37 Center Street
Site of History 🛈The Site of History tag is given to properties that were lost before this building survey was undertaken.

Architectural Description: 

Cape Style home but with entrance on gable end

Historical Narrative: 

The Ballardvale Machine Shop Corp., John Marland, President, purchased much of the property in the center of Ballardvale in 1847. Some land was then sub-divided into house and store lots and the company began selling off parcels in 1848. John Marland and John Howe Jr. owned the large parcel along Centre St. (now Center St.) and auctioned off 35 lots on July 28. 1847. The auctioneers were Loring, Abbott and Porter of Boston.

The Ballardvale Machine shop would begin selling off their holdings in 1848. Samuel Abbott of Boston and William Abbott of Andover followed suit with their property on Oak and Tewksbury Streets. The greater portion of the village center was developed at this period of time.

This lot # 4 on Centre St. of the Marland & Howe 1847 map was sold to Joseph G. Dorr, Trustee for William Bird at the auction. Dorr paid $244.35 for the 9322 square foot lot measuring 79' x 118' x 79' and 118'. Lot. number 3, on the south was sold to Rebecca Constantine for $209.74. A portion of lot 3 would become the entrance to Oak St. from Centre Street and access to Samuel & William Abbot's 27 plus lots on Oak St.

William Bird sold his lot to The Ballard Vale Machine Shop Co. on March 1, 1848 for $300. The Company would then erect a six tenement block on this site facing Oak St. This apartment building would be known as the "Schooner Block", its name now lost to history. The company also erected Block #3 across the street at 36- 40 Center St. and another at 23 Center St., that later burned and was razed. All three buildings are noted on the May 1848 Darracott Map of the Machine Shop holdings. The 1850 Valuation Schedule lists the three Block Buildings at $6700.

The Ballard Vale Machine Shop Co. failed and the Schooner Block and Block 3 were then sold to the Abbot Hat Company, Alfred Kittredge, president on Dec. 5, 1863. The Hat Company factory occupied a portion of the Ballardvale Playground on Andover St. Kittredge and stock holders would later vote to sell the Abbot Hat Co. and stock holders Hart, Taylor & Company of Boston purchased the holdings on June 8, 1865. Thomas N. Hart, Fred R. Taylor and Orin B. North were the business partners and paid $10,000 for the properties

They then sold the holdings to the Whipple File & Steel Co. for the same price on Sept. 18, 1865. The Whipple File Co. had purchased the Ballard Vale Machine Shop stone factory buildings off Andover St. (now the site of the MBTA commuter parking lot). The Whipple File Co. failed in 1869 and the company holdings were assigned to Edward Page, John W. Beals, Thomas J. Homer of Boston and Thornton K. Lothrop of Milton, MA. At a public auction on April 7, 1870 the company holdings were sold to George W. Simmons and George H. MacKay. Simmons paid $23706.67 and MacKay $10,353.33.

Craighead & Kintz Co. would later occupy the old stone foundry building and Simmons and Mackay would hold most of the rental tenements and secondary buildings. In May 1898 fire completely destroyed the stone foundry and building complex. A complaint against Sally Simmons over property ownership ensued, Charles K. Cobb, trustee and petitioner. The courts ruled in favor of Cobb and the property was auctioned off on August 25, 1898. The holdings were sold to Virginia A. Beals, wife of John W. Beals of Brookline for $1265. The properties included the old Hat factory building, the 59 acres and site of the factory, a River St home, the 4th parcel was the Schooner Block and the last parcel was the partially burned tenement at 29 Center St.

Virginia Beals held the properties for for three years then selling to Joshua G. & Edith W. Beals of Boston on Feb. 28, 1901. The property was then sold to Edwin C. Moody on Sept. 15, 1908. The forth parcel is the "Schooner Block". The 1920 Andover Valuation Schedule lists Edwin C. Moody, Oak St. House "Schooner Block" $700. 1/4 acre land Oak St. $150. and 2 acres land (Henry Flint) $25. Edwin Moody died in 1931 and his estate was administered by Harry R. Lawrence on Oct. 9, 1931. Lawrence sold to property to George C. & Grace M. Cheyne on Nov. 14, 1931 for $200. The purchase price suggests that the Schooner Block is no longer standing on the site.

On May 17, 1954 George A. Murphy, wife Vera T. of North Reading purchase the lot. The current Cape style home was built and then sold to Harriet C. Franklin and Irene F. Foster on Dec. 27, 1955. Harriet died on Sept. 17, 1960 and Irene Foster b. 1899 was sole heir. Irene died in 1991 and her estate was administered by Marjorie F. Lavingne on Dec. 2, 1991. The property was then sold to William P. Foster III on Dec. 31, 1991. William b. 1961 and engineer, owned for seven years then sold to Anthony Bielecki & Rose Mary Redmond on Aug. 18, 1998.

Joshua D. & Susan E. Bond purchased on April 16, 2004 and held eight years then selling to Justin A. & Elizabeth Hirsch on April 2, 2012. Craig Lee is the new owner of record on May 9, 2016. The property was listed as 3 Oak Street, formerly 37 Center St, during the Hirsch purchase in 2012.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Historical Sketches of Andover, Sarah Loring Bailey 1880
Andover, A Century of Change, Eleanor Richardson 1995
Andover Advertiser, Andover Townsman
Andover Historical Society files
Marland & Howe map Ballardvale Center - house and store lots July 1847
Ballardvale Machine Shop Corporation map - May 1848 - Franklin Darracott Engineer
Samuel Abbott & William Abbott house lots amp 1848
Andover maps; 1852, 1856, 1872, 1884, 1888, 1906Andover Valuation Schedules, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1900, 1910, 1920

John Marland & John Howe Jr. - July 1847 - lot 4 Centre St.
Joseph G. Dorr, Trustee of William Bird - July 28, 1847 - b. 389 leaf 135 - lot 4 $244.35
Ballard Vale Machine Shop - Mar. 1, 1848 - b. 392 leaf 130 - $300 lot 4
Alfred Kittredge -
Abbot Hat Co., Alfred Kittredge Pres. - Dec. 5, 1863 - b. 659 leaf 284 - 3rd parcel
Hart, Taylor & Co. of Boston - June 8, 1865 - b. 684 leaf 274
Whipple File & Steel Co. - Sept. 18, 1865 - b. 687 leaf 155-156 - 3rd parcel
Whipple File & Steel Co. bankruptcy - Apr. 27, 1870 - b. 4 p. 323
Edward Page, John W. Beals, Thomas J. Homer, Thornton K. Lothrop; assignees
George W. Simmons & George H. MacKay - June 22, 1871 - b. 10 p. 21 rec. 7/7/1871
Mar. 2, 1885 - b. 80 p. 52
Virginia A. Beals, wife of John W. - Aug. 26, 1898 - b. 164 p. 395 (396 Schooner Blk)
Joshua G. & Edith W, Beals - Feb. 28, 1901 - b. 183 p. 595 - 5 parcels
Edwin C. Moody - Sept. 15, 1908 - b. 265 p. 214
Edwin C. Moody estate, Harry R. Moody Adm. - Oct. 19, 1931 - Probate
George C. & Grace M. Cheyne - Nov. 14, 1931 - b. 562 p. 447
George A. Murphy, wife Vera T. of No. Reading - May 17, 1954 - b. 791 p. 401
Harriet C. Franklin & Irene F. Foster - Dec. 27, 1955 - b. 826 p. 365
Harriet C. Franklin estate, heir Irene F. Foster - Sept. 17, 1960 - Probate
Irene F. Foster estate, Marjorie F. Lavigne, Admtx. - Dec. 2, 1991 - Probate
William P. Foster III - Dec. 31, 1991 - b. 3373 p. 274
Anthony Bielecki & Rose Mary Redmond - Aug. 18, 1998 - b. 5150 p. 307
Joshua D. & Susan E. Bond - Apr. 16, 2004 - b. 8709 p. 99 - 37 Chester St.
Justin A. & Elizabeth Hirsch - Apr. 2, 2012 - b. 12882 p. 343 - 3 Oak St.
Craig Lee - May 9, 2016 - b. 14621 p. 11

Inventory Data:

StreetCenter St
Historic DistrictBallardvale Local Historic District
Historic DistrictBallardvale National Register District
Historic NameSchooner Block
Present Useresidence
Original UseSix Tenenments block
Construction Date1954 - 1955
SourceECRDS, ENRDL, style-njs
Architectural StyleOther
Wall/Trimcedar shingles/wood
Roofasphalt - gable
Acreage0.187 acre
Map and parcel138-40
MHC NumberANV.1170
Recorded byRuth A. Sharpe (BallardvaleHistoric District) James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredMay 1996, 8/21/2016, 2/10/2017