Several industrial mill buildings dating from Federal period 1824 through to early 20th century. Brick structures, stone foundations, granite lintels.
As early as 1682 this area of Andover was being offered by the Town Proprietors as a “Mill privilege on the Shawshin, near Roger’s brook” to any inhabitant willing to build a saw mill. In 1753 one half of a saw mill was sold by Humphrey Holt to Asa Abbot and then in 1764 to Nathan Abbot.
Abbott Village was established early in the 1800's with the more than adequate source of water to power to drive the mills. Abel & Paschal Abbott moved their wool mill operation here from the North Parish about 1815. Abiel Russell was their first foreman and Daniel Saunders leased a portion from 1817-1825. James Howarth established a wool mill 1824-1847, building the stone mill on the east side of the river. The Abbot brothers had a successful business until about 1838 when the market took a down turn. Creditors sold the Abbot Mill buildings to Smith & Dove Co. in 1843.
Smith & Dove Co. produced linen thread and was established in Frye Village (Shawsheen Village) in 1835. The company founders John Smith, Peter Smith and John Dove were all Scottish immigrants from Brechin in County Angus. The company continued operations in both Frye and Abbott Villages gradually relocating all production up river to this location.
In 1865 they became the Smith & Dove Manufacturing Co. producing linen thread for shoe laces, carpets and sail cloth. Later operations included broad cloth. Smith & Dove is said to be the first linen production manufacturer in the United States. The company continued to expand operations through the years. April 29, 1866 Andover Advertiser - "Smith & Dove are building a new factory in Abbot Village" - (gives a complete description) "The new brick is progressing rapidly; it is 95 x 50 feet and three stories. The machinery in the old wooden building on the west side of the river will be removed to the new factory when it is completed." By 1894 the company had completely abandoned the former plants in Frye Village. A new Main Mill plant was begun in late 1894. Feb. 1, 1895 Andover Townsman - "Work is rapidly pushed on the remainder of the new mill, the first floor being already laid." The Abbott Village mill complex continued with improvements well into the first decade of the 20th century.
The mill site also once housed "The Brick Block" a large row of connecting townhouse apartments for operatives, most likely built by Smith and Dove in the 1850s. The building was three stories tall, with gabled monitor roof for extra living space in the attic. The building had five chimneys, and units on both east and west sides. The east side fronted on Higgins Court and the west side on Howarth Court. The building was directly behind the Vermont - Warehouse Building #7 and razed in the early 1900's.
The Smiths and Dove families were active in community affairs, contributors to educational institutions and helped establish Memorial Hall Library. They were all abolitionists, with John Smith and John Dove charter members of the Free Christian Church, which John Smith established. It would be the second generation of the Smith & Dove families that expanded the Abbott Village mill buildings to meet the needs of the 20th century. Worker housing, a village hall, recreational facilities and a pension fund were all established to help their operatives.
In 1927 the Smith & Dove Co. was sold to the Trustees of the Ludlow Manufacturing Associates of Ludlow, MA. The housing real estate was placed in the Smith & Dove Tenements, Inc. that year, changing the name to Andover Homes, Inc. that then sold off the housing stock to private hands. The company operations were moved to Ludlow, MA and the mill closed in 1928.
The Indian Ridge Co.,Inc. acquired the mill properties and some of the housing stock. Through the company treasurers C. W. Holland and Virgil D. Harrington the mill buildings were then parceled off sold to private investors.
See form A, history of Abbot Village
|Historic District||Andover Village Industrial NRH District|
|Historic Name||Smith & Dove Manf. Co. Mills|
|Present Use||Multi Businesses|
|Original Use||Smith & Dove Manf. Co.|
|Construction Date||1865 - 1912|
|Foundation||stone & granite|
|Outbuildings / Secondary Structures||Many outbuildings|
|Acreage||Aprox. 20 acre complex|
|Map and parcel||55-4|
|Recorded by||James S. Batchelder|
|Organization||Andover Historical Society - Andover Preservation Commission|
|Date entered||Dec. 26, 2014|