52 - 56 Whittier Street

Architectural Description: 

The Ramsdell Cottage #52 rear is of Queen Anne style. The Ramsdell Double House at #54 - #56 is a blend of Queen Anne and Shingle Style with decorative shingle work and corner brackets, clipped gable roof.

Historical Narrative: 

52-54-56 Whittier St., map plan 3641
Whittier Street was named after Nathaniel Whittier who lived at 10 Summer Street and much of the property along the route was part of his homestead. This street was an extension of Punchard Ave originally extending around the south and east side of the “Park” and through to Elm Street. All early deeds state Punchard Ave.
Andover Advertiser - April 24, 1858 The building of Punchard Avenue was let out to Auction on Monday to William Sullivan of Lawrence. Length one hundred fifty- five rods (155 rods), price $4.25 / rod. It is to be completed on the first of July.

This parcel lot was part of Brainerd Cummings house lot next door at 50 Whittier St. Brainerd was a carpenter and contractor and sub-divided his property and sold the lot Georgette R. Ramsdell, wife of Marshall L. on July 11, 1898.
Two houses were built on the parcel, the double house in 1898 and the cottage house to the rear in 1899-1900. The 1900 Valuation lists Georgette R. Ramesdell: House 52 Whittier and the new house at 52 in the rear.

Andover Townsman July 8, 1898 “Mrs. Georgette R. Ramsdell has purchased a lot of land on Whittier Street from Brainerd Cummings, through the agency of Barnett Rogers. Mrs. Ramsdell contemplates building this summer.”
Andover Advertiser AA – Aug. 5, 1898 – Ground is being cleared for Mrs. Ramsdell’s new house on Whittier Street
AA – Aug. 12, 1898 – Richardson and Pitman will build Mrs. Ramsdell’s new double house on Whittier.
AT Aug. 12, 1898 – “Richardson & Pitman started work on Mrs. Georgette R. Ramsdell’s new house on Whittier Street on Monday.”

Georgette (Russell) Ramsdell was born Sept. 1839 dau. of Moody & Frances “Fanny” Russell. Georgette was a teacher at the South Center School 1853-1858 then the Phillips District School 1861-1863. Georgette married on April 15, 1863 to Marshall L. Ramsdell b. Oct. 1835 son of Martin & Bethiah (Robinson) Ramsdell. Marshall was a local merchant and agent selling sewing machines. Marshall also had an Art store and picture framing business. They had two sons; Harry A. b. 1868 became a lawyer, and Atherton R. b. 1875 who first worked with his father.

Andover Advertiser April 23, 1880 – M. Ramsdell has been engaged in the sewing machine business eleven years. He is agent for selling machines, will attend to repairs at short notice, and keeps constantly on had a supply of castors, needles, oil & C. –See his card. (corner of Elem & Summer Streets) Also and advert for Mrs. M.L. Ramsdell – Fashionable Dress & Cloak making, also stamping, or braiding and embroidery, Rooms on Summer St.

AT July 1, 1898 “J. Atherton Ramsdell, who has been studying at the Lowell Textile school has entered the designing department of Pemberton mills, Lawrence for the summer.” Ramsdell lived at 23 Bartlet Street at the time the purchased the lot, then in October moved to Essex St. The 1899 Directory Census lists Mrs. Eliza D. Ladd and Fred H. Ladd, reporter for the Lawrence Telegram at 52 Whittier. [see 46 Whitter] 56 Whittier has Arthur W. Cox a laster maker, wife, Alice, Adelaide, stenographer at Emerson Mfg. Co. in Lawrence, Alice and Charlotte R. students.

AT May 12, 1899 - Mr. & Mrs. Judd and Miss Wilder of Dorchester, spent Sunday at the residence of Arthur J. Cox of Whittier Street.
AT May 26, 1899 – "Harry A Ramsdell left town Tuesday for the simmer and will be in charge at the Essex Country Club house at Manchester by the Sea. He occupied the same position three years ago." AT June 9, 1899 – "Harry A. Ramsdell has received his degree as a Bachelor of Law from the Boston University Law School. He was one of the successful students out of 145 candidates."AT June 23, 1899 – "Atherton Ramsdell is now employed as draughtsman for the Howard & Bullough American Machine Company manufactures of cotton mill machinery at Pawtucket, RI".

Ramsdell owned for 24 years. The Ramsdell cottage was built in 1899 to rear of the property in the Queen Anne style.
AT Sept. 22, 1899 p.1 Mrs. G. R. Ramsdell is building a tasty cottage on the westerly side of her estate on Whittier Street. It will be named Whittier Cottage.

Both houses were sold to Scott L. & M. Irene Carr on Oct. 24, 1922. They moved into #54 Whittier. Scott Leroy (Ross) Carr was born Sept. 8, 1881 in Bennington, NH, son of Ida Jane Ross. His mother remarried to Harry E. Carr on Jan. 1, 1889 in Gardner, MA and Harry adopted Scott who took his surname. Scott became a Fireman with the railroad. Scott married Aug. 18, 1906 in Lawrence, MA to Myrtie Irene Douglas, b May 8, 1883 in Templeton, MA dau. of Walter S. & Martha E. (Knowlton) Douglas. The couple lived at 408 North Main St. in Shawsheen Village prior to Whittier St. Scott became an Locomotive Engineer with the Boston & Maine RR. Irene was a stenographer for an insurance company. Scott & Irene did not have children. Irene’s mother Martha and sister Gladys, a teacher lived with them. They moved to Ballardvale Rd in the mid 1930’s and rented the apartment. They sold to Thomas & Etta E. Chadwick in 1951.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Advertiser - Andover Townsman
Andover maps 1872, 1882, 1888, 1906
Ancestry.com - Ramsdell family
Andover Directories

Nathaniel Whittier
Nathaniel Whittier estate
Whittier heirs, Ann E. Higgins, Mary W. Dickerson, Hannah E. Whittier
Brainerd Cummings – April 9, 1875 – b. 34 p. 8
Georgette R. Ramsdell, wife of Marshall J. – July 11, 1898 – b. 163 p. 129
Scott L. & M. Irene Carr – Oct. 24, 1922 – b. 467 p. 55
Scott L. & M. Irene Carr – Apri. 27, 1946 – b. 683 p. 374 – 2nd parcel
Thomas & Etta E. Chadwick – Feb. 15, 1951 – b. 747 p. 131
C. Lincoln Giles, wife E. Janice – Oct. 14, 1958 – b. 881 p. 251
James J. Jr. & Beverly Nassar – Jan. 9, 1963 – b. 977 p. 362
Empire Realty Trust, Sebastian Corzo, Ernest Kaufman – July 29, 1966 – b. 1065 p. 289
Helen Britton – Jan. 1, 1968 – b. 1100 p. 14
Sebastian & Anna Corzo, Ernest & Elvira Kaufman - Jan. 1, 1968 – b. 1100 p. 19
Paul V & Antonia M. Meli – Aug. 1, 1968 – b. 1111 p. 133
Meli Realty Trust – Aug. 11, 1972 – b. 1199 p. 525
Torrisi & Difiore, Inc. Ray. E. DiFiore – May 28, 1974 – b. 1241 p. 586
R.K. Realty Trust, Catherine L. & Dana M. DiFiore – Sept. 19, 1977 – b. 1322 p. 579
Catherine L. & Dana M. DiFiore – Jan. 30, 1984 – b. 1772 p. 206
Dana M. Jr. & Kristine M. DiFiore – Dec. 7, 2009 – b. 11866 p. 86

Inventory Data:

StreetWhittier St
PlaceAndover Center District
Historic DistrictAndover Historic Building Survey
Historic NameGeorgette & Marshall Ramsdell double house & cottage
Present Useresidence - 2 family
Original Useresidence - 2 family
Construction Date1898 and 1899
SourceERDS, NERDL, style,
Architectural StyleQueen Anne
Architect/BuilderRichardson & Pitman / builders
Wall/Trimclapboard/wood/cedar shingle
Major Alterationsvinyl siding covers original wood clapboard and shingles of the rear cottage, replacement windows
Acreage0.249 acre
Map and parcel39-90
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, 11/27/2019