50 Chestnut Street

Architectural Description: 

Queen Anne - Shingle style

Carriage house & barn for Berry house at 52 Chestnut St.
2 cairn-shaped cobblestone gate posts; hip roof
fish scale shingles on upper facade level

Historical Narrative: 

Themes: architectural, community development

Former carriage house at 52 Chestnut St.
See T. A. Holt & Co. - photo of man on wagon in front of barn - note ramp and doors.

This land was once owned by John H. Soeherens, a local barber, who lived around the corner at 44 Whittier Street. Soeherens sold a lot of land at the corner of Punchard Ave. and Chestnut St. comprising 20,000 sq. feet. to Jacob Warren Berry in 1883. Whittier St. was formerly known as Punchard Ave which began on Main Street and continued along the south side of the "Park" then to Elm St. This end was renamed Whittier about 1900.

J. Warren Berry was a partner with the T. A. Holt & Co. grocery store, located in the basement of the Baptist Church, fronting on Central St. J. Warren became president of the company when T.A. Hold died. Warren was connected with the business for 40 years.

J. Warren was born on January 29, 1844 in the North Parish of Andover, (now North Andover) son of Daniel & Susanna Berry. Warren enlisted in the Civil War at 18, served with Co. K. 8th Mass. Regiment. He married Anna Josephine Clement on Jan 28, 1866 at South Church. Anna was born Dec. 1846, daughter of Moses & Caroline Clement. Warren & Anna had three children, two survived; Anna Frances "Fannie" b. July 1868 and Fred Putnam b. Nov. 29, 1869.

Daughter "Fannie" married on Dec. 26, 1900 to Arthur Whitmore Smith, a professor of Physics and Electrical engineering at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA., later teaching in Ann Arbor, Mich. They had one daughter Cynthia Berry Smith.

Son Fred Berry married Lucy Adele Marston b. Mar. 12, 1870, and they had two sons; Carl Marston b. 1899 and Robert W. b. 1902.

Anna Berry died in July 1905 and J. Warren would later marry Nellie E Flanders b. b. 1865. J. Warren died on May 11, 1913. They are interred at Spring Grove Cemetery. Nellie died on Jan 30, 1933 and is interred in the Flanders family lot.

Jacob Warren Berry's estate, was administered by Arthur W. Smith & Nellie E. Berry as the Executors.

The property was sold to Evangeline Proctor, wife of John H. Proctor on July 28, 1920. John Proctor was the President of the New England Plywood Company in 1920 directory. They made wooden reels and spools. It appears that the property was divided when Arthur N. Comeau and wife Elizabeth purchased the lot of 8280 square feet on Aug. 15, 1927. The deed mentions a plan drawn by John Franklin for Arthur N. Comeau in 1927. The deed also included a restriction... "but one building as a dwelling with a garage shall be placed on the lot, said restrictions to be binding for 25 years".... The 1906 Map of Andover Center shows the carriage house / barn was part of the property at 52 Chestnut St. and was sited to the extreme NW corner of the property. Arthur Comeau and his son Arthur were both carpenters, and moved the carriage house to the center of the new lot and converted the building into a home.

Comeau then sold the property to George B. Frost on June 6, 1928. A year later George deeded it to his wife Dora Messer Frost on June 27, 1929. His deed included a life tenancy for himself.

George B. Frost was born in Durham, NH in Oct. 1854 son of John Simpson & Sarah Runnells (Chesley) Frost. George was the youngest of four sons. His father died on Aug. 19, 1858. His mother remarried Nathaniel Emerson and they lived in New Castle, NH.

George B. learned a trade as a carpenter but enrolled at the Andover Theological Seminary, graduating in 1882, becoming a Congregational Minister. George married on April 10, 1881 in Chelsea, MA to Amelia A. Betts b. Jan. 1854 in Amherst, Nova Scotia, daughter of Elliot B. & Lavinia W. Betts. His wife also became an ordained Congregational Minister. George & Amelia had two children, one survived, son Eliot Parks Frost b. Jan. 9, 1884 in Oxford, MA. George & Amelia served as ministers in Littleton and Hudson, MA.

In 1909 they returned to Andover and purchased a home at 29 Highland Rd. George had retired and in 1910 gives his occupation as carpenter. They took in boarders attending Phillips Academy. Amelia died on Mar. 24, 1915. The following year George's son Eliot married on June 3, 1916 to Elizabeth Hollister, the celebrated poet. Eliot was a Professor of Psychology at the University of Rochester in NY. He sadly died on June 3, 1916 at age 42. Eliot & Elizabeth had one son Granger H. Frost b. Oct. 1917 in Rochester, NY.

George remarried to Dora Messer about 1917. They sold the Highland Road home to the Trustees of Phillips Academy in 1928 and moved into the newly renovated and first occupants of the former carriage house at 50 Chestnut St. Frost are listed in the 1928 directory and 1930 & 1940 census as residents of the home . Dora's brother Oliver M. Howe age 64 is also living there in 1940. George Frost died on October 2, 1945 at age 90.

Dora Messer Frost sold the property a few years later to William W. & Hazel R. Stopford on Dec. 21, 1948. William was employed at Davis & Furber Machine Co. in North Andover. Stopford owned for 15 years then sold to James W. & Wendy Martin on June 21, 1963
James Martin was a Letter Carrier for the US Postal Service. The Martins owned for five years then sold to Donald V. & Pauline Porter on Sept. 13, 1968.

Donald Porter b. 1930 was the the Animal Control Officer for the Town of Andover. Pauline Porter b. 1936 was deeded the property on Dec. 3, 1971. Elizabeth Farr purchased the home on June 5, 1978. Then George H. Brattin on Oct. 15, 1981.

The current owners of record in 2015 are Ralph Z. & Sharon R. Mason - May 3, 2000


Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Directories
Federal Census, 1920, 1930, 1940
See plan #8142 - Pauline Porter - (9/26/1978)

John H. Soeherens - land - 20,000 sq. feet
Jacob Warren Berry - Sept. 29, 1883 - b. 74 p. 484
Jacob W. Berry estate, Arthur W. Smith & Nellie E. Berry, Extrs -
Evangeline Proctor, husband. John H. - July 28, 1921 - b. 428 p. 487
Arthur N. Comeau, wife Elizabeth J. - Aug. 15, 1927 - b. 534 p. 296
George B. Frost, wife Dora M. - June 6, 1928 - b. 540 p. 144
Dora Messer Frost - June 27, 1929 - b. 547 p. 84
William W. & Hazel R. Stopford - Dec. 21, 1948 - b. 719 p. 271
Hazel R. Stopford - heir
James W. & Wendy Martin - June 21, 1963 - b. 988 p. 474
Donald V. & Pauline Porter - Sept. 13, 1968 - b. 1114 p. 440
Pauline Porter - Dec. 3, 1971 - b. 1184 p. 529
Elizabeth Farr - June 5, 1978 - b. 1340 p. 328
Elizabeth Farr - Aug. 1, 1979 - b. 1365 p. 164 confirm deed
George H. Brattin - Oct. 15, 1981 - b. 1539 p. 278
George H. Brattin estate - Jeannette B. Rohnstock - Admtx. - Probate - May 4, 1999 - b. 5424 p. 184
Ralph Z. & Sharon R. Mason - May 3, 2000 - b. 5740 p.55

Inventory Data:

StreetChestnut St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameBerry Carriage house - Frost House
Present Useresidence
Original Usecarriage house
Construction Date1895 - 1896
SourceERDS, ENRDL, AHS/Style/njs
Architectural StyleQueen Anne
Wall/Trimclapboards and wood shingles
Roofasphalt - hip
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresmodern garage
Major Alterations1927 - Renovated into residence from barn
Move Details1927 moved from the rear of the lot to middle location by Arthur Comeau
Acreageless than one acre; 10,745 sq. ft.; approx. frontage 72'
Map and parcel39-113
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, 06/09/2015