47 High Plain Road

Architectural Description: 

Two story vernacular farmhouse, circa 1900, vinyl clad, front porch, connecting two story ell located at the rear of the residence, also a connecting one story ell located on the east side of the building was the former milk shed and from the mid 19th century. The property has an English style wood shingle barn that dates from circa 1844. The barn is protected by a preservation restriction approved by the Massachusetts Historical Commission in 2010. The circa 1900 residence replaced the original circa 1820 farmhouse that burned. Other barns and out buildings were demolished in the 1940’s. In the current setting and despite alteration, the house and remaining barn still retain the aura of the agricultural history that was common in West Andover. Today, High Plain Road is primarily infill houses from the 1950-60’s.

Historical Narrative: 

47 High Plain Road – Joseph Chandler - George M. Carter Farm

This property was the farm of Joseph Chandler located on both sides of the road leading to Parker’s Ferry in the West Parish of Andover. The name High Plain Road was formerly given in 1904 but is referenced at the High Plain in early deeds. Known locally as the Carter Farm during most of the 20th century it was earlier owned by the Chandlers, one of the earliest founding families in Andover. During Joseph Chandlers ownership the property consisted of about seventy acres. About 50 acres, which were located on the north side of the road, are now in filled with houses and much of the property occupied by West Elementary School on Beacon Street built in 1951-52.

On March 12, 1822 Joshua Chandler, Zebadiah Abbot and Herman Abbot sold this property to Jeremiah Rogers, wife Abigail of Billerica for $1800. The farm was 50 acres on the north side of the road with buildings and 20 acres on the opposite side of the road. Rogers owned for 18 years then selling to John Burnham, a blacksmith, wife Diantha on May 7, 1840. The parcels were the same "except what has been taken for the new road" (Beacon St. to Chandler Rd.) Burnham owned just nine months and sold to Jeremiah Hurd, Esq. on Feb. 7, 1841. Hurd owned nearly two years then purchased by Ezra Abbot 2nd on Dec. 3, 1842. Joseph Cummings bought on Feb. 27, 1843 then sold to Joseph Chandler for $3050 on April 9, 1844.

Joseph Chandler was born on June 10, 1808, son of Joseph jr. & Mary (Phelps) Chandler. Joseph marriage intentions were posted on April 14, 1835 to Lucy Russell Gates of Lowell, MA. Lucy was b. in 1806. Joseph and Lucy had three children: Joseph Henry b. April 13, 1836, George Gates b. Dec. 18, 1837 and Abbie Jane b. May 21, 1840. Son Joseph Henry enlisted in the Army during the Civil War. He died at St. James Hospital, New Orleans on March 10, 1863, age 28y 7m 20d. George G. married Augustas Chandler of Swanzey, NH and moved to Tipton, Iowa. Daughter Abbie Jane Chandler married Peter Dove Smith, son of Peter Smith one of the founders of the Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co.

The 1850 Valuation Schedule lists a dwelling house $750, barn & other building $275, 70 acre Home farm $1510, 21 acre Abbott pasture $350, 12 acre young wood lot $132 and 6 acre Swift lot $75. In 1860 the value of the house was $1000. In 1870 it had dropped to $800. The 70a. home farm and a 30a. Heald land lot on Argilla Rd. were the holdings. Farm Stock was $495.

Joseph Chandler died on Aug. 9, 1872 at age 64. Daughter Abby J. Smith purchased the family farm on Dec. 19, 1872. Her mother Lucy continued to live out her days on the homestead. Lucy died on Sept. 15, 1886. Abby J. and husband Peter D. Smith were living in Gloucester at the time of purchase and summered here until their return to Andover. They purchased the Benjamin Punchard House in Elm Sq. (8 High St) after Peter's father died. They were one of Andover’s wealthiest families in the 19th century. The farm was use by the Smith’s for supplying their household with season vegetables and hay. In 1900 George M. Carter is renting the farm. The farm remained with the Smith family through 1907 when George M. Carter purchased the property on Dec. 17, 1907.

George Manning Carter was born on Feb. 25, 1856 in Pembrooke, Maine, son of Ezra W. & Joanne D. (Clark) Carter. George married in Lawrence, MA on Aug. 22, 1883 to Zillah White.. She was born in 1860 in Urbania, Nova Scotia, dau. of James G. & Nancy J. White. George & Zillah had three children: Rufus Oscar b. Nov. 4, 1883 in Pembrooke, ME, Lucy Shattuck b. Oct. 1885 also in Pembrooke and Herbert Eugene b. Aug. 22, 1887 in Andover, MA. Sadly Zillah died two years earlier on Mar. 13, 1891. Herbert E. died of pneumonia a few months shy of his 6th birthday on June 2, 1893.

George had re-married on Feb. 28, 1893 to Bessie Ann Rose, b. 1869 also from Nova Scotia. George & Bessie named their first child Herbert Paul b. in Dec. 1894. There would be six more children: Thomas Edward b. Feb. 10, 1896 in West Pembrooke, ME, James R. b. 1899 in Andover, Richard P. b. 1902, George M. Jr. b. 1903 d. Dec. 30, 1904, Lena C. Davis b. 1904, and Bessie Lillian b. May 30, 1906.

The 1900 valuation of the farm was House & shed $600, barn & shed $400, Hen house 123 acres $1800. Clearly Carter is renting the farm as stated in the 1900 Census. George and family also included four boarders, all farm hands living at the home. In 1910 the house is valued at $800 but the barn and shed value $2400 with 58 acres of farmland. Clearly a new barn has been built on the property. By 1920 they have added a garage, but also own two houses on Lowell Street. House and shed $1200. New house on Lowell St. $3300, Hen house $50 and 3/4 acre of land. The new house was the Craftsman bungalow at the corner of Lowell & Beacon Streets.

With the outbreak of WWI in 1917 son Thomas Edward Carter enlisted in the Army. The following account of his bravery is published in Andover in the World War, Published by the Town of Andover under the Auspices of Andover Post, Number Eight, American Legion. Andover Press.

Thomas Edward Carter - "The fittest place where man can die, Is where he dies for man."
Thomas Edwad Carter, son of Mr. & Mrs. George M. Carter, of West Andover, was educated in local schools, and went to Massachusetts Agricultural College, where he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity and elected Captain of the Regiment. Before graduation, however he left, with a group of selected candidates, to attend the Officers' Training School, at Camp Upton, Long Island. At the conclusion of the course of instruction, he was offered a commission, on condition that he would remain as a teacher in American camps. He preferred, however, to enlist as a private in Company G, 208 Infantry L., 9th Infantry, and commissioned as 2d Lieutenant on the field of battle, - an unusual honor. With this unit under his command he was in the thick of the fighting, and in one week went "over the top" three times, all his superior officers in the company having been wounded. On November 4, while pursuing a body of retreating Germans near La Tuilerie Ferme, he was instantly killed by machine gun fire. For conspicuous bravery in this action he was given a posthumous award of the French Croix de Guere and American Distinguished Service Cross. In writing Lieutenant Carter's mother, Major General Le Jeune, of the 2d Division, said: -
"The men of his company speak of him as being full of fun an very cheerful. They say that on the battlefield he kept his company in good order as on the drill ground, and they greatly admired him for his skill. They also say he was the most fearless man they ever knew."

"Tom" Carter was indeed a prime favorite wherever he went, and deserved every honor that was presented to him. At a special memorial service, held in the West Parish Church, the Reverend Newman Matthews gave an eloquent description of the young man's character, emphasizing his unselfishness, his fortitude, his readiness and eagerness to do his best, and his steadfastness of purpose. In his aims and his achievements he was a Christian gentleman.

The Carters continued the farming tradition until after World War II. One of the conditions of the transfer of the property to the heirs of George M. Carter was that the barn be removed and razed on the property. The existing barn is all that remains of the former farm out buildings. A period photo found in a wall during renovations shows a portion of the original barns close to the road, and the one that remains today.

The Carter family owned until Robert G. B. Nicoll & Celia R. Nicoll purchased the homestead on Mar. 26, 1949 .
Frederick & Mary S. Cummings were the next owners on July 1, 1965 and remained until 2009 when sold to neighbors Scott & Joanne Gibson on Oct. 28, 2009.
The Gibson's renovated the home and sub-divided the property through a Special Dimensional Permit with the Town. A preservation Restriction was placed on the barn and home at that time. Homeowners Association July 8, 2011 b. 12541 p. 52 - Scott & Joanne Gibson Map Plan #16345 Sub-division) (Preservation restriction 39-47 High Plain Road, Carter Farm Barn - b. 12541 p.20 # 15546 – July 20, 2011)


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Ad in Andover Townsman 15 Feb 1951
Andover in the World War - 1921 - Pub. Andover Post 8 - American Legion ,
Preservation Deed July 8, 2011 b. 12541 p. 20
Scott & Joanne Gibson - Map Plan #16345 Sub-division, Map #15545
Joshua Chandler, Zebadiah and Herman Abbot -
Jeremiah Rogers, wife Abigail - Mar. 12, 1822 - b. 228 leaf 228 - $1800
John Burnham, wife Diantha - May 7, 1840 - b. 319 leaf 46
Jeremiah Hurd, Esq. - Feb. 7, 1841 - b. 323 leaf 45 - $2300
Ezra Abbot 2nd - Dec. 3, 1842 - b. 334 leaf 231
Joseph Cummings, wife Mary - Feb. 27, 1843 - b. 336 leaf 13 - $2700
Joseph Chandler - April 9, 1844 - b. 344 leaf 66 - $3050
Joseph Chandler estate, - Aug. 9, 1872 - heirs Lucy R., George G. Chandler & Abby J. Smith
Lucy R. Chandler - Oct. 24, 1872 - b. 19 pg. 98
Abby J. Smith wife of Peter D. Smith - Dec. 19, 1872 - b. 19 pg. 114
Lucy R. Chandler - Oct. 9, 1873 - b. 24 pg. 449 - 32.1 acre lot on Argilla Rd.
George M. Carter - Dec. 17, 1907 - b. 256 pg. 402
George M. Carter estate, June 19, 1940 - to Carter heirs
Rufus O. Carter, Lucy S. Bryant, & Bessie C. Haartz quit claim to
Herbert P. Carter, Richard P. Carter & Grace M. Carter, - May 14, 1941 - b. 644 pg. 565
Herbert P. Carter, Bessie C. Haartz & Richard P. Carter - June 19, 1940
Robert G. B. Nicoll & Celia R. Nicoll - Mar. 26, 1949 - b. 722 pg. 505
Frederick & Mary S. Cummings - July 1, 1965 - b. 1037 pg. 259
Mary S. Cummings - Feb. 9, 1994 - b. 3982 pg. 209
The Vermont Trust - Mary S. Cummings - Mar. 11, 1996 - b. 4453 pg. 274
Scott & Joanne Gibson - Oct. 28, 2009 - b. 11820 p. 325
William Gary & Leah (Smith) Dewar - July 8, 2011 - b. 12541 p. 56

Inventory Data:

StreetHigh Plain Rd
PlaceWest Parish - West Andover
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameJoseph Chandler - George M. Carter Farm
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence, farmhouse
Construction Date1880
SourceERDS, ENRDL, assessers' rec./style-njs
Architectural StyleOther
Roofasphalt - gable
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresbarn
Major Alterations2011 - Special Dimensional Permit - Preservation Restriction
Map and parcel88-42
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975 - 1977, 2010, 9/17/2015