7 Balmoral Street

Architectural Description: 

Clay tennis courts for the residents, surrounded by a high wood and wire fence. The west entrance stone gates to the Balmoral Athletic Field

Historical Narrative: 

This site once held clay tennis courts for use by the residents of Shawsheen Village. The courts were the first athletic venue to be completed in the Village. They officially opened on Saturday July 16, 1921. The courts were completely fenced in and along the west side was the main entrance to the Balmoral Athletic Field.

Andover Townsman - Shawsheen Villager - July 15, 1921
Tennis Courts Opened - The three tennis courts that have been under construction on Balmoral Street will be opened to the public tomorrow. While the courts are open to the public, the right is reserved by the manager of the Spa, under whose jurisdiction the tennis courts come, to refuse the right to play any persons who do not conform with the rules laid down for them.
To defray the cost of the up-keep, a very nominal charge of twenty-five cents per house for singles, and fifty cents per hour for doubles, will be made. Persons wishing to reserve courts in advance may do so by telephoning to the Spa. It is to be noted that no reservation will be made after five o'clock or on Saturdays or Sunday afternoons for more than one hour for one group. At all other times in the week, the courts may be used as long as is desired, providing no one is kept waiting for a court by so doing. The courts will not be open for use on Sunday mornings.

AT - Shawsheen Villager - July 29, 1921
Tennis Courts Regulations - Much comment has been aroused by the fact that tennis playing will not be allowed on the courts on Sundays. It is hoped that this condition may be helped by obtaining of a special permit which will allow playing on the courts on certain hours Sunday afternoons.
Due to the nearness of the courts to a public thoroughfare it has been asked by those in charge that men refrain from playing the game in sleeveless jerseys.
The demand for the courts has been so great by some enthusiasts of the Village that it has been necessary to further request that no courts be signed for more than three days in advance. It is hoped that in this way everyone will will be given an equal opportunity to play.

A tennis tournament was organized in August by a group of men, some closely associated with Mr. Wood. Mr. Wood and his wife along with George Wallace and wife were touring Europe at the time and were returning in August. A grand "Welcome Home" event was being planned for Woods' return to Shawsheen Village on Sept. 10, 1921. On that day all the new athletic facilities, Bowling Green, Balmoral field and the tennis courts would be officially opened. The finals of the tennis tournament took place on the courts that afternoon.

AT - Aug 12, 1921 SV – Tennis Tournament – A handicap tournament in men’s singles and men’s doubles will be held on the village courts. Entries close 5:00 pm Monday Aug. 15th, play will commence Tuesday August 16th.
An entrance fee of fifty cents for each player in singles and doubles, will be charged to cover the price of the balls and prizes. Entries can be made at the Balmoral Spa, where the drawings and handicaps will be posted. All matches to be two out of three sets except the finals which will be three out of five sets
Liberal handicaps will be allowed to make all matches as interesting as possible and every player in the Village is urged to participate. Ladies entries will be arranged if sufficient entries are received.
Committee: Frank H. Hardy, David R. Lawson, James Mosher, Paul Rice and Howard O. Frye.

Frank H. Hardy was the owner of the Hardy Brush Co. and also milled most of the woodwork for the homes in the Village. Howard O. Frye was the editor of the A.W.Co. Booster magazine. Paul Rice was a wool buyer for A.W.Co. and friend of William M. Wood Jr.,

Aug. 19, 1921 – Tennis Tournament – Twenty-five Player Enter in Playoff of Matches. Gallery Sees Excellent Tennis – Twenty five tennis enthusiasts in the Village answered the call of the committee in charge and started play last Tuesday in the First Annual Shawsheen Village Tennis tournament. Twenty of the Twenty five paired up and entered ten teams in the doubles tournament which is going on at the same time. …. While it was originally planned to have a ladies tournament, at the same time, there was not a significant number of entrants to make it worth while...

Aug. 26, 1921 – Interesting Tennis – Tournament Has Progressed Into the Final Rounds During the Past Week.
Singles; H.O. Frye & F. H. Hardy in one semi-final and S. Paine will play the winner of the match between Scott and K. Hardy. Double: Pratt and Burke wait for the match between McCellan & Frye vs Clark and Simmers.

Sept. 9, 1921 - Tennis tournament finals – Howard O. Frye vs. J. I. Payne (Paine) – Clark & Simmers vs. Pratt & Burk doubles
American Woolen Co. team will be playing the team from Lowell Carpet Co. in the first league game of the season.
Howard O. Frye – editor of the A.W. Co. Booster -
AT Sept. 16 1921 - S. S. Paine wins Tennis Championship singles, Pratt & Burk doubles

May 7, 1926 - Tennis is once more underway on the Balmoral courts and judging from the start it will be a busy season. The courts are in better shape than ever before, the surface being hard and fast and speedy play is sure to result. They have been rolled and scraped and the patches of loose gravel that were so bothersome last year have been entirely eliminated. A chemical preparation has also been applied which will serve to keep the playing surface hard and also absorb moisture.
J. Sumner Draper, owner of Balmoral Spa, is an ardent tennis fan and was formerly rated one of the leading players. Copeland F. Draper, his son, had the honor of winning the first leg on the Balmoral Tennis trophy when that cup was presented for competition in 1922 defeating William McGrath in the final. The cup is still in competition, McGrath having won it in 1923 and 1924. He needs one more victory to obtain permanent possession, this honor being denied him last year when Loring Higgins defeated him in the final match.

It is not currently known how long the tennis courts were maintained after the American Woolen Co. moved their headquarters back to Boston and funding for the athletic facilities stopped.

Inventory Data:

StreetBalmoral St
PlaceShawsheen Village
Historic DistrictShawsheen Village NRH District
Historic NameThe Balmoral Courts
Present UseParking lot
Original UseTennis Courts
Construction Date1920 - 1921
SourceERDS, NERDL, style,
Architectural StyleOther
Architect/BuilderJohn Franklin CE
Major AlterationsRemoved for parking lot for Balmoral Condominiums
Map and parcel36-12 A
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredMarch 24, 2020