81 Central Street

Architectural Description: 

Late Greek/Picturesque

Interesting window arrangement in gable. Example of unique combination of features and styles along Central St. Trapezoidal windows, unique window treatment upstairs mark it as early Victorian.

Historical Narrative: 

Original owner: Solomon H. Higgins
Themes: architectural, moved buildings,

Nov. 14, 1873 Andover Advertiser – "B. Frank Smith has purchased of the Higgins heir, the small cottage and an acre of land on Central St. opposite the house of Charles W. Higgins. Mr. Smith will probably erect an elegant residence upon the premises."

This house formerly stood at 65 Central St. and was moved to this location when Benjamin Franklin Smith built his elegant Victorian home on the property.

Benjamin F. Smith purchased land at 65 Central St. from the Solomon H. Higgins estate on Nov. 11, 1873. Tradition says he moved a house from 65 Central St. to 81 Central St. before he built a new house at 65. On March 18, 1874, Benjamin Smith purchased the land for 81 Central St. from John Abbot (later, two more parcels were added to this property when Charles S. Buchan owned it. One a 60' x 200" strip of land from Oliver Vennard next door at 75 Central in in 1912) B. Frank Smith, as his was known by, sold the property to William B. & Jennie E. Chubb of Boston on Feb. 7, 1889 recorded on Dec. 8, 1890. A confirmatory deed was recorded on April 1, 1893 as the original deed had been "mislaid" Ella P. Smith, wife B. Frank purchased the property back from Chubb and placed into a Trust for their son Peter Smith, born Oct. 29, 1875, "until he is 21 years old, (Oct. 29, 1896) when the estate described shall belong to him. The property deed is dated Jan 3, 1891. Peter had moved to Schenectady, NY by the time he sold the cottage to George W. Buchan on May 15, 1902. Peter Smith died April 7, 1938 and is interred in the Smith family lot at West Parish Cemetery.

The Buchan family were long time owners of the property. George W. Buchan was born in 1862 in Andover, son of George & Elizabeth (Lawson) Buchan. His father was a Civil War Vereran who fought with the Co. K. 6th Reg MA Vols. George W. was married to Gertrude L. b. 1875 d. June 6, 1956. George died on Sept. 14, 1922 at the age of 60.
Charles S. Buchan and wife Carrie (Stevens) held the property - Charles S. died Nov. 7, 1936. The property was assigned to Max Nicholson on March 5, 1936 (in trust?) until sold to Charles S. and Reta V. Buchan on June 29, 1951.

The Buchan family sold the property to Alan & Rowan H. McClaren in June 1987 and four years later sold to Ann E. Constantine on March 13, 1991. Ann has spent many years restoring the house. She add a large family room to the rear of the house blending the addition with the existing cottage. As a bit of history she salvaged a large arched window from the Free Chucrh during the addition to the church and incorporated it into the family room design. Ann served on the Preservation Commission for several years and is also a member of the Town's design review board..

Peter Smith taxed for #81 and #65 Central, both in 1900.
Carrie S. Buchan, from M. Nicholson in May, 1935.
"Owner: Reta V. Buchan (6-25-42)


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Real Estate Valuation - Town of Andover
Andover Historical Society files
Andover Townsman, Sept. 9, 1976
Registry of Deeds, Lawrence, Mass. - Book 25, pp. 6-8;

Owners; John Abbot - 1874 land
Benjamin Franklin Smith - Mar. 18, 1874 - b. 27 p. 40 land
William B. & Janice E. Chubb - Feb. 7, 1899 - b. 109 p. 551 land & Bldgs
William B. & Janice E. Chubb - Apr. 1, 1893 - b. 124 p. 141 confirmation deed
Ella S, Smith trustee Trust for Peter Smith -
Peter Smith - Jan. 3, 1891 - b. 110 p. 131
George W. Buchan - May 15, 1902 - b. 195 p. 389
Max Nicholson - Mar. 5, 1936 - b. 598 p. 35 by assignment
Charles S. & Reta Buchan - June 29, 1951 - 752 p. 384
Reta Buchan widow
Reta Buchan & Barbara V. Zeilenger - Mar. 28, 1986 - b. 2170 p. 323
Alan & Rowan H. MaClaren - June 12, 1987 - b. 2525 p. 80
March 13, 1991 - b. 3228 p. 37 confirmatory deed
Ann E. Constantine - Mar. 13, 1991 - b. 3228 p. 41

Inventory Data:

StreetCentral St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1850's
Architectural StyleGothic Revival
Major Alterations2006 family room addition
Move Details1874
Acreage.557 Acre, 25,130 sq. ft.; approx. frontage 70'
Map and parcel74-87
MHC NumberANV.124
Recorded byStock & Mofford/Burns, James Batchleder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, 4/2014