464 River Road

Architectural Description: 

NRIND NRMRA
Style: Picturesque

Other features: steeply - pitched cross gable in front w/ Gothic window

Historical Narrative: 

464 River Road – Perrin House

This property was once owned by Wyman Bailey of Lowell in 1845 and through several mortgage sales was purchased by Darius Smith for $3950. On Oct. 25, 1847. In 1850 a portion to the property was sold to William Perrin.

William Perrin, b. Mar. 31, 1807 in Seekonk, Bristol Co., MA, son of Thomas & M. Polly (Godfrey) Perrin of Rehoboth, MA. William was the youngest of eight children, born four months after the death of his father in Nov. 1806. Early census records list his occupation as Machinist. William married on Nov. 25, 1838 in Lowell, MA to Mary Ann Brown, b. 1817 in Watertown, MA, daughter of Samuel & Rebecca (Hayes) Brown. William & Mary had three children; Mary Ann Josephine b. Aug. 24, 1839 – d. Oct. 2, 1844 in Lowell, William H. b. July 3, 1843 in Lowell and Gilbert B. b. May 31, 1849 in Lawrence, MA.

William may have been a machinist for the textile mills given his Lowell and Lawrence locations. On January 8, 1850 William Perrin purchased a 2 acre corner lot on River Rd from James Bailey for $550, a portion of the Darius Smith farm. He also bought two lots of land from Darius Smith on Jan. 26, 1850 for $1500. One lot was on the north side of the road, east of the lane past the widow James Bailey’s house to the Merrimack River. The other adjoined the corner lot.

The 1850 Andover Valuation schedule lists William Perrin as a Non-Resident living in Lawrence, MA with 23¼ acres of land in West Parish assessed at $975. Darius Smith valuation was Dwelling house $900. Barn and other buildings $450, 31 acres adjoining $1240, 9 acre Pitts lot $180, Farm stock $226 and Railroad stock $90. The State Census in 1855 lists William Perrin 47 Machinist, Mary Ann 37, William H. 12, Gilbert B. 6, Artemus Hardy 26 Laborer. The next listing is Darius Smith 51 Machinist, wife Roxana 49, Harriet R. 16, George H. 7, and Francis D. age 3. (A son Charles age 15 was listed in 1850). In 1860 both families share the same residence. William Perrin now 53 is listed as a farmer.

Darius Smith was born July 31, 1804 in Waltham, MA married Mar. 9, 1828 in Waltham to Roxana Brown b. 1806 in Needham. Darius died in Lowell on Mar. 1, 1864. Roxana died in 1888.

William H. Perrin became a carpenter and brother Gilbert B. a farmer working with his father. Both served in the Civil War. William H. would later move to Lowell and never married. Gilbert B. married about 1878 to Ellen “Nellie” Colson b. 1856 in Buxton, Maine, daughter of Daniel P. & Charlotte Colson. Gilbert & Nellie had two daughters, Alice U. b. 1879 - d. abt. 1880-1 and Grace Alice b. June 26, 1881 in Andover. Sadly Nellie died on March 18, 1886 of consumption in Lowell, MA. On April 16, 1889 William Perrin died of Pneumonia at age 82. William & Mary are both interred in Lowell Cemetery.

Son William H. Perrin moved to Concord, NH and his mother Mary would sell the farm in Andover and moved to Concord, NH where she died on Feb. 24, 1896. The 1900 Census finds William H. and niece Grace now 18 a housekeeper, are living together in Concord, NH. Her father Gilbert 51 is a farm laborer boarding in Tewksbury, MA. Gilbert B. died Dec. 19, 1926 at the Soldiers Home in Washington D.C. and is interred there in the Soldiers Home National Cemetery. Daughter Grace married on Aug. 1, 1914 to Arthur Jorden Hadley, son of Walter S. & Mary (Aldrich) Hadley.

William Perrin estate was administered by John Davis on Oct. 14, 1889 by Probate. Widow Mary A. Perrin sold the Perrin farm on Apr. 21, 1890 at auction James W. Bennett of Lowell, MA for $4030. Bennett may have been an agent for Charles I. Hood of Lowell as the deed was sold to Hood on- May 12, 1890 at the same price.

Charles Hood, born Dec. 11, 1845 in Chelsea, VT son of Amos R. and Abigail (Cilley) Hood. His father owned an apothecary shop where Charles learned the business as chemist. Charles moved to Lowell and apprenticed in Samuel Kidder’s drugstore. He later went to work as a prescription clerk for Theodore Metcalf & Co., in Boston where he learned the mail order business. Promised a partnership that never materialized, Charles returned to Lowell and opened his own drugstore. James C. Ayer was his landlord and the owner of J. C. Ayer & Co. makers of medicines and sarsaparilla.

Charles Hood quickly followed Ayer’s lead in 1876 manufacturing his own patent medicines and Sarsaparilla under the Hood name. C. I. Hood Company laboratories on Thorndike Street in Lowell opened in 1882. Hood’s mail order business and advertising made him wealthy man.

Charles Hood had a passion for dairy farming which would lead him to become “one of the most successful breeders of Jersey cattle in the country, and an authority on the subject and on farming in general.” Hood acquired large tracks of land in West Andover and Tewksbury along the Merrimack River beginning in 1890.

Hood developed a large stock and dairy farm specializing in breeding Jersey cows. With a handsome remodeled James Bailey farmhouse and extensive barns the Hood Farm took shape. In 1900 the farm in Andover contained 259.5 acres, the Grant, Perrin and Maddox farms, five houses, six barns, a new stable and creamery, calf pen and sheds, piggery, ice house, and Engine house. Hood’s “delightful hobby” had 350 Jersey cattle, producing milk and cream which he then sold in Lowell. He also owned a very valuable herd of Berkshire swine. Hood then broadened his medicine remedies to include farm animals.

For Hood his farm was an experiment and a recreation with little thought of making a profit. His employees managing the farms in Andover numbered 30 men in 1900. Hood stated “...the Hood Farm has been a most important factor in improving the quality, and raising the standard of the Jersey breed of cows throughout the country. We know beyond any possibility of doubt that the expense, labor and thought that has been devoted to the Jersey cow at Hood Farm has contributed very largely to the improvement of the Jersey cow in America. I can truly say this gives me far greater satisfaction than I could derive from any money return.”

Charles I. Hood’s farm breeding experiment came to an end with his death in Lowell on February 4, 1922, age 77. His patent medicine company did not long survive his death.

George A. McCormack of Medford, MA purchased the Hood farm and 98 acres at auction on Oct. 15, 1926. McCormack later leased the farm to “Malcolm McConnell, a member of the faculty of Boston University, who established an agricultural institute. The project was not successful and McCormack then sold the property to “Franciscan Friars of Boston” in 1930.

George & Catherine McCormack held on to the former Perrin farmhouse. With the death of George in 1939 his widow Catherine McCormick then sold the home to Alfred & Angelina Potvin on Nov. 7, 1939. Raymond H. & Anne Potvin purchased the home on Nov. 30, 1981 and continue as owners of record in 2016.

Bibliography/References: 

see National Register Nomination for updated information

Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA

Owners;
Samuel B. Foster -
Darius Smith, wife Roxana B. - Oct. 25, 1847 - b. 390 leaf 21 & 22 - mtg deed

James Bailey, wife Abigail F. - 1850
William Perrin, wife Mary A. - Jan. 8, 423 leaf 109 - house lot 2 acres
William Perrin - Jan. 26, 1850 - b. 423 leaf 165 - from Darius Smith
William Perrin estate,John Davis Adm. Oct. 14, 1889 Probate
Mary A. Perrin, heir - Apr. 21, 1890 - b. 106 p. 489 release
James W. Bennett - Apr. 21, 1890 - b. 106 p. 489
Charles I. Hood - May 12, 1890 - b. 106 p. 490
Hood Farm Incorporated - July 10, 1918 - b. 401 p. 526
George A. McCormack - Oct. 15, 1926 - b. 626 p. 444
Catherine McCormick, widow, of George A. McCormack - Nov. 8, 1939 - probate #207,638
Alfred & Angelina Potvin - Nov. 7, 1939 - b. 626 p.444
Raymond H. & Anne Potvin - Nov. 30, 1981 - b. 1548 p. 138

Inventory Data:

StreetRiver Rd
PlaceWest Andover
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NamePerrin, William House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1850 - 1860
SourceECRDS, ENRDL, style-njs
Architectural StyleGreek Revival
Foundationstone/granite
Wall/Trimclapboards/wood
Roofasphalt - gable
Major Alterations1857? Replacement windws
Conditionexcellent
Acreage2 acres; approx. frontage: 200'
Settingresidential/educational
Map and parcel229-2
Recorded byN. J. Stack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-1977, 1/18/2016

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