23 Kenilworth Street

Architectural Description: 

NRDIS - Queen Anne style home, decorative shingle work on front gable and center banding on two story bay windows on south side, front porch, brackets on columns.

Historical Narrative: 

This home was originally located on an acre lot on Poor Street #69 between Kensington & William Streets nearly. The old Frye homestead was opposite 66 Poor St. The property was once part of the Samuel Frye farm and contained 28 acres along Poor St. referred to in deeds as the Old Boston Road.

Samuel C. Frye gave a mortgage loan on the one acre lot with buildings to Phoebe S. Frye in September 1886. The Andover Valuation of 1860 and 1870 list Phoebe Frye with 1 acre and dwelling house and shed. Phoebe Shattuck Frye was born Nov. 2, 1804 daughter of Enoch & Mary (Shattuck) Frye. Her father Enoch was born Aug. 29, 1776 and married on August 2, 1798 to Mary Shattuck b. Feb. 16, 1776. Mary died on Jan 30, 1844 and Enoch died Sept. 8, 1864. Both are interred at West Parish Cemetery. Phoebe died on Dec. 5, 1892 at age 88 at her brother Andrew's home in Merrimac, where she spent the winter months. Samuel H. Boutwell was appointed Trustee of her estate on Jan. 9, 1893 by the Probate Court. The Frye estate was sold at auction on Feb. 21, 1902.

Andover Townsman; Feb. 28, 1902 p.1 - At the auction sale of the Phoebe Frye estate in Frye Village, last Saturday afternoon, the property was purchased for $1625. by Joseph Thompson, of Lawrence. The estate, consisting of a dwelling house of ten rooms and an acre of land, is located on Poor Street.

Thompson must have purchased the property for Jean A. Birnie as the deed is placed in her name on Mar. 8, 1902.

The 1913 directory list Jean and her mother Mary at 73 Poor St. In 1916 the number has been changed to 69 Poor St.

Jean A. Birnie was b. Mar. 1870 in Andover, the daughter of David & Mary (Thompson) Birnie. Her father David was born in Dundee, Scotland Mar. 10, 1834 and immigrated to America in 1856. Birnie came directly to Andover. David worked for Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co. where he worked until about 1903. When he retire he was an overseer of the Bleachery department. David & Mary had four children; Sarah A. b. 1865, Jean A. b. 1870, John W. b. 1873 and Otis W. b. 1875. David, Mary and Jean all first lived in the old Frye home. The new house was built on the lot shortly after as the 1910 Valuation Schedule lists House, Poor St. $800, New House, Poor St. $1200. 1 acre $300. total tax valuation $2300. Prior to purchasing the Frye home they lived at 323 North Main St. in the house next to the Frye Village Hall. The parking lot area on the east side of No. Main near Balmoral St.

Jean Birnie attended the Richardson School in Frye Village and was graduated from Punchard High School in 1886. Jean then went to Hyannis Normal School. Annie taught at the North School on North St. at River Rd. 1888-1891, then Abbott Village-Indian Ridge School on Cuba St. 1891-1905 and then Richardson School on Lowell St. 1905-1909. Annie taught grades 3-6 most of her career.

David Birnie died on August 18,1907 and Mary Birnie on March 6, 1919. Both are interred at Christ Church Cemetery.

Jean Birnie owned and occupied the property for twenty years before selling to the American Woolen Company on Sept. 9, 1922. By this time construction of Shawsheen Village was well under way as much of the former Samuel Frye Farm had already been purchased through agents for the company. The Frye Farm was located at the intersection of Poor and Corbert St. which ended at the intersection of William & Poor.

Horace Wadsworth who had purchased most of the 35 acre farm sold to Frank G. Murch on Nov. 25, 1919. Murch then transferred the property over to the Homestead Association, Inc on Aug. 5, 1920. The Homestead Association's V.P. Mr. D. H. McLellan then turned the property over to the American Woolen Company on Aug. 26, 1922.

William M. Wood then had the Birnie house moved to this location. There were two houses on the property at that time, the old Frye house #67 which was razed and the Queen Anne home #69 which was moved. It is noted on the Shawsheen Village Map of 1922 as the "Old Birnie" house.

The Homestead Association was created to sell and lease all the properties owned by the A.W.Co. In the 1926 Andover Directory Royal D. & Agatha C. Bradbury are renting the home. Royal is listed as a construction engineer and may have been working on the new Village. In 1928 Theodore M. & Gwendolyn M. Noyes reside here. Noyes is a manager in Lawrence, MA.

With the death of William M. Wood in Feb. 1926 and the company headquarters moving back to Boston the American Woolen Company turned all unrelated properties of the business over to the Textile Realty Company on Dec. 30, 1931. This section of Shawsheen Village is listed in parcel 22 of the deeds.

Andover Shawsheen Realty Company purchased the deeds on June 30, 1932. With the Great Depression, sales were minimal, so leasing the properties generated income and kept the homes occupied. In Sept. 1941 the Birnie house was finally sold to Isabel V. Killilea.


Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Street Directories
Andover Maps, 1906, 1926
Map #991 lot 23 - May 1936
Directories & 1906 atlas - 2 Bernie houses on Poor St, 65 & 67
Visual analysis c. 1890
See family V. J. Bernie, David, obit, Andover Townsman, Aug. 23, 1907

Joseph W. Smith, Richard P. Hallowell, assignee b. Feb. 7, 1889 - b. 99 p. 241 land
William A. Donald -July 12, 1889 - b. 102 p. 46 - land
Osborne Howes Jr. - Aug. 2, 1893 - b. 127 p. 325 - land
Cornelia P. Donald, wife of William A. Donald - Aug. 2, 1893 - b. 127 p. 327 - land
Malcom Donald, Gordon Donald, Jessie D. Hallowell - 1919 - land
Henry P. Binney, Trustee - Feb. 8, 1919 - b. 398 p. 54 - land
American Woolen Company - Dec. 30,1920 - b. 435 p. 215 - land
Textile Realty Company - Dec. 30, 1931 - b. 563 p. 351 - parcel 22
Andover Shawsheen Realty Company - June 30, 1932 - b. 565 p. 87 - parcel 22
Isabel V. Killilea - Sept. 27, 1941 - b. 645 p. 503
Louis J. Binda - Aug. 30, 1954 - b. 798 p. 54
Merrimac Paper Company, Inc, Lawrence, MA - Aug. 30, 1954 - b. 798 p. 57
Margaret M. Lavery - May 2, 1961 - b. 935 p. 241
Glen J. & Anne P. DiBenedetto - Mar. 30, 1977 - b. 1305 p. 124
Anne P. DiBenedetto & Stephen Gross - b. 2732 p. 40
Luther B. & Tammy A. Urie - Apr. 29, 1992 - b. 3458 p. 26
Scott & Kelly R. Belodeau - Dec. 22, 1998 - b. 5292 p. 28
Eli J. & Katharine N. Levine - Apr. 28, 2000 - b. 5736 p. 86

Poor Street location
Samuel C. Frye - 30 acres of Samuel Frye Farm
Phoebe Frye - Sept. 29, 1886 - b. 88 p. 44 mtg
Phoebe Frye - b. 100 p. 187 discharged
Phoebe Frye estate, Samuel H. Boutwell, Trustee - Jan. 9, 1893 - Probate
Jean Birnie Mar. 8, 1902 - b. 192 p. 493
American Woolen Company - b. Sept. 9, 1922 - b. 463 p. 427

Inventory Data:

StreetKenilworth St
PlaceShawsheen Village - Frye Village
Historic DistrictShawsheen Village NRH District
Historic NameBernie House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1904
Architectural StyleQueen Anne
Roofasphalt - gable
Outbuildings / Secondary StructuresGarage
Major AlterationsMoved in 1922
Move Details1922
Acreage0.331 acre
Map and parcel52-69
MHC NumberANV.1338
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975 - 1977, 6/16/2015