78 Maple Ave

Architectural Description: 

Firehouse construction, gable end to street, Greek Revival,

Historical Narrative: 

The two story wood framed barn at 78 Maple Avenue is a wonderful example of early adaptive reuse of a former municipal building.

This building was the first firehouse in Andover's South Parish and was first located the north side of Essex St. It was moved to 70 Main St. on the extreme southern boundary of the lot now part of the CVS building. The Shawshin Engine Company firehouse held the “Shawshin #1” pumper and two horses.

At the Town Meeting held in the South Parish on June 17, 1850 at the Depot Workshop of the Boston & Maine Railroad Co. three articles on the town warrant were voted on regarding the fire engine and new house. Article 2. was for appropriation of funds for the purchase of two good suction hose fire engines with the necessary hose, carriages and apparatus, also the erection and construction of suitable buildings to house the engines. Article 3. to choose a committee to purchase the engines and contract for the buildings. Article 4. To see what disposition the town will make of their old and outdated fire engines. Article 5. To see what other measures the town will adopt for securing the town against fire on petition of Jacob Chickering and others. $5000 was appropriated for construction of firehouses, new engines for both Parishes and land purchase. The small lot of land 24’ x 55.5’ was purchased by the town at 72 Main Street from Samuel & William Abbott for $119 in July 1850.

June 25, 1859 Andover Advertiser (AA) – "A Worthy Object" – We understand the Shawshin Engine Company are making an effort to erect a belfry and procure a bell for their engine house. As they will depend on the free-will subscriptions of our citizens for funds to accomplish this purpose, it is hoped their appeal may be generously responded to. The company is composed of very respectable persons; their duties are arduous; their position responsible.
They not infrequently injure their health by exposure and over exertion, and sometimes hazard life in the protection of the persons and property of others. Let their self-sacrificing efforts be met with that generosity which ever characterizes our appreciative community.

April 20, 1861 AA – "Demonstration in the Vicinity" -
On Thursday morning the Shawshin engine company threw their flag to the breeze, to denote their loyal sentiments, and interested persons commenced to procure volunteers for the military company which is being formed. The hands in the employ of the Whipple File Company, at Ballard Vale, also threw out a large flag from their shop, and others are preparing to follow their example.
A meeting of the citizens has been called at the Town Hall to-night, and it undoubtedly will be one of the most enthusiastic meetings ever witnessed here.

The Engine house was the first structure in town to raise an American flag at the beginning of the Civil War.

August 12, 1870 AA - The Shawshin engine house is being prepared for the new steam fire engine, by lengthening it ten feet, and raising it about a foot and a half.

October 21, 1870 AA - The New Steam fire engine “Andover” will arrive in town next week. It was built by the Union Machine Company at Fitchburg, is the third size, weighs 4000 lbs and cost with the apparatus about $5,500…… continues, lists names of the company, …. The Company have provided themselves with new uniforms, consisting of red shirts, black pants and belts. The town furnished fore hats for the company and for the engineers of the fire department…..talk of first parade in town…

The fire house remained at this location until 1883, when a new brick fire station was built behind the Town House on Park Street. The Town sold the land and building at auction in April 20, 1883. Nancy M. Tyler owner of #68 Main St. at that time purchased lot 24’x 64’ for $345.

The firehouse was sold to George S. Cole, of Hardy & Cole builders in Andover, for $270 who moved it to 78 Maple Ave. in May. Cole converted it into a barn and carpenters shop. Cole added a lento shed to the north facade for wood storage. It was removed in 1988. It has survived to this day as a garage on the property and was recently been restored 2010

Andover resident reminisces; - E. Kendall Jenkins
“Eben Tyler's house and shoe shop was next door, now Dr. Charles E. Abbott's home and office. Mrs. Tyler was a seamstress, at times acting as a shroud maker.
Then the Fire Engine House, a plain 2 story wooden building, with its little cupola and big bell which announced the fires with its fearful clang, housing the first town fire engine, the “Shawsheen #1.”

The former site of the firehouse is today (2013) the south end of CVS pharmacy at 68 Main Street.

The upper floor had a large hall for meetings of the fire company members. In August 1870 the building was extended 10’ to the rear for stalls for a team of horses. The structure was also raised 18” to accommodate a new steam engine,

The current building, with sheds removed from the north side in 2006 and wood clapboards renewed, reflects a restored facade and it is close to the original look. The second story door was added by Cole after he moved the building to his property. The bell cupola was also removed, perhaps at the time of the move. The interior still contains the remnants of the three horse stalls in the rear, scuttle holes, numbered fireman's coat hooks in a closet up stairs and the vaulted ceiling beams in the meeting room.


Samuel & William Abbott
Town of Andover - July 18, 1850 b. 442 lf. 188 Salem Deeds
Firehouse lot
Maj. Joseph Rice estate abuts on north side
Eben P. Tyler - April 29, 1868, born 1805 – died July 18, 1880
Nancy M. Tyler -July 1880
Nancy M. Tyler - July 18th 1883 b. 72 p. 522 Firehouse lot
Charles E. Abbott - May 4, 1886 b. 85 p. 554, Jan. 25, 1931
Charles E. Abbott Estate Oct. 18, 1932 b. 567 p. 20 Frances W. Abbott, wid.
Charles A. & Margaret D.Currier - Mar. 30, 1945 b. 672 p. 41
Rochdale Realty Corp. -Feb. 20, 1959 b. 888 p. 492
Andover CO-OP - Apr. 1, 1960 b. 912 p. 274 three lots #3 Abbott’s
Barcellos Brothers;- Aug. 25, 1975 b. 1266 p.14, five parcels
John A., Carlos N., & Jose R. Barcellos b. 1641 p. 33 deed, b. 3200 p. 254, b. 3212 p. 341
Carlos Barcellos - 1984, b. 1360 p. 601. Oct. 4, 1983 b. 1731 p. 311 deed

July 18, 1850 – Samuel Abbott & William Abbott to Town of Andover - b. 442 lf. 188 Salem Registry of Deeds
Additional Lots
Aug. 10, 1870 -Nancy Tyler to Town of Andover – b. 5 p. 272

Inventory Data:

StreetMaple Av
PlaceAndover Center District
Historic DistrictAndover Historic Building Survey
Historic NameShawshin Engine House
Present Usegarage/barn
Original UseFirehouse
Construction Date1850
Architectural StyleGreek Revival
Foundationstone and concrete
Outbuildings / Secondary StructuresThis garage is the former Shawshin Engine House
Major Alterationslean-to shed on north side added after structure was moved to this location removed in 1990's Exterior restored in 2011
Move Details1883
Map and parcel38-161
MHC NumberANV.371
Recorded by1988, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredupdated 12/2013, Nov. 2014