3 Fletcher Street

Architectural Description: 

Colonial Revival - Dutch Colonial

Historical Narrative: 

Fletcher Street was originally built with 14 homes, 10 were single family residences and 4 were double houses. With the construction of Route 495 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts took every property by eminent domain on Dec. 29, 1960. Four homes on the south side of Binney St. were also lost. By 1963 Fletcher Street no longer existed. Some homes were moved to new locations but the majority was demolished. One of the goals of the Andover Preservation Commission is to identify historic places and sites. We re-list Fletcher St. as it was once part of the Shawsheen Village development. We also honor the families that made their homes on Fletcher St. and their contribution to the community.

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. Most of the streets in the new Village were named for Castles & Cathedrals in Great Britain. Fletcher Street however is one of the exceptions. The origin of the name has not yet surfaced during research.

This home was built as part of the Shawsheen Village development from 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. Homes were leased through the Homestead Association with offices in the Post Office building in Shawsheen Square, later moved into the Administration Building.

Each home incorporated 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. Many of the original screen porches have been enclosed for an additional room. Wood also incorporated two family duplexes in every section of the new Village.

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. The AWCo. 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 was Peter Hersey a loom fixer at the American Woolen Co. mill.

This house was sold to Rose A. Shaw, wife of Walter W. Shaw on June 2, 1934. Walter b. 1891 was a wool sorter for the American Woolen Co. After the mill closed he worked as a chauffeur and retired in 1962. The Shaws were the only private family to own this home. The property was taken by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on Dec. 29, 1960.

Bibliography/References: 

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 #876 – June 1932 – Textile Realty Co -Lot # 2
Map #1050 – March 1937 – amended map #876 for narrowing street.
Plan 4205 - Comm. of Mass. lot 9-71
Plan 5056 - Comm. of Mass - Layout of order of taking

Owners;
Sylvester P. Smith and William Leverett
Sylvester P. Smith - Oct. 14, 1854 - b. 451 leaf 293 - Salem deeds
Sylvester P. Smith estate, of Worcester, MA - died. Apr. 18, 1889
J. Walter Smith and Cleora L. Smith of Worcester, MA heirs
Howard E. Sumner - Aug. 9, 1901 - b. 187 p. 497
Cleora L. (Smith) Sumner, Trustee - 1901
Henry P. Binney, Trustee of AWCo. - July 30, 1909 - b. 277 p. 314
American Woolen Co. Dec. 30, 1920 - b. 435 p. 215 -(1st parcel)
Textile Realty Co. - Dec. 30, 1931 - b. 563 p. 344
Andover Shawsheen Realty Co. - June 30, 1932 - b. 565 p. 87
Rose A. Shaw, wife of Walter Shaw - June 2, 1934 - b. 578 p. 196
Commonwealth of Massachusetts - Dec. 29, 1960 - b. 929 p. 334

Inventory Data:

StreetFletcher St
PlaceShawsheen Village - Frye Village
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameWalter & Rose Shaw House
Present UseRoute 495 south bound lanes
Original Useresidence - AWCo. housing
Construction Date1922 - 1923
SourceECRDS, ENRDL
Architectural StyleColonial Revival
Architect/BuilderAmerican Woolen Company
Foundationstone
Wall/Trimcedar shingles/wood
Roofslate - gambrel
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresone stall garage
Major AlterationsRazed with construction of Route 495
Conditionrazed
Demolished?Yes
Demolition Details1962
Acreage7000 sq. feet
Settingresidential
Map and parcel34-52
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredOctober 14, 2015

Map: