26 Riverina Road

Architectural Description: 

Colonial Revival

Historical Narrative: 

Shawsheen Village was named after the Native American name for the river Shawshin, which means Great Spring. Prior to Shawsheen Village this area was known as Frye Village. All the streets in the Village were named for Castles & Cathedrals in Great Britain. Riverina Rd however is the exception.
Riverina takes its name from the Australian rich lands where the finest wools in the world are grown and is the name of a large territory in Australia.

It is interesting to note that George M. Wallace, who lived in Aberfoyle, was the private secretary, close friend and confidant of William M. Wood. Wallace was the agent for the Riverina Mills, in Medford, MA from 1918-1926.It was Wallace’s suggestion to Wm. Wood that the waste wool of the company’s mills could be reclaimed for the manufacturing of carpets. The Riverina Mill was extremely successful under his direction.

The entrance to Riverina Rd from Haverhill St. was once the site of the Smith & Dove Mill, the first mill in the country built for the production of linen threads from flax.

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. Clifford Allbright was the designer of every home built on Riverina St. during this period. Homes were leased or sold through the Homestead Association who had offices in the Post Office building on the corner of North Main & Poor Streets.

Each home incorporates a different look, style and design modifications, most noticeable with the front door entrances. Decorative details on the corner boards and a variety of ornamental trellises, window boxes all added the “icing on the cake, of the original designs. Most of the homes now sport a variety of different colors, no longer all white with green shutters as dictated in the original deeds.

After the death of William M. Wood on Feb. 2, 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 Co. 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 lease the properties. With the Great Depression sales were sluggish and many homes were rented until the economy rebounded.

One of the first occupants of record to lease the home in 1923 were Henry E. & Anita C. Hart. Henry was employed by the American Woolen Co. as the manager of the Shawsheen Garage.

This house was sold to Percy R. Walter & Ethel B. Davis on July 1, 1939. The Davis family would own for 20 years. Percy or Walter Davis, as he was known by was an accountant for F. M. & T. E. Andrew the managing company of the Andover Shawsheen Realty Co. In Oct. 1951 they purchased a second parcel of land to the rear of their property. Ethel Davis died on May 25, 1959 and Percy Walter Davis shortly after. T. Edwin Andrew Jr. Guardian of the Davis estate by probate on Nov. 17, 1959. The property was then sold to Robert G. & Barbara E. Franz on Nov. 25, 1959.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Maps, 1852, 1872, 1888, 1906, 1926
Andover Street Directories
Andover Townsman
Mills, Mergers and Mansions, by Edward Roddy 1982
See Map plan #704 - American Woolen Company - Sept. 1927
#880 - June 1932 - Textile Realty Company lot#9
#2391 - May 1951 - lot #9A

John Smith & Peter Smith – Dec. 29, 1841 –b. 335 leaf 99
Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co. – July 1, 1864 - b. 677 leaf 259 Salem deed
Robert Braisford, General Degreasing Co. – July 21, 1902 – b. 197 p. 32
Beacon Trust Company. – Dec. 23, 1904 – b. 217 p. 80
Daniel C. Smith –Mar. 28, 1909 – b. 258 p. 446
Arlington National Bank – June 11, 1909 – b. 274 p. 565
James E. McGovern – July 17, 1909 – b. 275 p. 400 – mgt sale
Henry P. Binney, Trustee of A. W. Co. – Aug. 14, 1909 - b. 277 p. 310
American Woolen Company, Wm. M. Wood Pres. - Dec. 30, 1920 -435 p. 215 parcel 1
Textile Realty Co., Lionel J. Noah, Pres. A.W.Co. - Dec. 30, 1931 - b. 563 p. 351
Andover Shawsheen Realty Co. - June. 30, 1932 - b. 565 p. 87 - 30th parcel
Percy R. Walter & Ethel B. Davis - July 1, 1939 - b. 623 p. 178
Percy R. Walter & Ethel B. Davis - Oct. 15, 1951 - b. 758 p. 347 - lot 9A
Percy R. Walter Davis heir, Ethel B. Davis estate - May 25, 1959
Percy R. Walter Davis estate, T. Edwin Andrew Jr. Guardian - Nov. 17, 1959 - Probate
Robert G. & Barbara E. Franz - Nov. 25, 1959 - b. 906 p. 86
William J. & Martha E. Boucher - Nov. 6, 1962 - b. 972 p. 378
Henry E. & Koan I Bolton - Mar. 24, 1970 - b. 1150 p. 174
Joan I. Bolton - Sept 17, 1984 - b. 1870 p. 326
Joan Bolton Realty Trust - Sept. 28, 1999 - b. 5563 p. 342

Andover Shawsheen Realty Co. - Oct. 30, 1937 - b. 611 p. 177 - 2nd parcel
Percy R. Walter & Ethel B. Davis - Oct. 15, 1951 - b. 758 p. 347 - lot 9A

Inventory Data:

StreetRiverina Rd
PlaceShawsheen Village - Frye Village
Historic DistrictShawsheen Village NRH District
Historic NamePercy R. Walter & Ethel B. Davis House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1921 - 1922
SourceERDS, ENRDL, assessers' rec./style-njs
Architectural StyleColonial Revival
Architect/BuilderClifford Allbright
Wall/Trimclapboard/wood/vinyl covered
Roofhip - slate
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresgarage
Major AlterationsVinyl siding and shutters, replacement railing on screen porch.
Acreage0.325 acre
Map and parcel52-12
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredJuly 25, 2015