7 River Street

Architectural Description: 

Cape style home "Half Cape" original details, Doric columns on entry porch, roof dormers front and back

Historical Narrative: 

The following history compiled by Nancy & Robert Blouin, of 7 River St., a copy now in files at the Historical Society

Some time around 1836 to 1840 our house must have been built by mill employees. We know it was inhabited before 1843 by an Israel Putnam, who was a builder, as old records show the he built other buildings in Ballardvale. [The deeds continue to state "it being the land on which the buildings stand now occupied by Israel Putnam" until 1845 when it then reads, lately occupied by Israel Putnam.]

In March of 1843 Charles Abbott bought the property from the Ballardvale Companies for $60. "Buildings stand now occupied by Israel Putnam."

In September of 1844 Charles and Dorcus Abbott sold to Andrew B. Stimpson and Mary Ann Stimpson. Andrew Stimpson had previously lived on Porter Road and had "exchanged the farm there for goods of John Marland, for his store which he opened in the Vale with Dole, of Haverhill." This store was located in the building which now stands on the corner of River St. and Andover St.

In January of 1845 a deed was made to grant the property and buildings thereon to Mary Ann Stimpson "to her sole and separate use." [An agreement deed between Andrew and his wife Mary Ann. This was a common procedure to protect the property from any creditors against Andrew's estate, specifically from his business holdings. Andrew may have known that his life was ending as he included a second line that "should his wife remarry, her new husband would also be kept from interfering with her property.] Andrew Stimpson died of Consumption in 1850. Mary mortgaged the property in 1852 (perhaps to establish her millinery shop)? Caleb Abbot had a tenement on this property at this time and a man named Small had lived there previously. In July of 1853 Mary Ann took a second husband John Flint. She was 44 years old and he was 61.

John and Mary Ann Flint sold the property to Caleb and Frances M. Abbott for $1200. in December of 1861.

Caleb & Frances Abbott sold to Mary Haley (Healy) for $2500. in November 1866. Mary Haley was at that time a widow with 2 daughters. She was born in Northern Ireland in 1813. She died in Ballardvale in September of 1895. The property was left to her two daughters, Rebecca Haley Dawson and Mary Haley Platt. I feel that Rebecca and her husband John lived on the property and that Mary Platt lived there with them after she was widowed. (Andover Townsman Street list - 1899). Mr. Colbath, who is an older resident of Ballardvale, remembers a very old lady living in the house who he thinks was named Dawson.

In 1911 each of the daughters sold their half share of the property to Joseph H. Dawson, Rebecca sold to Joseph Dawson for $1.00 and other valuable considerations." Mary Platt has a guardian, David Scott of Worcester, because she was an "insane person" (perhaps senile?) Her half share was sold to Joseph Dawson, who must have been an in-law of Rebecca, for $700. Joseph Dawson lived in Worcester and rented out the property. Mr. Colbath and other residents of the neighborhood remember a family called McGovern, with many children living in the house.

In 1923 the property was sold to Gauvin McGhie, who was a Ballardvale resident, owned other property in Ballardvale. McGhie renovated and remodeled the house and buildings by putting front and back dormers on the main house, knocking down the barn and outbuildings that connected the main house to the house that now stands on the property next door (#11). He [McGhie] had the property surveyed and split into four lots.

On April 8, 1925 he sold the main house (our property) to Mary E. C. Geagan for $2500. Mary was a school teacher in Andover, The smaller house on the other three lots was sold to Ernest & Florence N. Knutson on October 24, 1928. The Knutsons rented the property and house to tenants. The Knutsons sold the house and property to John and Lila C. Duke in August of 1945.

On 1944, Mary E. C. Geagon had her property put in the names Mary E. C. Geagan and Catherine A. Geagan as joint tenants. The Geagans added the sun porch and the back hall (mudroom). They also had the garage built.

Catherine Geagan died on July 4, 1968 and Mary Geagan sold the house and property to Gerald & Carol Carrier on June 20, 1969. The Carriers moved to Virginia and sold the property to Paula & Dana Dudley in December 1973.

The house and property was purchased by Nancy (Miller) and Robert L. Blouin in January 1979. the deed was updated in November 1986 to Robert L. & Nancy L. Blouin. Blouin owned for 12 years then sold to Jeffrey A. Smith on Mar. 29, 1991.

Amanda O. Corliss & John M. Corliss Jr. then purchased the property next and John M. Corliss, Jr. is the owner of record on July 19, 2013.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Map plan - #592 - Apr. 8, 1925 - Galvin H. McGhie -
Map plan #5843 - Town of Andover - Feb. 28, 1968 - land taking - sewer/water - b. 1106 p. 237

Ballard Vale Company - 1842 (house occupied by Israel Putnam)
Charles Abbott, wife Dorcus - March 7, 1843, rec. 9/5/1844 - b. 347 leaf 68 - $60.
Andrew B. Stimpson, wife Mary Ann - Sept. 3, 1844, rec. 7/23/1846 - b.370 leaf 117
Moses Foster Jr. - Sept. 3, 1844 - b. 370 leaf 115
Mary Ann Stimpson, wife of Andrew B. - Jan. 20, 1845, rec. 7/28/1847 - b. 370 leaf 116 agreement
Mary Ann Stimpson, widow of Andrew B. - 1850
John Flint, wife Mary Ann (Stimpson) Flint - July 1853
Caleb Abbott, wife Frances M. - Dec. 26, 1861 - b. 631 leaf 253
Mary Healy - Nov. 26, 1866 - b. 716 leaf 102
Mary Healy Haley estate, heirs Mary A. Platt & Rebecca Dawson - Sept. 1895
Mary A. Platt 1/2 and Rebecca Dawson 1/2 - Sept. 1895 - Probate
Joseph H. Dawson - Aug. 10, 1911 - b. 313 pgs. 312 - 313
Gavin H. McGhie - Nov. 30, 1923 - b. 493 p. 366
Mary E. C. Geagan - April 8, 1925 - b. 510 p. 290 - lot #4
Mary F. Williams - May 10, 1944 - b. 644 p. 265 - deed transfer
Mary E. C. Geagan & Catherine A. Geagan - May 10, 1944 - b. 644 p. 265
Catherine A. Geagan estate, Mary E. C. Geagan heir - Apr. 9, 1969 - b. 1128 p. 87
Gerald J. & Carol A. Carrier - June 20, 1969 - b. 1133 p. 443
Dana O. & Paula S. Dudley - Dec. 28, 1973 - b. 1233 p. 734
Robert L. Blouin & Nancy L. (Miller) Smith - Feb. 16, 1979 - b. 1363 p. 537
Robert L. & Nancy L. Blouin - Nov. 13, 1986 - b. 2353 p. 52
Jeffrey A. Smith - Mar. 29, 1991 - b. 3234 p. 18

Amanda O. Corliss & John M. Corliss Jr. -
John M. Corliss, Jr. - July 19, 2013 - b. 13561 p. 48

Inventory Data:

StreetRiver St
Historic DistrictBallardvale Local Historic District
Historic DistrictBallardvale National Register District
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1840
SourceECRDS, ENRDL, style-njs
Architectural StyleOther
Roofasphalt - gable
Outbuildings / Secondary StructuresSingle stall garage
Acreage0.321 acre
Map and parcel139-152
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredFeb. 1996, 12/21/2016