64 Salem Street

Architectural Description: 

Colonial Revival home, clad in stucco. Double gabled roof dormer, paired porch columns eave brackets elements of craftsman style. Nearly identical home at 16 Hidden Rd.

Historical Narrative: 

This property was once owned by Clark Holt, yeoman, wife Lydia, in 1839. Holt sold the property for $1200 to John Coolidge Farnham (Farnum) of Cambridge, MA, a Printer, on April 4, 1839. John was born Mar. 11, 1815 in Andover, son of Benjamin & Ruth (Saltmarsh) Farnham. John married Dorcas Abbott b. July 14, 1813 dau. of Henry & Dorcas (Holt) Abbott. John & Dorcas had two children, Abby Anne b. Feb. 15, 1838 and Sarah Maria b. Nov. 18, 1839. Dorcas died July 14, 1845, age 32 of consumption. John C. remarried on Apr. 7, 1846 to Sarah Tufts. They had Clara b. Dec. 4, 1848, Helen L. b. 1857, Hattie H. b. 1859, and John Ernest b. 1862. The 1850 Andover Valuation schedule lists John C. Farnham, 4 1/2 acres of land, Dwelling house & barn $1500. Farnham owned for fifteen years then moved back to Cambridge.

John Farnham sold the property for $1800 to the Rev. Calvin E. & Harriet Beecher Stowe on June 30, 1854. Rev. Stowe was a Professor of Sacred Literature at the Theological Institution at Andover. His wife was Harriet Beecher Stowe who had just published Uncle Tom’s Cabin. We do know the Stowes were deeded the Stone building on Chapel Ave on Oct. 11, 1852 from the Trustees of Phillips Academy for conversion to a dwelling house. They did convert it into a home and lived there until 1864. (The Stowe house was moved to 80 Bartlet St.) This home was most likely income property for the Stowe family. They owned this property for three years then selling to Myra J. Bodwell, wife of Henry Bodwell on Oct. 2, 1857 for $1800. The Bodwell family owned for 21 years.

With the death of Myra Bodwell the Bodwell heirs, Edward A., Emma G. and Henry A. Bodwell, all of Keene, NH inherit. They sell the property to Hannah B. Hultgren for $1800. on April 15, 1878. The land contains a dwelling house and out buildings. The deed notes "except the line between these premises and the Adams & Hammond premises is as the wall now stands." The dwelling house mentioned is not the current house on the property but we believe the home at 45 Woodland Rd. In 1920 two houses at valued at this location, one to the rear of the property.

In the 1880 Census a Thomas Timlin, age 50, Steward in a Hotel, his wife Louise age 45 and their children; Mary L. 18, William T. age 15, Oscar F. 12 and John T. age 6. and Charlotte Hulttran [sic] age 47, sister, seamstress, is living with the Timlins. Hannah B. Hultgren sold the property to Oscar F. Timlin on April 22, 1892. Oscar then deeds half interest in the property his brother William F. Timlin on Jan 30, 1896. The Timlins hold until 1901 then selling to Charlemagne & Emma Bricault on Aug. 6, 1901. The Bricaults take a mortgage through the William F. & Oscar F. Timlin. A default on the loan forces a sale of the property with buildings at auction on March 16, 1909.

John W. Bell purchases the property for $1200. John and wife Helen "Nellie" (Morrison) Bell may have built the current home on the property or completed what the Bricaults had begun. The deed references the "property with current improvements", John was born in Norfolk, VA on Nov. 5, 1853. His parents were both from Scotland. John became a book keeper for the Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co. in Andover.

With the death of John Bell on Nov. 9, 1918 his widow Helen M. and son Howard W. Bell sell the estate to Evelyn Somerville Mercer on May 19, 1919 for $17,500. The Bells moved to 55 Bartlet St.

John T. Mercer, the husband of Evelyn "Eva", were both born in Scotland. John immigrated to the US in 1900 and became an Agent for the American Woolen Company. Eva arrived in 1903 and both natuarlized citizens in 1910. They had two children, Aymen T. and Jean S. The property now consists of 3.76 acres. John T. Mercer, widower, sells a portion of the property to Harley F. & Verna B. Bragdon on Feb. 23, 1944.

Bragdons own for three years then selling to Miles Stevens Pendleton & wife Lucille B. Pendleton on March 11, 1947. The Pendletons own the property for 35 years. With the death of Lucille in 1967 Miles inherits her estate and continues ownership another 15 years.

Richard F. & Diana M. Anderson purchased the property on April 27, 1982 and own just over one year. They sell to Paul N. & Lucie E. LeMaitre on Dec. 15, 1983. Paul later deeds the house to Lucie in 1987 and they own until 1999.

Madeline A. & John J. Minahan purchase the house on Mar. 31, 1999. John died on March 7, 2001 and Madeline then sells the property to Mark B. & Jennifer F. Bentley on August 24, 2001. Bentley placed the property in a Homestead deed in Dec. 2013.

Bibliography/References: 

Essex County Regisrty Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA

Owners;
Clark Holt, wife Lydia –
John C. Farnham – Apr. 4, 1839 – b. 313 lead 30 - $1200
Calvin E. & Harriet B. Stowe – June 30, 1854 – b. 498 leaf 296 - $1800
Myra J. Bodwell, wife of Henry A. – Oct. 2, 1857 – b. 559 leaf 52 - $1800
Myra J. Bodwell estate, heirs, Edward S., Emma G. & Henry A. Bodwell
Hannah B. Hultgren – Apr. 15, 1878 – b. 50 p. 451 - $800
Oscar F. Timlin - Apr. 22, 1892 - b. 118 p. 169
Oscar F. Timlin & William F. Timlin - Jan. 30, 1896 - b. 145 p. 31
Charlemagne & Emma Bricault - Aug. 6, 1901 - b. 187 p. 158
Oscar F. Timlin & William F. Timlin - Mar. 1909 - forclosure
John W. & Helen M. Bell - May 27, 1909 - b. 271 p. 96 - by auction
John W. Bell estate, Helen M Bell & Howard W. Bell.
Evelyn Somerville Mercer - May. 19, 1919 - b. 400 p. 128
Evelyn S. Mercer estate, husband John T. Mercer
Harley F. & Vera B. Bragdon - Feb. 23, 1944 - b. 662 p. 580
Miles S. & Lucille B. Pendleton - Mar. 11, 1947 - b. 695 p. 418
Lucille B. Pendleton estate - Dec. 16, 1967 - probate
Miles Stevens Pendleton - Dec. 16, 1967 - b. 1097 p. 458
Richard F. & Dianna M. Anderson - Apr. 27, 1982 - b. 1572 p. 139
Paul N. & Lucie E. LeMaitre - Dec. 15, 1983 - b. 1757 p. 288
Lucie E. LeMaitre - May 4, 1987 - b. 2485 p. 10
Lucie E. LeMaitre - Jan 10, 1997 - b. 4673 p. 210 - correction deed
John J. & Madeline A. Minahan - Mar. 31, 1999 - b. 5386 p. 127
John J. Minahan estate, Madiline A. Minahan - Mar. 7, 2001
Mark B. & Jennifer F. Bentley - Aug. 24, 2001 - b. 6328 p. 351
Mark B. & Jennifer F. Bentley - Dec. 9, 2013 - b. 13724 p. 115 - Homesead

Inventory Data:

StreetSalem St
PlacePhillips District
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameBell - Mercer House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1909
SourceERDS, ENRDL
Architectural StyleOther
Foundationstone
Wall/Trimstucco
Roofasphalt - hip
Conditionexcellent
Acreage0.936
Settingresidential
Map and parcel25-2
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredMarch 7, 2015

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