52 Porter Road

Architectural Description: 

Greek Revival Cape style main house. Wide eave banding and corner boards to resembling pilasters create a subtle visual Greek temple look.
Many extension ells built over years as new owners and larger families needed more space.

Historical Narrative: 

Themes: Agricultural, Architectural, Community Development and Industry.

Porter Rd. was once referred to as South St., the road from Phillips Hill to Ballardvale, the road from Asa & Sylvester Abbot place to the house of Henry A. Hayward. and was part of the old road from Haverhill to Boston, laid out 1709. Because of early land holdings, this house should be studied in context with #62 Porter Rd.

John Marland, a Manufacturer, owned the Marland Mills in Ballardvale and The Machine Shop. John purchased the Stimpson farm on Porter Road on Aug. 31, 1844. The Stimpson homestead was across the road with farm land on both sides. Marland became insolvent in 1849 and all his properties were auctioned off. John Hackett had purchased 15 acres of land on the south side of the road from Marland on Dec. 1, 1846. He added the additional parcel at auction on April 23, 1850.

John Hackett was born June 2, 1816 in Brookfield, NH son of William & Elizabeth (Thurston) Hackett. John married on Oct. 29, 1846 to Abigail H. Stevenson of Wolfboro, NH. John and Abby had four children: Abby Elizabeth b. Sept. 29, 1847, Elinenia b. June 6, 1850, John Everett b. Sept. 29, 1851 and Adeline E. b. June 8, 1854. Sadly wife Abby died of Dropsy age 31 on Dec. 27, 1854. John remarried on Jan. 18, 1857 to Caroline R. Wheildon [Wheeldon] b. 1837 in Frankfort, Maine. John and Caroline had Caroline Augusta b. 1858, in Andover and George Washington b.Feb. 25, 1864 and James Ernest b. Nov. 15, 1870 in Peabody, MA

John Hackett built the house in 1847. The 1850 Valuation lists Dwelling house & Barn $450. 21 acres $850 = $1300. In 1863, William Hackett, John's brother, moved a barn here from Abbot Village, which he bought from Jonathan Merrill. William lived at 62 Porter Rd.

John Marland, manager of Ballardvale Mills had spring dug on property, built a reservoir to hold the water which ran through pipe from Porter field all the way to High Street, (High Vale Lane) in Ballardvale, where it was used for the washing and fulling of the flannels. Perhaps these mineral springs were the secret of Ballardvale mills world-renown top-quality flannels.

Dr. and Mrs. Soule now own the lot with this well. Albert Poore writes in May 1863, "John Marland laid an aqueduct the year his house was built; which land was bought of John Hackett. In 1858, an oak was struck by lightening and the aqueduct broke."

John Hacket sold his farm to George Ellis, wife Elizabeth Sawton on Sept. 8, 1857 and moved to Danvers, MA. George Ellis born in England in 1811 was a Commission Merchant. George married in England Elizabeth Sawton b. 1819 and they had three children: Frederick b. 1839 in England, Mathew b. 1845 in Canada and Charlotte b. 1847 in MA. They owned seven years then selling to George J. Tenney and Samuel Little of Georgetown, MA on Apr. 27,1864 for $2500.

In 1861, William had 20 acres and by 1870, 40 acres, including #62 Porter Rd.
House occupied by a Samuel Evans. In 1859, Rev. Alonzo T. Deming, seminary student lived here; also William Stimpson and a Civil War veteran, Warren Mason in Oct. 1862.

The property was sold to George J. Tenney & Sam Little, of Georgetown, MA who then sold to James Connell on Oct. 1, 1864 for $2400. Connell's name was written in the deed as James McConell in error. Connell sold the property back to George Ellis of Boston on July 23, 1875 and later purchased it back on Mar. 2, 1887. Connell then sold to Peter Shevlin, wife Margaret on Apr. 27, 1887. Peter's surname was also recorded in error as Shaveling, but later corrected.

Peter & Margaret Shevlin owned the property for six year then selling to Gilbert French, wife Mary on Dec. 21, 1893. Gilbert held the place for 14, then moving to Vineland, NJ, sold to Lilla M. & Frederick B. French on Feb. 15, 1907. The French family owned for 27 years. After Frederick French died Lilla sold the property to Henry C. Sanborn on Dec. 19, 1934.

Henry C. Sanborn was elected as Andover's Superintendent of Schools in August 1916 and continued at that post for 23 years. Henry C. Sanborn was born in Webster, NH on May 22, 1872 and lived there until he was 16 years old. He then attended Reading High School graduating in 1891. He attended Dartmouth College and graduated with a B. A. in 1895. Sanborn did post graduate work at George William University at Gottingen, Germany. Sanborn first worked as a high school teacher and principal and in 1901 became Superintendent of Schools in the Franklin-Penacook, NH district for six years. He was chosen Superintendent of Schools of Danvers, MA, where he had been for the last nine years before coming to Andover.

Henry married in 1903 to Miss Lucy Webster Cummings, a graduate of Wellesley College 1897. The couple had three children; sons John W. and George K. and daughter Lucy C. They lived at 5 Locke Street. Mrs. Lucy Sanborn died in April 4, 1928 after a long illness. Henry then moved to 4 Morton Street. He remarried in 1932 to Dorothy Farnham, a graduate of Boston University, who was elected in 1927 as a drawing teacher in Andover for the elementary schools. They made their new home at 52 Porter Road.

Henry C. Sanborn served for 23 years, the longest tenure of any Superintendent in Andover. His declining health forced him to resign on October 3, 1939 to take effect on November 1st. Mr. Sanborn died on October 31, 1939, his last official day in office as Superintendent. Twenty three years later the new elementary school on Lovejoy Road was named in honor of his service to the town and the education of her children.

During his years at Andover, Sanborn guided the town through many building projects. The construction of the addition to Punchard High School was completed in 1917, the building of Shawsheen School in 1924 and the 1934 -36 additions of the Memorial Auditorium, gymnasium and junior high to the Punchard complex creating a 6-3-3 system in Andover.

Mrs. Dorothy Sanborn who was forced to resign her teaching job in 1932, when she married Henry, as only single teachers or widows were allowed to teach school until WWII. Dorothy resumed her teaching career as art teacher and supervisor for the Andover system in 1940. Dorothy retired in 1959. Dorothy Sanborn turned the property over to Carl Killoran, Andover Realtor, to be sold by Killorin on July 1, 1957 to Norman D. & Ruth E. Potter. The Potter family owned for 20 years before selling to Erick & Anne P. (Parker) Pollack on Dec. 1, 1977.

N. Geo. McNaughton and wife Deborah Warren purchased the property on July 6, 1982 and held for 7 years. Jonathan L. & Karen E. Forest owned from Mar. 2, 1989 to 1992.
Richard L. & Norma E. Wheeler purchased the house on Aug. 27, 1992. The Wheelers owned for 17 years. Afer the death of Richard L. Wheeler on July 13, 2008, widow Norma then sold the following year to current owner Catherine Bearce on Dec. 23, 2009.

Henry C. Sanborn, heirs, Lucy C., George K. and John W. Sanborn
Dorothy F. Sanborn - Aug. 13, 1930
1928 dir. Fred French
1906 G. French
1856 J. Hackett
1852 J. Hackett


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Historical Society files
Andover Advertiser, June 27, 1863 (Poore, Alfred - from Historical-Genealogical Visit to Andover in year 1863. - Essex Inst. History, coll. vol. 48
Interview with Killorins, who sold property in 1957
Town of Andover - Real Estate Valuation 1900

John Marland - "Stimpson Farm" Aug. 31, 1844 - b. 347 p. 40
John Marland - Insolvent, Jeremiah L. Young assignee - Dec. 1849
John Hackett, wife Abby - Dec. 1, 1846 - b. 385 leaf 85 - $1168.12 - 15a 92 rods
John Hackett, wife Abby - Apr. 23, 1850 - b. 429 leaf 169-171
George Ellis, wife Elizabeth Sawton - Sept. 8, 1857 - b. 557 leaf 296 - 20a 117 rods
George J. Tenney & Sam. Little - Apr. 27,1864 - b. 666 leaf 40 - $2500
James Connell - Oct. 1, 1864 - b. 681 leaf 103 - [McConell in error] - $2400
George Ellis - July 23, 1875 - b. 37 p. 92
James Connell - Mar. 2, 1887 - b. 46 p. 43
Peter Shevlin, wife Margaret - Apr. 27, 1887 - b. 91 p. 283
Gilbert French, wife Mary - Dec. 21, 1893 - b. 130 p. 586
Lilla M. & Frederick B. French - Feb. 15, 1907 - b. 242 p. 83
Lilla M. French, heir by will probate #166406
Henry C. Sanborn, wife Dorothy F. - Dec. 19, 1934 - b. 584 p. 214
Henry C. Sanborn, heirs, Lucy C., George K. and John W. Sanborn
Dorothy F. Sanborn - Aug. 13, 1930 - b. 633 p. 498
Karl C. & Geneva H. Killoran - July 1, 1957 - b. 857 p. 133
Norman D. & Ruth E. Potter - July 1, 1957 - b. 857 p. 134
Erick & Anne P. (Parker) Pollack - Dec. 1, 1977 - b. 1326 p. 400
N. Geo. McNaughton & Deborah Warren - July 6, 1982 - b. 1588 p. 113
Jonathan L. & Karen E. Forest - Mar. 2, 1989 - b. 2896 p. 96
Richard L. & Norma E. Wheeler - Aug. 27, 1992 - b. 3536 p. 166
Richard L. Wheeler estate, Norma E. Wheeler heir - July 13, 2008 - probate
Catherine Bearce - Dec. 23, 2009 - b. 11886 p. 3

Inventory Data:

StreetPorter Rd
PlacePhillips District
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameHackett, John - Sanborn, Henry C. House
Present Useresidence
Original UseFarmhouse-residence
Construction Date1849 early 19th century
SourceERDS, ENRDL, AHS file, njs, style
Architectural StyleGreek Revival
Foundationstone & granite
Roofasphalt - gable
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresbarn and shed by 1900
Major Alterationsadded to
Demolition Detailsbarn demolished in 1989
Acreageless than one acre
Map and parcel77-2
MHC NumberANV.444
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, 2/6/2015