61 Porter Road

Architectural Description: 

Classic New England Salt-box style home, earthen basement floor in 1975,

Historical Narrative: 

Themes - Architectural and Community Development
1995 Preservation Award - Certificate of Appreciation

Original owner William Blunt.
Porter Street once called South St. until 1863, and with Woburn St. was part of an ancient road from Haverhill to Boston, laid out in 1709.
Homestead part of old Blunt Farm.

The Ballard family owned the land, circa 1680's, homestead lot and was purchased by the Blunt family about 1709. William Blunt sold to David Blunt in 1724.
Peter F. Shed married Mary P. Blunt on Oct. 23, 1823 and held property. Peter & Mary P. had four children: Peter b. Aug. 23, 1824 - d. Oct. 23, 1825, Peter b. July 8, 1826, David B. b. June 27, 1828 and Joseph b. Mar. 7, 1831.

Peter Shed sold the farm to Andrew B. & Mary Ann Stimpson of Reading, MA on Nov. 15, 1837 for $2850. John Marland purchased from Stimpson on Aug. 31, 1844. The farm land was on both sides of Porter Rd. John Marland, owner of the Marland Mill in Ballardvale and the Machine Shop became insolvent in Dec. 1849 and all his holding were sold at auction. John Hackett purchased at auction a portion of the "Stimpson farm" on the south side of Porter Rd. on April 8, 1850. He had earlier purchased 7 acres and built his home at #52 Porter Rd.

Deeds reference a John Marland conveying the property to Thomas Cruikshank in book 376 leaf 12 of the Salem Registry deeds.
Thomas Cruikshank then sells to Hugh Wilson on May 20, 1852.

On April 3, 1883 Frank M. & Annie M. Foster of Tewksbury, MA purchase the homestead. Frank Mace Foster was born on Oct. 17, 1857 in Tewksbury, MA, son of Oliver & Abby (Hill) Foster. Frank was the youngest of four children and remained on his father’s farm in Tewksbury until his father died. Frank married on Dec. 23, 1880 in Wilmington, MA to Annie Maria Harnden b. 1860 in Wilmington, dau. of Everell & Julia A. (Clemons) Harnden.

The Fosters owned the property until May 1895 when they moved to the town center purchasing a new home at 29 Summer St. Frank became a carpenter, working for Hardy & Cole.
The Fosters had five children, of which two sons survived to adulthood. Both William Harnden Foster b. July 22, 1886 and his brother Kenneth Clemons Foster b. Feb. 8, 1895 were born in the 61 Porter Rd. farmhouse. A daughter Rhoda W. was born on May 12, 1900 but died at 2½ years old on Dec. 10, 1902.
Their son, William "Bill" Harnden Foster would later become a successful commercial artist. After the Fosters moved to 29 Summer St., it is there that 12 year old Bill, a budding artist submitted his drawing for the new Andover Town Seal. He merged the John Whiting logo used for the town’s 250th Anniversary in 1896 with the old circular Town Seal. Bill’s design was selected and approved at Town Meeting on March 5, 1900.

Bill Foster attended the Museum School in Boston, then joined Howard Pyle’s school in Wilmington, Delaware in 1908. Bill was an avid outdoors man, loved trains and railroading and often painted these subjects. Pyle encouraged Foster to submit his railroad life series to Scribner’s Magazine in New York. They bought his paintings at “a price that made him gasp” and his career as an illustrator began. Bill designed the first cover of L.L. Beans catalog and is a co-inverter of Skeet Shooting. 61 Porter Road can claim his birthplace.

The Fosters sold to Henry K. & Maria H. Flint on May 16, 1895 and they owned for 18 years then selling to Mary E. Ripley on July 8, 1913. RIpley held the property until her death in 1928 when the estate sold to Lillie P. & Walter A. Larkin on May 11, 1928.

George A. & Priscilla C. Stanley purchased the property with about 20 acres on Aug. 19, 1933. The George & Priscilla lived out there years in the homestead and their daughter Georgina E. Stanley inherited on Mar. 27, 1981.
The Stanleys have been great stewards of the property for 82 years. Georgina E. Stanley deeded about 8 1/4 acres to AVIS (Andover Village Improvement Society) in 1987 as a protected reservation.

1852 map lists J. Hacket on site. (John Hackett owned 62 Porter Rd. in 1850)
1926 -1929 directory, Frederick Hall farm, owned by Ripley then Larkin
1906 atlas: Henry Flint
1856 map: Wilson
1852 map: Ballardvale Co.
1850 tax list: Estate of Jacob Shedd?
1830 map: Peter Shedd

Bibliography/References: 

Andover Historical Society files
Goldsmith: Historic Houses of Andover, 1946
Dorman, Moses: Map of Andover, 1830
1852 map of Andover
Poore, Alfred: "Geneological - Historical Visitation of Andover, Mass. In year 1863", Essex Institute Historical Coll. Vol. 48
Map #10755 -

Owners;
Ballards - circa 1680's, homestead lot
Blunt family - 1709
William Blunt
David Blunt -1724
Peter F. & Mary (Blunt) Shed - married Oct. 23, 1823
Andrew B. & Mary Ann Stimpson - Nov. 15, 1837 - b. 303 p.90 - $2850
John Marland - Aug. 31, 1844 - b. 347 leaf 40
John Marland - to Thomas Cruikshank - deed reference
Thomas Cruikshank -Dec. 12, 1846 - b. 376 leaf 12
Hugh Wilson - May 20, 1852 - b. 462 leaf 251 -
Frank M. & Annie M. Foster - Apr. 3, 1883 b. 71 p. 543
Henry K. & Maria H. Flint - May 16, 1895 - b. 140 p. 98
Henry K. Flint - June 22, 1907 - b. 247 p. 587
Mary E. Ripley - July 8, 1913 - b. 332 p. 456
Mary E. Ripley estate, Alfred L. Ripley heir - by Will probate #160045
Lillie P. & Walter A. Larkin - May 11, 1928 - b. 539 p. 564
George A. & Priscilla C. Stanley - Aug. 19, 1933 - b. 571 p. 52
George A. Stanley estate, Priscilla C., heir - Apr. 20, 1965
Priscilla C. Stanley estate, Georgina E. Stanley, heir - Mar. 27, 1981

1834 he sold to Thomas Foster. 1852 map lists J. Hacket on site.

Inventory Data:

StreetPorter Rd
PlacePhillips District
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameBlunt, William - Shedd House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Dateca. 1724, 18th century, deeds to lot are dated earlier
SourceERDS, ENRDL, AHS file, njs, style
Architectural StyleGeorgian
Wall/Trimclapboards
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresshingled barn
Major Alterationsrenovated/repaired 1936
Acreage4.69 acres; 13.9 acres with 960' frontage on Porter and 1255' on Spring.
Map and parcel96-5
Recorded byStark/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, 2/6/2015

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