244 South Main Street

Architectural Description: 

8 fireplaces, exceptional Federal detail, Palladian windows

Historical Narrative: 

In 1991 this section of Main St. was named South Main Street, in 1977 it was still Main Street.
Themes - Architectural and Community Development.

Jonathan Leavitt acquired an acre of land from Jonathan J. Gould on April 30, 1823 for $150.. The mortgage was financed by Flagg and Mark Newman, as Leavitt was a bookbinder at Flagg & Gould Printers. This was a house of a successful Andover businessman of the period and became a part of South Main's "Book Row", when the town had a world-wide reputation as a publishing center, particularly in educational and theological works.

Dave Hidden who had come to Andover to build the buildings for the new Andover Theological Seminary, was hired as a carpenter. His journal at the Andover Historical Society, reveal some of the constructions details: In April, 1823, through the summer, Hidden worked on the house. He constructed the woodshed in December and the fence in April of 1824. In April 1825, he added the roof balustrade, which is no longer in its original position, but was moved halfway up the roof, probably after storm damage.

The edifice is somewhat eclectic in style, representing a basic Georgian four-square style, but with dominant features of early Federal, at an architectural period of early Greek Revival. There were two chimneys and 8 fireplaces; seven original fireplaces mantles remain. An ell was added about 1830, but demolished in 1940. The present owners restored the house, making major necessary changes in the kitchen and back hall, but retaining early features: the beehive oven, panes of old crown glass, paneled "Christian doors", wide board wainscotting and old latches.

Jonathan Leavitt & wife Louisa A. moved to New York City in 1828 and sold his house on June 19, 1828 to Mark Newman, Jr. , son of the third principal of Phillips Academy. The property then contained 11 acre 10 rods with the home. Newman & his wife Mary D. resided here for 15 years and added to the property holdings. When Mark Newman Jr. left town to join Leavitt's publishing firm in New York City he sold the home for $3400 to Leonard Wheeler, a Yeoman on March 9, 1843. The property was now 19 acres 29 rods and included a second parcel near Albert Abbott's store of 111 rods. but excluded the house that Berry was living in. Leonard & Persis S. Wheeler owned the property for five years.

Dorothy W. Dow of Boston purchased the property on June 13, 1849, rec. Feb. 20, 1850. Dow paid $2800 for the home. In the 1850 Andover Valuation schedule Dorothy Dow was assessed for Dwelling house, house lot and barn $2300. 1 acre adjoining $125. Dorothy and family lived her of 47 years until her death. in 1896.

on April 23, 1896 the Dow estate heirs, George W. & Maria W. Wales, Jane F., Lucia A. and Cornelius Dow sold the homestead to George W., Frederick and Franklin Pearson. The Pearsons held for three years then selling to Grace E. Winslow on Dec. 4, 1899. Grace owned for five years then selling to Grace E. Merrick, wife of Herbert of Lawrence, MA on May 20, 1904. Merricks owned for nine years.

Loren H. Roberts wife Hattie purchased the property on Dec. 9, 1913 and financed a mortgage from Jacob W. Barnard that day. With the death of Barnard his property went into his estate as did the mortgage deed of the Roberts. The Barnard trustees were forced to foreclose on the property in 1940 and the mortgage deed was sold to Frederick A. Higgins on Aug. 20, 1940.

On Dec. 10, 1943, Loris & Elizabeth Stefani purchased the house and owned for 20 years. Stefani's son Robert states that "his parents purchased the house which had been abandoned for about five years. The ell was demolished in the Spring of 1944. It had an indoor 2 seater, holes that served as a privy. Wisteria covered the house out front. Also had a foof fence that was saved until subsequent owners (removed it). A huge Oak tree dominated the south lawn, apparently removed because of disease. My mother initiated the creation of a small pond by contracting two off duty BPW's who hand dug the pond after damming the brook. Done in 1947-48"

Robert P. & Ruth H. Adamsky purchased the property from Sefani on Sept. 27, 1963 and also did extensive renovation to the house. They owned for 21 years then selling to Thomas O. & Julie I. Childs on July 17, 1984. The Childs continue as owners of record in 2016.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
AHS files
"Historic Houses to be Shown", Andover Townsman. Oct. 11, 1967
Hidden, David, journals and record book, April 1823-1825.
Andover Directories, Maps and atlases.
See also Barn Survey.
MS 399 Account Book.
Map plan #4857 - July 1963 - lot A - Loris & Eliz. Stefani

Abraham J. Gould, wife Zeruiah - 1823 - land
Jonathan Leavitt, wife Louisa D. - Apr. 30, 1823 rec. 5/23/1823 -b. 232 leaf 70 - house lot - $150
Mark Newman Jr., wife Mary D. - June 19, 1828 - b. 266 leaf 2
Leonard Wheeler, wife Persis - Mar. 9, 1843 - b. 336 leaf 44
Dorothy W. Dow - June 13, 1849 rec. 2/20/1850 - b. 424 leaf 41
George W. Pearson, wife Margaret - Apr. 23, 1896 - b. 146 p. 498 - $3000.
Grace E. Wheeler - Dec. 4, 1899 - b. 174 p. 102
Grace E. Merrick, wife of Herbert - May 20, 1904 - b. 213 p. 524
Loren H. Roberts, wife Hattie - Dec. 9, 1913 - b. 337 p. 579
Loren H. Roberts, to Jacob W. Barnard - Dec. 9, 1913 - b. 337 p. 581 - mtg.
Jacob W. Barnard estate, Trustees - foreclosure - 1940
Frederick A. Higgins - Aug. 20, 1940 - b. 633 p. 517
Loris & Elizabeth M. Stefani - Dec. 10, 1943 - b. 662 p. 56
Robert P. & Ruth H. Adamsky - Sept. 27, 1963 - b. 994 p. 472
1823 Realty Trust, Robert P. & Ruth H. Adamsky Tr. - July 13, 1973 - b. 1223 p. 427
Thomas O. & Julie I. Childs - July 17, 1984 - b. 1837 p. 330
Julie I. Childs - Mac. 28, 1995 - b. 4237 p. 256
Thomas O. & Julie I. Childs - Nov. 19, 1997 - b. 4894 p. 217
Julie I. Childs - Jan. 22, 1998 - b. 4944 p. 228

Inventory Data:

StreetSouth Main St
PlacePhillips District
Historic DistrictAcademy Hill NRH District
Historic NameLeavitt-Newman House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1823-1825
SourceECRDS, ENRDL, AHS Files/Hidden journal
Architectural StyleFederal
Architect/BuilderDavid Hidden
Roofasphalt - hip
Outbuildings / Secondary StructuresStable at rear
Major Alterationsgarage, 1970 ell 1830 demolished 1944 restored by Adamsky 1963-1978
Acreage0.940 acre
Map and parcel58-22
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, 5/25/2016