Archive for March, 2009

Local History in the News

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

The Andover Townsman has started a new column,All Those Years Ago: From the Pages of Old Townsmans.” You can click here to read the March 26th column, or stop by the Historical Society library to page through some old Townsmans yourself.  You never know what — or who — you’ll find!

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At the moment, Historical Society volunteer researchers are working on a project for the town Conservation Department.  Reading through Townsmans from the 1940s, the volunteers are learning about Andover’s wartime Victory Garden effort  that included rabbits, and chickens, and pigs…oh my!

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Weekend Events

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Many thanks to everyone who came to our two special events this weekend, and to the volunteers who helped plan and host them.

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appraisal-2009-helen-sellersFifty people enjoyed Friday night’s What’s It Worth? Appraisal Event with Skinner Auctioneer’s Stuart Whitehurst.  This was Stuart’s fourth appraisal event with the Historical Society and we look forward to welcoming Stuart back again in 2010.  Historical Society Membership Chair Jim Sellers welcomed Stuart with a complimentary membership.  Then Stuart took the floor for a lively and entertaining hour.  The capstone of the evening was a set of four Tiffany silver candlesticks worth over $2,000.  We’re sure everyone who attended the event will remember the difference between a clock and a timepiece, and the significance of the year 1891 to antiques appraisers.

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membership-programTwenty people enjoyed Sunday afternoon’s Andover Neighborhood Program on Andover’s historic mill villages. Once again Membership Chair Jim Sellers welcomed guests to the Society to view our new exhibit, From Near & Far: 350 Years of Making Andover Home.  Jim then went on to give his presentation on mill village housing to an appreciative audience.  A number guests became members of the Society and started researching their old houses that afternoon.

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We look forward to our next program, our Annual Memorial Lecture, Tuesday, April 14th, 7:00 p.m. in the rotunda of Free Christian Church, Elm Street, Andover.  This year’s Memorial Lecture speaker will be Alan Foulds, who will give a presentation and book signing on “Boston’s Ballparks and Arenas.”

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Elaine Clements, Executive Director

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Sunday at the Museum

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Andover’s Historic Mill Villages

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Please join us for a special free Andover Neighborhood Program on Andover’s historic mill villages this Sunday, March 29th, 2:00-4:00 p.m. The program will include a special talk by Andover resident Jim Sellers at 2:30 on the history of the old Ballardvale, Marland, and Frye mill villages.

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The event will also include a viewing of the Society’s newest exhibit, From Near & Far: 350 Years of Making Andover Home.  The exhibit explores the reasons people have chosen to make Andover their home by looking at economic opportunity, education, and faith.  Agriculture, the textile industry, Punchard Free School, and even ice cream are all featured in the exhibit. As a sneak preview for blog readers, many of our recent Photos of the Week have been taken from the new exhibit.

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The Andover Neighborhood Program is offered free of charge.  For information, please call 978.465.2236.

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An Entertaining Evening with Stuart Whitehurst

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

What’s It Worth?

appraisal-2007-2-croppedTickets are still available for our fourth annual antiques appraisal event, What’s It Worth?, Friday, March 27th at 7:00 p.m. The event will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation on Locke Street, Andover.  Attendees will be treated to an entertaining evening with Skinner Antiques appraiser Stuart Whitehurst, also of PBS’s hit TV show, Antiques Roadshow.  Each guest is invited to bring one item to be appraised.  Please no coins, stamps, jewelry, or musical instruments.

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What’s it Worth? is an “open format” event.  Guests register their appraisal item and join the audience as Stuart Whitehurst appraises and discusses each item.  There’s always something new to learn in this lively and entertaining forum.

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Ticket prices are $15 for Society members and $20 for non-members.

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To reserve your tickets, call the Society office at 978.475.2236.  Tickets will also be available at the door.

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What’s it Worth? is sponsored by the Andover Historical Society Board of Directors and Sotherland & Co., 44 Main Street, in Andover. Sotherland specializes in hand made oriental rugs, restoration services, cleaning and repair of rugs.

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~ Society members and their guests are invited to attend a free pre-event reception, sponsored by the Board of Directors, at 6:00 p.m.

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Photo of the Week

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

1989-911-smith-dove-flax-tunedThis week we’re featuring another photograph from our new exhibit, From Near & Far: 350 Years of Making Andover Home. The photograph was taken in one of the workshops in the Smith and Dove linen mill at the turn of the last century. John Smith, his brother Peter Smith, and their friend John Dove founded the Smith and Dove Manufacturing Company, America’s first flax mill, in 1836. The Smiths and Doves were from Brechin, Scotland, and made regular trips back home to recruit experienced textile workers there and in the nearby town of Arbroath, for their mill.
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There are a few interesting things to look at in this image. I’m fascinated by the faces of the men — the large handlebar mustaches, the overalls, and ties. On the technology side, while the flax spinning and weaving processes were mechanized at this time, combing the flax fibers was still a hand process done by men. Women tended the spinners and looms in another part of the mill.

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1989-911-smith-dove-flax-tuned-close-upIn this close up, we can see that the calendar on the wall is dated April 1903. We can’t get enough detail to see what the other pictures on the wall are.

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Elaine Clements, Executive Director

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Photo of the Week

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

1946-95-allen-hinton-tuned1Today’s historic photograph features a man who was once well known in Andover. Allen Hinton was born a slave in North Carolina. He moved to Andover in 1864 after he freed himself from the last man who owned him. Hinton and his wife, Mary, worked at Phillips Academy waiting tables, taking in laundry, and selling snacks to the students. Taking the advice of a student, Allen and Mary began to make and sell ice cream to the students. Business grew and in 1901, the Hintons purchased the farm on Hidden Road that they had been renting. The Hinton Ice Cream Farm was an Andover fixture until 1951. The Hinton family story is one of the many stories featured in our newest exhibit, From Near & Far: 350 Years of Making Andover Home. The exhibit opens Friday, March 20 and runs through October 31.

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Who lived in Andover’s Early Textile Villages?

Monday, March 16th, 2009

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Please join us for a special Neighborhood Program at the Andover Historical Society:  Employee Housing in Andover’s Early Textile Villages

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Sunday, March 29, 2009, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Andover Historical Society, 97 Main Street, Andover

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“All history may be local,” but Andover’s history is a unique mix of local stories with national importance. Take your neighborhood, for example.

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Would you like to learn more about your neighborhood and the role it played in the Industrial Revolution? Please join us for this special program which will include a talk on these important neighborhoods and a special viewing of our new exhibit, “From Near & Far: 350 Years of Making Andover Home.”

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All Andover Neighborhood Programs are open to the public free of charge. For further information, please call the Historical Society offices at 978.475.2236 or info@andoverhistorical.org.

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Fun In The Sun

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

enhc-pics-042 While we may have just shoveled out from Monday’s snow, spring is next week, which means summer is on its way! With  summer comes the Andover Farmer’s Market. The Andover Farmers’ Market kicks off its third season on Saturday July 11 2009!! Growing larger, more diverse, and more exciting each year the market will return on the lawn at the Andover Historical Society located in the heart of downtown Andover at 97 Main St. This picturesque setting is the ideal location to peruse fresh and locally produced products from your favorite vendors from past markets as well as new vendors with exciting new products, hands-on demonstrations and family friendly activities in the barn.

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The market runs every Saturday from July 11 through October 10 12:30-3:30. Check out http://www.andoverhistorical.org/farmersmarket/ for more information.

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New Exhibit Opening Next Week!

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

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On Friday, March 20, 2009, the Society will host a members’ opening for our newest exhibit, From Near and Far: 350 Years of Making Andover Home. Join staff, board members, volunteers, and fellow members for a evening reception from 6:oo p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and get a sneak preview of the new exhibit.

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Curated by Tufts University graduate intern Lauren Kosky-Stamm and AHS curator Andy Grilz, the exhibit will explore the reasons people have chosen to make Andover home.  Those reasons are often deeply personal and at the same time universally shared.  Some people came seeking work and opportunity, to join a faith community, or seeking refuge.  Others came to establish an industry in a favorable and welcoming community.  Andover’s educational excellence drew others, and there were those who were brought here against their will. All these stories combine to create the rich and powerful history of Andover.  During the six months the exhibit will be on display, we will host a variety of programs exploring the idea of making Andover home.

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The public opening will take place on Saturday, March 21, 2009, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Join us for the morning while enjoying the new exhibit. Special activities will also take place during the opening, so be sure not to miss this opening event!

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Take Me Out to the Ballpark

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009
Author Alan Foulds will give a lecture and book signing Tuesday, April 14, 7:30 p.m.

Author Alan Foulds will give a lecture and book signing Tuesday, April 14, 7:30 p.m.

Yes, we did have 4-6” of snow on March 9th, but spring is just around the corner! With spring comes baseball, soccer, and a myriad of other warm weather outdoor activities.

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On Tuesday, April 14th at 7:30 p.m., the Historical Society will host our 29th Annual Memorial Lecture in the rotunda of Free Christian Church, Elm Street, Andover. This year’s speaker will be Alan E. Foulds, author of Boston’s Ballparks and Arenas, which tells the story of the region’s professional sporting past through the venues where the teams played. Foulds will have copies of his book available for signing at the event. His lecture will give an overview of some of the forgotten sports venues in Boston and discuss Andover’s brief fling with major league soccer in the 1920′s.

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The Memorial Lecture is given each year in memory of Historical Society members who passed away during the preceding year. The lecture is offered free of charge; location to be announced shortly.

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