26 Wildwood Road

Architectural Description: 

Colonial Revival Home, hip roof,

Historical Narrative: 

26 Wildwood Rd. – D’Arcy – Converse – Wildwood Inn

Sarah F. Jenkins sold the family homestead at 24 - 26 Wildwood Rd. Thomas F. D’Arcy on Apr. 9, 1900. The farm contained four parcels of land, the first lot held the house. D’Arcy also purchased the Jones farm and homestead at 233 Holt Rd. to the north the following day. Thomas transferred these properties to his father Michael D’Arcy in 1901. The D’Arcy family lived in the Jenkins house until the completion of the D’Arcy Mansion behind the old Holt-Cummings-Jenkins Homestead in October 1901. The old homestead was then razed and the site became the front lawn and dive into the new home.

Thomas Francis D’Arcy born in Massachusetts in July 1878, son of Michael F. & Sarah E. (Cottam) D’Arcy. His father emigrated from Ireland and established a sash and blinds business in Boston. Thomas sold the Jenkins and Jones farms to his father Michael F. D’Arcy in 1902.

Michael F. D’Arcy was born on Dec. 25, 1851 in Wicklow, Ireland, son of Garrett & Ann (Fenelon) D’Arcy. He was an educated man, graduated from Dublin College and immediately immigrated via NYC in June 1868. Michael made his way to Revere, MA where he was Naturalized on Feb. 4, 1874. Michael married Aug. 13, 1876 to Sarah E. Cottam b. Jan 13, 1856 in Boston, dau. of James Harvey & Ann Cottam. Michael & Sarah had four children: Elvira Ann b. 1877 – d. 1895, Thomas b. July 1878, Henry F. b. Apr. 10, 1880 – d. Sept. 6, 1887 and Gerald J. b. 1884. Tragically his wife Sarah died on Mar. 13, 1887 and on Sept. 7th son Henry drown off Breeds Island, Winthrop at age seven.

Michael re-married on Oct. 21, 1888 in Boston to Helen McDougall b. Mar. 30, 1858 in Boston, dau. of Dougall & Sarah L. McDougall. They had a daughter Pauline Frances D’Arcy b. Jan. 19, 1894. They later divorced and Helen returned to her parent’s home with Pauline. In the 1900 Census, enumerated on June 25th Michael D’Arcy and his two sons Thomas age 21 and Gerald age 16 are living in Andover off Main St. and most likely occupied the Jenkins homestead.

Michael had established a wood sash and blind company under the name D’Arcy & Company in Boston and became a very successful businessman. His two sons were also partners in the company. Michael was also very active in politics.

On that 9.9 acre parcel at the corner of Holt and Wildwood Roads and extending north to Orchard St. Michael D’Arcy built his grand mansion house on the top of the knoll behind the Jenkins Homestead. Wildwood Rd. from South Main Street to Holt was then named D’Arcy Rd. D’Arcy would acquire about 300 acres and created a gentleman’s farm. Construction of the house began in June 1901. Designed by Boston architect J. C. Brown who also had the contract to build the barns and out buildings on the east side of Holt Rd. The Mansion, one of the finest in Andover, was completed in October 1901. “… a large house of Colonial style of architecture, about 65 feet square, it will be two stories and a half in height and will have large columns about 24 feet high running to the second story. Piazzas on three sides will be very wide, about 16 feet. The interior will be arranged with an idea of comfort and beauty combined. In front the lawn will slope dawn for considerable distance, with a drive curving around from the road to the rear… When it is completed Mr. D’Arcy will move in with his two sons and later the houses which have been landmarks upon the property for a long time will be removed.”

The Mansion was short lived as it burned down on Dec. 8, 1906. Frozen pipes in the attic had to be thawed out and the fire started in the attic near the chimney. The Townsman reported “The dwelling was one of the finest in town, commodious, thoroughly modern and elegantly furnished.” A great deal of the furniture on the first floor was rescued during the blaze but the house was a total loss. No photos of the mansion have yet surfaced. A map #97 of the D’Arcy property in July 1911 shows five parcels of land with lot #3 with the location of the cellar hole of the former mansion.

D’Arcy then moved across the street into the house at 34 Wildwood Road. Michael married a third time on October 29, 1908 to Charlotte “Lottie” Evelyn Baker b. March 12, 1879 in Andover dau. of George F. & Charlotte (Blanchard) Baker. Michael & Lottie would have twins George B. and Sarah Elizabeth in July 1909. Again tragedy struck on Dec. 16, 1909 as his oldest son Thomas Francis died of a fractured skull when he fell from a beam while working in Cambridge, MA. His son Gerald married in Boston on Oct. 30, 1907 to Edith Maxwell Chick of Dorchester, dau of Moses M. & Clara (Woodworth) Chick. They had one daughter Dorris W. b. June 1909. In 1910 Gerald D’Arcy is listed as the President of his father’s company. In February 1912 Gerald and Edith purchased a two acre lot at 5 Gardner Ave and built a new home there.

Michael D’Arcy sold the Jenkins and Jones farms to Marquise M. Converse on Mar. 31, 1911. D’Arcy moved to 5 Gardner Ave. with his son and later relocated to Dover, NH. Michael died on July 9, 1920 and is interred at Spring Grove Cemetery.

Converse would build a new mansion by 1913 on the site of the former D’Arcy mansion and it became their primary residence. The Converse home had 18-20 rooms, with an entry portico on the west died. A living room, music room with connecting fireplaces, large foyer and dining room all with elegant wood paneling, kitchen to the rear, 3 butler pantries and a half bath. The second floor held five bedrooms, three baths, a sewing room, and the master suit held two rooms and a connecting bath. The attic held four finished rooms and a bath.

Marquis Mills Converse was born on Oct. 23, 1861 in Lyme, Grafton, NH, son of Peter M. & Sarah S. (Clement) Converse. He was the Superintendent of a Dry Goods Store when he married on Oct. 23, 1884 to Alice Houghton Sargent, b. July 1862 in Lebanon, NH dau. of Charles E. & Maria A. H. Sargent. Marquis would later establish the Converse Rubber Shoe Company in Malden, MA in February 1908. Converse purchased other farms in the area, owned five houses and 357 acres by 1920. Marquis & Alice had five children; Frieda b. May 28, 1888 NH, Harold M. b. Mar. 21, 1890 NH, John Kendrick b. Jan. 29, 1898, Ralph Houghton b. May 16, 1903 and Dorothy b. April 18 1906 all in Medford, MA.

Marquise deeded all his holdings to his wife Alice on Feb. 10, 1920. Marquise died on February 9, 1931 and is interred at Spring Grove Cemetery. Alice placed the properties into the care of Essex Broadway Bank in 1932. Alice then sold the property to Arianna T. & Bert G. Spaulding on Aug. 10, 1933 which included all five parcels of land. AT August 25, 1933 – Converse Estate Recently Sold – To be called Wildwood. A side note: Converse Rubber Corporation merged with Tyer Rubber Company of Andover in June 1972.

Bert Gay Spaulding was born in Pembroke, NH in 1871 son of Miles & Annie E. (Gay) Spaulding. Bert married on Oct. 26, 1899 in Pembroke to Arianna B. Tallent b. 1873 in East Concord, NH dau. of John G. & Addie G. (Witteman) Tallent. Bert was a farmer and milk dealer. Bert and Arianna had one daughter Ann E. b. 1904. They settled in Dunstable, MA on Forest St. where they ran a hotel and Inn called Idlewild Inn. It was lost to a fire in in 1931. The couple found the Converse estate in Andover, purchased it in 1933 and converted the single family home into a guest inn and restaurant which they named Wildwood. Their daughter Ann married Clinton Shaw and they moved into the D’Arcy cottage across the street at 34 Wildwood Rd. While Arianna managed the hotel Bert managed the farm.
The Inn was a popular spot for dinner but became too much when they reached their seventies. They continued to operate as a resident hotel in 1939. The 1940 census lists five residents, a servant and a cook with the Spauldings.

They finally retired and sold Wildwood Inn on five acres to Roland H. & Olive F. Sherman on May 31, 1946. Roland was a lawyer with Eaton Chandler Sherman. Rollie, bought the house site unseen by his wife Olive. They then sold to Thomas R. & Evelyn Sutton on Mar. 29, 1949. Thomas worked for the Newbury Company but was listed as proprietor of Wildwood Farm.

Joseph F. & Elizabeth A. Gurry then purchased the home on Oct. 29, 1951. Joseph Francis Gurry was born on June 3, 1905 in Lawrence, second son of James E. & Anastasia “Anna” H. (Breene) Gurry. The oldest son James Edward was born on April 22, 1902. Sadly his father Joseph had died on Feb. 25, 1905 of pneumonia. Anna now had to provide for both her boys. In 1910 Ann’s widowed mother-n-law Mary (Colin) Gurry age 67 was also living with her. Both brother’s attended Lawrence Public Schools. James E. would work for the Lawrence Gas and Electric CO. as a clerk. Joseph F. graduated from Villanova College and Georgetown Medical School and became a physician and surgeon. They lived at 221 Bruce St. in Lawrence.

Joseph E. married on May 4, 1938 to Elizabeth Ann Loughran b. 1912 in Lowell, dau. of Joseph E. & and Mary J. Loughran. Elizabeth attended Lowell public schools and graduated from Emanuel College in Boston. Joseph and Elizabeth had all sons; Joseph Francis Jr. b. Mar. 1, 1939, Shaun Anthony b. 1941, James Edward b. 1942, and Kevin B. b. 1943. It has been stated there were six
boys. Their Uncle James E. Gurry lived with them in the Andover home for many years. The deed to the property was transferred to Elizabeth Gurry on April 29, 1959. Joseph E. is listed was Pres. and Treasurer of Winwar & Sons, Inc. in Lawrence in 1960 in addition to his medical practice.
Joseph E. Gurry died in early 1960s and Elizabeth would later sell Wildwood to George Chongris on Jan. 19, 1971 for $52,000. Chongris divided the slightly less than five are parcel into five house lots and applied for a variance to convert the mansion into an apartment building on one lot with single family homes on the other four lots. Chongris sold to North Street Realty Trust on Sept. 15, 1971 for $42,500.

The Mansion however burned to the ground before that conversion could be accomplished. Only the garage survived the fire. The mansion stood on the lot now #241 Holt Rd. The garage is still in use with the property at 237 Holt Rd.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Lawrence, MA
Judson S. Holt – Holt - line research
History of the Holt - Jenkins Farm - 2006 - V. Reck
History of Wildwood Farm and Inn - 2006 - V. Reck
Andover Townsman - Handsome Spot - June 28, 1901 - D'Arcy place

Plan map #97 – M. F. D’Arcy – Jan. 1911
Plan map #6477 – George Chongris – Mar. 1971

John Holt –
John Holt Jr. – Mar. 5, 1745/6 rec. Jan 12, 1747 – b. 90 leaf 130 – 100 pds.
Joshua Holt – May 29, 1749 – rec. Nov. 24, 1755 – b. 104 leaf 61 – 100 pds.
John Holt 3rd - Apr. 10, 1759 – rec. Ap. 14, 1762 – b. 107 leaf 282 – 200 pds. – 36a 53 poles
John Holt Jr. – Apr. 25, 1759 – rec, Jan. 25, 1760 – b. 109 leaf 8 west end of homestead
Joshua Holt – Apr. 25, 1759 – rec. Feb. 18, 1760 – b. 109 leaf 8 – 24 acres
Abiel Abbott- Apr. 6, 1762 – b. 109 leaf 275 – 276 – 83 pds & 273 pds. 16 s. – 19.5 acres
Samuel Martin – Feb. 4, 1863 rec. Mar. 3 – b. 112 leaf 132
Jonathan Cummings Jr., wife Mary – June 10, 1766 rec. May 23, 1769 – b.126 leaf 131 =51 a. w/blds.
Jonathan Cummings estate, died May 6, 1805
Daniel Cummings, wife Hannah –
Solomon Holt – Mar. 2, 1825 – b. 226 leaf 11 – mtg. $2000
Daniel Cummings – June 28, 1823 – rec. Jul. 12 – b. 233 leaf 150 - $2000 – 5 parcels
Daniel Cummings estate, died Dec. 26, 1827 – Daniel Extr.
Mary Cumming quit claim to Daniel - Jul 12, 1828 – b. 233 p. 151
Samuel Jenkins, wife Lydia – June 21, 1823 rec. Jul 12, 1828 – b. 233 p. 150. $2800 3 parcels
Samuel Jenkins, Jr. – Jan. 14, 1832 – b. 263 leaf 37 – ½ Dan. Cummings farm.
Ebenezer Jenkins – June 24, 1833 – b. 271 leaf 37 – ½ undivided
Samuel Jenkins estate - Oct. 17, 1845 -
Ebenezer Jenkins, wife Sally “Polly” – Nov. 1, 1845 – b. 360 leafs 93-95
Ebenezer Jenkins, estate -died Dec. 22, 1883
Jenkins Heirs, Widow Polly, Sarah F. Jenkins, and Wendall Jenkins
Sally Polly Jenkins estate, Sarah F. Jenkins and Wendall Jenkins
Thomas F. D’Arcy – Apr. 9, 1900 – b. 176 p. 157 – Ebenezer Jenkins farm
Thomas F. D’Arcy – Apr. 10, 1900 – b. 176 p. 154 – 155 – Jones Farm
Michael F. D’Arcy – May 12, 1902 – b. 195 p. 371 lot #2
Michael F. D’Arcy – June 30, 1902 – b. 205 p. 455 – lot #5
Marquise M. Converse – Mar. 31, 1911 – b. 302 p. 237
Alice H. Converse – Feb. 10, 1920 – b. 416 p. 389
Broadway Savings Bank, Lawrence – Sept. 20, 1932 – b. 566 p. 401
Arianna T. & Bert G. Spaulding – Aug. 10, 1933 – b. 571 p. 299 – 5 parcels
Roland H. & Olive F. Sherman – May 31, 1946 – b. 685 p. 198 – 5 acres
Thomas R. & Evelyn Sutton – Mar. 29, 1949 – b. 722 p. 304
Joseph F. & Elizabeth A. Gurry – Oct. 29, 1951 – b. 756 p. 598
Elizabeth A. Elizabeth Gurry – April 29, 1959 - b. 892 p. 440
Elizabeth A Gurry – Mar. 27, 1964 - b. 1006 p. 331 release
George Chongris – Jan. 19, 1971 – b. 1165 p. 305
North Street Realty, Theodore L. Freeman, Tr. – Sept. 15, 1971 – b. 1179 p. 264
Harold R. & Margaret S. Gillam – Oct. 3, 1975 – b. 1269 p. 221
John T. & Judith Shaw – Nov. 1, 2002 – b. 7227 p. 102

Inventory Data:

StreetWildwood Rd
PlaceScotland District
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameD'Arcy - Converse - Willwood Inn Site
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1901 and 1913
SourceERDS, NERDL, style,
Architectural StyleColonial Revival
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresgarage, barns and sheds
ConditionDestroyed by fire
Demolition DetailsDestroyed by fire Autumn 1971
Acreage9.9 acres
Map and parcel61-8B
Recorded byKenna Therrien, James S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Center for History & Culture, Andover Preservation Commission
Date enteredJune 15, 2018