349-351 North Main Street

Architectural Description: 

Second Empire of 1860-1870 superimposed on several earlier styles

Historical Narrative: 

Themes - Architectural, The Arts, Community Development, Recreation, and Transportation.

present owner Shawsheen Manor, Inc.
Original owner Theophilus Frye or Capt. Reuben Frye. Subsequent uses, Mansion house after 1825, rest home and hospital 1919, hotel and restaurant 1921. George F. Smith occupied 1901.

Although some sources claim this was first built by Theophilus Frye, grandson of Samuel Frye, who ran saw and grist mill here at Frye Village (now Shawsheen village) from 1718, it was more likely erected by Capt. Reuben Frye ca. 1796. There have been so many alterations and additions over the years, that its original form and style are hardly recognizable. When it was originally built, the Shawsheen River ran in east of the home and the front of the house faced towards Haverhill St. and the mill pond of the dammed river. Poor Street was only a lane and the main road to New Hampshire before the Essex Turnpike (Main St.) was laid out in 1805.

John Smith, a Scottish emigrant from Brechin, Scotland, settled in Andover in 1824 and built a mill on the east side of the Shawsheen River. The mill made machinery for the cotton industry. After his two partners Joseph Faulkner and Warren Richardson died, John employed his brother Peter Smith, and friend John Dove. They switched to production of flax, creating the first flax thread factory in America in 1835, later called the Smith and Dove Manufacturing Co. here at Frye Village.

John Smith bought the Frye farm and remodeled it into a fine mansion house, adding piazzas and various architectural features popular among the wealthy of the mid-19th century. Barn here before 1834-Chickering Records indicate he, Jacob Chickering, in association with Nathaniel Whittier, built "John Smith's barn."

June 23, 1876 - Andover Advertiser – John Smith’s house to be enlarged & raised 18”. A French roof is to be built – Abbott & Jenkins to do the work.

Nov. 30, 1883 - Andover Advertiser p..2 col. 8 - Frye Village brushing up. The residence of John Smith has just received a new coat of paint. The color is French grey, and it looks finely. The home of George H. Torr is newly painted, of the same color as above. The work is done by EH Barnard.

John's son, Joseph Warren Smith modernized it further, leaving it to his wife Fannie Smart (Donald) Smith. Joseph W. sister Helen Gavin (Smith) Coburn, wife of George W. Coburn, also held claim through John Smith will. She sold her share of the properties to Fannie Smith. Joseph W. & Fannie S. Smith had nine children: Helen Ferguson b. 1866 d. 1868, Geo. Ferguston . b 1868 d. ,Willaim Donald b.1870 d. 1951, Agnes Gleason b. 1873 d. John Duke b. 1874 d. 1941, Winfred b. 1876 d. 1877, Joseph Warren Jr. b. 1879 d. 1900, Mary Byers Smith b. 1885 d. 1983, and Norman b. 1887 d. 1965.

AT -May 3, 1907 - Joseph W. Smith and his family have moved from the Smith Homestead in Frye Village to the Coburn house on Central Street. The Smiths moved Helen Coburn's home and the Smith Mansion was later sold to George P. Binney trustee agent for the American Woolen Co. on Aug. 30, 1910. Binney then turned over all the deeds he had purchased since 1909 to the American Woolen Co. on Dec. 30, 1920.

AT June 7, 1907 - Pg. 1 George Carlisle of Lawrence has bought nearly all of Frye Village, that is, all the Smith property except the large house, occupied until recently by the Smiths.

AT - Dec. 26, 1919 p1 – The old Smith Mansion on North Main Street, which was purchased by William M. Wood, some years ago, is to be remodeled into a hospital in connection with President Wood’s plan for the development of Shawsheen Village, which in addition to a community store, community laundry, community ice house, gymnasium, etc. will greatly add to the conveniences which the residents of the new village will enjoy.

AT - July 16, 1920 - Vacation Home Opens – Wm. M. Wood Gives Smith Mansion in Shawsheen Village for Comfort and Pleasure of Employees. Placed at the disposal of Cosmopolitan Club of the American Woolen Co. opened Monday as a vacation rest house for women who are old and valued employees of the company. Two industrial nurses, Miss Loattington & Miss McCullough will be in charge.

This vacation home did not last long and the house was then converted into a hotel and restaurant. Wood made the change especially for the use of visiting executives of The American Woolen Company. The location was ideal for Shawsheen Village to have an up-scale place to eat and entertain friends and guests. In 1921 the Smith Mansion was opened under the name of "Shawsheen Manor", advertising 40 sleeping rooms.

Joseph DeAcutis was personally hired by William M. Wood to become the manager and proprietor of the Shawsheen Manor and the Shawsheen Cafeteria. AT July 7, 1922 - Shawsheen Cafeteria - "This building will be under the management of Joseph DeAcutis, who has had a wide experience both as chef and steward in some of the most famous hotel and clubs of New York and London." Joseph DeAcutis and wife Jean C. were the residents in the Manor. DeAcutis created a fine restaurant and ran a very popular hotel. On Jan. 12, 1931 DeAcutis purchased the property from the American Woolen Co. which included the Manor, Annex dormitory, Garland house and a small cottage to the rear on Riverina Rd. Joseph sold the business and property to Shawsheen Manor Corporation, Nathan Kepnes, Treas. on June 30, 1944.

It became the Shawsheen Manor, Inc. on Feb. 17, 1947 with George J. Colantino, pres. Dr. Colantino, was a plastic surgeon from Boston. He also bought the "The Croft" the former Dove - Curran & Joyce home on North Main St. for his residence in Andover.

Shawsheen Manor Realty Trust then purchased the Manor on July 1, 1965. with Andrew Shervard and Samuel Shactman, Trustees. The place became a restaurant again under the name, Parker Tavern, changing to Parker House, probably when Dunfie Corporation of New Hampshire acquired from the Andover Operating Company. It was in the 1960s that the front facade was given a brick veneer siding. In December, 1969, Parker House was again closed and at the present time (August 1977) remains a restaurant and motel under the name of Shawsheen Manor. Walter B. Lebowitz purchased the property on Oct. 12, 1972 and sold George Chongris on July 12, 1974. James Chongris was given the deed on Sept. 1, 1995.

The Shawsheen Manor closed in 1988 and plans to raze the building for the current business mall were presented. The Andover Historical Commission (Andover Preservation Commission) and most of the residents of the Shawsheen Village wanted the building saved. There was no Demolition Delay By-law in place at that time and the building contents were auctioned off the the building razed. The loss of such an historic structure set in motion the adoption by the Town for the current by-law.

Bibliography/References: 

Andover Historical Society files (Bell, Alice M. paper on Frye Village, March 1949 Smith and Dove, Smith files biography.)
Charlotte Helen Abbot, Andover Families - Frye, p. 19
Chickering, Jacob: Miscellaneous Accounts, Records - No. Andover Hist. Society
Andover Townsman
Maps of Andover: 1830, 1856, 1872, 1888 - J. Smith/Joseph Warnen Smith
Town Crier/Directory of Shawsheen Village, 1922
See plans #1588 Feb. 1, 1946 - Claude P. Woodworth
#7812 - May 11, 1978 - Samuel J. Concemi
#13562 - Aug. 2, 1999

Owners:
Theophilus Frye ?
Capt. Reuben Frye ca. 1796
Hannah Hodges - 1832
John Smith - June 11, 1832 - b. 267 leaf. 54
John Smith estate, Joseph W. Smith heir - Feb. 25, 1886
Joseph W. Smith, Richard P. Halloway, Assignee - Jan. 24, 1891
Fannie S. Smith, wife of Joseph W. and Helen C. Coburn his sister Jan. 28, 1891 - b. 112 p. 473
Henry P. Binney, trustee A.W.Co. - Aug. 30, 1910 - b. 295 p. 88
American Woolen Co. - Dec. 30, 1920 - b. 435 p. 215 (p.226)
Joseph DeAcutis, wife Jean C. - Jan. 12, 1931 - b. 556 p. 144
Shawsheen Manor Corporation, Nathan Kepnes, Treas. - June 30, 1944 - b. 665 p. 552
Shawsheen Manor Corporation, George J. Colantino Treas. - b. 694 p. 579 - vote to sell
Shawsheen Manor, Inc. - George J. Colantino, pres. - Feb. 17, 1947 - b. 695 p. 246
Shawsheen Manor, Inc. - George J. Colantino - July 1, 1965 - b. 1037 p. 275
Shawsheen Manor Realty Trust - Andrew A. Shervard, Samuel Shactman, Trs. - July 1, 1965 - b. 1037 p. 277 (p. 288)
Walter B. Lebowitz - Oct. 12, 1972 - b. 1204 p. 182
George Chongris - July 12, 1974 - b. 1244 p. 796
James Chongris - Sept. 1, 1995 - b. 4330 p. 267

Other related deeds
Fannie S. Smith - from Paul Hannagan guarding of Paul Warren Hannagan - July 23, 1900 - b. 179 p. 44 Elijah Hussey heirs.
Oct. 22, 1901 - b. 189 p. 140
Fannie S. Smith - from Helen C. Coburn - Sept. 23, 1891 - b. 115 p. 77 - twelve parcels
John Smith from Hannah Hodges - June 11, 1832 - b. 267 leaf 54
1. John Smith from Daniel Ayer - Nov. 26, 1834 - b. 296 leaf 25 - Lawrence lot, formerly in Andover
2. James B. Smith from John Smith - June 20, 1881 - b. 64 p. 572
excluding portion to Daniel Middleton 0 Feb. 3, 1882 - b. 72 p. 85
3. John Smith from Lydia Faulkner - Oct. 2, 1832 - b. 267 leaf 54
4. John Smith from Nathaniel Stevens & Moody Bridges - b. 320 leaf 2 - Den Wood lot
5. John Smith from Hussey heirs - b. 261 leaf 139 - NE corner of Haverhill & No. Main
6. John Smith - SE corner of Haverhill St & No. Main - Smith Hall lot and storehouse
7. John Smith from Calvin Damon - Aug. 15, 1842 - b. 333 leaf 40 - Mura House lot
8. Fannie S. Smith from David Middleton - Mar. 14, 1891 - b. 111 p. 117
9. Helen G. Coburn from Richard P. Halloway - July 12, 1889 - b. 101 p. 268 - by will
10. George W. Coburn - May 17, 1889 - b. 100 p. 195
11. Helen G. Coburn - Jan. 9, 1889 b. 98 p. 582 from estate of John Smith, Moses Foster, Jos. W. Smith and Helen G. Coburn Extrs.
12. John Smith's right to Smith & Dove Manuf. CO. July 30, 1891 - b. 114 p. 134

Joseph Warren Smith Trust - Jan. 8, 1889 - b. 98 p. 467
William A. Donald - Sept. 21, 1891 to Coburn
Parcel 3 - Fannie Smith from Paul Hannagan guardian - July 23, 1900 - b. 179 p. 44 - probate Elijah Hussey heirs; sites of saw mill, laundry, store, flume, canal, dam on Hussey's Pond, water rights. etc.

Inventory Data:

StreetNorth Main St
PlaceShawsheen Village
Historic DistrictShawsheen Village NRH District
Historic Name"Shawsheen Manor"; Frye-Smith Mansion
Present UseInn- restaurant
Original Usefarmhouse
Construction Date1796
SourceERDS, ENRDL, assessers' rec./style-njs
Architectural StyleSecond Empire
Foundationstone & granite
Wall/Trimclapboards, brick facing in front
Roofasphalt - mansard
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuressmall house and barn near original William Donald's smaller house, barn for rear belonged to John Wardwell
Major Alterationsgreatly after 1825, June 23, 1876 and again 1920's to restaurant
Conditionrazed
Demolished?Yes
Demolition Detailsabout 1978
Acreage1.45 acres
Settingcommercial/business
Map and parcel52-31
MHC NumberANV.407
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, 8/1/2015

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