69-71 Essex Street

Architectural Description: 

Doorway replaced - may have been half-house.
Facade has nice side lights and engaged pillars.
Original entrance doorway surround removed after 1975.
Resided with wood clapboards, maintaining its visual integrity and original covering material
June,1990 Preservation Award

Historical Narrative: 

Themes: architectural, commerce, community development, industral
Part of Abbot Village from earliest manufacturing and the enterprises of Smith and Dove Company. Used as mill tenement and later altered into apartments.

Abbott Village was established early in the 1800's with more than adequate source of water to power the mills. A saw & grist mills were the first businesses established here. Abel & Paschal Abbott moved their wool mill operation here from North Parish about 1813 and had a successful business until about 1838 when the market turned. The mill buildings were sold to Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co. in 1843. The flax to linen thread company was established in Frye Village in 1835 (Shawsheen Village) and slowly relocated up river to this location.

Deeds at the Salem registry trace ownership back to Benjamin Ames and Daniel Cummings who sold 5 acres 18 rods of land for $436.72 to Stephen Abbot & Stephen Russell on June 9, 1814. The parcel included buildings, extended down to the river, included Bakers Lane but excluded a house "now owned and improved by David Holt during his natural life with the liberty to remove the same at his decease, unless sd. Abbot & Russell shall purchase at the appraisal..." Russell sold his half of the property to Stephen Abbot in November 1818.

Stephen Abbot sold the property to Jonathan Merrill, a Blacksmith, for $1000 and held the mortgage deed which Merrill paid off in 1828. Merrill mortgaged the 6 acres for $1500 to Amos Choate of Salem, MA on Dec. 17, 1824 and an additional $500 on April 3, 1827. The deed states… “with one new and two old dwelling houses with the bake house and stable about to be erected and all other buildings now standing on the premises.” Thomas C. Foster & Jonathan Merrill entered into a Bond on Dec. 4, 1836, Foster paying $3000 for one undivided half the property. Several other notes were attached to the Merrill mortgage.

Jonathan Merrill was born in Derry, NH in 1793. He was a blacksmith, became a Mason of St. Mathews Lodge Andover in March 1824. Jonathan first married on Mar. 11, 1817 Polly Frye b. 1798. Polly died of Consumption on July 31, 1828 age 30. (South Church Cemetery) Jonathan remarried on Sept. 15, 1831 to Eliza F. Frye b. 1812. They had four children; Mary "Polly" F. b. 1832, Eliza b 1842–d. 1843, Louis P. b. 1844 and Ella Florence b. 1853. Polly was a milliner in 1860 but taught Primary Dept. at the Abbot Village School from 1862-1878. Her sister Ella taught with her during the 1870s. Louis, a merchant apprentice. Eliza died in 1865 and Jonathan died of paralysis on Jan 15, 1869. They are interred at Spring Gove Cemetery.

The J. Merrill family is listed on the 1852 map of Andover at 18 Railroad St. Jonathan Merrill's property is listed in the 1850 Valuation schedule as dwelling house, barn, bake house, blacksmith shop and 3 acres of land $1900. Farm stock $60.

This house may have been Jonathan Merrill’s home before his move to Railroad St. but we are unable to determine that from deeds, maps or census records available. Thomas C. Foster owned for 17 years but did not live at this location. Thomas C. Foster’s home was located at 23 Elm St. and he was once the proprietor of Foster’s Tavern (Elm House). Foster’s Valuation in 1850; House $1900, barn and other buildings $350, 7 acre home lot $650, a 2 acre lot and the J. Merrill house value $2100, 12 acres Frye land, 23.5 acres Lee land $987, 3/4 meeting house lot $300, Farm stock $155 for a total of $6423. The 1860 assessment lists 1 acre, house in Abbot Village $1900.

Choate held the mortgage until his death in 1845. His estate called in the loan and Widow Mehitable Choate, Executrix, took possession of the two mortgages. Foster & Merrill then released the mortgage deed to the estate on Sept. 27, 1846. The mortgage was assigned to Samuel Gray on June 16, 1847 for $1710.

Gray sold the mortgages to Jesse Sargent. Andover Merchant in August 1847. Jesse divided the 6 acres into several parcels and sold them off separately. Thomas C. Foster then purchased the house and lot at
69 - 71 Essex Street on Jan. 3, 1850.

Thomas C. Foster sold the property to Smith & Dove Mfg. Co on July 1, 1867 who then converted the house into four apartments. Smith & Dove reorganized and incorporated in 1864 and again in 1912 bringing all their properties together into one deed.

Smith & Dove recognized the need for operative housing and slowly acquired several homes in the immediate area. They also built quality housing for their working force at 62-84 Essex St. and the thirteen double homes on Brechin Terrace. Every home on Baker Lane was once owned by Smith & Dove by 1918. The company supplied their workers with a Village Hall (#77 Essex St.) for community gatherings, and built “Hillside” on Shawsheen Rd. for single women workers; provided childcare service, bowling alley, laundry and large dining room used for meetings and parities. S & D Co. also bought the old Cricket Field for the company soccer, football and baseball teams and sponsored many field day outings for their employees.

In 1927 the Smith & Dove Co. was sold to the Ludlow Co. The housing real estate was placed in the Smith & Dove Tenements, Inc. that year, changing the name to Andover Homes, Inc. that were then sold off into private hands. The company operations were moved to Ludlow, MA and the mill closed in 1928.

Andover Homes, Inc. sold off the properties and Virgil D. Harrington purchased this house and #77 Essex St. He then sold both a month later. #69 - #71 Essex was sold to John & Jemima Henderson on August 17, 1932. They lived at 64 Red Spring Road. John was a local carpenter and had purchased the former Abbott Village School house on Cuba St in 1892 and moved it to his property, converting it into a workshop. The Henderson family owned the Foster House until 1967. John died on Feb. 12, 1943 and Jemima died on Dec. 14, 1948. Their daughter Beatrice Henderson kept the income property selling the Rittenhouse Realty Trust on June 19, 1967. Mary Elizabeth Bradley and Fred Bradley were trustees at that time.

They sold to Donald I. & Barbara Richmond of Andover who purchased the house on in August 1979. The Richmond family also own the apartment townhouse block across the street at 70-84 Essex St. which they purchased in 1960. Their properties were later listed under ARCO Properties. Diverse Real Estate, LLC – MYRKA, LLC purchased all the Arco holdings on Mar. 13, 2020.


Dorman, Moses: Map of Andover, 1830
Maps; 1852, 1855, 1872, 1888, 1896, 1901, 1906, 1926, 1930
Andover/North Andover Historical Society files
Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Advertiser AA & Andover Townsman AT
Historical Sketches of Andover, S. L. Bailey 1880
Andover Valuation Schedules - 1850, 1860 & 1870
See Plan map #682 - Smith and Dove 1927 also Plan #676 lot #26 on map.

69 – 71 Essex St
Benjamin Ames
Daniel Cummings – Oct. 25, 1809 rec. Aug. 1, 1810 - b. 190 leaf 152 – Cat Swamp & Parker Lot
Benj. Ames Jr. & Daniel Cummings – Aug. 21, 1811 – b. 194 leaf 215 - $6000
Stephen Abbot & Stephen Russell – June 29, 1814 – b. 203 leaf 264-5 - $436.72 – 5a 18lks.
Stephen Abbot – Nov. 19, 1818 – b. 218 leaf 202 Russell undivided half
Jonathan Merrill – Nov. 13, 1818 – b. 218 leaf 235 - $1000 (5a 18lks, & Low lot)
Merrill & Thomas C. Foster –Dec. 4, 1836 – b. 295 leaf 248 - Bond
Amos Choate – Dec. 17, 1824 – b. 236 leaf 193 - $1500 mtg. deed (6 acres w/3 houses+)
Amos Choate –Apr. 3, 1827 – b. 245 leaf 159 – $500 mtg. deed
Amos Choate – Sept. 27, 1846 – b. 371 leaf 220 possession 2 mtgs.
Samuel Gray, estate of Amos Choate – June 16, 1847 – b. 385 leaf 1&2
Jesse Sargent – Aug. 22, 1849 – b. 415 leaf 175 – Bond w/ Merrill/Foster
Jesse Sargent – Aug. 27, 1849 – b. 416 leaf 69 assigned mtg.
Thomas C. Foster – Jan. 3, 1850 – b. 422 leaf 139 (check 422/142)
Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co. July 1, 1867 - b. 731 p. 105 parcel #5 in 1864
Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co., Geo. F. Smith, Pres. - Feb. 1, 1927 - b. 529 p. 587
Smith & Dove Tenements, Inc. Walter Amesbury, Pres, - Feb. 21, 1927 - b. 529 p. 587
Andover Homes, Inc. Walter Amesbury, treas. - Dec. 31, 1927 - b. 538 p. 354-356
Virgil D. Harrington - June 7, 1932 - b. 564 p. 546 - fourth parcel on master deeds
John & Jemima Henderson - Aug. 17, 1932 - b. 566 p. 232
John Henderson estate, died Feb. 12, 1943
Jemima Henderson & Beatrice H. Henderson - Mar. 16, 1944 - b. 663 p. 91
Jemima Henderson estate, died Dec. 14, 1948
Beatrice H. Henderson, daughter heir. 1948 - 1967
Rittenhouse Realty Trust; Mary Eliz. & Fred Bradley, Tr. - June 19, 1967 - b. 1084 p. 203
Rittenhouse Realty Trust; Mary Eliz. Bradley & Susan B. Trayser
Donald I. & Barbara L. Richmond - Aug. 10, 1979 - b. 1321 p. 57
ARCO Properties, Richmond, - June 26, 2007 - b. 10810 p. 155
Diverse Real Estate, LLC – MYRKA, LLC – Mar. 13, 2020 – b. 16226 p. 278 (p.288 #3)

Inventory Data:

StreetEssex St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictAndover Village Industrial NRH District
Historic NameAbbot Village Mills Workers Housing
Present UseApartment (1975-77)
Construction Datebuilt 1830
Architectural StyleFederal
FoundationStone and brick
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresshed wing on east side circa 1900
Major Alterations1850's wing and porch; hoods; renovated in 1970's
Acreageless than one acre; 10,280 sq. ft.; approx. frontage Essex 105', Baker 112'
Setting19th century mill village near railroad track, river and mills
Map and parcel54-50
MHC NumberANV.201
Recorded byStack & Mofford/B.Thibault, J. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Historical Society, Andover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77/updated 1990, 5/2014