23 William Street

Historical Narrative: 

William Street was originally named Warwick Street when Shawsheen Village was laid out. The name was changed by a vote at a special Town Meeting on November 13, 1922 in memory of William M. Wood Jr., son of William M. & Ellen (Ayer) Wood, who died in an automobile accident on Aug. 15, 1922.

This home was built as part of the Shawsheen Village development 1918 – 1924 by William M. Wood, President of the American Woolen Company. Wood hired about eight different architects to design the homes and structures for the village. Homes were sold or rented through the Homestead Association who had offices in the Post Office building on the corner of North Main & Poor Streets.

After the death of William M. Wood in Feb. 1926 most of the residential and commercial buildings were then sold. Some were held by the Wood family in the "Arden Trust" and others with the American Woolen Company, which had been deeded the property in December 1920. The A.W.Co. Board of Directors authorized its President, Lionel J. Noah, to deliver all deeds, as deemed necessary to the Textile Realty for sale on Dec. 29, 1931.

The Textile Realty then transferred ownership to the Andover Shawsheen Realty Company on June 30, 1932, holding the mortgage on the properties. T. Edwin Andrew, treasurer, was authorized to sell or rent the properties. With the Great Depression sales were sluggish and many homes were rented until the economy rebounded.

The first occupants of record to lease the home in 1923 were Maurice J. Curran Jr., son of Maurice Curran, of Curran & Joyce CO. of Lawrence, MA. His parents lived at 250 North Main St. "The Croft" next to William M. & Ellen A. Wood's estate "Arden" and "Orlando Cottage". Maurice Jr. would later build his home on South Main St. The home is vacant in 1928.

This house was sold to George L. & Helen C. Gahm on Nov. 18, 1933. George & Helen Gahm had been leasing 5 William St. in 1923. George Gahm was a superintendent of the American Woolen Co. mills in Lawrence. The Gahms owned the home for 30 years and lived in Shawsheen Village for 40 years. George died on March 14, 1963 and Helen then sold the property to Marco J. & Verena I. Pettoruto - Sept. 3, 1963.

Marco J. Pettoruto died on April 20, 1976 and Verena then sold to Victor W. & H. Arlene Morgan on Jan. 31, 1978.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Maps, 1852, 1872, 1888, 1906, 1926
Andover Street Directories
See Map plan #704 - American Woolen Company - Sept. 1927
#879 - June 1932 - Textile Realty Company - lot 31
See map #2531

Henry P. Binney - Apr. 24, 1919 - b. 398 p. 52 - 9.86 acres
American Woolen Company - Dec. 30, 1920 - b. 435 p. 215
Textile Realty Company - Dec. 30, 1931 - b. 563 p. 351
Andover Shawsheen Realty Co. - June. 30, 1932 - b. 565 p. 87
George L. & Helen C. Gahm - Nov. 18, 1933 - b. 573 p. 279
George L. & Helen C. Gahm - July 18, 1952 - b. 765 p. 534
George L. Gahm estate, Helen C. Gahm heir - George d. 3/14/1963
Marco J. & Verena I. Pettoruto - Sept. 3, 1963 - b. 993 p. 53
Marco J. Pettoruto estate, Verena I. Pettoruto, heir - Marco d. 4/20/1976
Victor W. & H. Arlene Morgan - Jan. 31, 1978 - b. 1331 p. 255
H. Arlene Morgan - Mar. 12, 1991 - b. 3238 p. 339
Thomas E. & Marilyn R. Gilbert - July 28, 1993 b. 3794 p. 40
John E. & Sara S. Matson - Aug. 13, 1997 - b. 4818 p. 171

Inventory Data:

StreetWilliam St
PlaceShawsheen Village - Frye Village
Historic DistrictShawsheen Village NRH District
Historic NameGeorge & Helen Gahm House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1922 - 1923
Architectural StyleColonial Revival
Architect/BuilderClifford Allbright
Foundationstone and brick
Acreage1.059 acres
Map and parcel52-117
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1980 - 6/24/2015