Following up on my last post, I have decided to write about another river that passes through Andover, the Merrimack River.
The Merrimack River runs for 117 miles southward into Massachusetts, and then northeast into the Atlantic Ocean. It runs along the Northern border of Andover.
Pictured above is photograph #1992.811, found in the Andover Historical Society collection. The Merrimack River previously ran southward towards Boston before depositing into the Atlantic Ocean, but as the glacier that covered the North-East retreated, the river was re-directed. The Merrimack River intersects with the Shawsheen River in Lawrence. Like the Shawsheen River, the Merrimack was fundamental in the development of certain areas of Andover industry. Water power from the Merrimack aided the textile mills in Lawrence, Lowell, and Haverhill. The river is also known for the classic, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers by Henry Thoreau. Recently, in May 2006, the Merrimack River caused major flooding which damaged properties and forced evacuations in the cities in which is passed through. The Merrimack River assisted development and the growth of industry in not only Andover, but several other towns in the Merrimack Valley.