56 Salem Street

Architectural Description: 

Style: Contemporary Suburban

Architectural significance: Modular house, sections combined on the site to the Leaf's specifications. Margaret Pope Leaf chose and placed plantings and trees outside each of the many windows to create special landscape views.

Historical Narrative: 

Historical significance: 1958 - Munroe Leaf, writer (born 1905) lives here with his wife J. Margaret and sons James (born 1941) and Andrew

22 Nov 1991, oral history with Skip Eccles:
Munro and Margaret Pope Leaf moved to Andover to enable their 2 sons, James and Andy, to attend Phillips Academy and live at home. Munro wrote and illustrated over 30 books. Two of his best known are "Ferdinand the Bull" and "The Wishing Pool". The latter was written from interviews with neighborhood children who would frequent the Leaf's swimming pool. Margaret taught landscape design and in her later years wrote stories, one of which is "The Dragon's Teeth".

The Leafs first lived at 6 Stonehedge Rd. in Andover until the house was completed. They moved to Garrett Park, Maryland and sold their house to Joshua L. & Phebe S. Miner on September 20, 1976. The Minors owned the property for 13 years then selling to Phebe M. Goldman on Aug. 2, 1989.

Goldman sold to David M. & R. Louise Abbot in May 1997. The Abbots lived on Central St. and downsized from their Federal period home to this Contemporary style house. The property was placed into the Central Abbot Realty Trust in May 1997. The deed then went to David M.Abbot in May 2001.

Abbot sold the property to Christopher & Laura Whiteman Moulson in August 2009. The Moulsons loved the style of the home, but the house needed updating and the exterior siding was failing. They did extensive renovations to the main house and added a new rear addition to the home.

The Moulsons received a Preservation Award in 2010 for Sympathetic addition.

The house lot was once part of the property of the home next door at #58 Salem St. A boundry dispute in 1902 was settled in Land Court on June 24, 1902. See Plan 409-A. Emma Snow held the property at that time and sold to Fred W. Colby of Lawrence on Nov. 28, 1914. Fred & wife Anna had the property until 1941. With the death of both Fred & Anna, Esther Colby then sold to Emery E. Trott, wife Mabel J. of Stonehedge Rd.

Emery J. Trott and wife Emma D. Trott sub-divided the property at #58 through the Zoning Board of Appeals on Dec. 9, 1957. See. plan 409-B.
The larger lot to the rear was then sold to Munro & Margaret Leaf on April 15, 1958.


Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Land Court Records - Certificates of Deeds
Andover Street Directories
Andover Townsman

Emma Snow - June 24, 1902
Fred W. Colby, wife Anna F. - Nov. 28, 1914 - Doc. #442 b. 4 p. 109
Fred W. Colby estate, Probate #182695
Anna F. Colby and Esther L. Colby heirs - June 21, 1941
Anna F. Cloby estate, Esther L. Colby, Admx. - Apr. 17, 1941 - Probate
Esther L. Colby - June 25, 1941 - Doc. #2619 b. 18 p. 77
Emery E. Trott, wife Mabel J. - Apr. 22, 1941 - Doc. #7452 - 1/2
Emery F. Trott, wife Emma D. - Sub-division - Dec. 9, 1957
Munro & Margaret P. Leaf - Apr. 15, 1958 - Doc. #4650 - b. 31 p. 401 - land
Joshua L. & Phebe S. Miner - Sept. 20, 1976 - Doc. #7574 - b. 51 p. 101
Phebe M. Goldman - Aug. 2, 1989 - Doc. #10744 - b.78 p. 181
Central Abbot Realty Trust, R. Louise Abbot, May 30, 1997 - Dec. #12644 - b. 97 p. 181
David M. Abbot - May 30, 2001 - Doc. #13656 - b. 107 p. 133
Christopher & Laura W. Moulson - Aug. 28, 2009 - Cert. 16174
Laura Whitman Moulson - Oct. 9, 2009 - Doc. 99344-1 - Dec. Homestead

Inventory Data:

StreetSalem St
PlacePhillips District
Historic DistrictAndover Historic Building Survey
Historic NameMunro Leaf House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1958
Architectural StyleInternational
Roofasphalt - gable
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresattached garage
Major Alterations2009 additions and renovations
Acreage1.224 acres
Map and parcel41-51
Recorded byB. Thibault, James S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Historical Society - Andover Preservation Commission
Date entered1991, March 2, 2015