Archive for July, 2009

How it Was Made

Friday, July 31st, 2009

wheel11Fan of the Science Channels How its Made program? Then you would love this exciting workshop! Join us Thursday August 27 from 9:30-3:00 as we explore history, physics, and more. Learn about Andover’s mill history and the technology that powered these mills. Build a water wheel and experiment with water power! Bring a lunch and your imagination as we Explore Andover’s  past and discover How it (was) made!

    Ages 9-13. $20 members, $25 non-members, includes snack, supplies and hours of fun and learning!


Photo of the Week

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Boating and fishing on Pomp's Pond has long been a popular summertime activity in Andover..

Today’s photo of the week is of Pomps Pond, long a site of both recreation and industry in Andover.  The Town of Andover’s Pomps Pond Recreation Park was started in 1923 by a group of citizens who cleared the beach area and opened it for swimming.  The town acquired the beach and built the first bathhouse the following year.  Today Pomps Pond is home to the town beach and Camp Maude Eaton, run by the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts.  In the 1920s the Pond was also home to Camp Manning, run by the Boy Scouts of America.


Our photo of the week illustrates two historical uses of Pomps Pond.  Behind the two boys in the boat you can see the ice house owned by a succession of ice companies including B.F. Holt, People’s Ice, and Metropolitan Ice.  Ice was cut from the pond in the winter and stored in large ice houses.  In 1936 the Andover Townsman reported that “In the hot weather of summer, two deliveries a day were sometimes made, and not emergency call, either by day or by night, has ever been denied.”  10,000 pounds of ice were cut annually from Pomps Pond and other bodies of water in Andover.


Andover children suffered from poor oral hygiene

Monday, July 27th, 2009

ms-205086The teeth of Andover children in the early 1900s were a long way off from orthodontia and frequent visits to the dentist. Surveys conducted in public schools revealed that by age 15 or 16, over 50% of the teeth of the average schoolchild were diseased.


However, knowledge was not lacking about the causes and effects of tooth decay. Dentists in Berlin were able to identify microorganisms responsible for tooth decay and even knew that these organisms feed on food molecules lodged in the tooth. They reccomended brushing the teeth once a day, in the morning, to prevent this.


Other dentists of the era hypothesized about the relationship between healthy teeth and children’s growth and development, and even tried to link healthy teeth to how well children performed in school. However, their theory was shattered when they found that that tooth decay was about even in “bright” and normal students. They might have gone a bit too far in trying to explain away this evidence by suggesting that bright children must have poor teeth due to the expension of nervous energy. Parents, they cautioned, should refrain from putting too much pressure on their bright children to do well in school, especially when the child’s teeth are still developing!


There’s treasure in them thar’ Archives

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

green-staysEver wonder what’s hiding in the attic in old houses around town? Well, here at the Amos Blanchard House, our third floor (not quite as high as the attic) houses part of our extensive costume collection. During a recent quiet afternoon, a search through the costume database turned up several pairs of eighteenth century stays. Stays are a foundation garment, similar to the corsets of the nineteenth century, that provide support to the female body beneath the outer layer of clothing. This pair likely dates to between 1750-1800 and is made of pale green silk with a dark green silk binding around the edges. The interior layers are constructed from baleen (commonly called whalebone) which usually came from the mouths of right whales.


As interesting treasures are found, we’ll be showcasing them here and on our Facebook page – so don’t forget to visit us there, too!

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Corn Husk Dolls

Friday, July 24th, 2009

corn-husk-dollsHow often do we make our own toys today? Prior to the mid-20th century children often made their own toys. One such toy was the corn husk doll.

            Corn husk dolls have been and continue to made by many cultures, from numerous Native American tribes, to colonial and pioneer children. Here in North America corn was a common crop used in a variety of ways with all parts of the plant being used for food, to stuff mattresses and even as toilet paper (and it wasn’t the leaves, it was the cob, ouch!).  So why not a toy?  You can find directions online on how to make your own corn husk doll, some are very simple and others more complex, use fresh husks from corn on the cob or buy dried ones in the store and soak them so they are easy to use, decorate your doll or leave it plan, whatever you choose its fun! These are just some sites with directions and corn husk facts!

     Corn husk doll making is just one of the many crafts offered  in the barn during the farmers’ market here at the Historical Society on Saturdays from 12:30-3:30 now through October 10.


Are you a GoodSearcher?

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!
Did you know that you can support the Andover Historical Society, just by searching and shopping online? Thanks to GoodSearch and GoodShop, powered by Yahoo!, it’s as easy as a few clicks of the mouse. Just visit GoodSearch, select Andover Historical Society as your non-profit of choice and search as usual. There are even quick and easy steps to add GoodSearch to your browser’s toolbar, making it even easier than ever to support AHS.


And if you enjoy shopping online, visit GoodShop and access over 1000 big name retailers like Amazon, Dell, Expedia, and Gap. By stopping at GoodShop first, a percentage of each purchase is donated to the Historical Society.  Now it can be just as rewarding to give as it is to receive!


Photo of the Week

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009
The beach at Bailey's Shady Grove on Haggett's Pond was a popular summer spot

The beach at Bailey's Shady Grove on Haggett's Pond was a popular summer spot

Andover was a summertime destination in the 1800s and first half of the 1900s.  This week’s photograph is of Bailey’s “Shady Side Grove” on Haggett’s Pond. The grove and beach was a popular picnic site.  As their 1885 advertisement claimed, “Shady Side is always cool and pleasant.”  The grove featured a restaurant that sold fruit, candy, ice cream, soda and “fish dinners in good style.”  Dances were sometimes held at the grove and in 1901 there was a bowling alley as well.  There was a steam boat called “Spitfire” that would steam customers around the lake.  Common dories could be used for free, but an Adirondack canoe would cost you 50 cents for an hour’s use.



Week Two of the Farmer’s Market

Monday, July 20th, 2009
Carrie's Harvest - Week Two!

Carrie's Harvest - Week Two

Shoppers making their way to the second week of the Andover Farmers’ Market were greeted with more good weather and sunny skies as well as a few new vendors! I stopped by as a visitor myself this weekend since I was just about out of veggies and such after last week’s market.

My catch this week included:

  • Delicious popcorn from T.T. Buds (my personal favorite is the Sweet & Cheesy… but neither flavor lasts long at our house!)
  • Cookies from Honey Flour Bakery (it’s a good thing there are only three in a package… so chocolately and so tempting!)
  • Tomatoes and Peas from Farmer Dave’s (these got transformed into panzanella and an Asian salad respectively)
  • Swordfish kabobs from Twin Seafood (as recommended – a quick drizzle of olive oil, some salt & pepper – a few minutes on the grill – perfect!)
  • Zucchini and Patty Pan Squash from Middle Earth Farm (which were diced and marinated to become  Zesty Zucchini Cubes and will feed me all week!)
  • Oatmeal, Milk & Honey Candle from Kittredge Candles (a scent that is great now and will be even better when we start getting some cool summer evenings!)
  • And of course, an Iced Coffee from the Greenest Bean! (that was long gone by the time I got home and unpacked my harvest!)

There were many other vendors with produce and goods that were tempting but my bag filled quickly and I managed to hit everything on my list. I can’t wait to go back next week and see what looks tempting. Who needs to garden when you can enjoy harvesting every week at the Farmers’ Market!

Want to know which vendors will be at this week’s market? Visit the Farmers’ Market Website or sign up up to receive the weekly newsletter by emailing And don’t forget to let us know what your harvest included!


It’s not too early to think Christmas!

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

Well it’s not too early if you’re a Christmas Tree enthusiast and want to be involved with this year’s Victorian Christmas Tree Exhibit at the Amos Blanchard House! Planning is just beginning for this year’s exhibit and we hope it will be even bigger and more exciting than last year.


A miniature sheep from the "Warm and Wooly Winter" tree inspired by a Victorian crocheted winter cap


Once again, the Society will select a variety of mid-19th century objects from our collection, and volunteers will be asked to decorate a tree using one of the objects as inspiration.


Last year the tree themes ranged from Fire Department to Baking Cookies and for 2009 we’re sure to have many more interesting displays!


If you would like to volunteer as a Decorator, either as an individual or as part of a group, send an email to or call the office at 978.475.2236. We promise – it’s not too early to start thinking Christmas at the Society!


Farmers’ Market Success

Friday, July 17th, 2009

camera-7-17-07-047  The third year of the Andover Farmers’ Market opened with a bang this past Saturday. Nearly 400 people attended the market. Several vendors even sold out!  Photographers from local newspapers were in attendance, snapping images of this wonderful community event. Be sure to join us this Saturday the 18th for fabulous locally produced products from over a dozen vendors, family fun in the barn, and artist demonstrations.

               The market runs every Saturday from now until October 10 from 12:30-3:30 on the grounds of the Historical Society. Hope to see you there!