9 - 11 Main Street

Historical Narrative: 

9-11 Main Street – The Newman - Brown Building
Built circa 1830, reconstructed 1884.

This building along with the two connecting store buildings to the south (13-15 & 17 Main St.) are the oldest business buildings in the downtown center district. The land was originally owned by David Holt who owned and built a brick business block next door on the corner in 1814. Deacon Mark Newman purchased the lot on November 19, 1829 for $250.50 from Hobart Clark guardian of David Holt’s estate.

Mark Newman probably built the store in the spring of 1830 and continued his book and periodical business here. Newman was born in Ipswich in 1772 attended Phillips Exeter Academy, graduated from Dartmouth College and became an assistant teacher at Andover Academy in 1793 then acting principal in 1794. He was elected to headmaster from 1795-1810. He was also voted a Trustee and held the position until 1836. Mark Newman originally opened a store on the “Hill” near the triangle lot on South Main Street near the Case Memorial Cage. Newman’s “Hill Store” business was continued on by Deacon Abbott. Mark Newman established his printing house business at his former shop. He sold the printing house and moved his book and stationary shop to this new location. Some early deeds and business references state “Newman’s building” but it later became know locally as the “John J. Brown” building. Newman died June 15, 1859 and his wife Margaret Newman inherited the estate by Will of Mark Newman.

The building has gone through several changes to its lower facade as the styles and trends changed. The early 19th century building originally had a hip roof, common on many Federal buildings of the period and contained two storefronts at street level. In 1843 John J. Brown established his apothecary store here. He began his trade in 1837.
On Feb. 19, 1853 in the Andover Advertiser’s (AA) first publication, John J. Brown advertises, Drugs, medicines, chemicals, perfumery, etc. and Mark Newman has his Book & Stationary over John J. Brown’s Jewelry Store. The research has revealed that Mr. Brown’s store was probably one of the most popular businesses in Andover during the second half of the 19th century and was well patronized by the residents. Several different merchants occupied the building along with Brown’s Apothecary and Jewelry store.

Andover Advertiser news items.
Feb. 19, 1853 AA - M. Sands – Cheap books & Fancy Goods Store- Stationary, Drawing materials, Second hand books. #3 Main Street.
April 9, 1853 AA - M. Sands Cheep Book and Fancy Goods Store No. 3 Main Street, two doors south of the Post Office.
Nov. 4, 1853 – M. Sands – removal to the premises of the late J. A. Griffin – on Main Street. [Pray House]
May 10, 1854 - Mark Newman arrived at his 82 year, is settling his accounts. Selling off pamphlets and books.
May 27, 1854 - Henry Anderson – Hairdressing Salon open at J. J. Brown’s store.
Dec. 22, 1855 – John J. Browns ad for Christmas & New Year. – gifts – gold, silver, watches, spoons etc.
May 24, 1856 - Drs. Wm. D. & G. A. W. Vinall – dentists – Newman’s building, Andover, MA.
Feb. 13, 1858 – pg.3 - John J. Brown’s apothecary – established in 1837
John J. Brown – Watches, Jewelry – game boards, table mats & toys
D. W. Abbott – Andover & Boston Express – offices at J. J. Brown, & W. F. Draper
Jan. 8, 1859 – Removal – Dr. G. A. W. Vinall has removed his office and residence to the house recently occupied by Mrs. Carter, on Main St. first south of Green Street. (Jan 1, 1858)
Jan. 22, 1859 – To Let – An eligible and commodious room over J. J. Brown’s store on Main Street. It is a good location for a Millinery, Mantua Maker, or on office. Mark Newman – Andover, Jan. 15, 1859
Nov. 12, 1859 – Dress making – Miss M. G. Fellows – may be found at rooms over J. J. Brown’s store on Main Street, where she will attend to Ladies Dress Making.

January 12, 1861 AA - Mr. J. J. Brown has recently made gratifying alterations to his store. The partition separating his apothecary and confectionery departments has been removed, making the place far more commodious besides convenient and pleasant, and the new painting and graining, and the systematic and tasteful arrangement of things, combine to give the place an almost entirely new appearance. Our readers will now find at Mr. Brown’s in addition to a choice and varied stock in each of his three branches of business, reasonable prices, and honorable dealing, the desideratum of an attractive and inviting store.

John E. Whiting jewelry & clocks established his business here on September 16, 1861 sharing space with Brown. On November 22, 1867 AA- Whiting has become associated with J. J. Brown in his watch & jewelry branch of his business. The Jan. 17, 1868 paper reports that Whiting is the successor to J. J. Brown. In late October Whiting moved across the street into shared space with Geo. H. Parker’s drug store in the Derby building at #2 Main Street.
April 26, 1872 AA - John J. Brown has raised his store on Main Street several feet, and is to put on a new and handsome front. The interior is to be remodeled and furnished with new counters, show cases and other fixtures.

Above Brown’s store in 1872 was the hairdresser shop of William H. Smith. In March 1872 Smith bought the stock and leased the Saloon of George E. Pike on Main Street. An advertisement states he will continue to do hair dressing in the old stand over Brown’s store. He has taken the rooms formerly occupied by Geo. Pike, where, he intends to keep a first class Saloon. Confectionary of all kinds, Fruit, Ice Cream, Oysters, etc. continually on hand. The patronage of ladies and gentlemen is respectfully solicited.

On March 14, 1873 AA - William H. Smith has returned to his old stand over J. J. Brown’s.
Dec. 19, 1873 AA – John J. Brown has been in business in Andover continuously for thirty six years, has just refitted his store, enlarging its capacity and giving additional space for his varied business. His holiday trade advertisement lists – Solid Coin Sliver – Sugar, salt & mustard spoons, fancy silver thimbles, napkin rings, fruit & butter knives, forks, gold earrings, pins, finger rings, studs & sleeve buttons, lockets, charms – Neck chains, clove buttons, handkerchief holders, and a large assortment of Christmas presents.
April 10, 1874 AA - J. J. Brown receives the true time from the Cambridge clock, twice a day by telegraph.
July 24 1874 AA – John J. Brown & Geo. H. Parker have been approved by the Selectmen for the United States license to sell liquors for medicinal, mechanical and chemical purposes.
Sept. 18, 1874 AA – Mr. Childs has taken the window in the drug store of J. J. Brown. One who knows says he is well qualified to do any work on watches, clocks and jewelry, and if encouraged will stay here. Give him a call.

On Sunday Feb. 17, 1884 a fire in the adjoining building to the north destroyed the top half of the building.
Andover Advertiser Fri. Feb. 22, 1884 excerpt - The fire originated in the confectionery store and picture frame manufactory of Harry S. Tilton. … The building was of two stories the upper being unoccupied and so quickly did the flames spread, that the fire department of the town was not upon the scene in half an hour, before the fire had eaten its way into the building of J. J. Brown on the south and the brick building on the north…. Brown's building was wood; he occupied the lower story as an apothecary store, G. W. Herrick having a portion of the same, devoted to Clock and watch making. Here also was the telegraph office and in McLawlin & Baker's was the telephone office. Communication by either service was destroyed until about 5 o'clock Sunday afternoon when Mr. A. Bliss, the telegraph operator, succeeded in getting his instruments into position.... J. J. Brown had an insurance of $2000 on the building, in the Merrimack, and $3000 on stock, in the Aetna; his damage is estimated at $5500. ….George W. Foster, Esq. who occupied an office with his father, Hon. Geo. Foster, in the Brown building, lost a valuable law library, estimated as worth $600, on which there was no insurance. Hon. Mr. Foster's papers were in a safe and were preserved unharmed. ….G.W Herrick, watchmaker, also had his valuables in a safe, and his loss to stock and fixtures will not exceed $100.
February 29, 1884 AA pg. 2 col. 9 - In addition to the losses by the late fire $400 worth of sheet music, belonging to the band and orchestra. It was kept in the J. J. Brown's store, and there was no insurance.
March 14, 1884 AA pg. 2 col. 9 John J. Brown is repairing and enlarging his wooden business block on Main St. which was so badly burned by the late fire. Hardy and Cole do the carpentry work.
May 23, 1884 AA pg. 3. John J. Brown & Co. are fitted up in fine shape at their new drug store, on Main Street, The fixtures are new and the medicines fresh. The firm consists of John J. Brown and Arthur Bliss, both of whom are well known in this community. Bliss is the telegraph operator.

The reconstruction of the building included the new gable roof of today. The ornate woodwork on the store fronts and bracketed wood awning roof above the large front windows were all constructed in 1872 and survived the fire. The building contained two storefronts on the main level and the additional rooms above until about 1940 when the restaurant took over both stores. The facade also went through several style changes. The wooden awning was removed in the early 1900’s and then the ornate wood trim removed when store windows were enlarged. Glass enameled panels were in place when the Andover Lunch operated their restaurant, then aluminum windows and trim above for signage banding. The current look has been in place since the mid 1990s.

Additional news items;
On June 19, 1885 AA pg. 2 - J. J. Brown & Co. draw an excellent cream coffee from their soda fountain. John Brown continued his drug store business for more than four decades. Brown died in 1885 and Arthur Bliss took over the business that September. Sept. 25, 1885 AA pg. 3, col. 1 The card of Arthur Bliss, successor to J. J. Brown & Co., will be found elsewhere. [Druggist & pharmacist] Bliss was also a town selectman for several years.

Feb. 27, 1885 AA Pg. 3 col. 3 Advertisement - J. Abbott – Main Street Pictures framed to order. Curtains, Tassels, Fixtures, Cords, S C. Looking glasses and Confectionary. Next door to J. J. Brown & Co. Andover

May 27, 1892 AT - Another of our business places changed hands today. G. C. Lyle having sold out his restaurant and variety store to our well known music teacher Thomas E. Rhodes. Mr. Lyle will probably go to Worcester where he will have a store of somewhat the same kind. Mr. Rhodes is favorably known to our people and well deserves the continuance of the large patronage which the store has had.

June 17, 1892 AT - Geo, C. Lyle, who recently sold out to T. E. Rhodes, has, it is understood, bought out the restaurant of F. C. Peavey at 541 Essex Street, Lawrence.

Aug. 30, 1895 AT T. E. Rhodes has replaced the old soda fountain at his store with one much larger and more elaborate. It is from the establishment of A.D. Puffer & Sons, Boston. The fountain is made of onyx, while the top decoration is white mahogany and contains a large plate glass mirror.

April 8, 1898 AT – Arthur Bliss will move to his new store in the National Bank building in a few weeks. His old stand will be occupied by M. A. Clement and the store of Mr. Clement will be used as an agency by Rhodes & Moulton of Lawrence, who will use on side for the laundry and one side for the sale of ladies and children’s shoes.

May 6 1898 AT p 4 Editoral Cinders – The old John J. Brown drug store, conducted formerly years past by Arthur Bliss, has long been a landmark in its location just vacated on Main Street. May its years of prosperity and usefulness continue in its new location.

Mar. 16, 1900 AT - After nine years of business life at the old stand in the Square, Thomas E. Rhodes, or “Tommie” as he is familiarly known to the academy and town boys, has moved his entire business into the store adjoining, used by him as his bake shop. No more will he dispense “hot dogs” and like luxuries to the late lunchers. His private stalls, sometime since regulated to the background, have been followed into obscurity by the marble topped tables themselves, so well-remembered by the boys of several years ago, with whom “Tommie’s” was a favorite resort. But not withstanding all this, Rhodes’ soda, his ice cream and his pies, will still be in evidence at the new stand.

Mar. 30, 1900 AT – p1 The store formerly occupied by T. E. Rhodes, is being rapidly refitted and will soon be ready for Charles Murphy’s hairdressing establishment.

Oct. 20, 1905 – Thomas W. Platt has sold his restaurant and candy store on Main St. to a Newburyport party who will renovate the store and open it about the first of November with an ice cream & light lunch counter.

Nov. 10, 1905 p.1 - F.S. Brown of Bradford has opened the restaurant formerly conducted by Thomas Platt in the square and is now ready to serve light or fancy lunches or fine dinners at reasonable prices. He sells cigars, confectionery, and soda. Mr. Brown has been stationed at the
Hotel Cushing, Salisbury Beach, this summer where he had the majority of the ice cream trade.

Jan. 5, 1906 – AT – The exterior of the building owned by W. J. Burns and occupied as a restaurant by Mr. Brown is undergoing repairs.

July 12, 1907 AT - T. E. Rhodes has given up his bakery and will devote his time entirely to his catering business. Walter Rhodes has severed his connection with Thomas E. Rhodes and is now living in Lawrence.

Additional Tenants in the stores;
#9 G. O. Lyle ice cream-soda,Thomas E. Rhodes 1892, Samuel Leone Barber Shop 1920’s, Bennies Barber Shop 1930-1942, Toddler Town toys and furnishings in 1957, Sutherland’s women’s apparel, Andover Gift House operated by the Anderson family on both floors 1963 – 1970’s, Andover Beauty Supply 1992, Moose-A-laneous and then Strawberry Tree gift house 1996 - spring 2010. Lyn Evans – Pot Pourri Designs opened September 2010.

#11 Gunta Groceries, Thomas Platt Lunch room -1906, C. W. Flanders Lunch 1906-1924, Andover Lunch (operated by the Christies) 1924 – 1948-49 - a fire in 1943 gutted the restaurant and also did damage to Burns Co. next door. This may have been when the lunch room expanded into both store fronts as they list both 9-11 as the address. Lee’s Lunch Counter 1949,

On the second floor was the tailor Daniel Logue. Sept. 7, 1866 Vivalda S. Reed – Photographer -Photos & Tin Types, Albums, Cards. Rooms over John J. Brown’s store on Main Street. Mr. Reed the popular photographer has just returned from his vacation and is prepared to take pictures in the very best style. A months tour of the principle cities in New England. In 1906 the room was let to the newly formed Knight of Columbus, fraternal order. In the 1920’s A. H. Allen opened a Pool Hall


Researched by James Batchelder, Andover Preservation Commission - July 2010,
revised March 2011
Northern Essex Registry of Deeds, Lawrence MA
Essex County Registry of Deeds, Salem, MA
Andover Historical Society Archives
Andover Resident Street Directories
Andover Evaluation Reports, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1900, 1910, 1920.
Andover Town Maps, 1852, 1855, 1872, 1888, Sanborn Maps, 1896, 1906
Andover Advertiser & Andover Townsman newspapers
Lawrence American - Andover Advertiser February 22, 1884 Friday pg. 2 col. 3
ANDOVER ASHES - Destructive Sunday Morning Fire. A Loss of Nearly $17,000

David Holt - May 3, 1818 - b. 204 lf 192 land – Essex Deeds, Salem
Hobart Clark, guardian - June 30, 1829 - Order of Court for David Holt
Deacon Mark Newman - Nov. 19, 1829 - b. 257 lf. 13 - died June 15, 1859
Margaret Newman - June 15, 1859 - by Will of late husband.
John J. Brown - Nov. 29, 1859 - b. 596 p. 283 - Salem Deeds, part of parcel
John J. Brown - April 11, 1877 - b. 45 p. 236 - mtg. Punchard Trustees
Arthur Bliss - Jan. 1, 1878 - b. 49 p. 423 - 2nd parcel
Emily W. Brown - Jan. 1, 1878 - b. 49 p. 425
Annie F. Burns - Sept. 27, 1905 - b. 224 p.144
William J. Burns - Sept. 1, 1910 - b. 481 p.224 - 2nd parcel
June 25, 1923 - deed recorded
Florence S. Burns Trust - Aug. 22, 1952 - b. Nancy B. McArdle trustee
Florence S. Burns Trust - Dec. 7, 1990 - b.
Florence S. Burns Trust - Mar. 9, 1991 - b. 3367 p. 276 - Nancy B. McArdle, David S. Burns Jr. trustees

Inventory Data:

StreetMain St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameMark Newman - John Brown Building
Present UseRetail / Commercial
Original UseRetail / Commercial
Construction Datecirca 1830
Architectural StyleOther
Architect/BuilderMark Newman
Foundationstone & granite
Major Alterations1872 - raised and new front 1884 reconstructed after fire on Feb. 17, 1884 1940s renovated into one larger store
Settingcommercial business district
Map and parcel55-101
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredMarch 23, 2014