20 Red Spring Rd

Historical Narrative: 

Formerly used by Redman Card Company - Merrimack Card Clothing.
Themes - Architectural, Community Development and Industry.

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. Site originally used by Abraham Marland, who in 1807, erected a cotton mill near the Essex Street stone arch bridge. 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 is said 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 old bridge that crossed the river was first located closer to the dam and was removed in 1894 for the construction of the new Main Building on the east side of the river. A new bridge was constructed at that time on the north end of the mill between the new engine and boiler house.

The barn like building had been attributed to the Abbott brother's mill complex and may have been built near the end of their ownership. The frame construction is not post and beam as was typical of that period. The 1852 and 1872 maps of Andover have this site as vacant. The Abbot mill building may have been located where the current brick mill building is situated on this lot and moved here at the time of the new construction. The 1852 map lists a saw mill and a grist mill at that location.

From period photos and maps we find the use of the building when Smith & Dove held ownership as a drying shed and yard. Later it is listed as stock storage which would have been raw flax plants before the hackling process. During the Redman Card Co. ownership the building is listed as cork storage.

The newer brick building on the parcel is listed as the dye and bleach house #18 damping shed #19 “dry shed”– Storehouse #15. The 1901 Sanborn map lists the north end of the building as the bleach house, and the south end as the dye house on the first floor and the dry house on the second floor. on the roof was a wood opened slatted vent enclosure for drying and cooling the linen in the open air.

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.

Herbert W. Keogh purchased the property on Oct. 14, 1940 indentured deed. The North American Holding Corp., Levi S. Chapman pres. and the Parshad Holding Corp. Alfred H. Avery pres. held the property then sold to George A. Campbell on Aug. 25, 1945 alos indenture deed.

George A. Campbell then sold to Ruth D. Redman on Oct. 11, 1945. The Redman family have been the owners of the property since that time. The Redman Card Company operated their business here for for 67 years in 2012. After Ruth Redman died the estate went to Frederick C. Redman who placed the property into the Redman Card Clothing Co., Inc. on Mar. 9, 1977. The property was later placed in the
George F. Redman Revocable Trust of April 4, 1991, Geo. Redman trustee on Nov. 7, 2009.

George Redman sold to Dundee Red Spring LLC on Nov. 30, 2012 managed by Ozzy Properties. The Dye & Bleach House building exterior was restored in 2013. New windows, exterior brick cleaned and pointed. The interior has been completely gutted and the current plan is to turn the space into a restaurant. The old Abbot Mill building next door is scheduled for demolition. Much of its interior flooring has been salvaged and is said to be used in the restaurant. Parking is planed for the barn site and a new footbridge across the river to re-connect the old right of way to the former mill complex on the east side of the river.


18 - 20 Red Spring Rd. – (72-1) – 1.4 acre – blt. 1883 - 2 buildings – Abbott Mill barn and brick bld.
Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co. 75th Anniversary 1910
North Andover/Andover Historical Society files at Merrimack Valley Textile Museum
Bailey, Sarah L. , "Historical Sketches of Andover, 1830
Business History of Andover": Anniversary Souvenir No. of Andover Townsman May 20, 1896, p. 16-19.
Molloy, Peter; "The Lower Merrimack River Valley", an inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial sites, sponsored by MVTM and Historic American Engineering Rec./ Washington, 1976
See also Form A - Area Survey: "Abbot Village"See map plan - #1070 Nov. 8, 1937

Abel & Paschal Abbott - 1818 - 1843
Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co. 1843 – 1927
Smith & Dove Tenements, Inc. – Feb. 21, 1927 – b. 529 p. 583
Ludow Manufacturing Associates, Trustees, Robert Amory – June 15, 1928 – b. 542 p. 376
Indian Ridge Co. Inc. – Virgil D. Harrington, Treas. – Nov. 14, 1932 – b. 567 p. 267
Herbert W. Keogh – Oct. 14, 1940 – b. 637 p. 410 – indenture Oct. 7, 1940
North American Holding Corp., Levi S. Chapman pres. & Parshad Holding Corp. Alfred H. Avery pres
George A. Campbell – Aug. 25, 1945 – b. 677 p. 440 indenture
Ruth D. Redman – Oct. 11, 1945 – b. 677 p. 444
Ruth D. Redman estate – Probate #306654
Frederick C. Redman – heir
Redman Card Clothing Co., Inc. – Mar. 9, 1977 – b. 1304 p. 291
George F. Redman Revocable Trust of April 4, 1991 – Geo. Redman, trustee- Nov. 7, 2009 – b. 11841 p. 5
Dundee Red Spring LLC - Nov. 30, 2012 - b. 13237 p. 349

Inventory Data:

StreetRed Spring Rd
PlaceAbbott Village - Dundee Park
Historic DistrictAndover Village Industrial NRH District
Historic NameSmith & Dove Manf. Co. Mills
Present Usevacant
Original UseDye, Bleach & Dry house
Construction Date1894 - 1895
Architectural StyleOther
Foundationconcrete / brick
Wall/Trimbrick/granite lintels
Roofasphalt/gravel- flat
Major AlterationsThird floor drying yard removed circa 1930 2013 exterior and interior renovations, new windows
Acreage1.4 acres
Map and parcel72-1
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredDec. 26, 2014