37 High Street

Architectural Description: 

These houses represent two different periods of architectural styles. The rear home appears to have been turned 90 degrees when placed on the lot. Bay windows appeared in the 1870's and it appears to be Queen Anne style but was built in 1911.
The house at the street appears to be a "Four Square" with its hip roof popular in the early 20th century. It is actually a Greek Revival period home and older than originally thought. The wide banding and corner boards on the house are Greek Revival elements.
The rear addition to this house is an add-on as there is a break on the eave banding. The second story windows are lower than the main house. The structure may have been the carriage house barn, turned and attached to convert the home into a two family residence. The 1882 Birdseye View map of Andover Center clearly shows the original gable roof house with rear ell and barn. It has been replaced with the hip roof for a more updated appearance.

Historical Narrative: 

John J. Brown – Arthur Bliss House
2 homes on lot – front Greek Revival, rear Queen Anne styles
Lot = 80’ on High St. x 260’ N x #39 High St. x 75’ E rear x 257.40’ S x #33 High St.

Two houses now occupy the lot at 37 High Street. The 1906 map of Andover shows the A. Bliss home with an attached barn to the rear. The property was sub-divided to create the lot to the north at #39 High St. in 1907 by Alfred M. Colby. Andover Townsman - Sept. 1, 1911 - A.M. Colby is tearing down the barn behind his house on High Street with the purpose of building a dwelling house there.

This property was once owned by Daniel Saunders when sold to Joseph R. Millett on April 7, 1845. Joseph Millett was a carpenter and most likely built the first house on the lot. Millett took loans from Daniel Saunders and Eleazer Austin in 1845 but became insolvent in 1848. Saunders & Austin were appointed assignees to Millett’s High St. property. They then sold to John J. Brown on Jan. 1, 1848 with all buildings there on parcel 2 in the deed.

John James Brown b. May 1813 in Newburyport, MA, son of Eliphalet & Polly (Davis) Brown. John was a Jeweler, watch and clock maker who opened a his business in 1837 in Andover. The Newman store at 9 Main St. became his permanent location in 1843. John first lived at 14 Brook St. prior to purchasing the High St. property. John married on Dec. 31, 1837 in Roxbury, MA to Emily Willard Fiske, b. June 24, 1819 in New Orleans, LA, dau. of Eben & Emily (Willard) Fiske both of Massachusetts. John & Emily had eleven children: Caroline Maybin b. Jan 6, 1839, George Temple b. Aug. 5, 1840 bpt. Feb. 24, 1841, Emily Fiske bpt. Apr. 18, 1844 – d. June 18, 1844, James Willard b. Sept. 10, 1844 - d. Aug. 27, 1845, Edwin Augustus Boardman b. July 4, 1846, Elizabeth Fiske b. Oct. 29, 1848 - d. Dec. 13, 1849, Ellen P. b. 1850, Annie Haven b. Apr. 4, 1853, Maybin Willard b. Apr. 29, 1856, Herbert Payson b. May 29, 1858 and Fannie Bishop b. Dec. 7, 1863.

John Brown would transition from watchmaker to Apothecary and Confectionary, selling his watchmaking business to John E. Whiting in 1868. John’s store also held the 2nd telegraph office in town. Arthur Bliss was the operator who would later marry John Brown’s daughter Annie Haven Brown on Sept. 21, 1876.

May 23, 1884 AA pg. 3. John J. Brown & Co. are fitted up in fine shape at their new drug store, on Main Street. The fixtures are new and the medicines fresh. The firm consists of John J. Brown and Arthur Bliss, both of whom are well known in this community. Bliss is the telegraph operator.”

John J. Brown died on June 30, 1885 at the Danvers Sanatorium of Paralysis and chronic brain disorder. Arthur Bliss would take over his father-in-law’s business. Arthur Bliss purchased the Brown house on Feb. 26, 1887.

Arthur Bliss was born Aug. 22, 1855 in Marblehead, MA, son of Horatio Arnold & Persis Messer (Morse) Bliss. John had an older sister Arabella. His father Horatio had a fruit business in Brooklyn, NY, but died age 21 on Jan. 13, 1863. Widow Persis and two children would move to Andover. Persis was born March 12, 1823 in Methuen, dau. of Amos & Sally Morse. Son Arthur would later apprentice with John Brown while working the telegraph office.

Arthur & Annie Bliss had three children; Arthur Jr. born Mar. 22, 1880, Nellie B. b. Nov. 20, 1881, and William Cecil b. Apr. 9, 1885. Sadly Annie died on June 14, 1887. Arthur would re-marry on June 27, 1893 to Hattie Lemira Blackington, b. Nov. 17, 1860 Lowell, MA, dau. of Daniel & Marilla (Lunt) Blackington.

April 8, 1898 AT – Arthur Bliss would move the location of the drug store to the Andover National Bank building the last week of April 1898. Arthur would also become Andover’s Postmaster appointed Oct. 29, 1897 through 1914. His sister Arabella Bliss, married Thomas Lyle Spinney b. 1848. They had one daughter Agnes B. b. Feb. 1871 which Arthur would raise after the death of Arabella on Feb. 22, 1873. His wife Hattie died on July 9, 1903. Arthur married a third time in 1905 to Letitia M. b. 1872. Arthur sold the home to Alfred M. Colby on Sept. 10, 1906 and moved to 19 Maple Ave. Arthur moved to Ballardvale Rd. from 1912-1919. The Brown and Bliss families are interred at Christ Church Cemetery.

Alfred M. Colby b. 1858 in New Hampshire was a carriage painter, lived in Lawrence prior to Andover. He owned an Auto painting and fur storage business at 45 Park St. Married to Margaret B. to which he deed the home to in 1915. Alfred subdivided the house lot selling off the lot to the north to Margaret English who built a home at #39. The 1910 census lists Colby at #37 with son Lawrence age 16 and Luther & Pearl Kenyon with 1 year old son Alfred renting. Luther was a conductor on the Railroad. In September 1911 the barn was razed and the second house built behind the main house.
1920 Census list two houses now on the property. Pearl now age 36 has two sons Alfred 11 and Sherwood 5. They are listed at #37R. At #37, the new front home are the Colbys and Andover Police Chief Frank M. Smith age 66 and wife May.

Margaret Colby placed the property in a Trust in 1925 with Pearl C. Kenyon and Jacqueline C. Craig as Trustees. Samuel Levis purchased the property in 1927and owned for 22 years. Joseph W. & Margaret C. Connor purchased the property on Nov. 1, 1949. Joe Connor owned a filling station on North Main St. where 495 on ramp is now located. He then purchased the Elm Street garage at 15 Elm. Connor owned four years.

Paul L & Jacqueline F. Monette purchased in Mar. 6, 1953 and also owned four years. Paul was the delivery manager for Cross Coal Co. in Lawrence. They had two sons. Paul Jr. b. 1945 attended Phillips Academy, became an author, wrote “Borrowed Time, An AIDS Memoir” (1988) and “Becoming A Man: Half a Life Story” (1992). Son Robert b. 1951 had spina bifida, was well known to residents in the town center. He attended the Marland School on Main St. and Andover High School 1969.

James F. & Alice McCormack purchased in July 23, 1957 owned for nine years then sold to William & Helen Lampros on Jan 21, 1966. They owned for 28 years but used as income property then selling on Nov. 17, 1994 to Gregory & Mary Elaine Merrill. Merrill continue as owners of record in 2018.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Maps, 1830, 1852, 1888, 1906, 1926
Ancestry.com – Brown and Bliss family
Federal Census – 1850 – 1920
Andover; 1850, 1960, 1870, 1920 Directories
Andover Valuation Schedules
Andover Advertiser and Andover Townsman

Daniel Saunders, wife Phebe
Joseph R. Millett – Apr. 7, 1845 – b. 366 leaf 27 - $300 – ½ acre 51 rods lot.
Joseph R. Millett insolvent – estate – April 23, 1838 – (1848)
Daniel Saunders & Eleazer Austin – Assignees – 1848
John J. Brown – Jan. 1, 1848 – b. 393 leaf 118 –
Emily W. Brown – Dec. 1, 1877 – b. 49 p. 425
Arthur Bliss, wife Annie – Feb. 26, 1887 – b. 89 p. 509
Alfred M. Colby – Sept. 10, 1906 – b. 231 p. 428
Margaret B. Colby, wife of Alfred M – June 19, 1915 – b. 354 p. 403
Colby Trust; Pearl C. Kenyon & Jacqueline C. Craig Trustees – Sept. 9, 1925 – b. 515 p. 191
Colby Trust; Pearl C. Kenyon & Jacqueline C. Craig Trustees - Nov. 10, 1917 - b. 536 p. 536
Samuel Levis – Nov. 10, 1927 – b. 536 p. 539
Joseph W. & Margaret C. Connor – b. Nov. 1, 1949 – b. 729 p. 166
Paul L & Jacqueline F. Monette – Mar. 6, 1953 – b. 773 p. 288
James F. & Alice McCormack – July 23, 1957 – b. 858 p. 413
Myrtle T Hayward – Dec. 2, 1960 – b. 928 p. 247
Alice C. McCormack – Dec. 2, 1960 – b. 928 p. 248 – parcel #2
William & Helen Lampros – Jan 21, 1966 – b. 1054 p. 116
William Lampros estate, Helen Lampros – Nov. 26, 1993 – Probate
Gregory & Mary Elaine Merrill – Nov. 17, 1994 – b. 4169 p. 317
Mary E. (McPhee) Merrill – Apr. 23, 2001 – b. 6106 p. 126
Mary E. (McPhee) Merrill – Dec. 24, 2012 – b. 13277 p. 21 - Homestead

Inventory Data:

StreetHigh St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameJohn Brown - Arthur Bliss House
Present Usetwo family homes
Original Usesingle residence
Construction Date1848
SourceERDS, NERDL, style,
Architectural StyleGreek Revival
Architect/BuilderJoseph Millett/ builder
Wall/Trimclapboard/wood/vinyl clad
Roofasphalt/hip & gable
Outbuildings / Secondary StructuresTwo homes occupy the lot
Major AlterationsHouse moved to rear, barn removed, vinyl clad over original materials.
Move Detailsafter 1907
Acreage0.463 acres
Map and parcel38-108
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredMarch 18, 2018