7 Rattlesnake Hill Rd

Historical Narrative: 

7 Rattlesnake Hill Road – Horace Abijah Mason House built abt. 1878

This land on Rattlesnake Hill Road was once owned by the Carter family. The deeds are consistent with Rattlesnake Hill Rd. but the short portion of the street from Main St. to Boston Rd. is also referenced in directories and census as also Foster’s Lane, Foster’s Pond Rd. and Old County Rd.

This house was originally a simple one and a half story structure with a gable roof. A front porch with shed roof and stone foundation are 20th century additions perhaps by Mr. Tardif after 1917 as he was a mason. The second story dormer addition extending over the porch created expanded bedroom space. The ell attached to the north side may be the original shed or shoe shop of Horace A. Mason built in the 1860’s.

The Carter family children moved 153 Main St. in 1864 after the death of their mother in 1863. The Carter homestead was at 4 Rocky Hill Rd. near this property but the original Carter home was south of this parcel on Boston Rd. There were eleven children born to Richard B. & Abigail (Buck) Carter, ten survived to adulthood. What was extraordinary about the Carters is that five of the children were blind, Abby, Sophia, Edward, Gilbert and Albert Alonzo. Son Justin built 4 Fox Hill Rd. in 1854 and the family moved there. Abby and Sophia, were among the six children who were under the care of Dr. Howe when the Perkins Institution for the Blind was founded.

The remaining Carter children; Abby B., Sophia B., Emily, Edward, Albert A., & William R. inherited the property and sold “four acres of pasture land near the house of Rufus F. Caldwell” on Nov. 5, 1865 to Horace Abijah Mason for $165.

Known as Abijah Mason, he was born Oct 30, 1808 in Andover, son of Robert & Phebe (McIntire) Mason. Abijah, like his father, was a shoemaker, but never married. He lived with his half-brother Frederick and his family on Rocky Hill Rd. until he built his home. At this time he is listed as a farm laborer. The 1870 Valuation schedule list Masons property of 5 acres $125 with a shop $35 = $160. Abijah took a mortgage loan of $150 from Newton Jaquith on May 13, 1878 which included the land with buildings. The loan was discharged before Abiah’s death on March 7, 1883. The property was auctioned off on July 14, 1883 by John B. Abbott administrator of the estate. The notice states a dwelling house and shed with 5 acres.

Daniel W. McIntire of North Reading, also a shoe maker, purchased the property for $410. Daniel was born Dec. 1849 in North Reading, and may have been related to Mason. Daniel married Elizabeth E. Morse b. Jan.1857 in Maine and they had six children; Caroline E. b. 1876, Mary E. b. 1877, Cora M. b. 1880, Daniel E. b. Jan. 1882, George E. b. Oct. 1883, and Clarence b. July 1886. McIntire owned for 19 years then sold to William Parker Shattuck, wife Isabel P. on Apr. 1, 1902 and moved to New Hampshire.

Wm. Parker Shattuck was born Sept. 6, 1874 in Andover, son of Fernando & Sarah J. Shattuck of Hidden Rd. Parker married Sept. 29, 1902 at the Free Church in Andover to Isabel Perkins Haskell b. 1884, dau. of Clarence M. & Harriet F. (Small) Haskell. Parker was an embalmer when he married but later a machinist. They had two sons: Fernando P. b. 1904 and Leslie P. born 1907

Alby Arsenault, wife Julia purchased the house on the half acre lot on June 3, 1914. Alby was born on April 8, 1881 in Canada, and worked as a Machinist at the flax mill of Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co.
Alby & Julia b. 1882 in Canada had two daughters, Mary J. and Rose M. The 1920 Valuation lists Alby Arsenault – Foster’s Pond Road – House and barn $700, Garage $100, ½ acre $100, 2 acres $150 = $1050 assessment. Alby sold the property on Mar. 3, 1921 to the Inter City Trust, John C. Small of Boston, who was Treasurer of the Inter Urban Estates, Inc. of Boston. Arsenault then moved to Old County Road.

John Small purchased the Alderbrook Farm of 63 acres on Main Street. The property extended to Rattlesnake Rd on the south and Sunset Rock Road to the west. The development created 154 house lots with five new roads. Alderbrook Rd was the only road to be partially built before the company went bankrupt in 1924. Sunset Rock Rd. south of Ballardvale Rd. was an undeveloped lane which eventually was connected to Alderbook Rd.

This lot #151 was then sold to Onesime James Tardif, wife Georgianna on Feb. 18, 1917. Known as James, he was born Aug. 29, 1891 in Lawrence, MA, son of Onesime & Hermine (Willett) Tardif. James was a mason and plasterer, married Georgianna Gauthier b. 1895 in Lowell, MA a weaver, dau. of Joseph & Amanda (Gagnon) Gauthier. They had one daughter Marie Rita Mildred b. July 18, 1915. O. James Tardif died Aug. 11, 1942.

Rita graduated from Punchard High School in 1934 and worked as a waitress in 1940. Rita married Benjamin Frederick Miller b. June 2, 1910 in Methuen, son of Arthur & Mary (Koetsch) Miller. Ben worked in Lawrence for William Starke at the Wood Textile Mill in 1942. They had two children; Robert Henry b. 1944 and Doris Juan b. Oct. 4, 1945. They lived with Rita’s mother and in May 1959 Rita was deeded her 1/3 ownership in the property.
Robert graduated from Andover High School in 1962, went to Lowell Tech and became a Research Chemist with United Shoe Machinery in Middleton. Doris J. graduated in 1963 and worked as a riding instructor at the Harold Parker Riding Academy.

On October 22, 1985 the property was sold to William G. & Breeda A. Brooks and the Millers moved to New Hampshire. Brooks owned ten years but lost the property in foreclosure. It was then deeded to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, USA on July 6, 1995 and sold two years later to George E. & Bethany Lecain on July 30, 1997. George E. was born in 1949 and Bethany J. in 1968. The Lecains owned for 23 years then sold to Balzotti Global Const. LLC on Nov. 5, 2020.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Ancestry.com. Moore, Carter , Tardiff families

Plan #397 Sept. 1920 – Alderbrook Farm
Plan # 422 May 1921 – Alderbrook Estates
Plan #620 Dec. 7, 1926 lot #151A sub-divide

Carter family, Abby B., Sophia B., Emily, Edward, Albert A., & William R. – 1865 land
Horace Abijah Mason – Nov. 5, 1865 – b. 51 pg. 163 – 4 acres $165
Horace A. Mason estate, John B. Abbott Adm. – died Mar. 7, 1883 – Probate
Daniel W. McIntire, wife Elizabeth – July 14, 1883 – b. 72 p. 524 - $410 at auction
William Parker Shattuck, wife Isabel P. – Apr. 1, 1902 – b. 193 p. 14 – two lots
Alby Arsenault, wife Julia – June 3, 1914 – b. 342 p. 282 – ½ acre w/buildings
Inter City Trust, Montague & Morgan Trustees – Mar. 3, 1921 – b. 437 p. 35 – ½ acre w/blds.
John C. Small – Feb. 19, 1924 – b. 496 p. 248
Inter Urban Estates, Inc. of Boston – Feb. 8, 1924 – b. 496 p. 248
Onesime James Tardif, wife Georgianna – Feb. 18, 1917 – b. 530 p. 7
O. James Tardif estate, died Aug. 11, 1942 heirs Georgianna & Rita –– probate #261681
Rita M. Miller – May 4, 1959 – b. 894 p. 439
Benjamin F. & Rita M. Miller – July 17, 1959 – b. 897 p. 492
William G. & Breeda A. Brooks – Oct. 22, 1985 – b. 2065 p. 286
William G. & Breeda A. Brooks – Apr, 14, 1987 Fleet Bank mtg – b. 2471 p. 87
Secretary of Veterans Affairs, USA – July 6, 1995 – b. 4289 p. 36
Gilda Duran – Nov. 7, 1995 – b. 4385 p. 209
George E. & Bethany Lecain – July 30, 1997 – b. 4811 p. 30
Balzotti Global Const. LLC – Nov. 5, 2020 – b. 16588 p. 149

Inventory Data:

StreetRattlesnake Hill Rd
PlaceScotland District
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameHorace Abijah Mason House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1878
SourceERDS, NERDL, style,
Architectural StyleGreek Revival
Foundationstone & granite
Major AlterationsFront porch, Room and Dormer over front porch,
Demolition Details2021
Map and parcel82-8
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredApril 27, 2021