73 Dascomb Road

Architectural Description: 

Elaborate cut shingles

Historical Narrative: 

Original owners: Charles and Catherine C. Davies

Themes: Architectural, Community Development

73 Dascomb Rd. The Davies House built circa 1897-8
The site of the first Skeet shooting range in America and where the sport was invented.

This Queen Ann style cottage home was built for Charles & Catherine Davies circa 1897-8. It is one of the best examples of original decorative shingle embellishments on any home in Andover. Saw tooth banding defines the base of the second floor half story. The gable ends contain fish scale, circles, staggered patterns and the repeated saw tooth cedar shingle styles. The diamond shaped window in the gable end fronting the street is filled with stain glass work. The gable peak contains a half moon vent. Windows are the traditional two over one configuration for this period style. The large porch across the front, now enclosed with windows creates a passive solar heat in winter but in the summer screens would have replaced the storms to enjoy the cool breeze of the rural farming neighborhood of the first half of the 20th century in West Andover.

What is also remarkable is the same carpenter's exuberance with the former dog kennels to the rear of the property. The main kennel is high style indeed, displaying the same shingle treatment as the house. It contains stain glass windows, a cupola and has bead board paneling in the interior. The kennel is a unique, one of a kind, piece of architecture with a history all its own.

Charles E. Davies and family were from Reading, MA and purchased the property in April 1893 from Hartwell B. Abbott, a local farmer who lived at 3 Andover Street. The Davies family were living in Reading in 1895 but had moved to Andover by 1897. Charles and wife Catherine had three children; Henry (Harry) Wesley b. 1886, Marjorie E. b.1888, and Helen Nason b. 1890.

Charles was a printer by trade but also owned and operated the Glen Rock Kennels at their home on Dascomb Road. They bred and trained English Setter hunting dogs. Charles transferred the deed to the property through his sister Anna S. Davies, who resided with them, to his wife Catherine Cutter (Wright) Davies in October 1899.

Catherine & Charles would later purchase two additional parcels of land in 1912. A 2 ½ acre lot east of their house and the second lot northwest of the house, increasing their property to about 12 acres. This second lot was used as a rifle range. Charles and son Harry were avid grouse hunters, as was Harry’s Punchard High classmate William Harden Foster. As open hunting season was limited, the Davies and Foster created a game they called “Shooting Round the Clock” which was designed to simulate shooting positions a hunter might encounter during season. The shooting game could be played year round. It has been stated that Charles actually drew out the clock positions on the kitchen table. The exact year is unknown, but prior to the US entering W.W. I.

The Davies new neighbor to the east, John W. Hall, built a poultry farm (1912 – 1915) and voiced concerns about shot hitting his hens and the noise might reduce the hens laying production. Davies then adapted the game from a 25 yard full circle to a half circle.

William Foster, artist, writer and editor of National Sportsman magazine introduced the regional sport nationwide in 1926. The name “Skeet”, Scandinavian form of shoot, was chosen from a naming competition. Charles & Harry Davies had created the first Skeet Shooting range in America and the world. Foster created the second range in Freeport, Maine, his summer residence.

Charles Davies died on Feb. 25, 1924. Catherine C. transferred the property to her two daughters, Marjorie & Helen in 1938. Catherine died March 1, 1940.
The two sisters never married and were inseparable their entire life. Both attended Bridgewater Normal School and became teachers in Padanarun (So. Dartmouth) & Attleboro, MA. In 1918, during WW I, both were accepted into the first class of the newly created Army School of Nursing at Camp Devens, as the first “Bluebird” Corps. They also graduated from Walter Reed Hospital, Washington DC in 1921. They worked tirelessly through the influenza epidemic as civilian nurses and served on the floating ship. Returning to Andover after the death of their father in 1924, Helen continued nursing at Isham Infirmary at Phillips Academy. Marjorie took over management of Glen Rock Kennels.

A neighbor recalls that there were several dog houses in the woods beyond the two kennel buildings. In later years they boarded dogs and had as many as 23 dogs at some times, including four of their own. There was also a kennel for cats on the right side of the house.

Marjorie died Sept. 18, 1978. Helen sold the family home on Dec.10, 1979 to Diane Pitochelli. Helen passed on at age 96 on October 17, 1986 in Andover, MA.

Son Harry Davies became an attorney, worked as life counsel and secretary of the Massachusetts Title Insurance Co. at the time of his wedding in Oct. 1912. He married Evelyn Mary Keith, of Brockton, MA, daughter of William L. & Mary E. (Wilcutt) Keith. They lived in Belmont & Watertown before settling in Reading in 1925. Harry died Sept. 14, 1965 and is interred in the Davies Family lot at Laurel Hill Cemetery, Reading, MA with his parents and sisters.

William H. Foster, artist, writer and editor of National Sportsman magazine introduced the regional sport nationwide in 1926. The name "Skeet", is Scandinavian form of shoot, was chosen from a naming competition. Charles & Harry Davies had created the first Skeet Shooting range in America and the world. Foster created the second range in Freeport, Maine, his summer residence.

Glen Rock Kennels; The building was used as an office, grooming and a four dog kennel. The kennel to the rear contains five dog bays and both once had adjoining fenced in runs for each English Setter. These breed dogs were trained and sold as birders and were not shy of shotgun fire.

Diane Marie Pitochelli bought the Davies house on December 10, 1979. Diane was born in Methuen, MA to William & Marie (Lanciani) Pitochelli. She was one of four children, brother William, and sisters, Frances Pitochelli McCormick and Kathleen Pitochelli Hamel. Diane graduated from St. Mary's High School in Lawrence, Emanuel College in Boston and Smith College graduate school. Diane also did further study at the Tyler School of Art in Rome, Italy. She had a long career as a technical writer and editor at Houghton Mifflin and the Digital Corporation.

Diane was described as a real Renaissance woman, as she loved classical and chamber music, was an artist, poet, avid bird watcher, and received a certificate in Landscape Design from Radcliffe Seminars. In 2007 she was chosen Poet Laureate by the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement. Her seascape paintings of Maine hang in several private collections and three of her collages are in the collection of the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy Andover, MA. She passed away at 68 years of age on January 23, 2009 and is interred at the West Parish Garden Cemetery.


Northern Essex Registry of Deeds-Lawrence,
Andover Townsman
References. Andover Historical Society archives, Andover Building Survey
05/1/2010 - Researched by James S. Batchelder Andover Preservation Commission
1900 tax list: 2 acres, house and dog kennels
1904 directory: printer
1906 atlas: C. Davies - square building and free standing outbuilding
1910 tax list: 2a house and dog kennels
Stained glass restoration in dog kennel - source from North Andover; see framed photos 1980.17.1 and 1980.17.2

Hartwell B. Abbott - 1893 - land
Charles E. Davies - April 17, 1893 - bk. 124 pg. 295 - 2 acre lot
Anna S. Davies - Oct. 30, 1899 - bk. 173 pg. 598
Catherine C. Davies - Oct. 30, 1899 - bk. 173 pg. 599
Catherine C. Davies - June 12, 1912 - bk. 318 pg. 427-428 - James J. Abbott lot.
Catherine C. Davies - June 28, 1912 - bk. 318 pg. 428-429 - Edward P. Hall lot.
Marjorie & Helen Davies, - March 12, 1938 - bk. 614 pg. 77 - three lots
Helen N. Davies - Sept. 18, 1978 - Estate of Marjorie.
Diane M. Pitochelli - Dec. 10, 1979 - bk. 1411 pg. 194
Heirs of Pitochelli - Jan. 23, 2009
Terry & Aaron Williams - Feb. 2010

Inventory Data:

StreetDascomb Rd
PlaceBallardvale - West Andover
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameCharles & Catherine Davies House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence - Glen Rock Kennels
Construction Date1893 -1895
Architectural StyleQueen Anne
Wall/Trimcedar shingles/wood
Roofasphalt - gable
Outbuildings / Secondary StructuresTwo former Glen Rock Kennel buildings
Major AlterationsHouse updating by Williams family
Acreage1.05 acres; 45,760 sq. ft., over one acre w/approx. frontage of 220'
Map and parcel136-4
MHC NumberANV.166
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, 11/2014