Archive for September, 2010

The Bug Death Box!

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

The Andover Historical Society is preparing for Bancroft School 3rd graders to come visit for Andover at Work next week.  We will be showing them some of our favorite collections pieces when they visit the 1818 barn and our Kidder and Swift Store including the Bug Death Box.

The Bug Death Box

“Bug Death is a patented non-poisonous powder, and is entirely different from anything that has ever been placed on the market, and overcomes all the objections to the deadly poisons that the farmers have been obliged to use in the past.  It is just as effectual as Paris Green and other dangerous insect powders.  It is sure death to the potato, squash and cucumber bugs, currant and tomato worms, also other plant and vine eating pests.

The deadly effect on bugs will not always be as quick, but it is just as sure.  Contrary to the arsenic preparations, it is a benefit to the plant, and the more freely used the better the plant will thrive, and for potatoes when blight is prevalent, the extra yield will more than pay all expense of Bug Death.”

If you are interested in volunteering for the Andover at Work school program or working with our collections call 978-475-2236 or email


Photo of the Week

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Our photograph this week is of Andover’s Red Cross office in 1952.  The Red Cross office was founded in 1916 in response to the needs of servicemen and their families in World War I.  Red Cross volunteers prepared surgical dressings during both World Wars.  Volunteers also cared for residents during the 1918  influenza epidemic and the Shawsheen River flood of 1936.  The Home Service Committee was revived in 1941 to help servicemen and their families with communication, claims, benefits, furloughs, and more.  The Andover office handled over 1,000 cases during World War II.  In addition, the office sponsored blood drives, home health care, and helped displaced families.

Red Cross Director Barbara Loomer and Mary Angus assisting clients in 1952.


Andover Stories – September 23, 2010

Friday, September 24th, 2010

This week’s Andover Story, “Dane, a man of faith who spoke against witchcraft hysteria,” was written by stories co-chair Mike Simo. It’s fitting that Mike’s story ran this week.  Mike and his wife moved back to the Chicago area the day before the story ran in the Townsman.  We all enjoyed Mike’s company for the year that he volunteered at the Society.  During that year Mike was a researcher, newsletter editor, writer, and a member of the ADEPT team.  He will be missed.

Follow the link to the Andover Townsman Online to read about the Reverend Francis Dane, “A man of deep faith, (whose) pragmatic approach during a time of civil and religious strife in the English empire allowed the people of Andover to grow spiritually and prosper financially.”  Twice in  his life, in 1665 and again in 1692, Dane stood up for innocents accused of witchcraft, both times winning the release of the accused from prison.

Andover's Reverend Francis Dane


Come to the Farmers’ Market!

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

It’s Andover Day!  Main Street is going to be hustling and bustling with people coming to celebrate at the town festival.  And the Farmers’ Market will be adding to the festivities.

The Black Dog Howl Band will be performing in the barn from 12:30-3:30

Dave Meldrum will be demonstrating beekeeping on the lawn of the Andover Historical Society.

And if you want to learn about the History of Andover try the Andover Historical Society’s History Hunt letterboxing activity from 12-4 as part of the Trails and Sails: TWO WEEKENDS OF WALKS AND WATER.  Stop by the AHS tent or reception desk to pick up a guidebook that will lead you to the many historic site right in downtown Andover.

The Andover Farmers’ Market run until October 9th from 12:30-3:30.  For more information call 978-475-2236 or email


Andover Stories – September 16, 2010

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

This week’s Andover Story, Scamps, scoundrels color Andover’s past, was written by Andover historian Joan Patrakis. Joan’s story rivals the best crime scene investigation dramas on evening television.  Thefts, public nuisances, insanity, whippings, murders, and a branding all haunt Andover’s seemingly placid past.  Follow the link to the Andover Townsman Online to read the full, surprising story of Andover’s despicables.

Joan will talk about Andover’s scamps and scoundrels Thursday, September 23rd at 2:00 p.m. at the Andover Senior Center.

Andover resident Pascoe Chubb's cowardly surrender of Fort William Henry in 1696 led to his banishment to his North Parish home.


Photo of the Week

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Today’s photo of the week is a striking portrait of Richard Hovey and his mother, the widow of Major General Charles E. Hovey. The note on the back of the photograph indicates that Richard Hovey is buried in North Andover. Looking through street directories from the turn of the last century, we found a number of Hoveys living in and around Andover, most often listed as working as a carpenter and for Tyer Rubber. If anyone has any information they would like to share about Mr. Hovey and his mother, we would be delighted to add to the family research file.

Mr. Richard Hovey and his mother.


High Tea & History Success!

Friday, September 17th, 2010

This past Wednesday, Historical Society and the Andover Senior Center hosted the pilot of a new program.  High Tea & History is an afternoon of tea, stories, and reminisces focused on a recently published Andover Story. Our first High Tea & History focused on the September 2nd article, “Dancing in Shawsheen begat a ballroom for Andover.”  Bernice Haggerty entertained participants with her memories of the Crystal Ballroom in the years before World War II.  Others shared their memories of the Ballroom after the War, through the early 1950s.  Over 50 people came to the inaugural tea, overwhelming the Center’s new Four Seasons Room.  The program was moved to the much larger cafeteria to accommodate everyone.   Thank you to Karen Payne-Taylor and the rest of the Senior Center staff for hosting such a delightful tea!

The next High Tea & History will be Wednesday, October 20th, 2:00-3:30 pm at the Senior Center.  The story we will discuss will be “Serios Grove and fun on the river in Ballardvale.”  Many folks in town remember the Miami Boat House and the Serio family.  Registration to future High Tea & History events will be limited to 25 people, so please call the Senior Center to register early if you’d like to attend (978) 623-8321.

Also, if you enjoy the Andover Stories series, head on over to the Senior Center Thursday, September 23rd. Historical Society volunteer and author Joan Patrakis will talk about her upcoming Andover Story:  “Scamps, Scoundrels and Other Misguided Individuals.” Don’t miss what is sure to be a surprising talk!


Fried Green Tomatoes!

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

What do you get at the Andover Farmers Market?

Every week I try and buy something different, something I’ve never cooked with, or something I’ve never seen.  This week I saw a great big basket of shiny green tomatoes and I knew I had to make some Fried Green Tomatoes.  There is a wide range of vegetables and fruits available at the Andover Farmers’ Market.  You can find unique Asian vegetables at Flats Mentor Farm, Organically grown produce from Gaouette Farm, Farm Fresh eggs from Boston Hill Farm and Much Much More!!

What have you made with your Andover Farmers’ Market goodies?

Fried Green Tomatoes

Recipe courtesy of


3 medium, firm green tomatoes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk
2 beaten eggs
2/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs or cornmeal
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


1 Cut unpeeled tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Sprinkle slices with salt and pepper. Let tomato slices stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place flour, milk, eggs, and bread crumbs in separate shallow dishes.

2 Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Dip tomato slices in milk, then flour, then eggs, then bread crumbs. In the skillet, fry half of the coated tomato slices at a time, for 4-6 minutes on each side or until brown. As you cook the rest of the tomatoes, add olive oil as needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cut 1/2 in slices

Prep food area and shallow dishes

Dip tomatoes in milk, then flour, then egg, and finally bread crumbs

Fry tomatoes in olive oil

Fried Green Tomatoes

Wah la!  Enjoy your Farmers’ Market dish.

If you want to share your recipes and pictures of your Farmers’ Market dishes become a fan of the Andover Historical Society on Facebook or email


Photo of the Week

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

I think of this week’s photo as Punchard Free School’s answer to “Glee.”  Somehow this production managed to include Renaissance ladies, a few characters from Robin Hood, and what looks to be some Pilgrims emerging from a portal.  One can only hope that it was a musical!

The Historical Society has an ongoing research project into the history of live theater and local theatrical groups in Andover.  Local theater was popular from the end of the 19th century through the 1930s.  During the Great Depression local newspapers reveal a large number of local theater groups including the Barnstormers, the Adventurers, and the Andover Community Theater.  Churches, schools, and neighborhoods often formed their own local theatrical groups.  If you would like to work on this research project, call the Historical Society offices and we’ll be happy to bring you up to date on our progress.


Fall ADEPT Volunteer Opportunities

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

If you have you ever wanted to…

…Work closely with your community’s history

…Go “behind the scenes” at the Society

…Spend time with a diverse group of fun people

…Learn new computer skills or polish existing ones

…Gain experience with digital cameras and scanners

Then the Andover Data Entry ProjecT can help!

ADEPT is looking for fall volunteers to help us with a variety of activities, including data entry and collections projects.   Flexible scheduling is available.  For more information or to volunteer contact Mark Turdo at 978-475-2236 or at