75 Central Street

Architectural Description: 

Late Greek/Picturesque

Historical Narrative: 

Themes: architectural, community development

The property was purchased by Oliver Vennard from John Abbott and George Swift on April 9, 1880 for $650. Two years later Vennard began construction on his new home. June 27, 1882 Andover Advertiser - "The frame of O. M. Vernard’s new house on Central Street, just below the old Catholic Church, has been raised. Ezra Farnham put in the cellar, William Trulan is doing the wood work."
The seven room house has three bedrooms.

Oliver was born in Dec. 1843 in New Castle, NH the son of John & Mary Vennard. He married on April 3, 1864 in North Andover to Emily Murch b. Feb. 1843 in Ellsworth, Maine, daughter of John & Irene (Huckins) Murch. Oliver was 21 and a machinist at the time. They lived in Andover in 1880 and Vennard's occupation is listed as House Painter. They had one child a son, Herman C. born 1865 - died 1867. The 1900 census lists Oliver as a Church Sexton. A niece Adah F. Hall age 21 b. Dec. 1879 in Maine is living with her aunt and uncle. She gives her occupation as teacher, Commercial college. In 1910 she is a bookkeeper in an office. It appears that Adah is the only Vennard heir as she inherits the property. The deed was placed in her name by Emily in Jan. 1915. Oliver died Sept. 9, 1916 at age 73. Emily died June 2, 1931. and Adah continued to live in the home until 1951 when she old the property to Colin H. & Marlys K. Kerr. Adah died at age 89 on Jan. 1, 1968. The family grave is at South Church Cemetery where Oliver was the Sexton.

"I Take a Walk with My Memory" - By F. Tyler Carlton, May 1961 (excerpt from childhood as a member of South Church)
F. Tyler Carlton – 1904 - 1968 - b. 1904 d. August 14, 1968 age 64. F. Tyler Carlton, grew up at 67 Central Street, was a native of Andover, married Alice Loomer and had one daughter Mary Barbara, wife of Carl W. Tapp, of Portsmouth, NH. Graduate of Northeastern Engineering School, Boston, and was an engineer until his retirement. He was a member South Church, past president of the Andover Historical Society, a member of the Scouters Organization of Lawrence and the Engineers Club of Boston.

"Old Mr. Oliver Vennard was sexton and in charge of the cemetery until he fell from his wagon. He was also a junk dealer and lived at 75 Central Street. Whether his death was the cause or the result of the fall, no one will ever know. He carried the cemetery records in his head, could put his foot down in a certain spot and say: "Mr. So-and-so is right there." But that was little help to my father or to me as we tried to figure out whose "Baby" or "Mother" or "Father" rested under a certain stone."

"To go on with our walk we will cut diagonally down the hill through the woods, from the back corner of our lot (No. 67) near the back north corner of the barn. It is a well-worn trail. At the foot of the hill we come to a woods road. This right of way is strictly between Jones' (No. 71) and Vennard's (No. 75) on the tree-covered slope. From practical use it is on lot No. 71 until it reaches the foot of the hill. It used to be the way from the Catholic church to the Catholic cemetery, and continues a little further before turning to the left and coming out of the woods to cross Lupine Road and the railway tracks. Across this road we climb a steep hill to the highest point in the woods, nearly as high as at Jones' barn. This we boys, for obvious reasons, called "huckleberry hill.” Beyond it and to the left was an elliptical hollow. The ridge maintained its height pretty well to the left, fell off to a lower level at the right and opposite. In Miss Underhill's opinion and mine this must have been the amphitheatre in which Daniel Webster addressed the assembled multitude on November 9, 1843. (Phillips Academy Bulletin, April 1929, Vol. 23, No.3) We must
remember that in 1843 he would have detrained somewhere in back of the present library and gone down the “road to Boston,” crossing the railroad tracks near where Chestnut Street now meets Central Street. He would have turned right into the woods west of Cooper's pond about where Marion Avenue now is. The last time I saw the place (1960), the tree that marked the top of "huckleberry hill” was on the verge of falling as the steam shovel leveled the hill."

In 1991 neighbor Marilyn Burns learned that a mid-19th c. deed for 75 Central St. refers to an adjacent cemetery. The first Catholic Church was located at the adjoining property to the north, 73 Central St., and a cemetery was behind it. When the church property was sold, the cemetery was moved to its present location on Lupine Road.

Marilyn Burns researched this area of Central St. in connection with the search for history of 85 Central St. Deed for 75 Central was given to a later owner of 75. Jim Sullivan, former president of Andover Historical Society, remembered that his grandfather's grave was moved from the Central St. location to Lupine Road.


See 1882 Bailey Birdseye View of Andover which shows the church.

Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence,
Andover Advertiser

John Abbot & George Swift - land
Oliver W. Vennard - April 9, 1880 - b. 59 p. 442
Oliver & Emily Vennard
Emily Vennard & Adah F. Hall - Probate heirs Sept. 1916
Adah F. Hall - Nov. 14, 1923 - b. 491 p. 558 deed correction
Colin H. & Marlys K. Kerr - June 15, 1951 - b. 751 p. 114
William C. & Lois McAdam - Oct. 13, 1953 - b. 782 p. 146
Eugene E. & Marcia B. Hand - June 20, 1960 - b. 917 p. 91
Robert A. & Marjorie S. Thompson - Nov. 27, 1973 - b. 1232 p. 172
Jack K. & Geralaine D. Kennedy - Aug. 5, 1975 - b. 1265 p. 369
Barry H. & Joan E. Bragan - Aug. 15, 1975 - b. 1265 p. 369
Joan E. Bragan - Nov. 1, 1975 - b. 1271 p. 399
Barry H. & Joan E. Bragan - Jan 27, 1989 - b. 2895 p. 26
Julie F. Hardin, Frances J. Sagendorf, Mary P. Finley - May 12, 1989 - b. 2931 p. 243
Michael & Diane Sullivan - July 8, 2003 - b. 7998 p. 144

Inventory Data:

StreetCentral St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictCentral Street NRH District
Historic NameOliver W. Vernard House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1882
Architectural StyleGreek Revival
Architect/BuilderWilliam Trulan
Foundationstone and brick
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresgood carriage house
Major Alterationsdoorway replaced
Acreage.820 acre; 36,100 sq. ft.; frontage 95'
Map and parcel74-89
MHC NumberANV.123
Recorded byStack & Mofford/Burns, J. S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, 02/28/2006, 3/2014