68a Main Street

Historical Narrative: 

The corner business block was built by partners Morris Katz & Jacob Ditch of Lawrence in 1924. First referred to as the K & D Block then later named the Merchant’s Block it was designed by J. G. Morissette of Lawrence. Original plans were for a four story building with apartments on the two upper floors, six store fronts, three on Main and three on Chestnut Street with a six lane bowling alley in the basement. Plans were scaled back to the current height and the apartments and alleys removed from the design. During construction in August 1924 it was sold to Benny Alfond also of Lawrence and the building was completed in late October. The original facade had an arched main entrance centered on Main Street. From the front door a stairway lead to offices on the second floor. The roof-line had a crenelated parapet and stone eaves which were removed over the years and replaced with the current simpler crown trim. Four businesses were first located on the ground floor. The Hetherington Store relocated from the Baptist Church basement and opened on October 30th 1924. To the left of the main entrance was their grocery store and to the right the dry goods department. Their basement store, the first in Andover, had a full line of house furnishings, glassware, tin ware, crockery, blankets, linens, art goods etc.

Daniel Hartigan’s Drug Store opened on the corner the first week of November. The drug store entrance was located on the corner of the block. Handsome mahogany fixtures, a marble soda fountain with a mirrored back bar and mahogany & stained glass telephone booth were installed in the pharmacy. Hartigan’s remained the longest tenant closing in the 1978. Colpitts Travel occupied the corner store after Hartigan's. Also on the ground floor were Jeannette’s Beauty Shop and Victor Barber Shop owned by Charles Leadis of Lawrence. On the upper floor in the corner office was dentist Dr. William A. Flemming.

In July of 1927 the Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. leased the right end storefront (formerly Hetherington) and remained at this location until 1943. In 1939 fifteen businesses and professional offices were located at this address. Temple’s Radio & Record Store and the Andover Consumers Cooperative relocating into the A&P space. The CO-OP purchased the building in 1948, forming a subsidiary, Rochdale Realty Co. The grocery store was enlarged twice, once in 1954 by utilizing all the first floor retail space except the corner drug store. In 1959 a one story addition along Main Street was added after acquiring the former Dr. Charles Abbott house to the south at #70 Main Street. Additional properties east on Chestnut St. provided parking in the rear of the store. The CO-OP remained in business from 1943 to 1978. Selling to the Barcellos Brothers in 1975, they placed their name on the business in 1978 and continued the business until closing in March 1990.

In 1990 the 1959 addition was razed and the new two story brick addition was built, mimicking lines of the original structure at #64. The old building was completely remodeled at that time. CVS Pharmacy relocated from 54 Main St. into the new addition in 1991 and Shawmut Bank moved into the corner store that November. The bank was sold to Bank of America in 2007 which closed this branch office. In 2008 CVS took over the entire first floor of the block.
For additional information see #68 Main Street.

Historical Site Information;
This corner property was once owned by a Mr. Geo. K. W. Gillishan (1831) a Hatter & fur trader, who sold to Elbridge Brown on December 24, 1835 and was acquired by Joseph Rice. Mark S. Richardson, a tin plate worker and wife Mary Ann purchased the lot from Rice on November 26, 1845. They sold off 1/5 of the land with buildings on June 19, 1857 to Lucy C. Richardson wife of Joseph Richardson. Mark & Mary Ann were living in Rutland, VT at the time of the sale. Charles M. Richardson and his wife Lucy S. inherited the property? His brother, Parker Richardson, a machinist & blacksmith is said to have had his shop at this location until his death in 1844.

The lot also bordered the Joseph Rice wheelwright shop and Joseph Richardson’s property to the north. A privilege of using the lane on Joseph’s land between Mark’s, as far as the property extends was given in the sale of the deed. The lane, later referred to as East Chestnut Street, lead to a slaughter house owned by Richardson. Charles Richardson sold the property to David Cummings Richardson on Feb. 15, 1875 and was then inherited by his children; William C., James H. & Lucy A. Hopkins after his death on December 6, 1890.

Photographs of the former house on this site suggest that two houses were connected together at some time as the windows on the Main Street facade do not align with the windows on the gable end of the structure or the facade facing Chestnut St. [Possibly one was moved to the site and attached to the other house. We may be looking at the original house of Joseph Rice once on the adjoining property at #70 and removed in 1868 for the Tyler House. ]
This home was used mainly as a tenement rental property and was listed as a three family home when finally sold in December 1923. The buildings were razed in March of 1924 and the lot lowered to street level for the construction of the K&D Block.

Feb. 19, 1853 - William G. Reed – Tin plate, Sheet Iron & Copper worker on Main St. opposite Pleasant Street. (Chestnut Street)
Feb. 16, 1856 - William G. Reed – continues to advertise weekly– Hot air furnaces, patent iron sinks, etc.
Jan. 31, 1857 AA. Notice – William G. Reed – contemplating a change in business offers his stock and stoves, tin ware & C. at cost process, until further notice.
Feb. 14, 1857 – Notice – All persons indebted to William G. Reed, who do not settle their bills before the 1st of March, will find them at the office of W. A. Herrick, Esq. – where they may settle without cost until April 1.
March 7, 1857 – Real Estate of the late Parker Richardson, Frye Village for sale. Brick Building has store and dwelling house adjoined. Also a stable, carriage house & shed. ¼ acre. Also near a small dwelling house – Mary O. Richardson – Feb. 21, 1857
April 14, 1857 - House Painting – Charles W. Holt & William H. Jenks – opened a Paint Shop in Richardson’s court near Reed’s Stove Shop.

Local resident’s reminiscences;
“Parker Richardson lived here and it was his, Richardson’s Field, which would be purchased for the Andover Park. Adam Frame also occupied the house after Parker.” - Charlotte H. Abbott. [Adam Frame was a blacksmith in 1885; his shop was on Park St.]

“Crossing Chestnut Street stood the wheelwright shop of Joseph Rice, and also a tin-shop of John Magee, maker of the Magee Ranges. The site of these shops was more recently occupied by the house of Mr. M. S. Richardson.” – E. Kendall Jenkins

“So, as I trudged up Main (from Chestnut) there was an old house on the corner, I don’t know who owned it, but the town dressmaker lived there.” - Florence Abbott

“As I remember, a brownish frame tenement house stood on the corner about eight feet back from the street line, its lawn flush with a flat granite-topped stone wall eighteen inches high. This wall made a hard but convenient seat of a summer afternoon on which to wait while the streetcar was being faced about to return to Lawrence. The trolley pole had to be pulled out from underneath, then the conductor walked through the car, turning over the seats, and reversed the operation at the other end amid much sparking as he tried to engage the trolley wheel with the wire.” - C. Tyler Carlton


Northern Essex Registry of Deeds, Lawrence MA
Essex County Registry of Deeds, Salem, MA
Andover Historical Society Archives
Andover Resident Street Directories: 1926, 1932, 1943, 1953
Andover Evaluation Reports, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1900, 1910, 1920.
Andover Town Maps, 1852, 1855, 1872, 1888, Sanborn Maps, 1896, 1906
Andover Advertiser & Andover Townsman newspapers

George. K. W. Gallishan -
Elbridge Brown - Dec. 24, 1835 - b. 285 lf. 289 Salem Deeds
Joseph Rice
Mark S. & Mary Ann Richardson - Nov. 26, 1845
Lucy C. Richardson - June 19, 1857 - b. 564 pg. 44 Salem Deeds
Charles M. & Lucy A. Richardson - June 19, 1857 - b. 564 pg. 44 Salem Deeds
David C., Wm. C., & James H. Richardson & Lucy A. Hopkins - Right by decent. - Feb. 15, 1875 - b. 33 pg. 499 Lawrence Deeds
William J. Burns - May 26, 1905 - b. 220 p. 141
Annie T. Burns - Sept. 24, 1915 - b. 357 p. 193
William J. Burns - Sept. 25, 1915 - b. 481 p. 225
Morris Kaitz & Jacob Ditch - Dec. 27, 1923 - b. 494 p. 483
Benny Alfond - Aug. 19, 1924 - b. 503 p. 253
Delbert A. Arel - Dec. 15, 1924 - b. 507 p. 63
Maxwell Sawyer - Feb. 18, 1928 - b. 538 p. 400
Ralph W. Morrill - Mar. 29, 1928 - b. 539 p. 46
Herbert L. Smith et ux - April 30, 1929 - b. 545 p. 566
Frederick A. Smith - April 24, 1948 - b. 712 p. 572
Frederick A. Smith, estate, J.C. Gahan Jr., Exc. - Jan. 5, 1949 - b. 717 p. 44
Rochdale Realty Corp. (CO-OP) - July 1948 - b. 23 p. 437 Court title #3459
Andover CO-OP - Apr. 1, 1960 - b. 912 p. 274 - three lots
Barcellos Brothers - Aug. 25, 1975 - b. 1266 p. 14 - 15 Five parcels
John A., Carlos N., & Jose R. Barcellos - b. 1641 p. 33 deed

Additional acquired property
68 Main St. “Dr. Abbott House” - Charles A. & Margaret D. Currier & - Mar. 30, 1945 - b. 672 p. 41
Rochdale Realty Corp. - Feb. 18, 1959 - b. 868 p. 492

31 Chestnut Street – House and lot- Aug. 22, 1958 b. 878 pg. 293

27 Chestnut Street – “Elizabeth Giddings House” - A. Warren Sanberg et. al - b. 1009 pg. 156

Inventory Data:

StreetMain St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameK & D Block, Merchants Building
Present UseRetail / Commercial
Original UseRetail / Commercial
Construction Date1924
Architectural StyleOther
Architect/Builder J. G. Morissette of Lawrence, Architect
Foundationstone & granite
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresaddition in 1991
Major AlterationsRenovated and redesigned in 1990-91
Settingcommercial business district
Map and parcel39-38
Recorded byBrian Lee (cwo), James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Historical Society - Andover Preservation Commission
Date enteredJuly 1992, 4/2014