53 Salem Street

Architectural Description: 

Style: Federal style

Other features: mid - 19th century porch; 7 fireplaces; pilasters; Bull's Eye glass
similar in style to #49 Salem Street.

Historical Narrative: 

Original owner: Prentice

Themes: Architectural, Community development

Historical significance:
2 stories with partial attic in rear section.
Half-way upstairs is an in-between story over very low ceiling - "borning room", 1991; it is a bathroom according to current owner.

This Federal style home is said to be first owned by a man named Prentice. Salem Street was originally called "Salem Turnpike" the ancient route to Salem, MA and the County Seat of Essex.

By the mid 1800's the property was owned by Alvin Farley who sold to Nathaniel S. & Louisa Berry on Nov. 10, 1864. With the Nathaniel's death widow Louisa Berry sold the property to Mary Smith for $3800. Mary owned four years then selling to Franklin & Mary E. Barnard on April 25, 1874. Barnard owned for eleven years and were residents of Boston when they sold to Eliza J. C Towne of North Hampton, NH on April 1, 1885

Eliza J. C. Towne died and her daughter Kate Wiley Towne inherited the house and property. Kate married on Aug. 30, 1905 at age 50 to widower Benjamin Brown age 69. Benjamin Brown b. Dec. 17, 1835, in Andover, son of Jacob & Ruby (Farnum) Brown established a shoe & boot shop in 1861 in the Deacon Albert Abbott building on the “Hill”. His father Jacob was also a cordwainer.

Benjamin Brown relocated his shop to the center of town in Swift’s building at #43 Main St. in August 1870. His son George A. b. Dec. 1859 joined the business in 1873 at 14. They did a large trade in custom work. Benjamin's first wife Susan died in July 1901. George died in 1918 and the business was purchased by Henry E. Miller. The Kate & George Brown held the property until 1907. Kate died the following year in Dec. 1908 and husband Benjamin died in Feb. 1915. They are interred at Spring Grove Cemetery, Andover, MA. Benjamin & Kate lived at 72 Park Street in Benjamin's home.

Edward T. & Anna G. Strong purchased the property from Brown on July 24, 1907. Edward died and his widow Anna then sold to Frank H. & Gertrude Paige of Methuen. Frank Paige was a wool buyer. The Paige family were long term owners and residents of 52 years.

Robert & Beatrice A. Orchard were the next owners in August 1959. They stayed just two years then sold to E. Wells & Elizabeth McLean on Aug. 11, 1961. McLeans sold off a portion of their property to S. Leonard & Ann D. Kent in Jan. 1964 but retain the house for 16 years. Elizabeth died on December 31, 1972 and Wells McLean sold five years later to James G. & Susan C. Wepsic in June 1977.

The Wepsics' owned the property for 23 years before sellin in April 2000 to Bruce G. & Lynn Hook. Hook remained four years then sold to the current owners Mark & Flora McQuillan on Dec. 9, 2004


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Historical Society files.
See also Barn Survey

1995 Preservation Award: Certificate of Appreciation

Alvin Farley - 1864
Nathaniel S. & Louisa Berry – Nov. 10, 1864 – b.680 leaf 153 Salem deeds
Mary Smith – May 3, 1870 - b. 4 p. 372 – Lawrence, deed.
Franklin Barnard – April 25, 1874 – b. 27 p. 240
Mary E. Barnard, wife of Franklin Barnard
Eliza J. C. Towne – Apr. 1, 1885 – b. 80 p. 323
Eliza J. C. Towne estate to daughter probate #76389
Kate W. Brown - heir, by will of Towne
Benjamin & Kate Brown -
Edward T. & Anna G. Strong – July 24, 1907 – b. 249 p. 193 – two acres
Anna G. Strong by probate will of husband – 1909
Frank H. Paige, wife Gertrude – Apr. 13, 1910 – b. 287 p. 225
Robert & Beatrice A. Orchard – Aug. 17, 1959 – b. 900 p. 346
E. Wells & Elizabeth McLean – Dec. 11, 1961 – b. 942 p. 24
E. Wells McLean, by probate – 1973 Elizabeth died Dec. 31, 1972
James G. & Susan Wepsic – June 14, 1977 – b. 1311 p. 460
Bruce G. & Lynn A. Hook – Aug. 25, 2000 – b. 5730 p. 292
Mark S. & Flora McQuillan – Dec. 9, 2004 – b. 9271 p. 89
Flora McQuillan – Mar. 6, 2007 – b. 10657 p. 187

Inventory Data:

StreetSalem St
PlacePhillips District
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1795
Architectural StyleOther
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresbarn at rear
Major Alterations2012-2013 rear addition, family room, kitchen Original spiral staircase removed at center entrance foyer some interior spaces reconfigured
Acreage1.27 acres; lot size: 55,200 sq. ft.; approx. frontage: 205'
Map and parcel58-7
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-1977, 4/2014