2 Gradall Lane

Architectural Description: 

Metal utility buildings for equipment and automotive storage and repairs

Historical Narrative: 

This property was once owned by the Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co. who purchased the defunct Abbott Mills south of Essex Street in 1843.

As early as 1682 this area of Andover was being offered by the Town Proprietors as a “Mill privilege on the Shawshin, near Roger’s brook” to any inhabitant willing to build a saw mill. In 1753 one half of a saw mill was sold by Humphrey Holt to Asa Abbot and then in 1764 to Nathan Abbot.

Abbott Village was established early in the 1800's with the more than adequate source of water to power the mills. Abraham Marland built his first mill building north of the Essex St. bridge in 1806. He later moved the mill operation down river to the Marland Village location. Abel & Paschal Abbott moved their wool mill operation here from the North Parish about 1815. Abiel Russell was their first foreman and Daniel Saunders leased a portion from 1817-1825. James Howarth established a wool mill 1824-1847, building the stone mill on the east side of the river. The Abbot brothers had a successful business until about 1838 when the market took a down turn. Creditors sold the Abbot Mill buildings to Smith & Dove Co. in 1843.

Smith & Dove Co. produced linen thread and was established in Frye Village (Shawsheen Village) in 1835. The company founders John Smith, Peter Smith and John Dove were all Scottish immigrants from Brechin in County Angus. The company continued operations in both Frye and Abbott Villages gradually relocating all production up river to this location. In 1865 they became the Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co. producing linen thread for shoe laces, carpets and sail cloth. Later operations included broad cloth. Smith & Dove claimed to be the first linen production manufacturer in the United States. The company continued to expand operations through the years and by 1894 had completely abandoned the former plants in Frye Village. A new Main Mill plant opened in 1894 in Abbott Village and improvements continued well into the first decade of the 20th century.

The Smiths and Dove families were active in community affairs, contributors to educational institutions and helped establish Memorial Hall Library. They were all abolitionists, with John Smith and John Dove charter members of the Free Christian Church, which John Smith established. It would be the second generation of the Smith & Dove families that expanded the Abbott Village mill buildings to meet the needs of the 20th century. Worker housing, a village hall, recreational facilities and a pension fund were all established to help their operatives.

In 1927 the Smith & Dove Co. was sold to the Trustees of the Ludlow Manufacturing Associates of Ludlow, MA. The housing real estate was placed in the Smith & Dove Tenements, Inc. that year, changing the name to Andover Homes, Inc. that then sold off the housing stock to private hands. The company operations were moved to Ludlow, MA and the mill closed in 1928.

The Indian Ridge Co.,Inc. acquired the mill properties and some of the housing stock. Through the company treasurer Virgil D. Harrington the mill buildings were then parceled off sold to private investors.

John S. & Jessie C. Monroe Sr. purchased this parcel of land on May 6, 1927 from Smith & Dove Tenements, Inc. Monroe owned the property for 22 years before selling to George W. & Dorothy M. Piercy in Aug. 1949. Peircy used the lot for many years as the location for their school bus parking area for Piercy Transportation. Piercy sold in April 1964 to James J. Devine, Inc. a local construction contractor. Jim Devine used the site for his construction company operations and equipment storage. Many of his excavators were yellow Gradalls. The right-of-way to the property received the name Gradall Lane from Devine's business.

The property has been leased to several business through the years since Devine ceased operations at this location. The Devine family continue to own the property which was pieced together from other smaller parcels.

Ferris Tree Service of Andover currently operates their business operations from this site.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co. 75th Anniversary 1910
Andover"s Industrial Souvenir 1896 - A History of local businesses
See map plans - #682 Smith & Dove 1927 lot #28, plan #2054 lot A, plan #5149 - Bakers Ln. 1964

Owners; Parcel #28
Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co. 1843 – 1927
Smith & Dove Tenements, Inc. – Feb. 21, 1927 – b. 529 p. 583
John S. & Jessie C. Monroe Sr. - May 6, 1927 - b. 531 p. 393
George W. & Dorothy M. Piercy - Aug. 8, 1949 - b. 725 p. 444
James J. Devine, Inc. - April 10, 1964 - b. 1007 p. 39
James J. & Teresa P. Devine - Oct. 1, 1975 - b. 1273 p. 184
James J. Devine - Oct. 28, 1988 - b. 1743 p. 150-151
James J. & Joyce J. Devine - July 27, 1989 - b. 2970 p. 153
Joyce J. Devine Revocable Trust - June 12, 1991 - b. 3268 p. 1

Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co. 1843 – 1927
Smith & Dove Tenements, Inc. – Feb. 21, 1927 – b. 529 p. 583
Andover Homes, Inc. Virgil Harrington - June 7, 1932 - b. 564 p. 546
Indian Ridge Co. - Nov. 15, 1932 - b. 567 p. 266
Charles K. Holland - Aug. 29, 1957 - b. 860 p. 480 - 2nd parcel
George B. Weshaver, Inc., Dec. 18, 1959 - b. 907 p. 302 - 2nd parcel
James J. Devine - Nov. 9, 1964 - b. 1022 p. 363 - parcel #31 - map #5149

Inventory Data:

StreetGradall LN
PlaceAbbott Village
Historic DistrictAndover Village Industrial NRH District
Present Usecommercial business
Original UseConstruction company
Construction Date1959 - 1960
Architectural StyleOther
Wall/TrimCorregated metal steel
Outbuildings / Secondary Structureslarge second garage - repair shop
Acreage2.61 acres
Map and parcel54-48A
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredDec. 29, 2014