Games Week 5

December 29th, 2014 by Janak Shah


Taking a break from the deck of cards, this particular game is called the “Fish pond game.” It was also found on the third floor of the Andover Historical Society. The game comes in a long rectangular wooden box, and on the inside lid is a white label with the rules of the game. The box lid connects to the box using hinges and a small latch.

Rules of the Game

Rules of the Game

2014-07-23 14.34.13

A “fishing pole” and “fish.”

In the box, are six fishing poles, or 45 centimeter long dowels, and 37 “fish,” or small wooden-bell shaped pieces with wood bubbles at the top of each piece simulating the eyes of the fish. This game is somewhat abstract and unknown, but simulates the art of fishing. Unfortunately, the donor is unknown as well as the year of conception.



Games Week 4

December 22nd, 2014 by Janak Shah


This is another one of the abundant supply of card decks on the third floor. This deck of cards, similarly to last week’s entry, was donated by the Merrimack Mutual Fire Insurance Company. These cards were also produced in the mid 1900s. The difference between the card decks is the design on the cover. Whereas the last deck contained a simple, inconspicuous design, this deck has the image of a Native American woman in front of a tepee plastered on the front of the deck and the front of each card. Unlike the other deck of cards, this deck contains the full set of 52 cards in a standard deck, as well as four jokers.

This deck of cards contains a distinguishable box lid, bottom, and the actual deck of cards. These are labelled as three different objects with different ID’s. Inside the lid, there is a note about the maker of the cards, Ray Ring. He lived in Epsom, New Hampshire, and worked for Forbes and other companies in the mid 1900s.

2014-07-23 14.24.09This is the full suite of clubs with the joker, next to the open box of cards.


Games Weeks 3

December 15th, 2014 by Janak Shah
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This old deck of cards is one of many located on the third floor of the Andover Historical Society. This deck is a standard deck of cards, with the exception being the three of clubs missing. Aside from this, the other 51 cards are included in this deck. The card box has two sides, one of which is shown. The other side is labelled Merrimack Mutual Fire Insurance Company, and this is the label for the back of each card as well.

The Merrimack Mutual Fire Insurance Company was formed in 1828, and is the founder of Andover companies, an insurance protection agency since 1828. It is one of three companies, that still exist today, of Andover companies. The Merrimack Mutual Fire Insurance Company sold policies to several towns, including Andover, Newbury, Beverly, Methuen, and Newburyport. The company was successful initially, and currently owns more than half of Andover companies. The current address for this company is 95 Old River Road, residing close to Lawrence.


Games Week 2

December 8th, 2014 by Janak Shah




This is a circular board found on the third floor of the Andover Historical Society. This game is similar to the last one, but has a varying setup as well as varying rules. This board contains 33 holes for marbles, and included in the game set, are 32 marbles.

This game is called peg solitaire, with the intial setup having marbles in each hole aside from the center one. Then, a player must jump one marble over an adjacent one. A marble jumped over is to be removed from the board. However, there must be a space open for the marble jumping over the other marble for this to occur. The game continues until it is impossible to remove any more marbles, or if, in rare cases, there is only one marble left, which is the goal of the game.

This board can also be used for other games requiring marbles as well, and is versatile in that facet. These are the marbles that would be used in the game.

The marbles of the game


Tree Time 2014: #2

December 5th, 2014 by Andover Historical Society

Up next… three more stunning trees!

DSC_0310A Small World of Dolls

Decorated by Empty Nesters
& inspired by an antique doll

This tree is adorned with small figurine dolls of every shape, size, color, and place of origin. All along the tree, red threads lace together various flags representing each of the cultures which the dolls belong to. The shape of these dolls is brought to better focus with the great many small but bright lights that adorn the tree from the inside and out.

Adorning the tree also are a great multitude of “Happy Holidays” greetings written in languages ranging from Swedish to Israeli (indicated by the English in parentheses beneath the greetings). Decorating the base of the tree are the larger, more intricately detailed dolls, who sit in chests and in chairs just below the branches of the tree.

DSC_0311Building Fun at Christmas

Decorated by The Mother Connection
Inspired by wooden blocks

This tree is decorated from top to bottom with an assortment of primarily wooden objects, following the inspiration for the ornaments to the dot. Everything from wooden letters, numbers, and blocks adorn the tree on every branch.

Colorful, glittery CD disks hang among the wooden components, along with some paper art of Christmas trees. The entire spectacle is brought together with a grand, radiant, red rope draped around the tree from bottom to top. Every ornament is easily identified against an array of many small Christmas lights, varied in color and very eye-pleasing paired with the dark of the pine tree branches.

train themed christmas treeI Think I Can

Decorated byProf Ctr Logo_3285_k & inspired by wooden train engine

This spiritedly snow-white flocked tree is ornamented with an assortment of items that stay true to it’s inspiration. Paper crafts of trains in every possible design and color hang from the tree. Next to those are wooden train-set bridges, also of different colors and styles. Acting as the tree’s star, a wreath decorated with train tracks and stars stands at the very top of the tree. The Professional Center for Child Development’s mission is to provide therapeutic and educational services for children of all abilities and their families, working with each child to develop to his or her full potential. They strive to eliminate barriers to growth and development for children with disabilities and families coping with health issues and challenges. This tree, inspired by a train from The Historical Society’s collection, represents their children as “The Little Engines that Could.”

Don’t worry, were not done yet…
There are still 32 more trees to share!


Tree Time 2014: #1

December 3rd, 2014 by Andover Historical Society

With over 35 trees as part of this year’s display, we’ll be highlighting multiple trees in each of our upcoming blog posts! The decorated Christmas trees were inspired by our current exhibit, Making Time to Play, highlighting toys and games from the Historical Society’s own collection. Many thanks to all our decorators for their creativity and hard work and additional thanks to AP US History student Joseph Kim for writing the tree descriptions.

 Lego themed tree inspired by blocks
Let’s Build!

Decorated by Alistair McBrien
& inspired by toy blocks

Children have been using construction toys for a long time, from simple blocks to snap together plastic parts. This tree is an eye-catching, interesting contrast of dark pine leaves and branches with varied geometric shapes of all colors and sizes. The shapes themselves form the curious outlines of snowflakes and stars.

Behind the block-like shapes, Christmas lights of all different colors hang from top to bottom of tree, contrasting sharply with the dark  black color of the pine tree.


Fire fighting themed tree inspired by antique fire truck toy

History on Fire

Decorated by Andover Rotary
& inspired by antique toy fire truck

A bona fide example of one’s personal interests being incorporated into the spirit of the holidays, this tree boasts a wide array of items all related to fire rescue trucks and the brave souls who man them. On all sides of the tree, a transparent lace ties together a multitude of objects including white ladders, silver pails, miniature fire trucks, plastic firemen, and spherical red Christmas ornaments.

Seen beneath the tree are a few of the darker, life-sized water buckets with a few historical details printed on the side. These buckets were donated by Andover Rotary to the Historical Society earlier this year for hand-on use in the  Andover at Work in the 1820s school program for third grade students. White and red Christmas lights accentuate the theme of the decorations with a subtle finesse. Andover Rotary members Katharine Barr, Elaine Clements, and Charlotte Lyons are the decorators extraordinaire behind this brilliant tree.

Coming up next… doll-inpsired tree and more!


Games Week 1

December 1st, 2014 by Janak Shah


The image above is of a child’s game that was found in the Northeast wing of the third floor of the Andover Historical Society. This is the first of a series of blog posts I will be doing about the upcoming Making Time to Play exhibit.

This particular game involves an octagonal wooden board, as shown, with two oval tracks cut into it near the edges of the board. There is one straight track in the center. There are also twenty wooden disks with letters painted on them to slide along the tracks. Some of these disks are broken, but are still able to slide through the tracks. The exact name and rules of this game are unknown, as is the manufacturer and donor. However, it can be inferred that the disks are meant to be arranged in some way.


Photo of the Week: World War II

July 15th, 2014 by Sofia Haque

1993096128rPrint; One of a group of photos, numbering approx. 170, taken by Donald Look. Andover Scenes.  Donated in nine albums which were subsequently unbound and filed separately.  In 2007, photocopies of these photos were located in Library in a Ring Binder.


This photo was a site in Andover. It was taken by Donald Look in nine albums. Copies of these were located in the Library in a Ring Binder. In the photo, it looks like a heap of things people don’t care for. I see women and men standing near the pile. Those people might have thrown this stuff in that pile.






Photo of the Week: Den Rock Park

July 15th, 2014 by Sofia Haque

Den Rock is a site in Lawrence and Andover, MA. It consists of one hundred and thirty acres of protected open space. It also has a river named Shawsheen River within the lower Merrimack River. Native Americans were attracted to Den Rock for its resources and shelter. What I found interesting was the fact that there is so much history around this very rock.

My name is Sofia Haque. I go to Valley Collaborative, which gives me the opportunity to work in different places and attend classes on campus, that help build awareness about the real world. I’m a volunteer here at AHS. My job is to answer the phone and research different historical photos. After research I blog about the picture.



Old Sporting Equipment Week 22

December 4th, 2013 by Janak Shah


These final two objects were found in the Andover Historical Society barn, the west and north lofts. Above is a wooden billiards cue, which is squared at the handled end. The cue is approximately forty-eight inches long, and is tapered off at the point.

The dumbbells, below, each twelve pounds, are black but have rusted over time.  They are thin in the middle and each end rounds off as a sphere. They are unlike modern day dumbbells, where each end is flat.

Unfortunately, neither the date conceived or the previous owner/donor is known. However they are still unique artifacts that cannot be ignored.



This will be the final post in the “Old Sporting Equipment” category. I hope they were enjoyable and informative articles and I hope to write more soon.