20 Argyle Street

Architectural Description: 

Federal Period home

Historical Narrative: 

This home is one of the original houses built in Frye Village and stood on the northeast corner #333 North Main St. and Haverhill St. The former site is now the Woodworth Motors car showroom.

It was once owned by John Smith of the Smith & Dove Co. who established his Wool Machine Manufacturing plant in Frye Village in the 1820's. He later went into flax to linen thread business in 1835 with his brother Peter Smith and friend John Dove. All three men were immigrants from Brechin, Scotland and would become the wealthiest families in Andover during the 19th century. The property was later acquired by William M. Wood, President of the American Woolen Co. in the early 20th century.

William M. Wood's vision of a model community began to materialized after WWI as he began construction of the new Shawsheen Village within the old Frye Village setting. Wood and his architects saved many of the original Frye Village structures, incorporating them into the residential neighborhoods.

This home and five other original houses were first moved to the block now occupied by the Balmoral Condominiums in the former American Woolen Co. Administration Building. The houses were moved in 1919-20 to that site. Wood later changed the plans to construct the new Administration Building Offices for that site and all the homes were moved again to the south side of Balmoral St. in 1921. This house was list as 18 Balmoral the former Edgar house then Bancroft family.

Nov. 11, 1921 Andover Townsman – The McNally house which formerly stood on Balmoral St. has been relocated on the extension of Balmoral St. on land originally owned by the town. The Green house is en-route to a location beside the McNally House and is being moved from Haverhill St. The Brown house on Haverhill St. and the Edgar house on Balmoral St. will be relocated in the same vicinity.

This section of Shawsheen Village was planned as housing for management. Every home was painted white, with green shutters, window boxes, a variety decorative trellises, underground utilities, an no garages were allowed. Wood built two large parking garages to house the residents automobiles. Deed restrictions on house color, parking and laundry yards were included in every deed.

The property was once the Town Poor Farm or Alms House which is still standing at the southeast end of Argyle St. The property was sold at auction on June 25, 1921 to Hovanes Dagdigian & Vartar Dagdigian for $15,000 and included 13.66 acres. The property was then transferred back to George Dufton, of the Town of Andover, and sold to William M. Wood on July 11, 1921. The town sold the 10 acre Town Farm lot to the American Woolen Co. of Boston at the same time. It came with a stipulation that the current residents at the Town Farm would continue to occupy the building no later than Oct. 1, 1922.

By 1924 Shawsheen Village was nearly completed and was a thriving new community village. Much of the property was held by the American Woolen Co. After William Wood stepped down as president of the company, the new executives quickly moved the headquarters back to Boston. The company then began the process of selling off all the property holdings not directly related to the Woolen Co. production. All property was placed into the Textile Realty Co. of which 34 properties were located in this section of Shawsheen Village.

This house sited on a corner lot as it did on its original lot at 333 North Main was moved twice, first to 18 Balmoral St. and renovated as a two family home, then moved to the corner at 20 Argyle (the official address) and #43 Balmoral Street as the second unit address.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Mills, Mergers, and Mansions, William Roddy 1982

Inhabitants of the Town of Andover - 1820 - 1921
Town of Andover - Special Town Meeting - Nov. 1, 1921 - vote to sell
Town of Andover land auction sale - June 25, 1921
Hovanes Dagdigian & Vartar Dagdigian - July 11, 1921 b. 443 p. 503 - 13.66 acres
George Dufton - Town of Andover - July 12, 1921 - b. 443 p. 505
William M. Wood - July 11, 1921 - b. 443 p. 298 -
George Dufton - Town of Andover - July 12, 1921 - b. 443 p. 296
American Woolen Co - July 12, 1921 - b. 443 p. 296
Textile Realty Company - Dec. 30, 1931 - b. 563 p. 334
Andover Shawsheen Realty Co. - June 30, 1932 - b. 565 p. 87-98 (p.91)
Jane Hayes - July 2, 1945 - b. 674 p. 416 lot #39
Francis J. & Cynthia Dyer and Susan R. Hickey - Dec. 5, 1974 - b. 1253 p. 398
Donald A. & Martha Bancroft - Jan. 28, 1976 - b. 1275 p. 434
Someshwara B. & Janhavi B. Renuka - July 11, 2013 - b. 13548 p. 33

Inventory Data:

StreetArgyle St
PlaceShawsheen Village - Frye Village
Historic DistrictShawsheen Village NRH District
Historic NameEdgar House
Present Useresidences - 2 family
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1810 - 1820
Architectural StyleFederal
Roofasphalt - hip
Move Detailstwice 1920 & 1922
Acreage0.181 acre
Map and parcel36-50
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, 1/15/2015