The Balmoral Athletic Field construction began in 1921 with the layout of the soccer field. The driving force for creating the athletic venues in Shawsheen Village was given to George Wallace, private secretary to Wm. M. Wood and Agent of the Riverina Mill in Medford, MA. Wallace, born in Scotland, lived in "Aberfoyle" 300 North Main St. next to Wood's estate "Arden". Wallace also owned "Braeloch" on Haggett's Pond.
The first soccer games were played on the field in 1921 with the track, baseball diamond, grandstand and east and west entrance gates completed in 1922. A cement berm around the outside of the track allowed flooding the field for a winter skating rink. The official opening of Balmoral Athletic Field took place on Saturday October 7, 1922 under the direction of the Shawsheen Athletic Association. The event was a massive field day for the employees of the American Woolen Company.
Andover Townsman - Oct. 6, 1922 p. 8 -..."The occasion of the field day and track events is the formal opening of the new cinder track and athletic field...The track is a quarter mile,oval in form, entirely encircling the baseball and football field and is level as a billiard table." .... On the west side of the track and running parallel with it will be built a beautiful grandstand of adequate capacity. Around the cinder track is a cement curbing about two feet in height which will act a a retainer for water, allowing the field to be flooded for skating in the winter. The entire athletic field will be enclosed by a wire fence. The entrances will be at what was formerly Burnham road and a beautiful and imposing gateway is being erected there as well as another near the tennis courts.
The events will begin with a Marathon race of five miles starting from Methuen Square.... The runners will race one mile on the new cinder track in finishing."
Track events included 50-yd,100-yd, 220-yd and 440-yd dashes, both open and closed, including 220 for boys and girls under 12 years old. a half mile, broad jump, relay race, shot put and tug-of-war. A soccer game between Shawsheen and Abbot Worsted teams, a baseball game between Washington Mill No. 1, Champion team of the A.W.Co. inter-mill league of Lawrence and the Manton Mill Champion team of Providence Mill of A.W.Co. plants in that city. Cash prizes and trophies were awarded. Invited guests in included Hon. Cabot Lodge, Governor Cox, Lieut. Gov. Alvan T. Fuller, the town Selectmen, several dignitaries, and of course William M. Wood.
|Historic District||Shawsheen Village NRH District|
|Historic Name||Balmoral Athletic Field|
|Present Use||athletic fields|
|Original Use||athletic fields|
|Architect/Builder||John Franklin CE|
|Outbuildings / Secondary Structures||Maintenance building|
|Major Alterations||Removal of the grandstand bleachers two entrance gates.|
|Map and parcel||36-8|
|Recorded by||W. Frontiero, James S. Batchelder|
|Organization||Andover Preservation Commission|
|Date entered||Feb. 6, 2020|