28 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 1926 were John & Bessie Mullen. John was an electrician for the American Woolen Co.

This house was sold to Gertrude A. Newcomb, wife of Arthur A. Newcomb on June 2, 1943. Arthur was in sales with WLAW in Lawrence, (radio station?)
Newcomb sold after three years to Walter C. & Barbara D. Wilson, Jr. on June 3, 1946. The Wilsons owned for 11 years then selling to Alphonse & Theodora B. Lukas on Dec. 27, 1957. Alphonse b. 1923 and wife Theodora b. 1921 owned a Rest Home, thr Randolph Nursing Home at 102 Burnham Rd. They purchased it in Feb. 1961 and sold in 1969. Alphonse and Theordora had a parting of the ways shortly after and this property was deed to Alphonse in 1975.

Alphonse Lukas placed the deed in his name and Dorothy Birtles on Oct. 17, 1983. Alphonse died on Aug. 25, 1990. Dorothy inherits the property and the deed is placed into William A. Birtles & Dale E. Johnson on June 21, 1991.


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 #10
#2391 - May 1951 - lot 10A

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
Gertrude A. Newcomb, wife of Arthur A. - June 2, 1943 - b. 658 p. 325
Walter C. & Barbara D. Wilson, Jr. - June 3, 1946 - b. 685 p. 368
Alphonse & Theodora B. Lukas - Dec. 27, 1957 - b. 867 p. 163
Alphonse Lukas - June 12, 1975 - b. 1263 p. 725
Alphonse Lukas & Dorothy Birtles - Oct. 17, 1983 - b. 1734 p. 158
Alphonse Lukas estate, Dorothy Birtles heir - Aug. 25, 1990 - probate
William A. Birtles & Dale E. Johnson - June 21, 1991 - b. 3273 p. 332
Todd Mayo - Oct. 22, 2010 - b. 12244 p. 270
Rhonda L. Avola - May 3, 2011 - b. 12477 p. 244

Map #2391 - lot 10A
Textile Realty Co. - Ink Shop lot - 3.88 acres
Andover Shawsheen Realty Co - Oct. 30, 1937 - b. 611 p. 177 - parcel 2
Walter C. & Barbara D. Wilson, Jr. - Dec. 10, 1951 - b. 823 p. 21 - lot 10A

Inventory Data:

StreetRiverina Rd
PlaceShawsheen Village - Frye Village
Historic DistrictShawsheen Village NRH District
Historic NameNewcomb - Wilson 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
Roofasphalt - gable
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresgarage
Major Alterationsvinyl siding and shutters, enclosed porch on south side, front porch enclosure not original to house, slate roof replaced with asphalt.
Acreage0.346 acre
Map and parcel52-14
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredJuly 25, 2015