29 Summer Street

Architectural Description: 

Style: Picturesque

Other features: window trim and cross-gabled bay similar to Bartlett Street house #11, and several other houses in town.

Historical Narrative: 

Themes: Architectural, Community development
Historical significance: House by same builder as houses at 11 and 13 Bartlett Street. William H. Foster's design of the Andover Town Seal drawn here when his parents owned the home.

The house was first owned by George O. & Etta J. Hill in 1883. A mortgage was taken via builder Moody Russell for $1500 in Oct.1883. An additional parcel of land just three feet wide, adjoining the home lot was purchased on May 5, 1887. With the mortgage payoff the deed was transferred via Charles S. Parker into Etta J. Hill's name on Dec. 27, 1889. The Hills owned the house for 12 years before selling to Frank M. Foster on May 18, 1895.

Frank Mace Foster was born on Oct. 17, 1857 in Tewksbury, MA, son of Oliver & Abby (Hill) Foster. Frank was the youngest of four children and remained on his father’s farm in Tewksbury until his father died. Frank married on Dec. 23, 1880 in Wilmington, MA to Annie Maria Harnden b. 1860 in Wilmington, dau. of Everell & Julia A. (Clemons) Harnden. In 1883 they moved to Andover and purchased a farm at 61 Porter Road on April 3, 1883. They owned the property until May 1895 when they moved to the town center purchasing a new home at 29 Summer St. Frank Foster went from farmer to carpenter and worked for the Andover firm of Hardy and Cole.

The Fosters had five children, of which two sons survived to adulthood. Both William Harnden Foster b. July 22, 1886 and his brother Kenneth Clemons Foster b. Feb. 8, 1895 were born in the 61 Porter Rd. farmhouse. A daughter Rhoda W. was born on May 12, 1900 but died at 2½ years old on Dec. 10, 1902.

The Fosters moved to 29 Summer St. Assessed for barn on site in 1900. It was here that 12 year old son Bill, a budding artist, drew and submitted his drawing for the new Andover Town Seal. Bill merged the John Whiting logo used for the town’s 250th Anniversary in 1896 with the old circular Town Seal. Bill’s design was selected from the competition and approved at Town Meeting on March 5, 1900.

Bill graduated from Punchard High School in 1904 with good friend Henry (Harry) Wesley Davies. His future wife Marion D. Lowd was in the class of 1905. Foster attended the Museum School in Boston and then joined Howard Pyle’s school in Wilmington, Delaware in 1908. Bill was an avid outdoors-man, loved trains and railroading and often painted these subjects. Pyle encouraged Foster to submit his railroad life series to Scribner’s Magazine in New York. They bought his paintings at “a price that made him gasp” and his career as an illustrator began.

Bill married Marion D. Lowd on May 27, 1911 in Andover. Marion was born on May 28, 1889 in Andover, daughter of Joseph H. & Estella J. (Stevens) Lowd. The newlyweds honeymooned at their recently completed bungalow in South Freeport, Maine. Bill Foster purchased a house at 71 Chestnut St. from the Loud family and raised his family in Andover but spent every summer in Freeport, Maine. Bill & Marion had three children; Dorothy b. 1914, William H. Jr. b. 1915 and Helen b. Mar. 6, 1920.

In 1915 Bill Foster, friend and classmate Harry Davies and his father Charles Davies set up a twelve station shooting game they called “Shooting ‘round the clock” in a field behind Davies house at 73 Dascomb Road. All three men were avid hunters and wanted to perfect their shooting techniques off season. It is said they came up with the idea in the Davis kitchen, drawing it out on a scrap of paper. After a few alterations to the range it became a half circle of 20 yards and for several years the men enjoyed the trap shooting on their range.

In 1926 Foster presented their game to the public in the National Sportsman magazine. A prize was offered to anyone who could give the new game a name. “Skeet”, Scandinavian for shoot, was the winner. Andover now had the first Skeet Shooting range in America and a second one followed in South Freeport, Maine.

Foster became editor of both National Sportsman and Hunting and Fishing Magazines. He also wrote for Outdoor Life Magazine, became the first president of the National Skeet Shooting Association and first to be elected into the Skeet Hall of Fame.

Bill’s friends in Maine included N. C. Wyeth, one of Howard Pyle’s greatest proteges and Leon L. Bean the great sportsman and entrepreneur. Bill Foster’s illustration “The Moose Hunter” graced the first cover of the L.L. Bean catalog in 1925.

Frank Foster, and wife Annie Maria remained in their home the remained of their lives. Both Frank and Annie died in 1939.

William H. Foster his brother Kenneth C. Foster were hiers. The Foster house was sold ater 45 years of ownership to Elven W. & Aurilla E. Gilfoy on Nov. 18, 1940. Aurilla Gilfoy died June 18, 1957. Elven W. Gifory, remarried to Mary E. and sold the house to Lewis F. & Martha G. Travis June 6, 1958.

Ten years later Clifford Z. & Gloria F. Silva purchased the property on Feb. 5, 1968. Silva owned for 15 years then selling to James R. & Denna B. Taggart on May 10, 1983. The Taggets owned for 22 years before selling to
Susan B. Kagdis on Oct. 28, 2005.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Town of Andover Real Estate Valuation, 1900

George O. Hill - Oct. 11, 1883 - b. 73 p. 150
Moody Russell - Oct. 11, 1883 - b. 73 p. 151
George O. Hill - May 5, 1887 - b. 90 p. 165 - 3' foot strip 2nd lot
Charles S. Parker - Dec. 27, 1889 - b. 104 p. 178
Etta J. Hall, wife of George - Dec. 27, 1889 - b. 104 p. 179 - 2 lots
Frank M. Foster - May 18, 1895 - b. 140 p. 482
Frank M. Foster estate, probate #194850 -1939
William H. Foster & Kenneth C. Foster heirs - 1939
Elven W. & Aurilla E. Gilfoy - Nov. 18, 1940 - b. 636 p. 235
Elven W. Gilfoy, heir, Aurilla died June 18, 1957
Elven W. Gifory, wife Mary E.
Lewis F. & Martha G. Travis - June 6, 1958 - b. 874 p. 93
Clifford Z. & Gloria F. Silva - Feb. 5, 1968 - b. 1100 p. 297
James R. & Denna B. Taggart - May 10, 1983 - b. 1671 p. 258
Susan B. Kagdis - Oct. 28, 2005 - b. 9853 p. 151

Inventory Data:

StreetSummer St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameHill - Foster House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1883
SourceERDS, ENRDL, AHS file, njs, style
Architectural StyleOther
Architect/BuilderMoody Russell
Foundationstone & granite
Roofasphalt - gable
Outbuildings / Secondary Structurescross-gabled carriage house
Acreage0.187 acre; lot size: 8,130 sq. ft.; approx. frontage: 60'
Map and parcel39-149
MHC NumberANV.556
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975 - 1977, 2/9/2015