49 Highland Road

Architectural Description: 

Federal/Greek Revival

Good doorway; full cornice returns on gable ends

Historical Narrative: 

Present Owner: Phillips Academy (7/9/1927)
Themes: architectural, community development

The section of Highland Rd. that once extended from South Main St. to Salem St. has had several names in deeds and on maps through the years. Early deeds state “on the road from Capt. Blunt’s house to Mark Newman’s store”, later “from Salem St. to the store of Albert Abbott.” Blunt’s to Timothy Flagg’s and Blunt’s to Abraham J. Gould’s residence”. The 1872 map labels it Back St. and some deeds and Directories reference Porter Rd. to Salem St.
The numbering has also changed through the years. 1885 Back St. #11, #15 , #25 – 1916 -1945, #49 -1947

The land along this stretch of road was once owned by Asa Abbot. Asa sold an 18 rod lot (1/4 acre) to Mary Upton for $60 on Oct. 17, 1814. Mary is listed as a “Trader” in the deed. Mary built a one story dwelling house and an attached shop. Mary was born Sept. 16, 1775 in Reading, MA, dau. of Abram & Susanna (Upton) Upton. Mary joined the South Church on Aug. 5, 1814 from the First Church of Reading.
On March 18, 1815 Mary sells to her sister Sarah Upton a “Tailoress”, “one undivided half of a certain lot with buildings, reserving the northeasterly end of the dwelling house which is built but one story high and is now improved by me as a store, with land under the same, no part of which is intended to be conveyed.” Sarah Upton, born 1764 paid Mary $500. The 1820 Census lists Mary Upton and four other residents in the home, four are engaged in Commerce and one a Manufacturer. Sarah, a single woman, died on July 3, 1819 and is interred at South Parish Cemetery. The south half of the house reverted back to Mary.

In November 1828 Mary receives a $500 mortgage from William Jenkins on the “whole of that part of the northeasterly end of the dwelling house which is built but one story high with land under the same…Also a part of the back side of the main house which is built but one story high together with the wood house which stands at the southwesterly end of the main house and one undivided half of the main house and land together with one undivided fifth part of the remainder.” The loan was discharged in July 1836. It appears that Mary enlarged the house with a second story at this time.

On April 28, 1834 Mary sells “the northerly end of the dwelling house in which I now live” for $880 to Charlotte Upton, also a “Tailoress”. The deed runs through the center of the house, “reserving the bedroom on the lower floor for myself, a part of which is in the northerly end, and granting the bedroom in the upper story directly over the one reserved, to the grantee.” Mary also reserves half the use of the well and the use of the staircase to pass from the chambers, and conveys the shop adjoining to the said northerly end.
In July 1841 Mary Upton removed from South Church to the First Church of Nashua, NH. but still held ownership of south half the property. She would later return to Andover and died in Ballardvale on Sept. 8, 1857 at age 83. She is interred at South Parish Cemetery with her sister Sarah.

Charlotte Upton b. Sept. 23, 1794 in Danvers, dau. of Jeremiah & Elizabeth (Carlton) Upton, married Dudley Trow Jr. on Oct. 17, 1844, she his second wife. Dudley was born in Andover on Jan.3, 1799 son of Dudley and Annis (Johnson) Trow. Dudley was a farmer, moved to Middleton and married Mary Carlton who died in 1842.

The 1850 Andover Valuation Schedule lists both owners as non-residents, The house was divided in half Mary Upton of Reading, MA and Dudley Trow of Middleton, MA. Mary Upton, ½ dwelling house $425 and Dudley, the other half valued the same. The 1852 map of Andover lists this house as the Upton place. Dudley died on July 9, 1853 in Middleton and Charlotte held the property.

Mary’s south half was inherited by Mary Thompson of Lawrence and Rebecca V. Holden of Tyngsboro.
They sold to David L. C. Hidden on Sept. 30, 1864. Hidden then sold to Nancy N. Nichols on Oct. 7, 1864.

Nancy Norris Nichols was born on Dec. 6, 1805 in Andover daughter of John III & Mary (Bubier) Nichols. Her father was a Cordwainer. Nancy lived with her parents, was listed as an Operative in the 1865 State census. It appears that Nancy purchased the Upton place after the deaths of her parents.
Charlotte Trow sold her half of the property to Edward Taylor on Oct. 27, 1870 for $462.50. Edward Taylor gave Nancy Nichols a loan of $475 on June 15, 1874 for the south half of the house. The mortgage deed was purchased by Elizabeth Butterfield for $650 on June 16, 1884 and foreclosed on June 20, 1884. The 1885 Directory lists Nancy Nichols on Back Street near the corner of Salem St. Nancy was admitted to the Alms House in Frye Village on Sept. 21, 1887 at age 81. She died on Aug. 19, 1894 at age 88. Her obituary states; “She was somewhat an eccentric character, and attracted much attention by her ways.”

This property was used as income rental for many years and one longtime resident were the Nolan family.

Michael & Catherine Nolan occupied this house in 1885. Michael Nolan was born in New Glasgow, Co. Terre Bonne, Canada East in Dec. 1833, son of Irish parents James & Julia (McChesky) Nolan. Michael came to Andover in 1856 and first worked as a farmhand for Henry Gray. He later worked as a carpenter for Abbott & Jenkins, also the Trustees (PA?) and then D.B. Mason. Michael married Catherine Young b. 1835 in Bangor, Maine. Michael & Catherine had ten children: Mary A. b. May 2, 1863, Julia b. 1865, James P. b. Feb. 11, 1867, John Thomas b. Jan. 30, 1869, Margaret A. b. Mar. 31, 1871, Ann b. Oct. 8, 1872, Michael b. July 1874, Catherine A. b. June 30, 1897, Agnes b. June 1879 and Edward b. Feb. 19, 1884. Sadly Michael Nolan died on May 14, 1888 of heart failure at age 55. His widow Catherine remained in the house until 1909 then moved to 8 Morton St. living with Mrs. Adams. Catherine died on Feb. 10, 1911 at age 74 and had out lived all her children but the youngest Edward who inherited her estate.

The property remained in the ownership of the Butterfield family as rental property for 43 years prior to its sale to the Trustees of Phillips Academy on July 9, 1927.
The house has been used as a faculty residence by the Academy since the 1930’s
1935 –#25 - Alan R. Blackmar, wife Josephine B. Instructor PA
1941 – #25 - R. Wilfred Westgate, wife Shelia – Teacher PA
1947 – #49 - Alexander Gibson, wife May Bess – Teacher PA


49 Highland Rd.
Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Ancestry.com – Upton, Nichols, Nolan families
Andover Townsman – Aug. 23, 1894 Obit. Nancy Nichols
Andover Maps 1852, 1872, 1884, 1888, 1906
Andover Directories; 1885 - 1953

Asa Abbot, wife Judith
Mary Upton – Oct. 17, 1814 rec. 3/18/1815 – b. 205 leaf 185 - $60 lot 18 rods
Sarah Upton – Jan. 27, 1815 – b. 205 leaf 185 – ½ of lot w/blds. - $500
Mary Upton to Wm. Jenkins –Nov. 15, 1828 – b. 252 leaf 32 –mtg. deed ½ of NE house
Charlotte Upton – Apr. 28, 1834 rec. 9/8/ 1835 – b. 286 leaf 25 - $880 north end
Mary Upton estate, d. Sept. 8, 1857 heirs; Mary Thompson & Rebecca V. Holden
Charles C. Upton – Sept. 12, 1859 – b. 594 leaf 150 – ½ house
David S. C. Hidden – Sept. 30, 1864 rec.11/3/1864 -b. 677 leaf 47 - $500 ½ house south end
David S. C. Hidden – Oct. 7, 1864– b. 687 leaf 256 -25’x45’x25’x45’ S. Brown & E. Sullivan lot
Nancy N. Nichols - Oct. 29, 1864 - b. 677 leaf 48 -$600 South half of house
Nancy N. Nichols - July 31, 1865 - b. 694 leaf 202 –25’x45’x25’x45’ S. Brown & E. Sullivan lot
Edward Taylor – Oct. 27, 1870 – b. 6 p. 115 –$ 462.50 -Trow ½ house north end
Nichols to Edward Taylor - June 15, 1874 - b. 30 p. 555 mtg. $475 -both halves of house
Elizabeth B. Butterfield – June 16, 1884 - b. 76 p. 527 assigned mtg. deed - $655
Elizabeth B. Butterfield - June 20, 1884 - b. 76 p. 555 possession
Elizabeth B. Butterfield estate, Bell Joy Butterfield, Extrx. - Dec. 4, 1924 Probate
Trustees of Phillips Academy - July 9, 1927 - b. 533 p. 111

Inventory Data:

StreetHighland Rd
PlacePhillips District
Historic DistrictAcademy Hill NRH District
Historic NameMcCurdy House - Phillips Academy - Mary Upton House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence - 2 family
Construction Date1814 - 1815
SourceERDS, ENRDL, AHS file, njs, style
Architectural StyleFederal
Foundationstone and brick
Roofasphalt - gable
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuressmall modern garage
Major AlterationsBuilt as a single story house with ell for a store, second story added in the 1830's remodeled - 1966
Acreageless than one acre; 7,500 sq. ft.; approx frontage 105'
Map and parcel58-15
MHC NumberANV.264
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, 3/24/2015, 2/20/2022