218 Andover Street

Architectural Description: 

Coved cornice, 2nd Empire dormers, projecting stair tower on east side, 12 over 12 divided lights on windows, Original bell and stairway tower was Gothic Revival style and resembled a church steeple. See 1860 image of mill below.

Historical Narrative: 

Themes: architectural, community development, industry

Original owners - Daniel Poor, Jr. & Abel Blanchard
Original use - woolen mill; flannel production (1836) Rubber Company (1944)

This site on the Shawsheen River once held a Saw mill, Gristmill or Winnowing mill and Cider Mill of Timothy Ballard in 1794. Timothy Ballard was born on July 28, 1757, oldest son of Timothy Jr. and Sarah (Abbot) Ballard and one of six siblings. Timothy married on October 30, 1783 to Mary Foster b. July 21, 1763 daughter of William & Hannah Foster. Timothy and Mary had no children and his estate went to his widow and sibling heirs. Timothy Ballard died on Feb. 29, 1828 by taking his life "who cut his own throat" at age 70y 7m. He is interred at South Parish Cemetery.

Ballard died intestate and his estate was settled by Attorney William Rogers of Tewksbury as P.O.A. for the heirs in 1828. On August 15, 1833, Abel Blanchard, a Paper Maker, purchased the Corn & Saw mills with water privilege for $4000. Rodgers' held the mortgage. On June 9, 1834 the deed was sold to Daniel Poor, Abel Blanchard, and Abraham Gould & Mark Newman, both book sellers in Andover under the name Poor, Blanchard & Co. Paper-makers. It is said that Daniel Poor & Abel Blanchard laid the foundation of half of present brick mill (on west side of river) for a paper mill. Decided instead on woolen goods. Poor & Blanchard Co. then partnered with John Marland, a Manufacturer in their cotton-woolen production here in 1835 - 36.

The Ballard Vale Co. then formed with these residents as proprietors and built the brick mill standing today.

John Marland was the driving force of the woolen mill, acting as agent. This wooden mill building was built in 1844, "designed to be used exclusively for the manufacture of worsted goods,".... "The first attempt to fabricate delaines in the United States was made in a mill at Ballard Vale, by John Marland, agent of the company".. the mill at Ballard Vale had been organized to make fine flannels, being the first to fabricate flannels in the country." From 1843 to 1850 the fine flannels were made.
John Marland became insolvent in 1849 and much of the property was sold off to creditors. The worsted mill was leased however to Jeremiah S. Young, John's brother-in-law, who transferred the business to the Pacific Mills, in Lawrence, in 1853. After the mills concentration was the manufacture of flannels and later gained a reputation second to none in the world, for the quality of the product. The mills flannels were both all wool and with silk used in the warp. Company treasurer J. Putnam Bradlee from Jan. 15, 1842 would later purchase the mills in 1866. Under Bradlee's ownership, the white flannels received a record of blue ribbons at the Philadelphia 1876 and Chicago 1893 Expositions. Mr. James Shaw was Superintendent of the mills for over 25 years. He died in October 1881.

J. Putnam Bradlee died on Feb. 2, 1887 and his estate was administered by William H. Hodgkins and William J. Strong. Hodgkins would later become president of the company and Strong, a selling agent for company, later Mayor of New York City. In 1896 the mill company operated 14 sets of cards, 9000 spindles and 122 broad looms and employed nearly 200 operatives. In 1896 Joseph Shaw was Superintendent, and Howell F. Wilson, Manager of the mills. Hodgkins was administrator to the Bradlee estate until 1905 when the holdings were sold to the Ballard Vale Mills Co. on Feb. 6, 1905. The company continued production until 1926.

This building was known as Mill #2 in 1912. The Carding took place in the basement, Mule Spinning and Spooling on the first floor and garret space and weaving Plain looms on the second floor. The rear brick addition held the boiler room and engine room with the Dressing room above. The addition beyond was the Dye House and Store Room. had 10 different departments or rooms.

Ballard Vale Mills Co. with Philip French as president sold the building to the Northern Rubber Company on Sept. 29, 1927 who owned until March 25, 1933, most likely a victim of the Depression. The Ballard Vale Mills Co. held the mortgage deed, which was later assigned to Bay State Bank and then to Susan A. Hodgkins, widow of William H. on Apr. 12, 1932. Northern Rubber Co. defaulted on the loan and Susan Hodkins foreclosed and took possession of the property on Mar. 25, 1933. Susan Hodgkins of Melrose, MA died in 1937 and her estate was administered by trustees; Warren C. & Helen A. Kendall of Washington, DC & Charles Wood Bond on July 29, 1937. Helen A. Kendall was the daughter of William & Susan Hodgkins and inherited from her mother's will. A brother Willis B. sold his share to Warren Kendall.

Kendall took a loan through the First National Bank of Boston in August 1938 but defaulted and the bank took possession of the property on Aug. 17, 1943.
Wool Warehouse, Inc., Geo. L. Anderson, Treasurer, purchased the mortgage on May 29, 1944 and then sold this mill of the property to the Shawsheen Rubber Co., Inc. on Aug. 16, 1944. They repaired building; re-clapboarded; added office on the front. Shawsheen Rubber remains as owner of record in 2017. The current business in the mill is the Shawsheen Coating & Converting - Arrowhead Athletics.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
See also Form A - Area Survey - Ballardvale Mills
Lawrence Eagle Tribune: 10-13-44
Business History of Andover: Anniversary Souvenir No. of the Andover Townsman, May 20, 1896, p. 12-15
Molley, Peter; Lower Merrimack River Valley: Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial Sites - sponsored by MVTM and Historic American Engineering Record (Washington National Park Service, 1976)
Map plan #719 - Wilson lot -
Map plan #1460 - May 29, 1944 - Kendall to Wool Warehouse, Inc. of Boston

Timothy Ballard - Mar. 23, 1795 rec. Dec. 1795 - b. 160 leaf 119 - 1/5 mill
Timothy Ballard estate, William Rogers POA, died Feb. 29, 1828 intestate Probate
William Rogers POA - May 2, 1828 - b. 250 leafs, 11,12,13,14 & 101-103
Abel Blanchard - Aug. 15, 1833, rec. Sept. 3, - b. 272 leaf 169 - Corn & Saw Mills
Daniel Poor, Abel Blanchard, Abraham Gould, Mark Newman - June 9, 1834 - b. 271 leaf 303
Poor, Blanchard & Co, Paper-makers - June 9, 1834 - b. 271 leaf 303
Daniel Poor, Jr. & Abel Blanchard - July 10, 1834 - b. 277 leaf 199
Daniel Poor, Jr., Abel Blanchard, John Marland, Abraham J. Gould, Mark Newman - July 13, 1834 - b. 281 leaf 251
Poor, Blanchard, Gould, Newman, Marland - Sept. 23, 1835 - b. 286 leaf 157 - Feb. 25, 1836
Ballard Vale Company - Aug. 19, 1836 - b. 292 leaf 109-111
Josiah Putnam Bradlee - Feb. 16, 1866 - b. 698 leaf 168 Petition of ownership
J. Putnam Bradlee estate, William H. Hodgkins, Trustee - Feb. 2, 1887 - b. 99 p. 595
Ballard Vale Mills Co. - Feb. 6, 1905 - b. 218 p. 238 - parcel 1
Northern Rubber Company - Sept. 29, 1927 - b. 537 p. 522
Ballard Vale Mills Co. - Sept. 29, 1927 - b. 537 p. 522 - mtg. deed
Susan A. Hodgkins, to Harry E. Perkins, POA - Apr. 12, 1932 - b. 569 p. 545
Susan A. Hodgkins, widow of William H., - Apr. 12, 1932 - b. 569 p. 546 - assignee of mtg.
Susan A. Hodgkins, widow of William H. - Mar. 25, 1933 - foreclosed - Northern Rubber Co.
Susan A. Hodgkins estate, July 15, 1937 - Probate #206675
Warren C. Kendall, Helen A. Kendall, Charles Wood Bond, Trs.- July 29, 1937 - b. 609 p. 481 - Probate
Warren C. Kendall - July 29, 1937 - b. 609 p. 483 - 1/4 share of Willis B. Hodgkins
Warren C. & Helen A. Kendall - Aug. 24, 1938 - b. 617 p. 480 - mtg. First National Bk.
First National Bank of Boston - Aug. 17, 1943 - b 659 p. 119 - poss. mtg deed
Wool Warehouse, Inc., Geo. L. Anderson Treas. - May 29, 1944 - b. 664 p. 180 assignee
Shawsheen Rubber Co., Inc. -Aug. 16, 1944 - b. 667 p. 157
Shawsheen Rubber Co., Inc. - Oct. 19, 1946 - b. 691 p. 52
Lock Realty Co. Trust, Inez E. Cashman, Trustee - Jan. 20, 1951 - b. 749 p. 522
Shawsheen Rubber Co. Inc. - Dec. 28, 1951 - b. 758 p. 234

Inventory Data:

StreetAndover St
Historic DistrictAndover Historic Building Survey
Historic DistrictBallardvale Local Historic District
Historic NameBallardvalle Mills
Present UseShawsheen Rubber Co. (1975-77)
Original UseBallard Vale Mill Company
Construction Date1844
SourceECRDS, ENRDL, style-njs
Architectural StyleGothic Revival
Architectural StyleGreek Revival
Wall/Trimasbestos shingles over clapboard
Roofasphalt - gable
Outbuildings / Secondary Structureslarge 20th century additions to rear of original mill building and west facade
Major AlterationsOriginal bell and stair tower on south facade removed after Civil War, all roof dormers now removed, Renovated 1944: removed east wing - now office; added front
Acreage5.05 acres
Map and parcel138-24
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, 1/6/2017