May 22nd, 2013 by Janak Shah
Recently, Jay Leno announced his intention to step down as the host of the Tonight Show on NBC after the completion of the Winter Olympics in 2014. Leno, although not known by some, grew up here in Andover. He was an immensely successful comedian, one of the more famous to exist.
Leno attended high school in what is now West Middle School. He was not an excellent student, as he was recommended to drop out of high school by his counselor. However, he later obtained a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy from Emerson College. In the 1970′s, Leno commenced with his acting career, starring in several minor films. In 1987, he substituted Johnny Carson as the host of the Tonight Show. He took over the position in 1992, and continued to host until 2009. He continued with stand-up comedy throughout this time. In 2009, Conan O’Brien succeeded him, prompting Leno to host the new “Jay Leno Show”. However, due to low ratings and confliction with the Winter Olympics of 2010, he went back to hosting the Tonight Show. In April of 2013, it was announced Jimmy Fallon would take over to attract younger viewers.
Leno’s career was amazing, and even more so to know he originated from Andover.
May 21st, 2013 by Maddy Wagner
Date: Monday, July 12th
Good weather with little sea. This morning after breakfast we passed within a mile of the Campania bound for New York. The two boats exchanged signals. In the afternoon we overhauled and passed an old square rigged ship bound for Liverpool. We passed very close to her and Dale took a picture. After dinner we went down to the concert given in behalf of the Seaman’s open institution. August Belmont was chairman. It was O.K. but at times rather slow. We didn’t get to bed until after midnight. 497Miles.
In John’s entry, he writes about how the Lucania passes by another ship by the name of the Campania.
The RMS Campania was a British ocean liner owned by the Cunard Steamship Line Shipping Company. RMS stands for Royal Mail Steamer. The Campania must have been a steam ship like the Lucania. In fact, the Luciana’s Formal Title is the RMS Lucania. The Lucania had a sister ship named the RMS Campania, but in 1909, there were many ships name Campania. I think that it would have been funny if this Campania had been the sister ship. Also in his entry, John writes about how his friend Dale took a picture of a passing ship when it was very close. I didn’t know that the camera was invented that early in the 1900’s. The camera was actually made sometime in the late1600’s, but the pictures usually cam out very blurry, fuzzy, sometimes had big white spots, and didn’t very last long. Based on the camera’s we have today, you can tell that they fixed those small problems. Another thing that John had talked about in his entry was when he went down to a concert on the ship. On most large steam ships, there was usually always entertainment. In the dinning room, there was usually a stage, or an open floor in the front on the room. People could eat, drink and have a good time all together.
The RMS Campania, sister ship to the Lucania
May 14th, 2013 by Maddy Wagner
Date: Friday, July 9th
Last night the sea was so rough that the boat dipped above the port holes on both sides of the saloon, and a bottle standing on our table flipped over. All of our party, however, are O.K. I did not get to sleep last night until after midnight. Every minute or two the boat would roll so that our porthole would be buried in the water and our dress suit cases on the floor slid back and forth as the boat rolled. The (rades?) were used at table all three meals today. Many people sick. Great fun at the table. Abe and I walked a mile on the deck to night. Sea calmer in the evening. All O.K. 470 Miles.
In this entry of John’s travel journal, he writes about how he was in a saloon that night. The Lucania saloon was a bar and dining area, where passengers could go for meals, socializing, and entertainment. Usually the saloon was filled with about 100 to 13
0 tables and over 700 velvet plush dining chairs. At the bar, there were raised chairs and a large counter. The passengers could eat and relax while being entertained for hours. John also wrote a lot about how the seas were very rough and how high the water around the boat was getting. In 1909, there were many accounts of missing ships, due to the seas being so rough. On July 5th, a newspaper in London printed the reports of 5 missing ships during the few past weeks. The ship that John was sailing on, the Lucania, was lucky to not be caught in one of the more ferocious storms, and instead at the edge and end of a smaller sea storm. Later in his entry, Jo
hn writes ‘All O.K. 470 Miles.’ indicating how far the ship had sailed. This would have been very good in 1909, when traveling by ship took a lot of time. Two entries’ ago John wrote that they had sailed 460 miles. This means that the Lucania had traveled 10 miles in two days.
May 8th, 2013 by Janak Shah
This photo is of the Playstead, the park behind Doherty Middle School and the Andover Municpal Office. The Andover Municpal Office was Punchard High School for a long time. This image above shows the park and the old baseball fields. When Punchard High School existed, the Playstead was home to the football field, baseball fields, bleachers for both fields, and was used for track and field. A little league field was added in the 1950s near the primary baseball field. A soccer field exists south of Doherty as well, but this was not regarded as part of the original Playstead.
Now, the park still exists, but is only a shadow of its former self. The football field and track still exist, but are only used for practices. Neither baseball field is as grand as it used to be, and the bleachers have been removed. The park is still used for little league opening day, the baseball games are still hosted there. While the park may not be as grand as it was, it is still worth a visit and is a nice place to play sports.
May 1st, 2013 by Janak Shah
Sunset Rock, above, is measured to be approximately two-hundred and fifty feet above sea level. The reservation is located between Sunset Rock Road and Porter Road, and is the property of AVIS. The rock is the beginning of a ledge, which extends parallel to Sunset Rock Road in Andover. This ledge enters the woods and extends deep within them. The crevices in the rocks hold enough soil to allow some trees, specifically ashes and junipers, to grow. The ledge is known for being an excellent place for climbers. There are several trails in the reservation, all marked by white rectangles on trees. The rock itself is known for the fantastic views it provides and its good climbing surface. This reservation was purchased in 1998 by AVIS, and is one of the many amazing reservations in Andover.
April 30th, 2013 by Maddy Wagner
Date: Thursday July 8th
Slept like a top all night. Abe had upper berth and I lower. This morning the sky was overcast and there was a stormy N.E. wind blowing which kicks up quite a sea. We are at a table with two actresses and a man named Sargent who is a real Yankee joker so we have lots of fun. In the morning Abe and I went up in the aft wheel house and were shown compasses, wheel, sounding leads, etc. Dale had a hair-cut by the ships barber, and Abe also patroniges the barber by buying a cap. Sea rather rough and many sick. All of our party at church and dinner. Afternoon sea very rough. Boat hitched and rolled a great deal.
In this entry, John mentions that he and Abe go and visit the aft wheel house and were shown “compasses, wheel, sounding leads, etc.” In 1909, big cruise ships like the Lucania had many different rooms for passengers to explore. One of these rooms was the aft wheel house. An aft wheel house is the room where the wheel, maps, and compasses are stored. When John and Abe went up into the wheel house, they saw many of these things. In 1909, most of the wheels were very large, had many spokes, and were usually made of oak or pine wood. Big ships always had to have someone at the wheel to prevent them from steering off course. A ship’s maps were usually pasted on a wall in the aft wheel room, so they could be easily accessed by the capion of the ship. Maps had to be extremely detailed and were always up to date. The maps could be in black and white, or in color, to show the different countries more easily. Compasses in 1909 were much simpler than the compasses we have today. In 1909, the compasses usually had a small sun or star in the center, with its points pointing to North, South, East West, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest. The arrow would spin on a small pin, allowing it to point to north.
April 24th, 2013 by Janak Shah
This is the graduating class of 1995 from the Greater Lawrence Regional Vocational Techincal School, also known as the “Voc.” The Voc was established in 1963, and provides a four-year education in various technical fields. The school has several student organizations and interscholastic athletic programs. The purpose of the Voc is to educate students in vocational and technical careers. There are several different fields, including automotive, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, marketing, and biotechnology. Students enrolled in these programs must have attained a Certificate of Proficiency in their chosen field in order to graduate. After going through an exploratory process, the students will then enter one of the optional field. The Voc is l0cated on River Road in Andover, and serves the towns of Lawrence, Andover, North Andover, and Methuen.
The Voc provides an excellent opportunity for those students who wish to enter a technical career.
April 17th, 2013 by Janak Shah
William Madison Wood, one of the most famous men in Andover history, is best known for his role in the textile mills of Lawrence and his ownership of the American Woolen Company. Wood was born in 1853 in Edgartown, Massachusetts, a town on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. At the age of twelve, Wood’s father died, leaving him in charge of his family. Wood dropped out of high school, and was employed by Andrew Pierce, a textile mill owner, to work at the Wamsutta Cotton Mill. He was soon promoted to the manufacturing department, where he acquired knowledge of the business. Wood then found a job in a Philadelphia brokerage firm, where he learned about stocks and bonds. Wood was convinced to leave the firm by Frederick Ayer, who purchased the Washington Mill in Lawrence. He hired wood as his manager, creating a successful business within the Washington Mill. Wood decided to move on to bigger goals. He purchased several struggling mills in Lawrence, and joined them together under “The Woolen Trust.” He renamed it the American Woolen Company, and built a massive company.
Over time tense relations grew between management and laborers leading to the Bread and Roses Strike of 1912. Mill workers demanded better conditions, higher wages, and fewer hours. Wood eventually agreed to their demands after a long struggle, improving the lives of mill workers.
Wood is known for developing Shawsheen Village. In 1926, when out for a drive, Wood exited his car and committed suicide, ending his life as a successful mill owner. Wood may not have been admired by workers, but his contributions toward the textile mill business cannot be forgotten.
April 10th, 2013 by Janak Shah
Located near the center of town, the tower shown here is passed by local Andover residents daily. The Memorial Bell Tower located at the Phillips Academy campus is often the first thing people notice while driving by the school. The tower is the result of a donation by Sam Fuller, and stands as a memorial for the eighty-five Andover veterans who died in service during World War I. The tower was originally designed by architect Guy Lowell in 1919. It was placed at the site of the old training ground where Andover soldiers prepared for the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War.
The tower was made in 1923, composed of steel covered in brick. This tower would later undergo reconstruction in 2005. The tower contains a 37 bell carillon, one of the largest in the world. During re-construction, the carillon was replaced with an electronic system. The tower today plays the opening melody of the Andover Hymn every quarter hour. This tower is one of the most magnificent sites in Andover and is worth driving by if in town.