63 Whittier Street

Architectural Description: 

A transitional form from Greek Revival to Italianate details. Bracketed eaves, porch columns, elongated windows. Double bay windows were popular additions to many homes in Andover in the 1870s - 1890s.

Historical Narrative: 

63 Whittier Street – (formerly Punchard Ave) 21-45

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.

Joshua & Thankful Blanchard – John & Susan Sears House
AA Sept. 29, 1874 – Dea. Joshua Blanchard, formerly of this town and for several years past a resident of Lawrence, has purchased of Richard M. Abbott a fine house lot on Punchard Avenue, near Elm Street. He is making arrangements to build a residence upon the lot this season.
AA October 23, 1874 – The frame of the new house of Dea. Joshua Blanchard on Punchard Avenue, has been raised and boarded, and if the weather continues favorable the plastering will be put on in a few weeks.

Joshua Blanchard was born in Wilton, NH on June 29, 1811, son of Joshua & Mary (Hutchinson) Blanchard. Joshua moved to Andover and married on Oct. 6, 1834 to Eliza Jane Hayward born Sept. 24, 1813 in Andover dau. of Benjamin & Eliza Jane (Harding) Hayward. Joshua was a machinist at an iron shop making files. Joshua & Eliza had three children: Edward b. Dec. 29, 1835, Charlotte b. Dec. 18, 1836 and Mary Josephine b. April 1840. Wife Eliza died in April 9, 1845 of consumption. Joshua re-married on May 7, 1846 in Andover to Thankful Hunter b. 1816 dau. of Solomon Hunter. Joshua & Thankful are listed in Andover in 1865 living with Charlotte S. Lord, with daughter Mary J. Tibbetts, hus. William and two children Arbella M. and Edward H. Tibbetts. Joshua and Thankful are in Lawrence in 1870.

Joshua purchased this lot of land on Sept. 12, 1874 and had the home built that year. They moved back to Andover. Thankful died in 1885 and Joshua died on Aug. 9, 1887 age 77y 1m 10d. They are all interred in South Parish Cemetery. The Blanchard children inherit the estate and then sell to John C. & Susan M. Sears on April 10, 1888.

John Cushman Sears was born May 15, 1835 in Dennis, MA son of Stephen & Lydia (Stone) Sears. His father, a mariner, was one of 60 sailors from Dennis swept away in the gales of October 1841. John became a mariner for 17 years to support his mother and two younger sisters. John was an officer on the Mississippi that took General Butler’s troops to New Orleans.
At 28 he left sea life, moved to Lynn, MA and worked for J. H. Aborn & Co. John married Dec. 30, 1863 in Lynn to Julia E. York b. 1842 in Yarmouth, ME, dau. of Elliot & Salome B. (Raymond) York. They had two children that died in infancy. In 1875 due to heart problems he retired from J. H. Aborn. In 1876 moved to Boston and opened a retail shoe store. John moved his business to Andover in 1885. Andover Advertiser June 26, 1885 pg. 2 - J. E. Sears has bought out the shoe store of A. G. Wood, Jr. in the bank building, fitted it up in good stock of reasonable goods. Mr. Sears comes among us well recommended. See his advertisement elsewhere.

John’s store occupied the south end of the old National Bank building on Main Street. Sadly Julia died on October 27, 1885 from burns when her clothes caught fire from an oil stove. John re-married on Dec. 22, 1886 at South Church to Susan M. Johnson b. August 1843 in Andover, dau. of Dr. Samuel & Susannah (Barker) Johnson. John’s sister Sarah Sears lived with her brother. When the new bank building opened in 1890 John’s store occupied the center shop flanked by the National Bank and the Andover Savings Bank. John moved the business to Lowell in March 1898. He retired a few years later and died on Jan. 22, 1905. He is interred at Ridgewood Cemetery, North Andover.

Susan remained in their home until her death in 1935. Susan was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, tracing four family members as Minutemen engaged at Lexington and the Bunker Hill. Susan and her sister-in-law Sarah Sears shared the home.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Northern Essex Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Advertiser, Andover Townsman
Andover maps, 1872, 1882, 1888, 1907
Andover Directories
Ancestry.com - Blanchard and Sears families

Richard A. Abbott land
Joshua Blanchard – Sept. 16, 1874 – b. 30 p. 184
Joshua Blanchard estate, heirs
Edward Blanchard, Charlotte Baker, Mary J. Tibbitts
Susan M. Sears, wife of John C. – April10, 1888 – b. 95 p. 124
Susan M. Sears estate, F. Howard Wilkins Adm – Aug. 6, 1935 probate
Frank G. & Bernardeene D. Videto – Aug. 21, 1935 – b. 593 p. 4
Frank G. Videto estate, Bernardeene D. June 26, 1957 –
James H. & Roberta L. Fraser – Oct. 16, 1972 – b. 1204 p. 389
James H. & Roberta L. Fraser – Dec. 4, 1989 – b. 3036 p. 220 homestead
Ian C. & Sofia E. White – July 29, 1997 – b. 4804 p. 334

Inventory Data:

StreetWhittier St
PlaceAndover Center District
Historic DistrictAndover Historic Building Survey
Historic NameJoshua & Thankful Blanchard – John & Susan Sears House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1874
SourceERDS, NERDL, style,
Architectural StyleItalianate
Outbuildings / Secondary StructuresBarn and garage
Acreage0.882 a - 38,320 sq. ft.
Map and parcel21-45
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975 - 1977, 11/14/2019