2 Abbott Bridge Rd

Architectural Description: 

First Period home

3 fireplaces; original 20" floorboards SW parlor
Southwest parlor has 20" wide floor boards which are original. Fireplace has been rebuilt. There are wooden pegs on the walls, and a tulip-latch doorway. Present owner renovated in 1965.

Historical Narrative: 

Ballard Foster House

1987 - nominated to NRHP under a thematic nomination of First Period houses, Andover; accepted to NRHP; building marker 1993

Owner 1975-77: Foster, William & Margaret (since 10-29-62)
Original owner: William Ballard

Used as a boy's school 1796-1815 - Master Foster's School for Boys
Themes: agricultural, architectural, community development, education
This house is made up of three parts, of different periods and ownership.

William Ballard owned house on this site in 1635, although oldest part of present structure dates from ca. 1660. First period architecture - 2 rooms and loft, chimney on outside/west side; later 4 small rooms - 2 upstairs, 2 downstairs added north end.

In 1696, William Foster purchased westerly end of south part of house from William & Eleanor Phelps Chandler - house then on Reservation Rd. 1750, moved across Shawsheen on causeway (No railroad bridge then) and attached to William Ballard House here. Thus, original house enlarged 1750. Two large rooms and loft brought from old Foster home (latter Shattuck Farm) - chimney enlarged.

For 22 years, William Foster Jr. kept school for boys not wishing Phillips Academy's classical course or to qualify boys to enter P.A. 25 boys lived here. Students' names have been scratched on some of the windows. House has chimney 14 feet square. In 1800, north end added to house for more dormitory and classroom space; 6 rooms and loft plus 2 small rooms on west (one is present kitchen) and 4 large square rooms.William Foster was secretary of Friendly Fire Society, 1829, and his initialed, personalized fire bucket is still to be seen.

LATER: 1) Homer Foster's farmhouse. 2) then owned by Francis Foster, assessor's rec. 1951. 3) William Phillips Foster and John Franklin Foster, owners.


Abbot, Charlotte H; "A Ballard Estate" #76:81, Feb. 11, 1898
Bailey, Sarah Loring; Historical Sketches of Andover, 1880, p. 101-102, 542
Goldsmith, Bessie; Historic Houses of Andover, 1946
Andover Historical Society files
Foster, Irene F.; "The Foster Homestead" - speech to Women's Union of West Parish Church, Oct. 1963
Carpenter, C.C.; Scrapbooks, 1887-1915 (p. 114) from Andover Townsman, Aug. 31, 1906
Fuess, Claude; An Old New England School - History of Phillips Academy, p. 117

Inventory Data:

StreetAbbott Bridge Rd
PlaceAndover Center District
Historic DistrictAndover Historic Building Survey
Historic NameBallard Foster House
Present Useresidence - two family
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1660, 1750
Architectural StyleFirst Period
Foundationstone & granite
Outbuildings / Secondary Structures2 good barns; one is large, shingled - octagonal cupola & weather vane garage
Major AlterationsEnlarged 1750 - 1800, Central chimney renovated 1965 Address changed from 96 Central St. to 2 Abbot Bridge Road in 1999 when the property was subdivided to allow two additional house lots on Central Street.
Move Detailsone portion of the house moved in 1750 from Reservation Rd.
Map and parcel75-17
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, updated 3/2014