34 Essex Street

Architectural Description: 

Jacob Chickering was noted for his love of architectural detail in his carpentry, must have delighted in the attention he could pay to the Gothic Revival style.
Note: sharp Gothic peaks, small window in attic front; gingerbread trim under eaves, over bay winddow and front porch roof; dormer window in rear ell. The white picket fence is a nod to the former Gothic fences of different styles along front and back property lines in period photos.

Historical Narrative: 

Themes - Architectural and Community development.
Built circa - 1845
This small Gothic Revival cottage also known as Carpenter’s Gothic Style was built by local builder Jacob Chickering and is one of only three remaining homes in Andover to embrace this high style of architecture. Chickering bought parcels of land next door to his house and this one across street from his own family residence.
This charming home was sold to Joseph Thompson Abbot & wife Betsey (Kershaw) Abbot before 1850 as he was assessed for the property in the 1850 Andover Tax records. Joseph T. Abbot co-owned a provisions store “Higgins & Abbot” in the basement of the Baptist Church. Joseph & Betsey had four children, John K., Mary E., William T. and Martha A. but only daughter Mary E. would survive beyond childhood.
Andover Advertiser - Sept. 3, 1859 – "Co-partnership of Higgins & Abbot dissolved – new partnership of Abbot & Holt - Jos. T. Abbot & T. A. Holt (Sept. 1)".
Andover Advertiser - Sept. 10, 1859 – "New firm – On Monday morning the old sign of Higgins & Abbot, which for so long hung over their well known place of business, was removed and a new one indicating the new firm of Abbot & Holt took its place. The long continued illness of Mr. Higgins has compelled him to give up his active business, and Mr. Holt, who has been well known as clerk in the establishment, has associated with Mr. Abbot in the business. We hope that the liberal patronage and eminent success of the old firm will be continued by its successor."
Joseph Abbot died January 9, 1865. His wife Betsey age 54 and Mary now 30 remained in the family home. Betsey’s parents were from England and were members of the Society of Friends of which she held “a warm interest until her death in 1899. She often attended their Quarterly Meetings, and was well acquainted with poet Whittier, who visited her family and was entertained by them in their home [Kershaw] in the brick block, removed a few years since to make room for the present Barnard Block on the corner of Main and Park Streets.” Mary E. Abbot was delicate in health but for some time was the organist at Free Christian Church. Mary sold the cottage to the Rev. Frederick A. Wilson, minister of Free Church, on July 28, 1909. Mary however held a life tenancy on the deed. Her “last six years she was confined to her home by illness, but her strong Christian faith enabled her to bear it with patience and cheerfulness. Her sick room was brightened by calls of many friends and by loving messages and gifts of flowers.” “The hospitality of her home will long be remembered by those who were privilege to share it.” Mary Abbot died on August 1, 1916.
The home then served as the Parsonage for Rev. Frederick A. Wilson and home for wife Florence until his death in February 1936.
Augustine P. & Mary P. Sullivan purchased the property in June 1936 and remained until 1980 when it was bought by John & Anne Kruse. Kruse sold in 1983 to Ralph Lapham & Kenneth Miller of New London, NH. They converted the house into an office for their architect and design firm who remained for 20 years selling to law firm of Barry R. Finegold and William J. Dalton on July 15, 2005. The former rear addition added in the 1980’s was razed in 2012 and a new two story addition was added. Awarded a Preservation Award in 2013 for Sympahitic Addition.

Another note in Chickering records and accounts, dated May 24, 1878; "$10.07 for building pick, fence for John Abbott"


Jacob Chickering - about 1845 - lot of land
Joseph Thompson Abbot before 1850 - house
Betsey (Kershaw) Abbot -Jan. 9, 1865 by will estate
Mary E. Abbot - June 9, 1899 by will estate
Rev. Frederick A. Wilson - July 28, 1909 B. 365 p. 415
Florence (Nason) Wilson - Feb. 1936 - Estate
Augustine P. & Mary J. Sullivan -June 29,1936 B. 599 p. 370
Augustine P. Sullivan - March 19, 1978 - Estate
John R. & Anne G. Kruse - May 9, 1980 B. 1434 p. 75
Ralph R. Lapham Jr. & Ken E. Miller - Nov. 1, 1983 - B. 1741 p. 139
Ralph R. Lapham Jr.- Jan. 7, 2003 - B. 7460 p.37
Barry R. Finegold & Michael J. Dalton - July 15, 2005 - B. 9642 p. 68
Essex North Registry of Deeds, Lawrence
Andover Evaluation Tax Schedules 1850, 1860, 1870.
Andover Historical Society files
Lillian Conroy, interview, 29 Essex St.
Jacob Chickering papers - North Andover Historical Society, Merrimack Valley Textile Museum
Andover Townsman, Sept. 9, 1976
Lawrence Eagle Tribune -Sunday drive #66 1/92

Inventory Data:

StreetEssex St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictIndividual National Register Listing
Historic NameAbbot, Joseph Thompson House
Present UseProfessional offices
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1845-1849
SourceMiss Lillian Conroy-29 Essex St. /J.Chickering papers
Architectural StyleGothic Revival
Architect/BuilderJacob Chickering builder
Foundationstone & granite
Wall/Trimwood clapboard
Major Alterationsadditions 1980's rear ell and meeting room Rear addition razed and new addition built 2012-13
Demolition Detailsrear ell razed 2012
Acreageless than one acre; 16,700 sq. ft. and 90' approximate frontage
Map and parcel55-55
MHC NumberANV.194
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, April 2013