2 Railroad St

Architectural Description: 

Greek Revival House, wide banding below eaves and corner boards. Entry surround pediment and side pillasters.

Historical Narrative: 

55 Essex St also 4 and 10 Railroad Street – Gate Keepers House – Depot Master’s House
#10 Railroad Avenue issued a National Register of Historic Places certificate is on file in book.

The current business block at 2-8 Railroad St. was constructed in 1964. Before this commercial building was constructed a small one and a half story Greek Revival house was owned by Boston & Maine Railroad and built prior to 1848. Known as the “Gate Keeper's House” it stood diagonally to this corner of Essex St. and Railroad St. facing the railroad crossing and the train station depot on the east side of the tracks. The house was first occupied by Kimball Carleton who was the Baggage Master at the depot. It is doubtful his duties included tending to the crossing gates which were done manually with each scheduled train. A telegraph operator in the depot would signal the gatekeeper when a train was arriving. A signal pole and flags can still be seen on the former 1906 train station at 100 School St. A small Gatekeepers Hut was located on the east side of the crossing near the building at 53 Essex St. now housing Depot Pizza. It remained in use until the crossing was automated in the early 1960s.

Railroad Street, sometimes called Railroad Ave., was constructed in 1846-1848 by the Boston and Maine Railroad Company. The tracks were relocated to the current location to service the new City of Lawrence in 1847. The former track location was part of the Andover - Wilmington Railroad located behind the Memorial Hall Library. A portion of High Street from Harding St to Route 114 in North Andover is a section of the old rail bed. Kimball worked at that depot prior to the Boston & Maine acquisition.

The 1852 Andover map lists K. Carlton at this location. The 1850 census lists Kimball Carleton age 53, Baggage Master in Andover. Kimball was born Dec. 18, 1796 in Andover, son of Daniel & Mary (Kimball) Carlton. Kimball married on May 19, 1825 to Betsey Perkins of Middleton. They had three children; Hazen K. b. Aug. 12, 1830, Julia Ann b. Dec. 10, 1832 and Marietta b. 1847. Kimball died on Nov. 9, 1858 at age 61 of Lung fever. His obituary states he was the Depot Master for 21 years in Andover which makes him working for the Andover-Wilmington Railroad line prior to B & M Railroad purchase and most likely Andover’s first Baggage Master.

Andover Advertiser Nov. 13, 1859 p. 2 - DIED, In This Town - On Nov. 9th, Kimball Carlton, age 66 years 11 months. Mr. Carlton has been the depot master at the Boston & Maine Railroad Passenger Station in this village for more than twenty one years, and was well known by the traveling public and our own community as an accommodating and estimable man. His upright life and faithful services in the responsible position he has so long filled, secured for him a large circle of acquaintances and friends, who as they arrive at the depot hereafter will look in vain for the familiar countenance which has so long greeted them.
The loss to the family of the deceased is irreparable. A kind husband and an affectionate father has passed from the embrace of those he loved and who cherished him the tenderest affection. He was a member of the Free Church, and by honoring his profession, has left a worthy example and furnished inaudible evidence that his departure, although a loss to those left behind him, has proved his infinite gain.

It appears that Kimball’s son Hazen filled his father’s position. The 1860 census lists Hazen K. Carleton age 29 as the Depot Master. Hazen married Nov. 25, 1851 to Mary J. Blunt b. 1830, dau. of Isaac & Dolly Blunt. They have two children George H. age 7 b. Oct. 4, 1852 and Freddie J. 6 mos. b. 1849. Hazen's widowed mother Betsy Carlton, age 52 lives with them and is a shoe binder. Hazen's sister Julia A. age 26 is a dress maker. At the time of his marriage Hazen's occupation was given as a painter. By 1870 Hazen and family had moved to Somerville, MA where he worked as a locomotive painter. His sons would also work for the railroad, George as a Brakeman and Fred as a gate tender.

In 1872 a D. Eames is listed in the house. By 1884 the B&M Railroad is listed as owner of the property.

In 1893 Michael McCormack, a Section Foreman for the B&MRR and family occupy the house. Michael was b. on Aug. 1, 1859 in Galway, Ireland, son of Michael & Bridget (Byrne) McCormick. Michael came to America in the 1880s, married on July 5, 1888 in Amesbury to Margaret Agnes Moran, b. May 1, 1864 in Ire., dau. of Luke & Bridget Moran. They had two sons; Daniel b. May 17, 1890 and Luke b. Aug. 16, 1891 – d. Oct. 4, 1893. Census reveal several boarders and relatives living with the McCormacks through the years. Michael died on Nov. 3, 1911 and is interred at St. Augustine’s Cemetery. The family remained in the home until the end of WWI. Daniel also worked for the railroad as a brakeman and later a conductor and cared for his mother. They moved to Lawrence after 26 years in the home. Daniel married in 1924 to Gertrude Lucy Hayes and they had a daughter Theresa Gertrude b. 1927. Sadly her mother died shortly after Theresa’s birth. Margaret then cared for her granddaughter while Daniel worked.

The Dyer Family were next to occupy the house. Henry “Harry” Dyer was b. March 1, 1873 in Ireland, son of Michael & Catherine (Lang) Dyer. Harry married in Andover on Jan. 18, 1900 to Mary Collins, b. Oct. 1874 in Ireland, dau. of Michael & Mary (Kelly) Collins. Harry worked as a Trackman for the railroad and was living at 39 Pearson St. during WWI. Harry & Mary had four children; Frank Jerome b. Mar. 10, 1902, James Joseph b. May 12, 1903, Catherine Elizabeth b.Dec. 6, 1904 and Henry Paul b. Oct. 24, 1906. Harry is listed as a RR Section Hand in 1920 and in 1930 a laborer in at Woolen Mill. Frank worked as a bookkeeper for Smith & Dove, James was a Veteran of WWII in the Army Air Corps. Elizabeth worked at Tyer Rubber, later a nurse and Paul was a letter carrier for the Post Office. Harry died in 1948 and Mary and Paul continued to live in the house. Mary died about 1955. In 1949 Paul works as a kitchen helper at Howard Johnsons. Paul lived here in 1960 but in 1961 he is at 4 Railroad St. Paul died in 1968.

The B&M RR no longer needed the property and it was sold to George B. Westhaver Trust on Oct. 17, 1961. The town reconstructed the corner to widen the road and create better sight lines for traffic. The house was picked up and moved to #10 Railroad St. It sat in the new location for about 12 years before the house was sold to Donald I. Richmond and moved to 66 Burnham Road in November 1973.

The Richdale Convenience Store now occupies the site at #10 Railroad St.

B&MRR also built a freight building at #15 Railroad St. which included a spur track that ran through the building and reconnected to the main line. The street connected to the former Essex Turnpike now North Main St. Essex Street is a ancient way in Andover and served as a connection route to West Andover, north to New Hampshire and west to Chelmsford long before the Turnpike was built about 1806-1810.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Townsman - 1964
Main Street Evolution 2014 - Gail Rawlson
Andover Historical Society - Railroad files
See plans #6605 - Oct. 1963 - b. 1193 p. 70 parcel "E"
#4376 - parcel #1 and parcel #2

Boston & Maine Railroad - 1840s-1961
George B. Westhaver Trust - Oct. 17, 1961 - b. 946 p. 213 - two parcels
Look Realty Corporation - Jan. 11, 1978 - b. 1329 p. 728
Eric Byonghak An & Kyung S. An - Nov. 3, 1999 - b. 5625 p. 30

Inventory Data:

StreetRailroad St
PlaceAbbott Village
Historic DistrictAndover Village Industrial NRH District
Historic NameB&M Railroad Gate Keeper's House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence - Railroad employee
Construction Date1847 - 1848
Architectural StyleGreek Revival
Foundationstone & granite
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresell off east side, shed to rear
Major AlterationsMoved twice, in 1961 to 10 Railroad St, and again in Nov. 1973, ell razed
Move Details1973 to 66 Burnham Rd
Map and parcel54-1
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, 12/20/2014, 1/30/2021