Archive for August, 2010

It’s August 31st!!??

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

There are so many reasons I can’t believe it’s the end of August already. First, summer always passes too quickly and unhappily (for me and every student and teacher I know) September shows up before I know it. Secondly, we have been so busy at ADEPT that these last few weeks have just flown by (which is also why it’s been two months since our last post).

While the time has been fleeting it has not been wasted. We are fortunate to have 13 dedicated volunteers working on ADEPT this summer, making a total of 15 people on the project since we started in January. Together they have updated 3,523 database records and imported 1,190 images into the database. Put another way, 25 years (1985-2010) of the Society’s object collections records are now fully searchable.

Saying that I’m pleased with our progress would be an understatement. We started the project six months late, but thanks to our project staff we have already surpassed our annual goal of 3,000 records in just seven months. I am overwhelmed by and thankful for everyone’s efforts and generosity. Thankfully almost all of them are staying on for a while.

Thanks to them I may even be looking forward to September.


Photo of the Week

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

This week’s photograph celebrates baseball, “The American Pastime.”  From the 1880s through the early 1900s, Andover boasted a number of local baseball teams including Andover’s Union Team, the Andover Blackstockings, and the Vale Nine.  Neighborhoods, factories, and schools often sponsored local baseball teams.  Many familiar family names appear in the ranks of local baseball teams including, Cronin, Poor, Dearborn, Collins, and Abbott.  The Andover Townsman ran a series of photographs of “old-time baseball teams” from “Auld Lang Syne” in the 1937.  Copies of the Townsman are available at the Historical Society library if you would like to take a look back at Auld Lang Syne yourself.

We don't know the names of the players in this photograph of the Vale Nine.


Andover Stories – August 19, 2010

Friday, August 20th, 2010

This week’s story, Farming in Andover, was written by Andover historian Jim Batchelder. Jim’s story starts back to 1660, and continues right up to the 1980s.  There was a time was Andover was mostly farm land.  Over the past 200+ years Andover farms have produced sheep, poultry, beef, pork, dairy, apples, strawberries, potatoes, cabbage, and squash.  Hungry for more?  Follow the link to the Andover Townsman Online to read the full article!


Visit the Market!

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

This week at the Andover Farmers’ Market come meet artist Jerry Smith as he performs using the Mountain Dulcimer.  Jerry has been a member of the Andover Artists Guild for two years and a resident of Andover for 18 years.  Stop by the AAG tent to hear some beautiful music.

While your visiting with your favorite vendors stop by to have your child’s facepainted on the Porch.  Our weekly craft in the barn will be hand tulips, sure to add charm to any room!


If you are interested at volunteering at the Andover Farmers’ Market or would like to attend and demonstrate a unique skill contact Debbie DeSmet at 978-475-2236 or email

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Photo of the Week

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

This week’s photograph is of an anonymous bicycle club gathering behind the Town House.

Bicycle clubs were popular during the 1880s and 1890s after the safety bicycle was introduced.  Before the invention of the safety bicycle, cycling was considered a dangerous sport for adventurous young men only.  The Society has in its collection both a “velocipede,” an early bicycle without pedals that the rider propelled by sitting on the seat and pushing off on the ground, and a high wheel bicycle, that featured a very large front wheel and a small back wheel.  The safety bicycle, which featured a low seat, a drive chain, and pneumatic tires popularized cycling with men and women alike, and set off a “bicycle craze” that lasted into the early 20th century.

Sadly we know nothing about the bike club assembled for this photograph, but here’s an interesting article on the history of bike clubs that appeared in the New York Times, June 30, 2010.


Fall Woodworking Workshop Dates Announced

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

“Hand Planes & Wireless Routers” is designed to meet the needs of woodworkers, from the novice looking for an introduction to traditional hand woodworking skills to the advanced woodworker.  The autumn 2010 six-week session runs Saturdays, 9:00 am-12:00 pm, October 23 through November 27, with a make-up session on December 4.  The fee is $60 for members and $70 for non-members, with a discounted student rate of $40.

Download Registration Form

For further information, please call the Andover Historical Society at 978-475-2236, or sign up online by clicking below.

Register Online for Fall 2010 Hand Planes & Wireless Routers Class

Workshop Fees


Andover Stories – August 12, 2010

Friday, August 13th, 2010

This week’s Andover Story, “Andover company that started as Tyer Rubber produced Converse shoes, NHL puck.” was written by Mike Simo. Tyer Rubber was a major manufacturing employer for over 100 years. The Society is fortunate to have in its collection photographs of the Tyer Rubber factory, along with examples of some of the company’s products. Tyer Rubber materials include sneakers, a hot water bottle, and a few rubber postcards that the company produced to show the quality of their product. To learn more about Tyer Rubber company and its founder Henry G. Tyer, follow the link to the Andover Townsman website.

Tyre Rubber employee working in the mill.


Free Fun Fridays!

Thursday, August 12th, 2010


The Highland Street Foundation has been offering their Free Fun Fridays this summer.  The Free Fun Fridays program invites everyone to visit a designated museum or attraction for free over ten Fridays this summer and Labor Day Weekend (Friday & Saturday).  Venues are free during normal business hours, and you do not need to register or obtain a ticket.  There are still three Fridays left to enjoy this program...

Friday, August 13, Old Sturbridge Village

Friday, August 20, Institute of Contemporary Art

Friday, August 27, Museum of Science

There’s also a Grand Finale Weekend Friday, September 2 and Saturday, September 4.  Each day eight museums are open free of charge, including the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Concord Museum, Worcester Art Museum, USS Constitution Museum, American Textile History Museum, and much more!

Follow the link to the Highland Street Foundation’s Free Fun Fridays webpage.


Photo of the Week

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Andover has a long history of patriotic celebrations.  Fourth of July features the Horribles Parade and other events, including fire works.  Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, Flag Day, and war memorials for those who served in World War I, World War II, and Korea are all celebrated by the Town’s Patriotic Celebrations Committee.  In addition, Andover has a lively history of celebrating its own anniversaries, the 250th in 1896, 300th in 1946, and 350th in 1996 were all celebrated in high style

Today’s photograph is of a road race that was part of Ballardvale’s Fourth of July celebration in 1909.


Guiding yourself through history

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Looking for something to do this weekend?  Ready for a change from the beach? Why not try a self-guided tour of a historic area in Essex County?  Essex County is rich in history just waiting to be discovered.  Visit the Essex National Heritage Commission’s website for self-guided trails and tours you can take in your own backyard.  Download a copy of the National Park Service’s guide to Underground Railroad sites.  There a a number of sites right here in Andover that you can discover!  Or print a copy of the African American Heritage Sites brochure and explore a different story of Salem, Mass.    Or drive out to Swampscott with a copy of the Olmsted Historic District tour to learn about Olmsted’s vision for the town.  You can even download Andover walking tours on the Society’s website.