8 Douglass LN

Architectural Description: 

Classic saltbox colonial structure, now hidden by added additions over years of ownership

Historical Narrative: 

original owner; Samuel Jenkins
Themes: agricultural, architectural, community development, political, religion, science, social/ humanitarian.

Important historical and geological site.
Part of original 400-acre grant from King to Osgood family. Came to Jenkins family about 1758, second house occupied by him on site. Son Benjamin Jenkins inherited and bequeathed to his son William, acquired with sawmill on Skug River. A blue-soapstone quarry also on the farm, source of many tombstones in area cut from here. The soapstone mantels in the Jenkins house were from quarry on land. In 1834, William Jenkins contracted with Addison Flint and Michael Flannelly of Reading to quarry stone, stone quarried for Boston buildings, for Cambridge's Mt. Auburn Cemetery. Business booming until company treasurer absconded with funds.

William Jenkins and wife, Mary Saltmarsh Farnham of North Andover, were abolitionists and house was station on "underground railway". Famous visitors included; Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglas, William Lloyd Garrison, and the Hutchinson family who sang abolitionist songs around the country. Large rock on property, hollowed underneath, hid fugitive slaves on their way to Canada.

William Jenkins elected to Mass. House of Representatives,1854. A family farm cemetery of Woodbridge & Jenkins family is on site. Jenkins were buried here then later removed to Spring Grove Cemetery in 1884. Boulder marking Wm. Jenkin's grave at Spring Grove reads, "William Jenkins, 1796-1878 - He lived to see the fulfillment of his great desire, the abolition of slavery in America." His stone is from the farm and is made of soapstone.

Elizabeth "Belle" (Jenkins) Butterfield, William Jenkins daughter, inherited the property from her father. Belle was born June 20, 1838 in Andover, and married on June 20, 1863 to James P. Butterfield b. Oct. 18, 1828 in Tyngsborough, MA, son of James & Rachel Butterfield. They were married by Rev. Calvin E. Stowe, of the Andover Theological Seminary. (husband of Harriet Beecher Stowe). Belle & James had five children; Blanche b. 1866-d.1869, Kirk b. 1868-d. 1869, Belle Joy b. 1869, Polly Farnham b. 1875 and William J. b. 1878. James died on Sept. 30, 1900. Belle sold the farm to John Frank Morse on May 10, 1904 and moved to 20 School St. with her daughter Belle. Elizabeth had owned the School st. property since 1891 and ran a boarding house for boys at Phillips Academy.

Frank Morse owned three years then selling to Paul Hill of Lowell, MA on April 30, 1904. Paul was born in March 1875 in Lowell, MA, youngest of four sons of Nathaniel & Sarah Frances (Nealey) Hill. His mother died on May 13, 1899 and Paul, his father Nathaniel moved to Worcester and were living with his brother Ralph. After Paul purchased the Jenkins farm his father Nathaniel b. 1841, a Civil Engineer, and his aunt Lucy A. b. 1832 lived with him. Paul was a bachelor, and owned the farm for 43 years. Paul sold off parcels of the farm in 1947. The southern portion of 38 acres along Jenkins Road to Harold Parker Rd. was sold to the Hill Parker Company. Heldge Anderson and Edward & James Dean were co-partners in the company. (Anderson, a contractor from No. Reading owned briefly- interested in Indian artifacts).

In August 1947 the 38 acre homestead parcel was sold to two families, Dennis & Anne E. Pettigrew and A. Reginald & Belinda Mortimer. Anne Pettigrew and Belinda Mortimer were sisters. Each family shared one undivided half of the property. They established large mink farm on the property.

The Mortimer Family Trust was created in April 1991 and with Anne Pettigrew the farm was sold in 1996. Stowe Development Inc., with Robert J. Peterson Pres., and Daniel A. Hayes Jr. Treas. took ownership on Aug. 8, 1996. The Mortimer St. and Douglass Lane development was then planned out which included saving the old Jenkins house and restoration of the family cemetery on the site. Mortimer Development Corp. Robert J. Peterson, pres. then took over the property development on Oct. 4, 1999. The Jenkins house was divided off to become 8 Douglass Lane. The house was not moved off its original foundation. A small town easement and right of way was created for town access to the cemetery and the Skug River AVIS Reservation.
Deirdre M. Brennan purchased the Jenkins house on Mar. 10, 2000. It was placed jointly into her and Keith M. Fields in Feb. 2004 and then sold the following year to George D. & Jennifer R. Michaels on Dec. 2, 2005. Both families did restoration work on the old house. The Michaels family removed the wood shingles for wood clapboard which was original to the house.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Historical Society files
Noyes, Kay; "Jenkins House Station for Escaping Slaves; Famed Abolitionists met there" --Andover Townsman, 1956
Goldsmith, Bessie; "William Jenkins House" - Fair and Warmer, April, 1928
Fuess, Claude; Andover; Symbol of New England, 1959, p. 313 ff.
Goldsmith ,Bessie; Historical Houses of Andover1946, a chapter in Andover Townsman P. 20-21
Siebert, Wilbur; Underground Railway in Mass.: Worcester, 1936, P. 29-31
See plans; # 1781 Aug. 1947, Plan #13137 – Jan. 13, 1997

400-acre grant from King to Osgood family
Woodbridge Family
Benjamin Jenkins Family abt. 1758
William Jenkins, heir, b. 1796 - d. 1878
William Jenkins – Aug. 28, 1827 – b. 246 leaf 76 – Salem, deed
Elizabeth “Belle” (Jenkins) Butterfield – heir - 1878
John Frank Morse – May 10, 1904 – b. 212 p. 519
Paul Hill – Apr. 30, 1907 – b. 245 p. 433
Hill Parker Company; Heldge Anderson, Ed & James Dean – Apr. 24, 1947 – b. 696 p. 596
A. Reginald & Belinda Mortimer, Dennis & Ann E. Pettigrew – Aug. 26, 1947 – b. 701 p. 280
Elizabeth A. McIntyre – June 5, 1989 – b. 2933 p. 32-36
A. Reginald & Belinda Mortimer, Dennis & Ann E. Pettigrew - June 5, 1989 – b. 2933 p. 34-36
Mortimer Realty Trust, Joan E. Raza, Trustee, - Apr. 23, 1991 – b. 3333 p. 123
Anne E. Pettigrew –
Stowe Development Inc., Robert J. Peterson, pres., Daniel A. Hayes, Jr. treas. Aug. 16, 1996 – b. 4625 p. 56-59
Mortimer Development Corp. Robert J. Peterson, pres. - Oct. 4, 1999 – b. 5599 p. 191
Deirdre M. Brennan – Mar. 10, 2000 – b. 5700 p. 200
Deirdre M. Brennan & Keith M. Fields, - Feb. 11, 2004 – b. 8608 p. 93
George D. & Jennifer R. Michaels – Dec. 2, 2005 – b. 9921 p. 179

Inventory Data:

StreetDouglass LN
PlaceHolt District - Old Cape District
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameJenkins, William House
Present Useresidence
Original Usefarmhouse / residence, soapstone quarry; sawmill
Construction Date1765
SourceBessie Goldsmith
Architectural StyleGeorgian
Foundationstone & granite
Major Alterationsmodernized; facade altered by adding new window openings. Renovated in 2000, Number changed to 8 Douglass Lane from 89 Jenkins Rd. with housing development.
Acreage0.99242 arce
Map and parcel31-1R
MHC NumberANV.277
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, 02/04/2006, Sept. 13, 2014