construction.
The Ballardvale Depot was built in the Italianate style with very deep eave overhangs to keep passengers and freight dry on inclement days. The bay window was the ticket window and station agent's view of in coming trains. The depot held the Post Office, telegraph and telephone clerks and baggage storage. A Hall was located on the second floor and used by various clubs and organizations as a meeting place for lectures, Punch & Judy shows, stereoscopion lectures etc. Meetings of the Good Templars and other activities were also held in the hall. The Hall was also used by the Methodists and later the Catholic services until building their own houses of worship. When other venues were made available such as the schoolhouse hall and Bradlee Hall the depot use tapered off.
June 23, 1882 Andover Advertiser pg. 3 - "The B & M. Railroad Co. are greatly improving the depot at Ballardvale. The long station is to be cut in two parts. One half is to be placed on a new cellar in the northwest corner of the premises of the company and fitted up as a residence for the station agent. The other half will be moved back a rod or two from the track and used for a passenger station. A freight depot is to be built on the opposite side of the track."
The home at 174-176 Andover St. was originally one half of Ballardvale's second railroad station.
Two spur lines ran off at this location to the Ballard Vale Machine Shop building, later Whipple File and Steel Manufacturing Co. and then Craighead & Kintz. The second line crossed over and down Dale St. to service the Ballardvale Mills warehouses and fuel coal pockets.
Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Historical Society files
Town of Andover Assessment summary
2 Newspaper Articles enclosed in binder
Boston & Maine Railroad - 1848 - 1961
|Historic District||Ballardvale Local Historic District|
|Historic District||Ballardvale National Register District|
|Historic Name||Ballardvale Train Depot|
|Present Use||apartment building|
|Original Use||Train Depot|
|Construction Date||1848 - 1850|
|Source||ECRDS, ENRDL, style-njs|
|Architect/Builder||Boston & Maine Railroad|
|Roof||asphalt - gable|
|Outbuildings / Secondary Structures||accessory building, a baggage storage building|
|Demolition Details||June 1951|
|Map and parcel||138-7|
|Recorded by||James S. Batchelder|
|Organization||Andover Preservation Commission|
|Date entered||Nov. 14, 2016|