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.


Old Sporting Equipment Week 21

November 27th, 2013 by Janak Shah


This is one of two roller hockey sticks found in the barn. Roller Hockey is simply hockey played in with roller blades rather than ice skates. Similarly to ice hockey, the sport is played in a rink. This stick, which is in reasonable condition, is a long wooden shaft that widens at the handle and at the bottom. The bottom is curved while the handle is squared. This stick’s counterpart is slightly smaller and thinner than this stick, albeit it is identical in every other aspect.

This stick was published in the Pictorial History of American Sports, Durant and Bettman, on page one-hundred. This book describes with images the various sports of America, and was published in 1952. The pair of roller hockey sticks, therefore, were represented, and thoroughly describe the sport.


Old Sporting Equipment Week 20

November 20th, 2013 by Janak Shah


This object, which was found in the west loft of the Andover Historical Society Barn, is an antique croquet mallet. Croquet is a sport that involves hitting plastic or metal balls with mallets through hoops, which are also called wickets in the United States. The game is usually played in a grass court. Croquet is an old game dating back to the year 1856, and has been played by many since. There are several competitive leagues for the sport, but croquet is mostly played as a modern backyard game.

This wooden mallet is about the standard size for a croquet mallet, and although it is not as exquisite as a  modern day mallet, it serves the same purpose. This mallet is another one of the large variety of sporting equipment in the barn.


Old Sporting Equipment Week 19

November 13th, 2013 by Janak Shah


These two sled models are located in the West Loft of the Andover Historical Society Barn. They are similar in appearance and structure, and unfortunately, neither has a plethora of valuable information on it.

The first sled, above, has rectangular runners that are coated with green paint on the inside. The long runners contrast with the smaller sled base. Several holes are drilled through the top of the sled, but these holes appear to have no purpose.

The second sled, which is not in as good condition as the first, has rectangular runners with taper to rounded points at the front end of the sled. The runners have holes drilled in at the front end to hold the reins, with are made of cloth. The seat is about as long as the runners, and has a few holes drilled on top, which similar to the first sled, appear to have no purpose. This sled, however, has the word Eclipse roughly painted on the bottom, which might be a clue of its origin.




Old Sporting Equipment Week 18

November 6th, 2013 by Janak Shah


This long wooden sled is unique not for its outward appearance, but for its hallmark writing on the side. Stenciled in on the side of the sled is the word WELCOME. Although not visible in this picture, the side of the sled is coated in blue paint. The sled, although not apparent, is coated with worn down green paint on the top. The back end of the sled is curved outwards while the front end inwards. The runners of the sled are either made of steel or iron. However, not too much is known about this sled, as the donor and maker are not identified. The sled, however is similar to other antique sleds found online because of its identifying trait, the word welcome.


This is the worn down side of the sled, with the blue/green paint visible. The word WELCOME can easily be discerned.



Old Sporting Equipment Week 17

October 30th, 2013 by Janak Shah


These two ice skate pairs are the final two of the vast collection in the barn. Both of these models are unique from the others, each containing different features and having different capabilities. Unfortunately, neither model has a surplus of information on it.

The first pair of skates have long metal blades with fifteen holes. The blades are curved at the ends, and three metal plates secured on the front side, one at the heel, toe, and instep. These skates are missing leather straps to hold one’s feet in place, but are very much unique to other skates.

The second pair of skates have metal blades with rounded curves at the toe edge. A leather strap is located at the toe end, and a small metal plate is located at the toe edge, drilled in with four screws. There is a large screw embedded in the heel as well. These skates have slightly more information than the former, as they have a maker’s note of Caststeel Wirths BBS Remscheid. The origin is unknown, but the donor’s name was Mrs. William J. Carty.




Old Sporting Equipment Week 16

October 23rd, 2013 by Janak Shah


These ice skates resemble somewhat elvish shoes, and are another one of the vast collection of skates in the West Loft of the barn. These skates have a base of thin metal with a curved tip. These skates are made of wood, with the sole mounted onto the blade. There are leather straps attached to the toe and heel end of the skates, and three straps with buckles connect the two straps at the toe end. These straps help one’s foot fit more comfortably inside these skates as well.

Unfortunately, not much is known about these ice skates, with the exception being the owner, Bessie Punchard Goldsmith. The maker’s note is also visible on the skate, Aug. H Perry of Salem, Mississippi. Aside from their place of origin, these skates do not have a plethora of information about them. However, they are another example of the  vintage skates that can be found in the Andover Historical Society collection.