Fletcher Street was originally built with 14 homes, 10 were single family residences and 4 were double houses. With the construction of Route 495 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts took every property by eminent domain on Dec. 29, 1960. Four homes on the south side of Binney St. were also lost. By 1963 Fletcher Street no longer existed. Some homes were moved to new locations but the majority was demolished. One of the goals of the Andover Preservation Commission is to identify historic places and sites. We re-list Fletcher St. as it was once part of the Shawsheen Village development. We also honor the families that made their homes on Fletcher St. and their contribution to the community.
Shawsheen Village was named after the Native American name for the river Shawshin, which means Great Spring. Prior to Shawsheen Village this area was known as Frye Village. Most of the streets in the new Village were named for Castles & Cathedrals in Great Britain. Fletcher Street however is one of the exceptions. The origin of the name has not yet surfaced during research.
This home was built as part of the Shawsheen Village development from 1918-1924 by William M. Wood, President of the American Woolen Company. Wood hired about eight different architects to design the homes and structures for the village. Homes were leased through the Homestead Association with offices in the Post Office building in Shawsheen Square, later moved into the Administration Building.
Each home incorporated a different look, style and design modifications, most noticeable with the front door entrances. Decorative details on the corner boards and a variety of ornamental trellises, window boxes all added the “icing on the cake, of the original designs. Most of the homes now sport a variety of different colors, no longer all white with green shutters as dictated in the original deeds. Many of the original screen porches have been enclosed for an additional room. Wood also incorporated two family duplexes in every section of the new Village.
After the death of William M. Wood on Feb. 2, 1926 most of the residential and commercial buildings were then sold. Some were held by the Wood family in the "Arden Trust" and others with the American Woolen Company. The AWCo. Board of Directors authorized its President, Lionel J. Noah, to deliver all deeds, as deemed necessary to the Textile Realty Co. for sale on Dec. 29, 1931.
The Textile Realty then transferred ownership to the Andover Shawsheen Realty Company on June 30, 1932, holding the mortgage on the properties. T. Edwin Andrew, treasurer, was authorized to sell or lease the properties. With the Great Depression sales were sluggish and many homes were rented until the economy rebounded.
One of the first occupants of record to lease the home in 1926 were Napoleon & Hedwidge Levasseur. Napoleon was a operative at the American Woolen Co.
This house was sold to William M. & Helen E. Burnham on Feb. 6, 1935. The Burnham family were the only private family to own the home. William was a fireman with the Boston & Maine Railroad. The home was taken by Commonwealth of Massachusetts by eminent domain on Dec. 29, 1960. Helen E. b. 1917 and Helen G. Burnham b. 1897 are last listed in 1961 directory.
Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Maps, 1852, 1872, 1888, 1906, 1926
Andover Street Directories
Mills, Mergers and Mansions, by Edward Roddy 1982
See Map plan #876 – June 1932 – Textile Realty Co - Lot #12
Map #1050 – March 1937 – amended map #876 for narrowing street.
Plan 4205 - Comm. of Mass. lot 9-75
Plan 5056 - Comm. of Mass - Layout of order of taking
Sylvester P. Smith and William Leverett
Sylvester P. Smith - Oct. 14, 1854 - b. 451 leaf 293 - Salem deeds
Sylvester P. Smith estate, of Worcester, MA - died. Apr. 18, 1889
J. Walter Smith and Cleora L. Smith of Worcester, MA heirs
Howard E. Sumner - Aug. 9, 1901 - b. 187 p. 497
Cleora L. (Smith) Sumner, Trustee - 1901
Henry P. Binney, Trustee of AWCo. - July 30, 1909 - b. 277 p. 314
American Woolen Co. Dec. 30, 1920 - b. 435 p. 215 -(1st parcel)
Textile Realty Co. - Dec. 30, 1931 - b. 563 p. 344
Andover Shawsheen Realty Co. - June 30, 1932 - b. 565 p. 87
William M. & Helen Burnham - Feb. 6, 1935 - b. 586 p. 249
Commonwealth of Massachusetts - Dec. 29, 1960 - b. 929 p. 334
|Place||Shawsheen Village - Frye Village|
|Historic District||Not Applicable|
|Historic Name||William & Helen Burnham House|
|Present Use||Route 495 south bound lanes|
|Original Use||residence - AWCo. housing|
|Construction Date||1922 - 1923|
|Architect/Builder||American Woolen Company|
|Roof||slate - gable|
|Major Alterations||razed for construction of Route 495|
|Acreage||6400 sq. feet|
|Map and parcel||34-52|
|Recorded by||James S. Batchelder|
|Organization||Andover Preservation Commission|
|Date entered||October 14, 2015|