65 Main Street

Architectural Description: 

Colonial Revival building of brick built about 1962

Historical Narrative: 

April 3, 1936 –AT p. 1 col. 5. Filling station to be built on corner of Main & Chestnut – William J. Burns owner of lot.

The southwest corner property at the intersection of Main Street and Chestnut Street was an empty lot until the Gulf Oil Corporation of Pennsylvania purchased it from William Burns in 1936. Sept. 1, 1936 AT – Final agreements have been signed between William Burns and the Gulf Oil corporation for the sale of the lot at the corner of Chestnut and Main streets. Work has already been started on the new service station which will be built in harmony with the Post Office. The style was Colonial Revival and it was meant to be structure that would complement the downtown area and blend in with the surrounding buildings. The architect took his cue from the new post office building constructed in 1932. The station was built on the back corner of the lot. Two bays faced Main Street and one bay was to the rear facing Chestnut Street. The attendant’s office was placed between on a diagonal corner of the building. It was constructed of red brick with white corner quoins, arched windows and a freeze above the projecting pediment, all elements which mimicked the style of the post office and the Andover Savings Bank. The filling station opened in 1936.

By the early 1960’s the building was outdated and the work bays too small for the mechanics to work on larger vehicles and trucks. The old building was razed and the new neo-Colonial style station was adapted to the function of the building. A gable roof station surmounted by a cupola lantern now fronts on Chestnut Street with the three car bays. Constructed to fit the lot and minimize the impact on Main Street, it was deliberately placed on the site in relatively the same location of the former filling station. A functional brick structure, but not the ornament to the business center that the former structure had "added" to the downtown area.

There have been several owners of the business through the years. Johnny Murray in the 1950’s and 1960’s, with his smile and great service and Billy Tynan who sang Irish songs while pumping gas in the 1970’s – 1990’s were both highly regarded by their patrons. The property has remained a Gulf Station through out the nearly 75 years of operation.

This lot of land was once owned by the Rev. Justin Edwards who lived in a house on the site of the former post office building at #71 Main St.. Reverend Edwards home is said to have been built by Major Abbot Walker before 1816. Walker was born in 1770 & died Aug. 2, 1831. The Federal style house faced south and this lot would have been the rear yard to the property. The house was razed in December 1931 for construction of the Post Office.
Reverend Justin Edwards D.D. was ordained a minister Dec. 2, 1812 and became the pastor at South Church, Andover from Aug. 10, 1812 – October 1, 1827. Rev. Edwards was one of the founders of the American Tract Society Boston, with the printing-house in Andover. Corresponding Secretary of the American Temperance Society from 1829-1836. President of the Andover Theological Seminary on Sept. 7, 1836, served until April 19, 1842. Rev. Justin Edwards died July 24, 1853 age 66 at Bath Alum Springs, Virginia and was interred at the Chapel Cemetery in Andover on Aug. 2, 1853. His wife Lydia died Feb. 4, 1868.
On April 27, 1872 son Rev. Jonathan Edwards sells the homestead property to George F. Swift, who lived at 53 Main Street. George Swift bought the house only for investment purposes. He was well known in town for his public involvement in beautifying the town with tree planting and improving the landscape. The following articles were published in the Andover Advertiser.
April 5, 1872 AA – George F. Swift has purchased the Dr. Edwards estate on Main Street. 1 ¼ acres, house and other buildings. April 12, 1872 AA – Geo. F. Swift is making important alterations and improvements on the Dr. Edwards House.
Swift divided the former Edwards property into separate parcels and the corner lot was eventually deeded to his sisters, Charlotte & Kate Swift. In 1914 the sisters sold it to William Madison Wood, President of the American Woolen Company. The lot was placed into the Arden Trust for Mr. Wood’s children until 1924. William Burns, a local merchant with a clothing store at 11 Main Street, purchased the property from the Arden Trust in October of 1924 and sold to the Gulf Oil Corp. in 1936.

See plan # 1005 - May 5, 1936 Land of Gulf Oil Corporation by Wm S. Crocker, C.E.
For title see b. 447 p. 306 this lot on p. 317 and b. 447 p. 342 - Arden Trust Holdings
Time line:
1943 - 1992 Gulf Gas Station

Bibliography/References: 

Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Townsman
Directories: 1926, 1932, 1943, 1953
Maps: 1852, 1872, 1884, 1896, 1906, 1930

Owners;
Major Abbot Walker - b. 1770 - d. Aug. 2, 1831 age 61
Rev. Justin Edwards - d. July 23, 1853 age 66
Lydia B. Edwards - d. Feb. 4, 1868 age 78
Edwards heirs - Dec. 9, 1868 - b. 3 p. 288-291- probate petition
Elizabeth & Lydia Edwards - Feb. 14, 1870 - b. 3 p. 288
Rev. Jonathan Edwards - April 27 1872 - b. 14 p. 125
George F. Swift - April 27 1872 - b. 14 p. 127
Martha E. & Charlotte H. Swift - Nov. 17, 1905 - b. 226 p. 504 - lot
Charlotte H. & Kate Adams Swift - heirs
William M. Wood - Oct. 8, 1914 - b. 357 p. 231 - lot
William M. & Ellen A. Wood - Oct. 8, 1914
Arden Trust - Feb, 9, 1921 - b. 447 p. 306
Arden Trust, W. M. Wood Trustee - Oct. 10, 1921 - b. 447 p. 342
William J. Burns - Oct. 11, 1924 - b. 505 p. 255 - lot
Gulf Oil Corporation of Penn. - Nov. 7, 1936 - b. 603 p. 466 - built gas station
Chevron USA Inc. of Penn. -
Cumberland Farms - Gulf Station - May 30, 1986 - b. 2203 p. 109

Inventory Data:

StreetMain St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameGulf Service Station
Present UseGulf Gas station
Original UseGulf Service Station
Construction Date1962
Architectural StyleOther
Foundationconcrete
Wall/Trimbrick / wood
Roofasphalt
Major Alterations1960's razed original 1937 service station
Conditiongood
Demolished?Yes
Demolition Details1962 original service station
Settingcommercial business district
Map and parcel55-130
Recorded byBrian Lee (cwo), James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Historical Society - Andover Preservation Commission
Date enteredJuly 1992, 4/2014

Map: