19 Argyle Street

Architectural Description: 

Proportions peculiar.
Window placement suggests early 19th century, but house is very tall and details are Federal or later.

Historical Narrative: 

Themes: architectural, community development.

Moved twice;
Originally built at #323 North Main Street, owned and occupied by Alexander and Elizabeth Mura, from 1908 - 1918, listed in 1918-19 directory. The house was sited across from the "Wood Park" about in the middle of the parking lot today.
1919 moved to corner of Burnham Road & Oxford (Balmoral St., where Balmoral condominiums are in 2007).
Then in May 1922, moved to 19 Argyle Street.
See MSs 69.6 II E-1 n.d. lists Mura at #19.

Refurbished by Lawrence architect James E. Allen in the Colonial Revival style in 1922.

This home was owned by the Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co. and leased as a family tenement for employees of the company. The house was built on the east side of North Main Street at #323 across from the current Wood Park. An early deed states the Downing house on the lot. When Smith & Dove relocated to Abbott Village by 1892 (Dundee Park) they began to sell off their properties in Frye Village. All seven homes on the "Park" location were sold to George H. Carlisle of Lawrence on May 3, 1907. Carlisle also bought the Mura House lot with 3.557 acres along the Shawsheen River.

Carlisle then surveyed the properties and divided them up into single lots. This home was then sold to Alexander Mura on Sept. 25, 1908. Mura later sold off a parcel of land to William M. Wood in Jan. 1910 and then the house and lot on Nov. 27, 1918.

This home was saved and became part of the Shawsheen Village development 1918 – 1924 by William M. Wood, President of the American Woolen Company. Wood hired about eight different architects to design the homes and structures for the village. Homes were sold or rented through the Homestead Association who had offices in the Post Office building on the corner of North Main & Poor Streets.

Their must have been an agreement between Mura & Wood as the Mura family followed their home when moved to two different sites. The first was to the corner of Burnham Rd. & Oxford St. (Balmoral St.) in the lot now occupied by the former American Woolen Co. Administration building parking lot. It was there for about two years then moved again to 19 Argyle St. The 1923 directories find Mura here again.
Alexander Mura was b. Feb. 22, 1872 in Prussia (Germany) and immigrated to America in 1890. He married in 1898 to Elizabeth G. born June 1871, also in Prussia. Mura came to Lawrence and worked as a wool sorter in the Washington Mills. By 1908 they had moved to Andover living at 58 Haverhill St. Alex & Elizabeth had three children; Raymond Wm. Rheinhold b. June 12, 1900, Agnes b. 1902 and Genevieve b. 1904.

After the death of William M. Wood in Feb. 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, which had been deeded the property in December 1920. The A.W.Co. Board of Directors authorized its President, Lionel J. Noah, to deliver all deeds, as deemed necessary to the Textile Realty 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 rent the properties. With the Great Depression sales were sluggish and many homes were rented until the economy rebounded.

The first occupants of record to lease the home were the Mura family but in 1926 Charles P. & Theresi M. McCarthy reside in the home. Charles lists his occupation as a boiler maker.

This house was sold to Gerald O. & Esther L. Pelletier on May 23, 1944. Pelletier owned for ten years then sold to Bruce S. & Rosalie V. E. Dodd on Mar. 12, 1954. Sadly Bruce Dodd contracted Polio and Rosalie "Lee" Dodd became a local Realtor. She had a successful career and was highly respected in the community.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Maps, 1852, 1872, 1888, 1906, 1926
Andover Street Directories
Mills, Mergers and Mansions, by Edward Roddy 1982
See Map plans
#12 Sept. 24, 1908 Plan of land of Geo. H. Carlisle.
#704 - American Woolen Company - Sept. 1927
#878 - June 1932 - Textile Realty Company - lot 41

Owners; At 323 No. Main St.;
Downing -
Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co. - July 30, 1891 - b. 265 p. 407
George H. Carlisle - May 3, 1907 - b. 250 p. 545
Alexander Mura - Sept. 25, 1908 - b. 114 p. 34
William M. Wood - Jan. 3, 1910 - b. 283 p. 302
William M. Wood - Nov. 27, 1918 - b. 393 p. 223 - from Mura

Owners; At Balmoral & 19 Argyle Streets.
American Woolen Company - Dec. 30, 1920 - b. 435 p. 215
Textile Realty Company - Dec. 30, 1931 - b. 563 p. 351
Andover Shawsheen Realty Co. - June. 30, 1932 - b. 565 p. 87 - parcel 15th
Gerald O. & Esther L. Pelletier - May 23, 1944 - b. 664 p. 143
Bruce S. & Rosalie V. E. Dodd - Mar. 12, 1954 - b. 788 p. 470
Charles A. & Marcelle E. Farrington - May 27, 1960 - b. 915 p. 381
A. Donald & Jane Brickman - Apr. 15, 1975 - b. 1258 p. 320
John & RoAnne (Fitzgerald) D'Ambrosio - Oct. 19, 1983 - b. 1613 p. 212
Robert A. & Christine E. Bobek - Apr. 23, 1993 - b. 3710 p. 42
Donald H. & Sarah Walsh - Aug. 15, 2005 - b. 9703 p. 45

Inventory Data:

StreetArgyle St
PlaceShawsheen Village - Frye Village
Historic DistrictShawsheen Village NRH District
Historic NameDowning - Mura House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1820 - 1830
SourceERDS, ENRDL, assessers' rec./style-njs
Architectural StyleFederal
Roofasphalt - gable
Major Alterations1920's
Move Details1919 and 1922
Acreage0.145 acre - 6,311 sq. ft.; approx. frontage 70'; approx. distance from street 50'
Map and parcel36-53
MHC NumberANV.52
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, 7/8/2015