27-29-31 Main Street

Architectural Description: 

The building was built as a Federal style house with a large gable end roof perhaps add later in Greek Revival style.

Historical Narrative: 

27-29-31 Main Street - The Barnard Block - "The Belmont"
The Nathaniel Swift building – Henry W. Abbott house and Mrs. Elizabeth Abbott house, c. 1867

The house on the right, which would eventually become known as the first Barnard Block, was built circa 1829 in the Federalist period style as a two story home on the Essex Turnpike (Main Street) after its construction in 1806. The house may have originally had a hip roof, as its neighbor to the south, but converted at a later date. The property once belonged to Capt. Stephen Abbott who sold to Jonas Underwood in 1829. Dr. Jonas Underwood, who enlarged his barn which was on a lot which was purchased from Thomas Nicholas, may have built the house. Dr. Underwood may have had his practice here before leaving for Hingham, MA but the house was also used for business. William Francis (Frank) Holt opened a restaurant & newspaper stand here in 1842. Marshal Blood would later become the proprietor.

In 1846 Charles Pray purchased the property from Underwood for $1850 as Trustee for Elizabeth Abbot. Charles Pray was the son-in law of Benjamin & Elizabeth Abbott, marrying their daughter Sarah C. Abbott. Col. Benjamin Abbot Jr. born November 8, 1776 died Aug. 13, 1852, was the son of Bixby & Hepsibah (Ames) Abbot. Benj. Abbott married in Nov. 1816 to Elizabeth Goldsmith b. Aug. 29, 1791 daughter of Jeremiah & Sarah Goldsmith. Elizabeth lived here after the death of her husband but her health was failing. Feb. 26, 1859 AA – Almost a Fire – On Wednesday evening at about 9 o’clock a fire was discovered in the barn of widow Benjamin Abbott, near the Town House. Timely discovery and prompt aid prevented serious injury.
Guardian Charles Pray died Dec. 5, 1864. December 10, 1864 AA– Guardians Sale – at Town House lower hall – A variety of household goods, furniture, belonging to the estate of Mrs. Elizabeth Abbott. Elizabeth died in Ipswich, at the Insane Asylum on March 25, 1867. After the death of the Widow Elizabeth G. Abbott the following notice in the Andover Advertiser was published May 10, 1867;
“Administrative Sale - Auction Real Estate in Andover Saturday May 25, at 4 o’clock P.M. on the premises, all the real estate of the late Elizabeth Abbott, widow, deceased, situated on Main street, Andover, next south of the bank building. It consists of a house and barn, together with the land under and adjoining the same. The house is commodious and convenient, and is now occupied by families and a store. The estate is on the principle street of the town, directly opposite the Town House and post office, and being situated in the midst of business, renders it one of the most desirable locations in town for trade, a residence, or for the erection of a splendid private or public building…George Foster, Admr. Andover May 10, 1867.” Andover Advertiser (AA)- May 31, 1867- George Foster sold at auction on Saturday, the real estate of the late widow Elizabeth Abbott, situated on Main street for $4010., Purchaser, J. W. Barnard.

Mar. 14, 1857 AA- Miss Emily W. Low announces to her former patrons & friends in Andover on her return on April 1 will again be in Millinery in rooms in the dwelling house of Marshall Blood, second door south of the Bank building. Up-stairs.
March 28, 1857 - Miss E. W. Low – Fashionable Millinery – 2nd door south of the Bank – up stairs

In June 14, 1867 AA. Marshal Blood has removed his family from Main Street to his house on High Street, and sold out his newspaper and periodical business to John H. Chandler for the first of July. Mr. Blood as served the people of Andover in the line of business, most faithfully for more than fourteen years. His successor is a very efficient and accommodating young gentleman, but the familiar face of the retiring old veteran will be greatly missed by the reading community.

The property was purchased at auction on May 25, 1867 to Jacob W. Barnard who was in the shoe manufacturing business and had his store and shop in the Bank building next door. This building was the first of three on Main Street to carry the Barnard building name. He later built a shoe manufacturing building on Barnard Street in 1885 which ceased operation in 1931.
On July 8, 1870 AA paper states “ J. W. Barnard is making arrangements for raising his building on Main street two or three feet.” The following week it is reported, “Barnard is raising his building on Main Street, next to the National Bank, twelve feet, making it three stories above the basement. The sills and sidewalk in front will be raised about two feet. It is to be fitted up with excellent convenient for shops and families.” Barnard’s new block now mirrored the Draper Block next door which was remodeled in late 1869 and completed in 1870. By August 1871 Barnard had expanded his business to employ 115 people.

After Barnard’s reconstruction was completed the paper reports Oct. 21, 1870 –“John H. Chandler has returned to is old stand in Barnard’s Block, Main Street, where his newspaper, periodical and fancy goods store has been enlarged, improved and filled up in fine style. There is not a neater or more attractive shop in the village.” Chandler also owned Johnson’s Andover & Boston express and had his office here in 1885. August 23, 1895 AT- J. H. Chandler’s store was sold to Omar P. Chase, now clerk at Valpey Bros. market. Mr. Chase is well known about town. This paper store continued at #27 until March 1910 when O.P. Chase moved to the newer ARCO building across the street. Nov. 25, 1870 AA– An attempt to break into the shoe store of J. W. Barnard on Main street.
Andrew Basso moved his fruit & grocery store here from the Draper block in April 1910 and remained until 1940? Next, The Andover Fruit Store 1941-1943, The Andover Coal Company 1943-1953? Jonathan Swift – The Country Store children’s clothing 1953-19__, Valentine Florist 1960-1972? The last tenant, The Taylor Shop, a women’s fashions shop from Lawrence occupied these quarters 1972 – 1980’s before the building was razed about 1983?

The Andover Advertiser reported; Jan 10, 1871 - Smith’s New Photograph Store – On March 17th reports, The only photographic establishment in Andover is offered for sale, on account of the death of the owner, see advertisement. April 21st, Auction of Photographic Stock. of the late George E. Smith on Main Street, Sat. April 29th. August 18, 1871, W.H. Berry has taken the photograph rooms lately occupied by G.E. Smith. While Mr. Berry will take all kinds of photographs, it is his intention to make a specialty of opalgraphs, a new style of pictures which excels in durability and beauty. On September 1, 1871 – Berry’s Photograph Rooms – Barnard’s Building, also William T. Stark opens a Millinery Trimmings & Fancy goods shop in Barnard’s Block. A week later Sept. 8th states; Stark has taken the store recently occupied by G. Emery. He continues to advertize in 1872. Joseph Abbott & G. Emory Smith dissolved their furniture business partnership, on December 9, 1870 Joseph Abbott continued under his name but moved his from the Draper block to the new Barnard Block. Abbott would move again to the Derby block by April 28, 1871. Abbott’s Furniture store was originally in Elm Square and was burned out in 1870.

July 18, 1873 AA - The people of Andover are now favored with an excellent resident dentist, Dr. Frink is a graduate of the Philadelphia Dental College, has taken rooms in Barnard’s Building, opposite the Post Office, where he will attend to dentistry in all its branches.
McLawlin & Baker’s hardware store re-opened here the first week of March 1884 after a fire completely destroyed their business in the Carter Brick Block on Feb. 22, 1884.

March 22, 1884 Andover Advertiser pg. 2 col. 9 - McLawlin & Baker have secured fine business accommodations in Barnard's wooden block opposite the town hall. They open with a full line of hardware, farming tools, and a great variety of other articles such as people frequently want but cannot usually find in country stores. Their entire stock of goods has just been purchased at very low figures, and will be sold at correspondingly small prices. The firm will be glad to serve their ante fire customers and all others who desire to buy such goods as they keep, and we have no doubt they will satisfy all purchases of their honorable mode of dealing. (also see Advertisement on pg. 3 col. 2)
The hardware store was originally established by Henry Abbott in Carter’s brick building #1-7 Main Street, sold to Charles L. Carter 1877-1880, then McLawlin & Baker 1880-1885. Baker retired in January 1885 and Henry McLawlin took over sole ownership. In April 1885, McLawlin also purchased the Bean house on Elm Street next to the Elm House, the site east of the Andover Spa. He sold his business to Walter I. Morse in March 1906 - 1928, then became W. R. Hill Hardware 1928-1939 before moving down to #45 Main Street.. #31 Andes Beauty Salon in 1940-1960’s. The two stores #27 & #31were combined into one large space which was occupied by the Taylor Shop of Lawrence a woman’s apparel store. The building was purchased by the Andover Savings Bank in 1973 who eventually acquired all the property between the two banks for re-development during the 1970’s & 80’

On the upper two floors were five or six resident apartments which were also used as professional offices. In 1885 Dr. Charles Abbott had his office here. Dr. A. E. Hulme had is dental practice here in the 1894 but moved across the street in Barnard’s Brock block in July 1894. On Aug. 31, C. H. Bell jr. has hired the room in Barnard’s Block formerly occupied by Dr. Hulme, over J. H. Chandler’s store. He will open soon with a fine line of gentlemen’s shoes.
Mar. 2, 1900 AT p4 Theives at Work – McLawlin’s Hardware & Dennis Sweeney’s Blacksmithing at North Main Street.
Mar. 16, 1900 AT p1 – The work of improvement on the interior of the building over O. P. Chase’s and Henry McLawlin’s stores, owned by J. W. Barnard is nearly completed. It is now being let as apartments. It will be called the “Belmont” and a sign designating it as such has been placed in position

The renaming of the building by Barnard, “The Belmont Block” may have been an attempt by the owner to avoid confusion with the two other Barnard buildings on Main Street. There were many residents living in the apartments above including Andrew Basso’s family above his store for a few years. In the rear basement was the harness shop of Charles Mayers who had been burned out in the Abbott Furniture fire in Elm Square in May 1870. Mayers quickly reopened in June in the Swift building, then into the basement of Draper’s block before settling here by October 1870. In 1946 George Potier has a light machine shop at 33 rear. He works on grinding and sharpening of blades, saws, and scissors, bicycle repairs etc.

The Barnard family heirs finally sold the block to Jaycole Realty Company in 1958. Dorothy Glazerman was president & Samuel M. Glazerman treasurer of Jaycole. The property was transferred to Dorothy in 1967 who then sold to Danton Realty Trust in 1967. Andover Savings Bank acquired the property in May 1973. After Taylor Shop lease ended in 1982? the bank’s ASB Development Corp. razed the building and extended their new retail building into this lot. A second story was also added to the building at this time for additional office space for the bank.

Mar. 22, 1907 AT pg. 1 A new front is being put in the stores occupied by Walter I. Morse & O. P. Chase in the Belmont Block (Barnard Block). The J. W. Barnard heirs own the building, and the work is being done by Pike & Son. W. J. Doherty is also putting in a new front store formerly occupied by the Andover Book Store & owner W. J. Burns. (Draper Block)
April 19, 1907 AT Editorial Cinders. Marked improvements in the two old wooden buildings on Main Street occupied by the stores from Chase’s newsstand to the old bookstore has the effect of improving the entire center of the town…….
April 26, 1907 AT - O. P. Chase has placed a handsome new sign over his store front.
Sept. 6, 1907 pg. 1 Andrew Basso has moved his family from Washington Ave. to the rooms in the Barnard Block, formerly occupied by Dr. McTernen. (McTernern moved to new ARCO building)
April 1, 1910 pg. 5 O.P. Chase moves into the ARCO building – history of the old building and former tenants.
April 8, 1910 pg.1 Basso to take former O.P. Chase Store front talks of changes to building.
April 29, 1910 Basso storefront completed.
May 27, 1910 - H.S. Wright is to move to Basso’s former store as Wright’s buildings to be torn down. (moved to #37 Main – Draper Block, The Pray house and Wakefield block at 10-18 Main were razed)

The two former houses lifted up with stores built under by Warren F. Draper in 1869
and Jacob W. Barnard in 1870. Image 1896 Andover Business Directory.
The Barnard Block “Belmont” in the 1950’s Andre’s Beauty Shop & Jonathan Swift

1974 The Taylor Shop
Time line of lot:
1852 - 1884 Residence
1896 Stationary store, Paint & Hardware store
1906 Residence
1926 Andover Basso Fruit, residences, W I Morse Hardware
1932 Andover Basso Fruit, residences, W R Hill Hardware,
Andover Candy Kitchen
1943 Andover Coal company, residences, Andes Beauty Salon
1953 The Country Store, residences, Swanson's Snack and
Hobby Shop
1992 Dahers, Waldenbooks


Northern Essex Registry of Deeds, Lawrence MA
Essex County Registry of Deeds, Salem, MA
Andover Historical Society Archives
Andover Resident Street Directories
Andover Evaluation Reports, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1900, 1910, 1920.
Andover Town Maps, 1852, 1855, 1872, 1888, Sanborn Maps, 1896, 1906
Andover Advertiser & Andover Townsman newspapers
Andover Business Directory 1896

Henry Abbott
Capt. Stephen Abbott
Jonas Underwood MD - May 9, 1829 - b. 252 lf. 198 - Essex Deeds, Salem
- July 30, 1835 - 2nd Parcel – of Alonzo Smith
Elizabeth Abbott, Charles Pray, trustee - May 5, 1845 - b. 363 lf. 146 - Essex Deeds, Salem
Elizabeth Abbott,Trust release - Apr. 30, 1853 - b. 595 lf. 265 Essex Deeds, Salem
George Foster, estate of Eliz. Abbott
Jacob W. Barnard - May 25, 1867 - b. 727 p. 213 Essex Deeds, Salem
J.W. Barnard estate heirs
Marion B. Cole - Sept. 30, 1944 - b. 671 p. 415 - 7th parcel p.419
Jaycole Realty Company - July 22, 1958 - b. 877 p. 1-9
Dorothy Glazerman - April 25, 1967 - b. 1080 p. 378
Danton Realty Trust/John Davidson - May 26, 1967 - b. 1082 p.429
Andover Savings Bank - May 29, 1973 - b. 1219 p. 302 two parcels

Inventory Data:

StreetMain St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameBarnard Block - The Belmont
Present UseRetail / Commercial
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1820
Architectural StyleOther
Foundationstone & granite
Roofgable roof, asphalt
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresbarn
Major Alterations1870 raised 12' and retail space inserted at street level Razed 1982-83
Demolition Details1982
Settingcommercial business district
Map and parcel55-93
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975 -1977; July 1992, 4/2014