29 High Street

Architectural Description: 

Gable end to High street, the house is trapezoidal, not square, one acute, one obtuse corner; unusual construction design. The house faces south, suggesting earlier building trend to capture the most heat from the sun during the day. 3 fireplaces; 2 1/2 stories
Evidence of shed or ell removed, windows covered over, but outline framing remains for facade symmetry. Rear porch has been glassed-in

Historical Narrative: 

Themes: Architectural; Community Development

George French owned other High Street houses - he lived at #27, "Old Higgins House"

This property was once owned by James Hervey Higgins, b. 1815. James, of Boston, married in Andover to Sarah Ann Abbott on December 15, 1842. Sarah was b. Aug. 16, 1815 in Andover, daughter of Henry & Dorcas (Holt) Abbott. James was a merchant, grocer and trader. James & Sarah had two daughters, Anne Olivia b. Feb. 1844 and Sarah E. b. Apr. 17, 1845. James died of fever on Oct. 29, 1847 at age 31y 9m 6d. His estate was probated through administrator Eben P. Higgins and Sarah inherits the property through probate on July 25, 1849. The 1850 Andover Valuation Schedule list both Eben P. Higgins and Widow Sarah A. Higgins as owners of Dwelling house $1300. The 1860 and 1870 schedules are also the same.

The 1850 Federal Census also reveals that Eben P. b. June 1. 1811 and his family: wife Rebecca H. (Abbott) b. Mar. 7, 1809, and two sons, Albert H. b. Apr. 3, 1838 and Charles W. Higgins b. June 27, 1840, share half of the house. They would have two more sons who died young, Robert Henry b. May 5, 1843 d, Sept. 13, 1844 and Eben F. b. Oct. 28, 1846 d. Nov. 18, 1846. Eben P. was a carriage painter and his shop was first located on Elm Sq. then 12 North Main St. just north of the Memorial Hall Library.
Advertisement - Feb. 19, 1853 AA- Charles S. Parker - carriage painter - Main St. opposite Elm Street.
Eben P. Higgins - Carriage and sign painter Elm Sq. near the Eagle Hotel. (Elm House - now Musgrove Building)

Charles S. Parker purchased the 3928 square foot lot from the Boston & Maine Rail Road on July 17, 1851 for $402.62. Parker then built his paint shop on the premises. Charles places his property for sale in late June of 1855 and sells to Eben P. Higgins and Thomas Clark, painters, on July 23, 1855. Clark & Higgins paid $1025. Higgins had been in business across the square probably on Post Office Ave. Eben Higgins remained at this location until the property was completely destroyed by fire on Sunday May 29, 1870.

June 3, 1870 Andover Advertiser - A very extensive and destructive conflagration occurred in our village, on Sunday morning. The fire was first discovered just before 2 o’clock, in a barn on Main Street, owned by the heirs of the late Hon. Amos Abbott, and the flame soon communicated to an old house on the same premises, occupied by Michael McLaughlin, as a tenement, and by Charles Mayer, for a harness shop. Both buildings were entirely consumed, together with a cow and two swine, belonging to Mr. McLaughlin. His furniture and the stock and tools of Mr. Mayer, were saved.

The paint shop next south of the above, owned by Eben P. Higgins, was soon enveloped with flames and destroyed with some stock and tools, a wagon left to be painted by George H. Chandler, a sleigh owned by John Findley, three pung sleighs and a lot of oats stored by Holt & Higgins.

The livery stable of John Cornell, with hay grain, three sleighs, and some other articles, shared the same fate. Mr. Cornell saved all his horses, carriages and harnesses. The many friends of “Jerry” and “Jim,” two favorite horses, were greatly relieved on learning that they were safe. The fire next reached the wooden buildings of Herman Abbott, on the corner. (This is now the site of the library built after the fire))

June 18, 1875 – AA Friday – Mr. John H. Flint has sold his vacant building on Maple Street, to Eben P. Higgins. Mr. Higgins will remove it to his house on High Street, for a paint and storage shop.
June 25, 1875 - Town Meeting - Voted that the committee be authorized and empowered to purchase the land of Eben P. Higgins, next north of Memorial Hall and a sum not to exceed $1100. And not to purchase any other.

Sarah A. Higgins sells one undivided half of the property to Eben's son Charles W. Higgins on May 1, 1873. Charles W. lived at 66 Central St.
On September 3, 1869 the Andover Advertiser wrote the following,
“Charles W. Higgins is erecting a splendid residence on the lot recently purchased on Central St. Thomas E. Mayberry is putting in the cellar, and George L. Abbott is the contractor for the building.”

Higgins purchased a 1½ acre parcel of land from John Abbot on July 29, 1869 for $1500. Charles was a 29 year old bachelor when he built his home. He was born June 27, 1840, the son of Eben & Rebecca H. (Abbot) Higgins. He would later marry Anne Leighton Smith daughter of Peter & Esther Ward Smith. Anne’s father was co-founder of the Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co. and one of the wealthiest families in Andover. Annie L. died on August 31, 1875 and on May 27, 1876, Charles sold the home on Central St. to Rebecca Bartlet (Smith) Mills, his sister-in-law.

Eben P. Higgins died on Feb. 12, 1879. His wife Rebecca predeceased him on April 19, 1871. Family are interred at South Parish Cemetery.

Sarah A. Higgins, and her two daughters continued to live in the home their entire lives. Sarah A. died on Feb. 21, 1905 of pneumonia. "AT 2/23/05 - One of Andover's oldest residents passed away on Wednesday when Mrs. Sarah (Abbott) Higgins died in her 88th year.
Her demise was not entirely unexpected as she has been ill for some months and this with her advance age,, made the fight and uphill one. Mrs. Higgins was a great lover of home life. She was not widely known although those who were friends loved and respected her. She was born in Andover and has spent her entire life here with the exception of one year.
In 1842 she married James Harvey [sic] Higgins who was later in the grocery business. Mr. Higgins died several years ago.
Two daughter survive the deceased both of whom live with her. They are Sarah O. and Anna O. [sic E.] Higgins.

To add to the sadness daughter Annie Olive died just three days later, also of pneumonia on Feb. 26. ...." The deceased was 61 years of age and her whole life has been spent in Andover. She was a home loving young woman and leater in life, when the cares of an aged mother and invalid sister rested on her shoulders, she bore them bravely....

Sarah Ann Higgins estate was administered by Geo. A. Parker on Nov. 23, 1905. Charles W. Higgins purchased the remaining half of property from Sarah's estate on Dec. 9, 1905. Charles at this time had moved to Auburndale, MA and re-married to Mary V. C.. Charles and daughter Alice L. (Higgins) Lothrop sold the property on High St. to Mary T. Watson on Dec. 14, 1914.

Mary T. Watson owned the property for 21 years.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Essex Registry, Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Maps, 1852, 1872, 1884, 1888, 1906
Andover Directories
Andover Valuation Schedules
Andover Advertiser
Andover Townsman

James Hervey Higgins
James H. Higgins estate, Eben P. Higgins, Admin. - July 1849 Probate
Sarah A. Higgins, heir - July 25, 1849 - b. 424 leaf 238 - Salem deed
Sarah A. Higgins and Charles W. Higgins - May 1, 1873 - b. 21 p. 216 - one half
Sarah A. Higgins estate, Geo. A. Parker Admin - Nov. 23, 1905 - Probate
Charles W. Higgins - Dec. 9, 1905 - b. 226 p. 193
Charles W. Higgins and Alice L. (Higgins) Lothrop -
Mary T. Watson - Dec. 14, 1914 - b. 349 p. 287
George H. & Julie S. Musk - Jan. 29, 1935 - b. 586 p. 360
Raymond C. & Evelyn (Gorgon) Whitman - Sept. 2, 1943 - b. 659 p. 558
George F. & Anna K. French - Aril 25, 1945 - b. 672 p. 723
Anna K. French estate, George F. French heir - Probate #239395
George F. French estate, Hugh Harwood, Extr. - Sept. 18, 1974 - Probate #323811
Frank R. & Anna C. Eldridge - Sept. 20, 1974 - b. 1249 p. 177
Anna C. Eldridge estate, Frank R. Eldridge heir - April 5, 1992 - Probate
Kenneth Hyszczak & Maura Harty - July 13, 1994 - b. 4086 p. 273
Scott J. & Maria A. Manty - June 29, 2011 - b. 6227 p. 262

Inventory Data:

StreetHigh St
PlaceAndover Center District
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameJames & Sarah Higgins House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Datec.1840's
SourceECRDS, ENRDL, style-njs
Architectural StyleFederal
Roofasphalt - gable
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresmodern garage
Acreage0.388 acre; 16,910 sq. ft.; approximate frontage 85'
Map and parcel38-110
MHC NumberANV.242
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, Oct. 26, 2015