36 York Street

Architectural Description: 

Modified Queen Anne style home. This house plan was first built in July 1893 as the "Coachman's House" for William M. Wood's estate at 269 North Main St. The architect is unknown but the first house was built by Brainard Cummings. Wood liked the design enough to incorporate it into his Village design. It is understood that this plan was used six times. See 269 No. Main.

Historical Narrative: 

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. All the streets in the Village were named for Castles & Cathedrals in Great Britain.

York Street takes its name from York Minster Cathedral , seat of the Archbishop of York, second highest office in the Church of England. The Gothic Church is one of the largest in Northern Europe. There is also a York Castle, in York, England. A Norman castle built by William I

The north end of York St. was once part of the Walter Kaye property the and Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co. The Kaye home was moved to 26 Haverhill St. for construction of York St.
Sept. 3, 1920 AT - "Turner Construction to build new warehouse – 300’ long 3 stories high on the south side of Argyle. Argyle St. runs from the River to the tracks of the B& M RR and is parallel to Haverhill Street." This house and seven others were first built on the entrance road to Mill #1, (now Brickstone) then named Argyle St. The houses were built in error while Mr. Wood was away on tour in Europe. Upon his return and seeing the homes he was reported to have pointed his cane and said, “removed those home immediately” and so they were all relocated to York St. in the fall of 1921.

Andover Townsman (AT) - May 12, 1922 - The houses on York street extension are all completed, sewers have been put in and at the present time the street and sidewalks are being finished.

This home was built as part of the Shawsheen Village development 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 or sold through the Homestead Association who had offices in the Post Office building on the corner of North Main & Poor Streets.

A walk down York Street will find a mix of the old and new as Wood moved a few older homes in Frye Village to sites on York St. and Balmoral St. Each home incorporates 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 add to the “icing on the cake, of the maintained 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.

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, which had been deeded the property in December 1920. The A.W.Co. Board of Directors authorized its President, Lionel J. Noah, to deliver all deeds, as deemed necessary to the Textile Realty 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 were Otis D. & Annie Allen. Otis was a Civil Engineer for the American Woolen Co. In 1928 Ralph W. Emerson leased the home.

This house was sold to Henry & Martha Speak on July 16, 1934. Henry Speak worked as an overseer in the Shawsheen Mill of the American Woolen Co. He and his wife Martha were renting 44 York St. in 1923 and 1926. The 1943 directory lists Henry as retired. Their daughter Marion is an operative in the Shawsheen Mill. Henry Speak died on Feb. 3, 1945. Martha then put the deed in her name and Marion's. Sadly Marion died on March 8 1951. A year later Martha sold the home to William J. & Jean G. Beaulieu on Nov. 12, 1952 .

William J. Beaulieu was the son of Joseph Beaulieu, William M. Wood's private chauffeur. His wife Jean G. Beaulieu was an Elementary school teacher in the Andover Public Schools.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Maps, 1852, 1872, 1888, 1906, 1926
Andover Street Directories
Mills, Mergers and Mansions, by Edward Roddy 1982
See Map plan #704 - American Woolen Company - Sept. 1927
#880 - June 1932 - Textile Realty Company lot #22

Fannie S. Smith
Walter A. Kaye - July 7, 1907 - b. 250 p. 315
Henry P. Binney, Trustee of A. W. Co. - Mar. 25, 1916 - b. 362 p. 171
American Woolen Company, Wm. M. Wood Pres. - Dec. 30, 1920
Textile Realty Co., Lionel J. Noah, Pres. A.W.Co. - Dec. 30, 1931 - b. 563 p. 334
Andover Shawsheen Realty Co. - June. 30, 1932 - b. 565 p. 87 - 32th parcel
Henry & Martha Speak - July 16, 1934 - b. 579 p. 414
Henry Speak estate, Martha Speak heir, Feb. 3, 1945
Felicia Sholik - Mar. 12, 1945 - b. 671 p. 327 - deed transfer
Martha Speak and Marion A. Speak - Mar. 12, 1945 - b. 671 p. 328
Martha Speak heir, Marion A. Speak estate - Mar. 8, 1951
William J. & Jean G. Beaulieu - Nov. 12, 1952 - b. 769 p. 212
Edward A. & Katherine Tremblay - Dec. 15, 1959 - b. 907 p. 170
Donald W. & Victoria S. Robb - May 9, 1983 - b. 1670 p. 261
Donald W. & Victoria S. Robb and Michael & Kathryn Currie - Apr. 19, 2002 - b. 6795 p. 334
Donald W. & Victoria S. Robb and Michael Currie - June 11, 2009 - b. 11644 p. 65
Donald W. & Victoria S. Robb - Nov. 2, 2011 - b. 12682 p. 19

Inventory Data:

StreetYork St
PlaceShawsheen Village - Frye Village
Historic DistrictShawsheen Village NRH District
Historic NameHenry & Martha Speak House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1921 - 1922
SourceERDS, ENRDL, assessers' rec./style-njs
Architectural StyleQueen Anne
Wall/Trimclapboards & shigle/vinyl covered
Roofgable - slate
Major AlterationsRear addition, vinyl siding, replacement windows
Acreage0.193 acre
Settingresidential/professional offices
Map and parcel35-16
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975 - 1977, 7/22/2015