254 South Main Street
Site of History 🛈The Site of History tag is given to properties that were lost before this building survey was undertaken.

Architectural Description: 


Historical Narrative: 

Pearson Farm - the historical and architectural significance:

The Pearson Farm is recognized by its inclusion in the Academy Hill National Register Historic District. The Pearson Farm contributes to this district by its location, building complex (dwelling, barn and outbuildings) and surrounding open land (historically 22 1/2 acres).

Pearson Farm sits prominently on a hilltop off Andover's major 19th century north-south route such that the house, barn and outbuildings depict a visual landmark for Andover that symbolizes the town's 19th century successful agricultural economy and population.

Architectural History: The dwelling is of late Greek Revival style dating between 1850 and 1870. The largest barn and shed structure, built in the New England style, were continuously modified from 1872. The barn and shed on the north side appear on the tax records in 1900. Important exterior features of the large barn/shed are wooden clapboards and vertical siding, corner boards, narrow and entrance transom, 6/6 double hung windows, gable roof, projecting boxed cornice with short gable returns, stall windows and cupolas.

Owner's History and use:
Joseph James Pearson was born in Andover, MA on on Feb. 5, 1821, only son of Joseph & Sally (Foster) Pearson. Joseph J. had three sisters, Sarah Jane b. Sept. 23, 1816 - d. 1887, Mary Elizabeht b. Dec. 29, 1822, and Hannah Trow b. 1819.

Joseph J. married Dorcas Rebeca Chadwick (intention published Oct. 30, 1847 in Andover) married in Boston on Nov. 27, 1847. Dorcas was born on Oct. 11, 1822 in South Berwick, ME. Joseph & Dorcas had three sons: George H. b. Oct. 12, 1848 and twins Frank J. and Frederick J. b. June 11, 1855. Joseph J. and family built and operated the farm from the 1860's. Phillips Academy acquired the farm circa 1922. From the time that Phillips Academy and the Andover Theological Seminary were established, a mutual relationship existed between these institutions and local farmers. A 1837 Report on Agriculture in Massachusetts (page 86) states that 50 acre farms are connected with each school (PA and ATS) and their "aim is to obtain milk for our commons and raise potatoes principally." Likewise for "Jo" Pearson as he is described in his obituary as having "experience in the management of house and farm....and serving the professors." Further the 1880 Massachusetts Agricultural Census Schedule 2 lists the Pearson Farm as producing 3450 gallons of milk, 25 bushels of Irish potatoes and 140 bushels of apples, much of which was probably sold to the adjacent schools. Joseph died of Heart disease at 70y 10m 29d on Jan. 4, 1892. His sons would continue with the family business. Widow Dorcas died on Dec. 14, 1901. They are interred at Spring Grove Cemetery in the Peasron family lot.

Benjamin Franklin Pearson then took ownership of the farm and with his two unmarried brothers continued the operation. Benjamin was a graduate of Phillips Academy, class of 1870. Ben later married at age 46 in 1895 to Margaret Warcup, age 27, born in Canada, daughter of John & Ellen (Hutchinson) Warcup. Their intention recorded on March 14, 1895. Benjamin and Margaret had no children. Brother Frank died on Oct. 25, 1905 and Fred died on May 20, 1908. Benjamin died four months later on Sept. 25, 1908 of a Cerebral Hemorrhage. The 1910 Valuation of Mrs. Margaret W. Pearson was on House, barn, shed, carriage house and 22 1/3 acres. Margaret sold off a few house lot parcels on South Main Street. She would then sell the property to the Trustees of Phillips Academy in 1922. The Academy wanted the land for future expansion of their athletic facilities.

Though the Pearson Farm was no longer active agriculturally, its use as rental, storage and athletic property did not detract from its visibly historical and architectural significance to the Academy Hill District of Andover. (2001)

The farm buildings were used for the Phillips Academy Grounds Department Office, Shop and storage. In 2000 the Academy razed the barns and out-buildings for the construction of the new double ice rink complex to the rear of the property. The former Pearson farmhouse was sold for $1 to David Barrett, a contractor who moved the house and ell to 305 South Main Street in January 2001. The Pearson farmhouse was then restored inside and out.


deeds, assessor's records and PA records
Andover Townsman, August 30, 2001 write up on the move to 305 South Main Street.

Inventory Data:

StreetSouth Main St
PlacePhillips District
Historic DistrictAcademy Hill NRH District
Historic NamePearson Farm
Present UseOffice, Hockey Rink
Original Useresidence - farmhouse
Construction Date1850's
SourceECRDS, ENRDL, style-njs
Architectural StyleGreek Revival
Roofasphalt - gable
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresextensive barns
Major AlterationsMoved - January 2001
Conditionmoved off site to 305 South Main St.
Move DetailsJanuary 2001
Acreageless than one acre
Map and parcel79-29
MHC NumberANV.533
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, 2001, 5/3/2016