27 Summer Street

Architectural Description: 

Style: Federal

Other features: narrow stringcourse at second floor level

Historical Narrative: 

Original owner: Abbot on 1830 map
Themes: Architectural, The arts, Community development

Historical significance:
John Flint moved this house from its original location on corner at 8 Elm St. (1 Elm Sq.) and High Street to make way for a more elegant home in 1854, when he married for second time.

The John Flint mansion was built in the spring and summer of 1854 with a view to Elm Square. Built in the Italianate Style, the house was one of only a handful of homes to be built of this style in Andover. Before construction could begin Flint’s older residence had to be removed from the site. The mid 18th century house, first owned by John Flint’s father, was lifted off the foundation and moved to 27 Summer Street. On September 16, 1854 AA reports– The house of John Flint, on the village square, is nearly completed and attracts the attention of both town’s people and strangers. The external and internal construction on the building seems to gratify visitors exceedingly.

John Flint Jr. was born in Danvers, now part of Peabody in Feb. 21, 1792. The son of John & Ruth Flint, the Flint’s came to Andover in 1795. John Jr. married Lydia Clark Abbot on June 6, 1822. Lydia b. May 13, 1797 was the daughter of Abiel & Hannah (Frye) Abbot of Andover. John & Lydia had seven daughters and one son:

Children; Hannah Mariah b. Sept. 20, 1824 - d. Apr. 14, 1836, Sarah Abbott b. Sept. 12, 1826 - d. Sept. 15, 1852, Emily Elizabeth b. Nov. 26, 1828 - d. Apr. 17, 1850, Lydia Lucretia b. May 14, 1831, Martha Russell b. July 11, 1833 - d. Aug. 5, 1853, Ann Elizabeth b. Mar. 13, 1835, Hannah Maria b. Nov. 9, 1838, and son John Henry b. March 6, 1842. John’s wife Lydia died on July 5, 1847 at the age of 50. Flint remarried in 1854 to Mary Ann (Warren) Simpson and then began construction of his new home the same year.

John Flint Jr. was a cabinet maker and carpenter in his early life. He purchased a lot of land (2 Main St.) of about 7 square rods from Thomas C. Foster on November 13, 1818. Here he build his cabinet making shop which would later become a merchants store. Later became Valpey's Meat Market.

John Jr. had developed an aptitude for accounting and finance and became the first treasurer of the Andover Savings Bank 1834-1870. Also the treasurer for 12 years of the Andover & Wilmington Rail Road incorporated in 1833, later to become the Boston & Maine Railroad. John Flint was a prosperous business man and died June 21, 1873 at the age of 81. Flint’s wife Mary died in 1888.

George H. French sold the lot of land to Rev. Varnum Lincoln, Universalist minister and poet on Sept. 6, 1854 for $300. The deed came with a stipulation; "to make a good and substantial fence of wall upon the line between the premises and other land of said Grantor and at all times to maintain one half of the same." It is not clear if French or Lincoln purchased the Flint house and moved it to this lot. Varnum purchased a second parcel or strip of land in 1858 from Moody Russell for $100. The deed states that Lincoln was living in Abington, Plymouth Co. MA at that time so may have rented the property in Andover while serving elsewhere. Rev Lincoln initiated spelling bees in Andover Public schools.

Varnum Lincoln was b. Sept. 25, 1819 in Chelmsford, MA son of Abel & Phebe (Griffin) Lincoln. Varnum married Emiline Sprague on May 17, 1844 in Lowell, MA. They had four children, 3 boys and 1 girl: Edwin Thayer b. Jan. 2, 1848 Westminster, MA, Charles Thayer b. Oct. 24, 1849 Yarmouth, MA, Emma Jennette b. Sept. 26, 1854 Yarmounth, MA and Harry C. b. July 21, 1857 - died May 13, 1859 Abington, MA. The 1855 Mass State Census this all the Lincolns on Summer St. in Andover.

His wife Emeline died on June 23, 1870 in Gilford, NH. After Varnum Lincoln's death on Dec. 23, 1907 The property was inherited by Emma, Florence, and Emma May Shepardson in 1908 probate. Varnum's daughter Emma Lincoln, who stayed with her father continued to lived here. She was secretary and leading force in Andover Village Improvement Society and Indian Ridge Association. Ruth Mitchell lived in the other side of the house, supervisor of music in Andover schools before her marriage. Then she occupied with her husband H. Allison Morse.
Emma Lincoln died on Aug. 6, 1932 and Florence A. Lincoln and Emma May Shepardson became sole heirs to the property. Mrs. H. Allison Morse was occupant in 1946 and rented the home.

The property was later purchased by Mary J. Murray, wife of John M. Murray on Jan. 1952. Murray owned for 12 years then sold the property to Bruce K. & Marsha H. Johnson on Oct. 26, 1964. The Johnsons owned for 30 years.

Fredrick A. & Susan T. Putnam then owned on Nov. 8, 1994 and sold after 14 years to Charles P. & Heather Harris on Nov. 25, 2008.

Madam Abigail (Richards) French, widow of South Parish's second minister, Rev. Jonathan French, occupied house. Rev. French died on July 28, 1809 after 33 years as minister at South Church. Abigail died in August 1821 at age 79. If she did occupy the home it was located at the first site.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Dorman, Moses; Map of Andover, 1830
Andover Historical Society files
Goldsmith, Bessie; Townswoman's Andover, 1964, pg. 103

George H. French, wife Frances W. - 1854
Varnum Lincoln - Sept. 6, 1854 - b. 500 leaf 159 - house lot
Varnum Lincoln from Moody Russell - Mar. 16, 1858 - b. 567 leaf 148 - lot 2
Varnum Lincoln estate, Dec. 23, 1907 - Probate 102385
Lincoln heirs: Florence A. & Emma J. Lincoln, Emma May Shepardson - 1908
Emma J. Lincoln estate, Florence A. Lincoln & Emma May Shepardson - Aug. 6, 1932 - Probate 12/13/32
Mary J. Murray, wife of John M. Murray - Jan. 1952 - b. 779 p. 564
Bruce K. & Marsha H. Johnson - Oct. 26, 1964 - b. 1021 p. 201
Fredrick A. & Susan T. Putnam - Nov. 8, 1994 - b. 4161 p. 2
Charles P. & Heather Harris - Nov. 25, 2008 - b. 11386 p. 63

Inventory Data:

StreetSummer St
PlaceAndover Center District
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameFlint, John - Lincoln, Rev. Varnum House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1790's - early 19th century
SourceECRDS, ENRDL, style-njs
Architectural StyleOther
Roofasphalt - gable
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresmodern garage
Move Details1850
Acreage1.4 acres; approx. frontage: 121'
Map and parcel39-150
MHC NumberANV.555
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-1977, 5/24/2016