84 Poor Street

Architectural Description: 

Classic New England Cape Cod style home with center doorway and cornice molding; small 6/6 windows; steep roof; small center chimney; small rear ell

Historical Narrative: 

Themes: Architecture and Community Development

Oldest Shawsheen House - article written Feb. 1938 Andover Townsman

"Old landmarks are many in the story and a half white cottage situated on the hill on the corner of Poor Street facing Kenilworth Street, said to be the oldest house in Shawsheen, now standing. The house is estimated to be over two hundred years old. It is now occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Leslie R. Carmichael of 84 Poor St. It is owned by Mr.and Mrs. James Fraser of 86 Poor St. The house stood on what was known as the Old County road which ran where Poor Street intersects what is now Main Street and along by the old riding academy. There was no such street as North Main Street then.

The property is situated as it was originally except for a section of land cut off in the front. The house is typical of those built in New England at that time. The timber in the house was all hewn by hand and doweled together. All hand forged nails were used to hold the timbers together.

There was formerly a barn which stood next to the house where a shoe business was carried on. There were two or three men employed in the business. The barn had a flourishing trade among the Villagers supplying them with shoes. The barn was burned down fifteen years ago. Samuel Bean, a livery stable owner in Lawrence many years ago, formerly occupied the house.
The house was formerly painted brown; it is now white with green blinds. There were two huge brick ovens which were used for baking. These ovens were similar to those used by the Pilgrims in their homes. They were taken out by the present owner to make more room in the house. Otherwise the house is as it was many years ago, except for a small addition to the kitchen."

Jonas B. Hill and John Hardy 2nd held the property in 1868. They sold to Gilman D. Kingman & Henry A. Hill on Aug. 13, 1868. Henry Hill seems to have occupied the home for a period of time as his name appears on the local maps. Hill & Kingman may have been brothers-in-law as Gilman was married to Nancy Maria Hill. Census records in 1870 find Hill b. 1817 in Maine, a barber, living in Lynn, MA. Kingman b. 1820 lives in Reading, MA. His wife Nancy Bond Hill b. Jan Dec. 12, 1823 in Boston, was the daughter of Jonas Bond Hill and Hannah Brook Lernard. Jonas & Hannah were married in Andover on Jan. 1, 1823. Jonas b. Jan 23, 1800 died Dec. 29, 1888 in Andover and is interred at South Parish Cemetery. Hannah b. 1800 died in 1883.

James Fraser purchased the property from Hill & Kingman on Jan. 19, 1895. James Fraser was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1865, son of James & Isabella (Low) Fraser. [sometimes written as Fraizer]. James married on Dec. 24, 1890 to Elizabeth E. Gordon b. 1872 in Scotland, daughter of David & Jessie (Edwards) Gordon. It appears that Elizabeth immigrated to America before her parents and settled in Andover, working as an operative for Smith & Dove Manuf. Co. They would have two sons Norman G. and Gilbert b. 1908 - d. 1926.

The 1900 census lists James & Elizabeth at 86 Poor St. and her parents David & Jessie Gordon living at 84 Poor St. They immigrated in 1894 with children, William b. May 1878, Alexander b. May 1882 and Norman b. Dec. 1886. Daughter Jessie E. b. Feb. 1880 also arrived earlier in 1892. Occupations, David 58 is a farmer, William 22, Hackeler - Flax, Jessie E. 20 Spinner Flax, Alexander 18 Cander - Flax & Norman age 13 in school.

James Fraser was a machinist in the wool mills. His property extended along Poor Street in both directions from his home. He built a second home at 86 Poor and then sold a lot to his nephew Alexander Gordon at 80 - 82 Poor St. in Oct. 1908. The house was rented out through the years of Fraser ownership. James Fraser died on June 26, 1953 age 87y 8m 24d. His wife Elizabeth died on Mar. 28, 1957 age 85y. 24d. Both are interred at West Parish Cemetery in the Gordon - Fraser lot.

Joan Isobel (Fraser) Petrie purchased the property from her Uncle and Aunt on Feb. 1, 1952. With the death of Elizabeth Fraser, there was a dispute over property ownership which went to Land Court to settle the estate. Both Joan I. Petrie and Norman Fraser had to quit claim certain properties.

Joan Isobel Petrie, wife of David R. Petrie, was deeded 84 Poor St in Feb. 25, 1960. Joan then sold the home to Robert D. & Phyllis Henderson on Mar. 9, 1960. Joan & David Petrie lived at 86 Poor Street.

Bibliography/References: 

Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence
Andover Historical Society vertical files
Andover Building Survey 1974-75
Andover Townsman
See land Court Plan #28979-A Feb. 1959

Owners;
Jonas B. Hill & John Hardy 2nd - 1868
Gilman D. Kingman & Henry A. Hill - Aug. 13, 1868 - b. 754 leaf 130 Salem Deeds
James Fraser, wife Elizabeth - Jan. 19, 1895 - b. 137 p. 494
Joan Isobel Petrie - Feb. 1, 1952 - b. 760 p. 135
Joan Isobel Petrie, hus. David R. - Feb. 25, 1960 - Cert. #4905 b. 33 p. 221 land court
Robert D. & Phyllis Henderson - Mar. 9, 1960 - Cert. #4913 b. 33 p. 253
Wilham H. Jr. & Ruth E. Cunliffe - Sept. 29, 1960 - Cert. #4994 b. 33 p. 577
Richard L. & Carol Swift - July 27, 1965 - Cert. #5732 b. 38 p. 529
Richard J. & Susan M Raymond - July 21, 1972 - Cert. #6853 b. 46 p. 217
John L. & Jennie L. Carew - Aug. 31, 1973 - Cert. #7038 b. 47 p. 357
Peter L. & Mary Elise DiBenedetto - June 28, 1979 - Cert. # 8259 Doc. 28999
Brewster C. & Priscilla C/ Seewald - Nov. 16, 1981 - Cert. #8888 b. 59 p. 557
Scott R. Fowler & Clare Rooney - Dec. 23, 1991 - Cert. #11259 b. 83 p. 241
William Sheridan - Oct. 25, 1993 - Cert. # 11771 b. 88 p. 289
Loriann Sheridan - Apr. 11, 1997 - Cert. #12605 Doc. #64949-1

Inventory Data:

StreetPoor St
PlaceShawsheen Village - Frye Village
Historic DistrictShawsheen Village NRH District
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1730-1780
SourceERDS, ENRDL
Architectural StyleOther
Foundationstone & granite
Wall/Trimclapboard/wood
Roofasphalt - gable
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuressmall barn and shop to rear east - burned abt. 1915
Major Alterationsell 20th century
Conditiongood
Acreage0.344 acre; 60' frontage, 20' from street. Lot size Map 51, parcel 2
Settingresidential
Map and parcel51-2
MHC NumberANV.636
Recorded byW. Frontiero, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered2/25/80, 4/2104, 6/3/2015

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