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.
April 9th, 2013 by Maddy Wagner
This blog entry includes the transcription of a diary from the Andover Historical Society written by John Radford Abbot in 1909 when he began a trip to various European countries. Keep following Maddy’s post to learn about John Radford Abbot and all the places he visited over 100 years ago!
Date: Wed. July 7th
We left the wharf about 10:15 and started off doron New York Harbor. Saw the N.Y. skyscraper, Liberty Satute, Coney Island, etc. At about 11:45 we slowed down and a rowboat came alongside to take off the pilot and also a woman who had forgotten to get off the pier. It was quite an experience getting her off, but it was finally accomplished. At about noon we passed sandy hook and the Ambrose Channel Lightship where our official time is taken for Europe. The sea was calm and the weather great. In the afternoon Dale and I explored the boat from bow to stern, going into the second cabin and steerage. We had dinner at 7 P.M. 460 miles.
During the beginning of J. Radford Abbot’s journey to Europe, he wrote that he ” Saw the N.Y. skyscraper, Liberty Satute, Coney Island, etc.” in the first decade of the 1900′s, these were very popular sights to see. The New York Skyscrapers were famous, but mostly for their height. In 1909, most skyscrapers were usually not over six stories high. New York’s Empire State Building has 106 floors. People often got excited when going into one of the skyscrapers, especially visiting the highest floor and looking over the city. Also in 1909 one of the biggest things to see was the Statue Of Liberty. Lady Liberty has been standing for 127 years. She was built in 1875 by a french architect named Frederick Bartholdi as a gift to the United States from the people of France. She was considered the symbol of freedom, democracy and America. People were originally allowed to travel up into the torch that she holds in her right hand high above her head, but soon, the arm that supported the torch grew weak, so the torch viewing point was shut down. Now people can only look out onto the city from the crown Lady Liberty wears on her head. J. Radfrod Abbot also wrote that he saw Coney Island. In 1909, Coney Island was just opening to the public. It first opened to the public on June 20th, 1909. This means that when Abbot saw Coney Island, it had only been open for less than eighteen days. Coney Island was one of the most elaborate amusement parks of it’s days. Otto B. Benschuetz, owner and founder, landscaped the grounds, put in a children’s playground, a bandstand for outdoor concerts, and a dance pavilion which served as an ice skating rink and theater.
John Radford Abbot
Today I found a photo of John Radford Abbot. He was much younger when he began his European trip. This is the only photo I found of him at the Andover Historical Society so far. I am still looking and will post another photo if I find it.
April 3rd, 2013 by Janak Shah
This is the Stevens Street Bridge, which lies above the Shawsheen River on Stevens Street. This bridge was part of Marland Village, a small neighborhood of houses, factories, and businesses running along Stevens Street to Main Street in Andover. This village was near Abbot Village, formed by other streets parallel to Stevens Street. In 1775, a powder mill was formed near the bridge to supply gunpowder to the Continental Army during the American Revolution by Samuel Phillips. The mill then produced paper after the war ended in 1789.
This bridge not large , but it is one of the oldest in town and contributed to the Americans during the revolution. Although seemingly insignificant, the mill helped the rebels fight to freedom.