40 Railroad Street

Historical Narrative: 

The site of the current Whole Foods market and parking lot was once the land of Nathan Frye, President of the Marland Manufacturing Co. It was acquired by Moses T. Stevens of M.T. Stevens Co. in 1869.
This field area extended south to include the site of the Tyer Rubber Co. building.
In April 1888 the Andover Athletic Association was established and the new organization leased about 5 acres of the field from M.T. Stevens Manufacturing Co. and built athletic fields on the site which included a baseball diamond, five tennis courts and a small clubhouse. The Niotus Club began with about 40 members, many prominent citizens in Andover.
The Niotus Club may have been established to complement the Andover Cricket Club who organized in 1887 and built their Cricket Field on a leased pasture to the south of Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co. and abutting the St. Augustine's Cemetery. One club offered Cricket, Quoits and Soccer and the other Baseball and Tennis. As many of the town residents were emigrants from Scotland, England and Ireland, their sporting interests were brought with them. The club lasted only for seven years. M. T. Stevens Co. built a new coal pocket on Stevens St. and a spur line to the site cut through a portion of the Niotus Club field in 1895.

The following news items appeared in the Andover Townsman and are copied as appeared.

April 6, 1888 p4 AT – Col 2 – The new Athletic Association met at the lower Town Hall last Saturday evening and formed a permanent organization in the choice of the following officers: Pres. T.D. Thompson; Vice Pres., J. Newton Cole, Dr. J. A. Leitch, and E.S. Gould: Secry., Lincoln Poor; Treas., G. A. Higgins. A committee was appointed to prepare by-laws and constitution, and another committee will have the care of fitting up the field which has been hired from Mr. M. T. Stevens situated on Railroad St., for base-ball grounds, tennis and other outdoor sports. A suitable club house will be built and the out look is very flattering for a first class athletic club.

April 13, 1888 AT p4 – AV – At the monthly meeting of the Andover Athletic Association in the Village Schoolroom last Monday evening, fourteen young men were elected members. The membership now amounts to forty three.

April 20, 1888 AT p.4 – The Athletic Association recently formed, are putting their grounds on Railroad St. in good condition for the coming season. A neat and convenient club house will be erected at once, George S. Cole having the contract, and a number of members are now practicing for a base-ball nine.

April 20, 1888 AT -FV – Persons in Frye Village desirous of information regarding the Andover Athletic Association are requested to apply to Mr. John Porter of that Village.

April 27, 1888 p4. AV The Andover Athletic Association has secured Mr. Locke’s field near the Poor Farm for outdoor sports. A first class diamond will be laid out for baseball.
The base-ball nine will be composed of young men, ages averaging between sixteen and nineteen years, and they will be glad will be glad to hear from clubs of that age.

May 4, 1888 AT - The new Athletic Association has been obliged to increase its membership limit, and it now numbers forty-three members. The new association will be called the “Niotus Club.”

June 1, 1888 p4 AT – The Niotus Club grounds presented a most attractive appearance Memorial day afternoon, about two hundred people being present to witness the ball game between the Niotus Club team and the Seminary men, and the visitors were well repaid for coming, in the game of ball that was finally won by the Theologues 8 to 5. The Theologues have several old college players who play none the poorer because of Andover hill influence, and they presented a strong nine, especially their in-field. This was the first time the Niotus Club have played their regular nine and with more practice together they will have a strong team. The interest taken by many of our prominent men in the organization is very pleasant and their presence at the grounds is an incentive to the active members who engage in the various games. Five Tennis courts, a base-ball diamond, a beautiful grove, and an attractive club-house are features that bid fair to awaken much interest among the members of the club., and to give the friends opportunity to witness many good contests in the various sports.

June 15, 1888 p4 AT – The Niotus Club are pushing the arrangements for their field day next Monday, and a very enjoyable time is anticipated. The sports will commence at 3 P.M., and will include tennis matches and a base bal game.between the Niotus club and a Phillips nine. The most interesting event of the tennis tournament will be a game between the champion doubles of Phillips Academy and the Niotus champions. Refreshments will be served during the afternoon and evening by a first class caterer. Much pains are to be taken in decorating and illuminating the grounds, and the display promises to be well worth seeing. Tickets for the entire day are sold by members of the club for fifty cents, and amy also be obtained at the Andover Bookstore. Music will be furnished afternoon and evening by the Andover Brass Band.

June 22, 1888 p4 AT –Niotus Club Field Day – A more beautiful June day than that of the 18th could not be imagined, and it was a welcome assistant to the members of the Niotus Club in their in their work for the first field day.
Busy hands during the forenoon were at work on the club-house and grounds, and when the time came for the opening of sports at three o’clock in the afternoon, the grounds made a handsome sight. Flags and bunting had been freely used on the club-house, and here and there over the smoothly mown lawn of about three acres were tents and awnings placed to produce the best effect. About three o’clock the Andover Brass Band to their station, and from then till ten in the evening discoursed excellent music. The first attraction of the afternoon was a ball game between Phillips and Niotus. But five innings were played on account of Tennis tournament later.
The game resulted in victory for Phillips 7 to 3. The chief interest of the afternoon centered in the Tennis contest in doubles between Farwell and Anderson, champions of Phillips, and Morton and Spaulding of the Niotus Club. And it was as handsome a contest as could be desired, being very even and showing up some excellent playing; the first set went to Phillips 7-5, the second to Niotus 6-4, the third to Phillips, 6-4.
The afternoon audience numbered about 250, many with handsome teams, and all making a gay appearance. But if the afternoon display was handsome, the grounds and people in the evening made a sight to be called gorgeous: Japanese lanterns had been added to the clubhouse and placed around the grounds, and the sight was worth seeing. But few of our people had an idea how attractive these grounds are. About two acres are covered with a pretty lawn, and extending along the edge of the lawn down to the river is a grove., through which are several winding paths very inviting and much enjoyed by the promenades. Many were the expressions of delight, and the club members received many congratulations on securing such pleasant grounds for their games and summer social times.
Ices, strawberries, cake, and lemonade were served by Tanner of Haverhill, and nothing seemed to be missing to give all a delightful time, and it was the universal verdict that the Niotus Club had inaugurated an enjoyable occasion in their first field day.
The tickets of admission were round white cards, with red cord attached, and make a pretty souvenir of the day.

June 8, 1888 – pg. 4 AT- The Niotus Club are arranging for a tournament reception and concert on the grounds Monday the 18th inst., which promises a gala day.
The committee in charge are Wm. J. Dale, Jr. of No. Andover, Marcus Morton Jr.,, Geo. W. Foster, J. N. Cole, E. S. Mills, E.S. Gould and Geo. W. Cole of Andover.

June 21, 1889 p. 1 AT – The Niotus Club Field Day – Threatening clouds and falling rain till nearly three o’clock made sad havoc with the attendance at the second Field Day of the Niotus Club on June 17th. Nevertheless, it was not deemed advisable to postpone the programme which had been arranged, and promptly at 3:30 the pleasure began with the base-ball game between nones from the Lawrence Canoe Club and Niotus Club.
The game was very interesting for the first four innings, but the Niotus team was too strong for the Lawrence boys, and at the close of the sixth inning the game was called with the score 11 to 4 in favor of Niotus.
Tennis for doubles, between Spaulding and Moore representing Phillips, and Ripley and Morton representing Niotus, followed and was an excellent exhibition, being won by Niotus 6-4, 6-5. The last house in the afternoon was taken up with athletic sports which were well contested, and proved very interesting, Messrs. Owsley of P. A., Higgins, Holt, and Ripley of Niotus being the principal winners.
The evening skies were more inviting than the morning, and the Boston Cadet Band and elaborate illuminations attracted the largest gathering of the day, about three hundred being on the grounds. The attraction of the evening was the Boston Cadet Band which arrived at 7P.M. , and gave an excellent concert from then till 9:30. The grounds were illuminated with five hundred Chinese lanterns, and the handsome dresses and enliving music made a gay scene. At 9’30 the closing event of the day came , the display of fireworks, and they made a fitting close of a very enjoyable time. Main and Railroads Streets were full of people and carriages the entire evening, and they seemed to enjoy the display as much as those inside the grounds.
The design of the Niotus Club in arranging such times as this is to be commended, in that they are not money making, but planned wholly to develop the summer social life and afford an opportunity for the enjoyment of summer sports. The club contains many of our best citizens, young and old, but should number twice as many, that more such days as that of Monday might be put into the quiet summer months. Dooling of Boston furnished the refreshments.

June 6, 1890 p. 4 Niotus Field Day – The 17th of June in Andover has become to be a marked day for the Niotus Club and its friends. The club will hold ths third annual field day on the afternoon and evening of the 17th, and the usual games, illuminations, and special features, will be as attractive as ever. A full program will appear in next weeks issue.

June 20, 1890 - Niotus Field Day
People began to gather at the handsome grounds on Railroad Street.
A complete description of the events and the day.

May 13, 1892 AT p1 – Niotus Club – Annual Meeting _ Names of officers, etc, several applications for membership were made including some ladies. Both tennis courts will be put into good shape and a lively season is anticipated.

May 27, 1892 AT - Niotus Club – tennis tournament Fri. June 17th

June 10, 1892 AT - The membership list of the Niotus Club was increased by eight new members at a recent meeting. A second court is being covered with clay and will probably be ready for the tournament June 17th.

Sept. 20, 1895 AT p 1 – A track to be laid soon across the field which had been occupied by the Niotus Club, to a new coal dumping place for Marland Mills.

June 26, 1896 AA - Wm. F. Trulan has bought the Niotus Club house. He is having the hillside above his present home and store dug away to make room for the club building, which is to be moved there the last of this week. Mr. Trulan will transfer his store & business to the new quarters. He has a general store, in which about everything of everyday home use is to be found.

July 3, 1896 AA - The Niotus Club house was moved Tuesday to its new location in Abbot Village, where it will be used for a store.
Andover Directory of Residents 1896-97
John H. Trulan emp. Marland Mills bds. 63 Essex St.
Mrs. Mary (WM.) Trulan 63 Essex St.
William F. Trulan Variety Store, 65 Essex St. bds. 63 Essex St.

Inventory Data:

StreetRailroad St
PlaceAbbott Village
Historic DistrictAndover Village Industrial NRH District
Historic NameNiotus Club Field
Present UseStore
Original UseNiotus Clubhouse
Construction Date1888
Architect/BuilderGeorge S. Cole, builder
Wall/Trimwood cedar shingle
Roofcedar shingle
Conditionmoved off site
Move Details1896 to 59 Essex St.
Acreage5 acres
Map and parcel54-4
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredDec. 31, 2014