7 Binney Street
Site of History 🛈The Site of History tag is given to properties that were lost before this building survey was undertaken.

Historical Narrative: 

Binney Street –
Shawsheen Village was named after the Native American name for the river Shawshin, which means Great Spring. Prior to Shawsheen Village this area was known as Frye Village. Most of the streets in the new Village were named for Castles & Cathedrals in Great Britain. Binney Street however was named for Henry P. Binney of Canton, MA, a banker and agent trustee of the American Woolen Company. Binney was hired in 1909 to purchase land in both Lawrence and Andover for future expansion of the American Woolen Co. when William M. Wood was President of the company. Binney then turned all the deeds over to the AWCo in December 1920.

This land was once owned by Sylvester P. Smith (49 Union St) who had plans for a housing development. A 1901 map of Frye Village clearly shows the locations of Shepley & Binney Streets, but named Agawam and Merrick Streets respectively, both connected at the east end by Madison St. which was never built. Old deeds reference both earlier names.

These homes were built as part of the Shawsheen Village development from 1918-1924 by William M. Wood, President of the American Woolen Company.

Wood hired about eight different architects to design the homes and structures for the village. Homes were leased through the Homestead Association with offices in the Post Office building in Shawsheen Square, later moved into the Administration Building.

Binney Street was originally built with 11 homes, 9 were single family residences and 2 were double houses. With the construction of Route 495 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts took every property on Fletcher St. by eminent domain on Dec. 29, 1960. Five homes on Binney St. were also lost. By 1963 Fletcher Street no longer existed. A handful of homes were moved to new locations but the majority was demolished.

One of the goals of the Andover Preservation Commission is to identify historic places and sites. We re-list The homes lost on Binney St. and all of Fletcher St. as it was once a historic part of the Shawsheen Village development. We also honor the families that made their homes on Fletcher St. and their contribution to the community.

Each home incorporated a different look, style and design modifications, most noticeable with the front door entrances. Decorative details on the corner boards and a variety of ornamental trellises, window boxes all added the “icing on the cake, of the original designs. Mr. Wood also incorporated two family duplexes in every section of the new Village.

The properties came with deed restrictions. No stores, factories, or other buildings of any business nature shall be erected, only professional, doctor, dentist or other professional occupations,…No shed, hen houses or out buildings, except a one or two stall garage, which shall have a pitched roof and be of the same general architectural pattern & material, and of the same color, as the building on said premises,…have a cement, macadam, asphalt or crushed stone driveway. No single house erected less than $3500 and no double houses less than $5000. All buildings shall be kept painted white, buff or gray, all with the same setback from the street.

After the death of William M. Wood on Feb. 2, 1926 most of the residential and commercial buildings were then sold. Some were held by the Wood family in the "Arden Trust" and others with the American Woolen Company. The AWCo. Board of Directors authorized its President, Lionel J. Noah, to deliver all deeds, as deemed necessary to the Textile Realty Co. for sale on Dec. 29, 1931.

The Textile Realty then transferred ownership to the Andover Shawsheen Realty Company on June 30, 1932, holding the mortgage on the properties. T. Edwin Andrew, treasurer, was authorized to sell or lease the properties. With the Great Depression sales were sluggish and many homes were rented until the economy rebounded.

One of the first occupants of record to lease the home on April 1, 1925 was Franklin P. & Ina Anderson/ Frank is listed as a clerk. and were renting here in 1928.
John Mitchell then rented the house which was later purchased by him. The Mitchell family lived here for 25 years.

John William Mitchell was born in1878 in England and immigrated in 1897. John was a Percher, who laid cloth across a wooden frame to examine it for defects. John worked in the Shawsheen Mill of the AWCo. He married Louise Frieda (Hensche) Basler b. 1890 in Pawtucket, RI, dau. of Otto & Louise B. Hensche. Frieda was a mender in the woolen mill. The 1928 Directory lists them at 2 Stirling St. in Shawsheen Village, but in 1930 they had moved to 7 Binney StreetThey had two sons, John William Jr. b. Oct. 12, 1920 and Vincent Rennison b. Dec. 9, 1925. The 1948 directory lists their son Vincent at 7 Binney St. with his wife Edna but John & Frieda are not enumerated with them. John died on Dec. 31, 1950.

Vincent was working for Bethlehem Steel Co. in Quincy, MA when he registered for the WWII Draft. Vincent married on Feb. 15, 1948 in Lawrence, MA at the United Presbyterian Church to Edna Kisbro Bailey b. Nov. 22, 1929 in Braintree, MA dau. of Harrison W. & Krisbro (Burton) Bailey. Eda was a stitcher in the textile mills in Lawrence. The 1950 Census lists them living at 7 Binney St. with one year old daughter Marion. Vincent is working for Russell Heel. The house was purchased Vincent & Edna on May 13, 1952 and they remained here until 1955 when they sold to George M & Gloria Desfosses on Dec. 30, 1955.

George M. Desfosses was born in Lawrence in 1928 son of Pierre & Alida Desfosses, both Canadian immigrants who came to Lawrence. George worked a a machine tender at the A&P Box Co. in Lawrence. He married in 1952 to Gloria E.b. 1929 and had be living at 73 May St. in Lawrence before their move to Andover. They had five children; Robert, Gary, Wayne, Kathleen and Darlene. They were the last owners and occupants of the home in 1961. The property was taken by the Commonwealth of Mass in Dec. 29, 1960.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Maps, 1852, 1872, 1888, 1906, 1926
Andover Street Directories
Andover Townsman
Mills, Mergers and Mansions, by Edward Roddy 1982
See Map plan #876 – June 1932 – Textile Realty Co.
Map #1050 – March 1937 – amended map #876 for narrowing street.
Plan 4205 - Comm. of Mass. lot 9-75
Plan 5056 - Comm. of Mass - Layout of order of taking
#7 Binney St. Lot 17 –
Henry P. Binney, Trustee of AWCo. - July 30, 1909 - b. 277 p. 314
American Woolen Co. Dec. 30, 1920 - b. 435 p. 215 -(1st parcel)
Textile Realty Co. - Dec. 30, 1931 - b. 563 p. 344
Andover Shawsheen Realty Co. - June 30, 1932 - b. 565 p. 87
John & Freda L Mitchell – July 9, 1936 – b. 599 p. 202
John Mitchell estate, Freda L. Mitchell heir – Dec. 31, 1950
Vincent R. & Edna K. Mitchell – May 13, 1952 – b. 762 p. 103 - $7000 mtg.
George M & Gloria Desfosses – Dec. 30, 1955 – b. 826 p. 449 - $9300 mtg
Commonwealth of Mass., Eminent Domain – Dec. 29, 1960 – b.929 p. 334-352

Inventory Data:

StreetBinney St
PlaceShawsheen Village
Historic DistrictShawsheen Village NRH District
Historic NameJohn & Frieda Mitchell House
Present UseHighway Route 495
Original Useresidence - mill housing
Construction Date1923
Architectural StyleColonial Revival
Foundationstone, granite
ConditionRazed 1962
Demolition DetailsRazed in 1962 for 495 construction
Acreage4195 Sq. ft.
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredApril 17, 2023