Archive for October, 2011

Director’s Blog: What can you do at the Historical Society this week?

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Place a bid on an “object of desire” in AUCTION 2011

Gift Certificate for two Les Fleurs floral arrangements

The Society’s is hosting an auction in three parts this year.  You can bid on items online at Bidding for Good through Friday, November 4.  You can come to a community open house Saturday, November 5, 10:00 to 4:00 pm.  Or you can join us for a special members’ open house Saturday, November 5, 7:00 to 9:00 pm.  See something you love during the open house?  You can place a proxy bid to be opened when the auction ends, or you can join us for the members’ event.  Not yet a member?  Joining is easy!  We’re running a half-price membership campaign for new members this fall.  Visit our website to become a member today.


Photo of the Week

Sunday, October 30th, 2011


The dashing man above is Addison Brayton Le Boutillier, a talented artist and architect from Utica, New York. He was born in 1872 and as a child dreamed of becoming an architect. His first big job was at the architectual firm S.S. Beman in Chicago. His big break was when Mr. Beman had him make the drawings for “palm house”, an addition to Mr. Pullman’s mansion. He was laid off in 1893 as there was an architectual slump in the city. Soon after, however, he won a contest to design the “letterhead of a Boston hardware company”. He moved to Boston and entered (and won) several design competitions. He became a jewelry designer in 1894 at Bigelow, Kennard and Company. For five months in 1896 Le Boutillier traveled around Europe and his sketches from his travels were turned into fine engravings decades after his return. When he came back to Boston, he was hired to be chief designer at Grueby Pottery. Eventually he started his own architectual firm, and in 1928 his thriving firm created a parnership with Hubert G. Ripley. The pair made many colonial designs for Andover houses.  After his son was born, Addison and his wife moved to Orchard Street in Andover. He moved to Rockport with his wife upon retirement.

Thanks to Debbie for showing me the family archives we have! I’ve finally gotten out of my business-photo slump. All info gathered from the book Addison B. Le Boutillier: Andover Artist and Craftsmen by Clark Pearce.


Director’s Blog: What can you do at the Historical Society this week?

Monday, October 24th, 2011

After enjoying our Friday evening Cocktails from the Crypt program, visit the Society’s library to learn more about Andover’s historic cemeteries

Historic cemeteries have been described as “History written in stone.”  Cemeteries are a tangible link to the past and are a unique way to explore local history.  Explore these natural places to learn about who lived here and shaped the Andover we know today.  By studying the ages, names, symbols, and epigraphs in cemeteries, we can learn about our town’s cultural, religious, and historical background.


Photo of the Week

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011


The man above, Josh Miner, founded the rugged camp Outward Bound. He was born in New Jersey and attended Phillips Exeter Academy and then Princeton. He was a captain in World War II, and when he returned, he was a physic instructor at PA Andover from ’52 to ’64. He founded Outward Bound in 1961 and served as its chairman until 1972. The program started in Colorado with 80 students, and since then millions have graduated from the program. My hockey captain, PA ’11, went on one of the trips last year and even showed the team a picture of a goat she took on her phone.

Anyhow, Miner recieved the John Phillips Award from Exeter in 1992. In 1995, the Outward Bound national center was named after him.

Check out his obituary in the NY Times here:


Abby Locke’s Splendid Days: A Teenager’s Diary in 1860s Andover (38)

Friday, October 21st, 2011

The J.C. Handley & Co manufactured "Cinderella" steam engines in Lawrence from 1857 into the 1870s.

Abby’s entries from October 1867 continue:

Tuesday 15:  Fred Taylor, Eaton & C. came up in the evening.  Had a nice time.  Next Tuesday we are going to have a small sociable.  F.T. is to invite the boys.  I and Clara the girls.

Wednesday October 16 Went over to the Pacific Mills and into one or two shops to see Steam Engines with the Philosophy class.  Was very tired on reaching home.

Thursday 17:  Went down to Aunt Abbie’s to see Grandmother and Aunt L. – they went yesterday morning from here.  Stayed to tea.  Father and Mother came in the evening. 

Friday 18:  Went after ferns at Indian Ridge with Clara Brown.  Called on Hattie and she showed me her new jewelry Rosa brought her from abroad.  Both elegant sets.

Saturday October 19called on G. Ray after school.  Virgie Houghton came to make Louise a visit.  She has been expecting her some time.  Mr. F. spent the evening.

Sunday 20:  Mr. Frye, Virgie.  Louise and I went to the young men’s lecture by Mr. Babbit in the eve.  In the middle of the prayer a cow bellowed and it sounded so funny we laughed. 

 The Pacific Mills was a Lawrence corporation with Andover roots.  The company had been established in 1853, when Mr. Jeremiah S. Young (one of Abraham Marland’s sons-in-law) transferred the worsted operation (including specialized machinery imported from England for the manufacture of delaines – a high-grade woolen fabric for ladies clothing) from its original location in Ballardvale. Pacific Mills was incorporated with The Essex Company’s Abbot Lawrence, one of the founders of the city, as President, and Young as Treasurer, and an initial capitalization of one million dollars.  The years between the company’s incorporation and the end of the Civil War were not profitable, but the company was known for the modernity of its equipment, including the first fine combing machines brought into the country and a dyeing and printing process that could turn out cloth – both cotton, wool and blends —  with 16 different shades and colors.  In 1867 (the year of Abby’s visit) the Pacific Mills won a medal at the Universal Exposition in Paris for “developing a spirit of harmony among all those cooperating in the same work, and have provided for the material, moral and intellectual well-being of the workmen. “ 

The  main operations of all the Lawrence mills were powered by water turbines turned by the mightly Merrimack River, but portable steam engines were used for internal jobs such as heating (and humidifying) the factory work areas, turning mills for grinding lead and other minerals for the dyeing process and running the elevator.  The engines Abby visited (as part of her “Natural Philosophy” or physics class) were likely some version of the “Cinderella” manufactured by Lawrence’s J.C. Hoadley Co.   The company sold 762 engines between the years 1857 and 1870 (many to the Essex Company and the Lawrence mills) and “gained a good reputation for efficiency , safety, durability, convenience and general utility, combined with reasonable economy of fuel.”


Director’s Blog: What can you do at the Historical Society this week?

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Take a woodworking class

Our fall session of Hand Planes & Wireless Routers starts this Saturday, October 22, in the woodshop of the Blanchard Barn.  Leave the 21st century behind to step back in time to an era before electricity when you enter the 187 year-old Amos Blanchard Barn.  Breathe in the atmosphere of this unique place.  Listen to the hum of a handsaw cutting though air-dried lumber and the sound of a sharp plane shaving curls of wood from a board.  Pick up a 19th century plane or router and try your hand at traditional woodworking.  Feel the warmth of the wooden tools and the satisfaction of learning an old “new” skill.

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 class meets in the historic 1819 Amos Blanchard Barn.  Students will use authentic 19th century hand woodworking tools in this very special program.  The fall 2011 six-week session runs Saturdays, 9:00 am-12:00 pm, October 22 through November 26, 2011 with a make-up session December 3.  The fee is $60 for members and $70 for non-members, with a discounted student rate of $40.  For further information, please call the Andover Historical Society at 978-475-2236, or visit for information.


Photo of the Week

Sunday, October 16th, 2011
The Andover Shop has been around as long as I’ve lived in Andover, but I’ve never seen anyone enter or exit the store.  So my friend and I decided we would take a look inside. The shop sells “conservative, old fashioned” clothing, including ties, sweaters, and Phillips Academy apparel. I picked up a fashionable tie and showed the price tag to my friend: it was in the triple digits. How does a small place like this stay in business? Turns out the shop has been there since the mid-1900’s, owned by Charles Davidson.
Leon Davidson lived on a farm. His farm was on what is now the 17th hole at the Andover Country Club. Leon later bought the club, and the house is still there today. Leon had three childrens, John, Charlie, and Dorothy. Leon bought a building on Main Street and started a restaurant called Doc’s. John worked at the restaurant while he attended Phillips Academy and Harvard. Charlie and his brother-in-law purchased an existing men’s clothing shop next door, and The Andover Shop was born. They even opened up a second location, still in Cambridge today.

Abby Locke’s Splendid Days: A Teenager’s Diary in 1860s Andover (#37)

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Thursday October 10A beautiful day.  Had a nice drive [with] Mary [Means] and Mary [Morton] and Clara.  Got some autumn leaves.  Met the boys going into the Gymnasium going and coming out as we came back.

Friday 11:  Amy Charnley, girl [?] and Lottie M(orton). went from Andover to day to Chicago.  Lottie is to stay till Spring.

Saturday 12:  Rained very hard.  Went to the Old South at ten to hear Mr. Hall.  The school was obliged to go.  Academy boys and theologues.  Most of the girls had on their best.  I wore my old brown hat and did not look very well.   I did not know any one would be there but our school.

Monday 14Grandmother, Grandfather and my Great Aunt came to day.  Found them at the house when I got home from a nice long walk with MM and MM. 

The two Marys – Means and Morton – are two of Abby’s closest friends throughout the two years of the diary, and the trio would remain close for years to come.  In July 1880, Abby and Mary Morton would bring sons for baptism on the same day at Andover’s Christ Church, with Mary Means standing sponsor for little Arthur Whitreau, Mary Morton’s son. 

Mary Hoppin Morton was the daughter of Judge Marcus Morton.  He had represented Andover in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in the 1850s, and had been a respected town leader during the Civil War.  In 1867, he held a position in the Superior Court of Suffolk County, and would be named Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in 1869.  Mary attended Abbot Academy and married Mr. Clarence Whitreau and lived as an adult in Staten Island and Katonah, New York. 

Mary McGregor Means was the daughter of William G. Means, who was the treasurer of the Manchester (NH) Locomotive Works, manufacturers of locomotives, stationary steam engines and tools.  She was the cousin of Emily Means, the Andover teacher and artist who later became the straight-laced principal of Abbot Academy, and the grand-niece of Mrs. Jane Means Appleton Pierce, the wife of President Franklin Pierce, who spent several summers in Andover.  Mary Means died in 1906 at the age of 57.


A Series of Eerie Events in Andover

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

As the seasonal changes of fall appear in the falling leaves and the dropping temperatures, eerie events are taking place at the Andover Historical Society.

Throughout October, the Andover Historical Society is hosting Bewitched in Andover, a series of eerie events.  Starting October 1st with a session called GhostHunting 101 and a lecture on The Witches of Andover by Kimberly Whitworth, we are in the midst of this buffet of spooky local history.

Join us tomorrow night for An Evening with Kathleen Kent including a book reading and signing with well-known author of the The Heretics Daughter,  from 7:30-9:00.  The book reading will take place from 7:00-7:30, reservations are required.  Kathleen Kent has released in paperback her newest publication The Traitors Wife.   The Andover Bookstore will be selling copies of all of Kathleen Kent’s books.

Coming up next Tuesday, a new program for children, Tea with Sarah Carrier:  A 1692 Andover Girl.   Like the beloved American Girl Doll stories, the Andover Historical Society is sharing  stories of real Andover Girls of the past.  The first Andover Girl will be a 1692 girl, Sarah Carrier.  She was only 7 years old when her mother was imprisoned during the Witchcraft Hysteria.  Even Sarah was imprisoned and accused of being a witch.  During this special spooky tea party, girls will learn about what it was like to live in the Colonial era.  They will make special crafts, learn about the past, and try foods that the Carriers may have eater.  The Andover Girl Tea will take place Tuesday, October 18th, 3:30-5:00.  Reservations are required.

Next Saturday, Tour of the Witch’s House at 9 Andover Street the Benjamin Abbot house.  The home of witch trial accuser Benjamin Abbot will be open for tours during this one-time special event.  Benjamin Abbot accused Martha Carrier of witchcraft, along with others, after an argument with Martha regarding land.  A sore grew on Benjamin’s side and did not start to mend until she was taken away by the sheriff.  Tours will include history of the ten generations of Abbots who lived in the second oldest home in Andover, history of Andover and the witch trials.  Tours will take place on the hour and half hour from 1 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with the last tour taking place at 3:30 p.m.

The final event to end Bewitched in Andover is a lecture on the history of West Parish Cemetery by Jim Batchelder.  Make reservations to join us for Cocktails from the Crypt. Drinks will be served at 7:00 p.m. and an informative lecture will start at 7:30.

Call to make reservations at the Andover Historical Society 978-475-2236.


Changes at the Historical Society

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Yesterday we bade a sad farewell to ADEPT Project Manager Mark Turdo who is leaving the Society to become curator of the Peter Wentz Farmstead in Worcester, Pennsylvania.  Under Mark’s direction, the ADEPT project reached its 3 year grant goal of entering records from 2000 to 1960 in the 18 short months that Mark led the ADEPT project.  Leading a strong corps of volunteers and interns, Mark developed the Society’s handbook for managing the Past Perfect database, completed an inventory of the house, and launched a number of side projects that are informing the next phase of the ADEPT project.

We are fortunate that Marilyn Helmers, the volunteer and intern who has worked with Mark since the start of the project, will step in and lead the ADEPT project through the end of this grant round, July 2012.  Over the last 18 months, Marilyn helped develop the ADEPT handbook and data entry processes, entered data into Past Perfect, and helped orient and train new volunteers and interns.  Marilyn is well positioned to take on the leadership of the project for the last nine months of the grant.  For those of you who have not met Marilyn yet, I look forward to introducing her to you.

Marilyn Helmers, Deb DeSmet, Mark Turdo, Elaine Clements, and Carrie Midura