#4 in 1998 Spanish Colonial-Mission; beautiful leaded glass bay.
Themes: Agricultural , community development.
Carriage house of Joyce Castle , converted to residence.
The history of the Joyce castle begins in May 1895 when two men, Maurice J. Curran and John Joyce of Lawrence purchased the 49 acre estate called “The Croft” at 250 North Main Street owned by George W. W. Dove. Dove, the son of John Dove of the Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co. built his mansion next to his boyhood home at 278 North Main, now the Wood estate “Arden”.
Curran and Joyce were co-partners in the firm “Curran & Joyce” established in 1877 as bottlers and manufactures of soda water and ginger ale. They later expanded the business to include imports and wholesale dealers of liquor and were bottling agents for several brewing companies in the northeast. The two gentlemen were also brothers-in law as they had married sisters Abigail and Mary J. Morrison. The two families moved into the “Croft” in 1895 and shared the estate for nearly eighteen years. Maurice and Abigail Curran had four children; Mary, J. Frederick, Margaret and Maurice Curran Jr. John and Mary Joyce also had four children, two sons, James E, and John W., both who died young and daughters, Genevieve and Mary Elizabeth.
John Joyce was born in Ireland in 1848, immigrated with his parents at age 14 and settled in Lawrence. He once worked in the Washington Mills, later learned the hatter’s trade before becoming a partner with Curran. John’s business acumen made him one of the foremost financiers and capitalists in the country in the early 20th century. He founded the Shawinigan Water and Power Company in Quebec, Canada. He invested money in King Gillette’s new safety razor and later became vice president of Gillette Safety Razor Co. Joyce financed many of the suburban gas companies around the Boston area, and held directorships in such companies as Massachusetts Insurance and Bonding Company and National Shawmut Bank. He also was once President and Vice President of the Harvard Brewing Company of Lowell, MA.
A millionaire in his own right, John Joyce had once stated, when a small boy, that if he were ever rich enough he would build a castle like the one near his boyhood town in Ireland. In 1912 the “Croft” estate property was divided and John took the 12.26 acres of land, south of the house, to build his dream castle “Ledgecroft”. Architect Lewis F. Dey of Philadelphia created the design. The house was built of Deer Island granite with copper cornices. The roof was of a green Spanish tile. Lavishly decorated, the twenty two room mansion had five bathrooms, (a sale announcement gives 16 rooms & four baths), several large fireplaces, oak paneling and an open curved main staircase painted white. Several lighting fixtures were solid silver and a stained glass window adorned the dining room. A wrap around porch and turret on the south corner afforded sweeping views the meadows below (now Washington Park) and the Shawsheen River beyond. A large porte cochere at the front entry protected visitors from the elements and also held a large open deck on the second floor. Behind the house was a large granite retaining wall built up against the embankment. A stairway of 36 granite steps cut through the middle of the wall to lead a hearty climber to the “Outlook”, small gazebo structure at the crest of the hill. The landscaping included a tennis court to the north side of the house to be shared by both the Joyce and Curran families. It has been estimated that the cost was approximately a quarter of a million dollars to build.
The six car garage built of stucco with green tile roof had a turntable for positioning the vehicles into the stalls. The existing brick Marland house at 232 North Main called the “Lodge”was included in the property and served as a gatehouse for the estate and the coachman's residence. The Joyce’s moved in during the spring of 1913. John’s dream was finally realized but short lived as he died at his Beverly Hills, CA home on January 26, 1917. His wife Mary died two and half years later on June 28, 1919. Both were buried a Belview Cemetery in Lawrence, MA.
“Ledgecroft” was inherited by the two Joyce daughter’s Mrs. Genevieve Johnson of Pasadena, CA and Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Shonnard of Oyster Bay, NY. The daughters sold the mansion for $75,000 in December 1921 to the Arthur H. Earle Family of Lexington, MA. Edward T. Harrington Company of Boston, made the sale. Earl then sold to Vina M. and Edward M. Rickard of Haverhill in July of 1922.
Edward owned the Rickard Shoe Company in Haverhill and Lynn, MA. He served as President of the Haverhill Shoe Manufacturers Association, VP of the National Boot & Shoe Manufactures Assoc and became president of the Andover Country Club. The family were all avid golfers. He also belonged to the Boston Athletic Association, Nashua Country Club, Pentucket Club and the Friars Club in NY. The Rickard’s had eight children, five sons; Joacin, Henry C., J. Theodore, Edward M. Jr., and Charles and three daughters; Edwina, Annette, Geraldine. All their children attended prestigious colleges. Edward’s oldest son Jochim had the honor of being a passenger and reporter on board the Graf Zeppelin’s first flight around the world in August 1929. The Rickard family business took a substantial financial hit during the stock market crash. The depression that followed ruined many of the shoe manufacturers in New England. By 1936 the family could no longer meet the financial obligation to the bank and the property was sold at public auction in June 1936.
“Ledgecroft” was purchased by Theodore & Kathleen Hoffacker. Theodore was a banker and President of the Harvard Brewing Company in Lowell, which had resumed operations after the repeal of prohibition. His wife was English and the couple had two young girls, Gertrude and Patsy. Mr. Hoffacker had two children from a previous marriage who lived in New York.
he Harvard Brewing Co. was however headed for bankruptcy in 1937 and came under new ownership. Taxes on the estate and mortgage debt forced the sale of the estate in November of 1940. The Hoffacker family relocated to Dallas, Texas. On July 1, 1941 the Boston Federal Savings and Loan Co. sold to Noyes Whittier Corp. developers. The Castle Heights housing project contained 30 house lots. Demolition of Ledgecroft began immediately and continued for nearly two months. Razed block by block, much of the interior woodwork, fireplaces and roof tiles were salvaged and resold.
All that remains of the former Joyce estate is the former garage which was converted into a home. Some of the interior elements of the castle were installed in the house including the large stain glass bay window said to have come from the second floor alcove above the porte cochere. Deer Island granite blocks can be seen incorporated into garden walls and driveway boarders of the home that were developed in the next ten years.
Sylvia K. Goldman of Methuen, wife of Paul R. Goldman purchased the lot with the former carriage house. Goldman held the property until foreclosure forced the sale in 1997.
Peter D. & Donna J. Hadley then purchased the property in Jan. 1997 from Pier Properties, Inc. The Hadley's spent the next 12 years restoring the house and upgrading the interior space. They sold to Karen Freedman in 2009.
Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
John Dove - Aug. 19, 1845 - b. 359 lf. 7 12 acres Salem deeds
George W.W. Dove & heirs - May 1, 1880 - b. 60 p. 402 Lawrence deeds.
Isabella Dove & Helen C. Dove - May 1, 1880 - b. 60 p. 402
Susan C. Dove & Geo. W. W. - July 7, 1891 - b. 113 p. 412
Ellen Ayer Wood - July 7, 1891 - b. 113 p. 412 - Arden Estate - portion of the John Dove Estate.
John Dove - Aug. 19, 1845 - b. 359 leaf 7
George W.W. Dove – 1865 – land for house “The Croft”
Susan C. & George W.W. Dove - June 22, 1892 - b. 120 p. 191-92 mgt.
Maurice J. Curren & John Joyce - May 31, 1895 - b. 140 p. 533-535 Croft Estate
Arthur P. McCormick, attorney transfer of property
Maurice J. Curran - Jan. 14, 1914 - b. 338 p. 125 divides property Croft
Arthur P. McCormick
"Ledgecroft" Joyce Estate
John Joyce & Mary J. Joyce - Feb. 1, 1914 - b. 338 p 127 & b. 338 p. 130
John Joyce Estate, Trustees,Maurice J. Curran, Henry F. Hurlburt Jr.
Genevieve J. (Fahey) Johnson, Beverly Hills, CA & Mary Elizabeth J. Shonnard of Oster Bay, NY heirs, - Aug. 5, 1919 - b. 420 p.490
Arthur H. Earle of Lexington, MA - Dec. 9, 1921 - b. 451 p.410
Essie J, Earle - Jul. 21,1922 - b. 463 p. 461
Vina M. Rickard - Jul. 21,1922 - b. 464 p. 78
Vina M. Rickard & Edward Rickard - Aug. 7, 1924 Maurice J. Curran , right of way
b. 502 p. 297
Town of Andover Dec. 27, 1934 - b. 584 p.93 - Col. deed
Mortgage Exchange Trust Co. Feb. 13, 1936 mortgage sale - foreclosure - b. 596 p. 184 & 185 Vina M. Rickard & Edward Rickard
Public Auction 4PM on property - Jan. 28, 1936
Mortgage Exchange Trust Co. - Jun. 5, 1936
Henry W. Keyes Jr. - Jun. 5, 1936 b. 598 p. 412 - lot A
Theodore Hoffacker - Jun. 7, 1936 - -b. 599 p. 104 - Castle house & land lot. A
and b. 599 p. 105 lot B - Brick Gate house
Theodore & Kathleen J. Hoffacker - June 5, 1936 - b.618 p. 336 - lot. A - Castle
Hoffacker, Theodore & Kathleen - Nov. 8, 1940 -Bank Exchange Mort. Co. forclosure $4000. unpaid mort. - b. 636 p.390
Exchange Mort. Loan Co.
Reconstruction Finance Corp. Nov. 8, 1940 b. 636 p. 394-98
Exchange Trust. Co. -
John & Cathleen M. Cahill (Law.) - Apr. 11, 1941 - b. 636 p. 129 - Mgt. poss.
Boston Federal Savings & Loan - Dec. 2, 1940 - b. 636 p.130 Lot A. Mtg. sale
Noyes Whittier Corp. - July 1, 1941 - b. 642 p. 501 - 11.41 acres
Sylvia K. Goldberg - July 22, 1941 - b. 643 p. 45
Sylvia K. Goldberg - Sept. 26, 1941 - b. 645 p. 349 quit claim
Noyes - Whittier Corp. - Sept. 26, 1941 - b. 645 p. 349
Sylvia K. Goldberg - Sept. 26, 1941 - b. 645 p. 350 deed revised
Guaranty - First Trust LLC - June 6, 1986 - b. 2223 p. 152 foreclosure
Atlantic National Trust, LLC - Feb. 26, 1997 - b. 4699 p. 92
Pier Properties Inc. - Jan. 28, 1997 - b. 4698 p. 93
Peter M. & Donna J. Hadley - Jan. 28, 1997 - b. 4698 p. 93
Karen Freedman - August 20, 2009 - b. 11738 p. 344
|Place||Shawsheen Village - Frye Village|
|Historic District||Not Applicable|
|Historic Name||Ledgecroft - John Joyce Castle carriage house|
|Original Use||carraige barn and stable|
|Architect/Builder||Lewis F. Dey of Philadelphia|
|Foundation||stone & granite|
|Major Alterations||1941 Conversion into residence|
|Acreage||32,182 sq. ft. Approximate frontage 115'.|
|Map and parcel||37-41|
|Recorded by||Stack/Mofford, James Batchelder|
|Organization||Andover Preservation Commission|
|Date entered||1975-77 02/11/2006, 4/2014|