February 13th, 2013 by Janak Shah
As you can see from the cannon and park bench, this above is a flooded Andover Park during the hurricane of 1954. Hurricane Carol was one of the worst storms in the history of New England, rivaling the storm of 1938, which I wrote about for last week’s post.
Carol first developed from a tropical wave near the Bahamas, and gradually strengthened as it moved northwards. When the storm peaked, it was classified as a category three hurricane by the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. Similar to the hurricane of 1938, it hit Massachusetts at its peak intensity and during high tide. The hurricane produced winds of 80 to 110 miles per hour in Eastern Massachusetts, and most of the state lost power. The Old North Church in Boston was blown down as well.
Carol cost the U.S. millions of dollars, and there were 68 reported fatalities, only one tenth of the deaths from the storm of 1938. Hurricane Carol became the first Atlantic hurricane to have its name retired, and was one of the worst storms that Andover and the surrounding areas ever experienced.
February 6th, 2013 by Janak Shah
Hurricanes do not normally occur in the Northeast, but in 1938, one of the largest hurricanes in New England history struck Andover and its surrounding areas. Before 1938, it had been many years since a major hurricane had struck the New England Area, and many residents did not anticipate another major storm. However, on September 10th, the storm was first spotted south of the Cape Verde Islands. Within ten days, it gathered strength and became a category 5 storm, the most powerful type of hurricane.
Back in 1938, meteorology was not as advanced is it is today, and meteorologists did not have radar to spot the hurricane fast enough. The storm originally was going to strike the south, but veered northwards, sparing Florida and the Carolina’s. On September 21st, the storm hit Massachusetts. It started as just wind, but gradually worsened into becoming on the worst disasters in the areas history. The eye of the storm caused major damage in the western part of the state, and caused floods, damage, and power outages. As you can see in the picture, this Andover resident’s home was crushed beneath a fallen tree.
Overall, there were about 680 deaths from the storm, and millions of dollars of property damage. The impact of the storm was felt years after it occurred, and would not be forgotten by some Andover residents, because it came without warning. The New England Hurricane of 1938 was one of the deadliest storms to ever hit Andover.
January 30th, 2013 by Janak Shah
Above is one of the many scenic areas in Andover, Fish Brook. Fish Brook is located between Chandler Road and the Harold Rafton Reservation, which belongs to AVIS. Fish Brook was orginally bought by the town in several purchases, and was largely funded by a bond issue in 1967.
Today, Fish Brook belongs to the town and is part of the Andover Trails Committee. As shown in the photograph, there are many plants in the brook, including maples, ferns, oaks, birches, hickories, and sassafras trees. Although not shown, there is a large amount of wildlife in the brook, including deer, beavers, fox and many species of birds. The highlight of this photograph is the winding stream. This stream is Fish Brook, but it is only one of the many winding streams that flows through the land. There are trails within the brook that run along the streams, wetlands, and swamps. A ski trail of the Rafton Reservation passes through the brook, and tall white pine trees grow along the edges of hills.
Fish Brook is one of the most important places in Andover because it is part of our water supply. Fish Brook may be thought of as just another site in Andover, but it plays a major part in us receiving quality drinking water everyday.
January 23rd, 2013 by Janak Shah
Shown above is Austin Hall, located on the campus of Merrimack College. Merrimack College is located on Elm Street at the border of Andover and North Andover.
It was formed in 1947, by the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova, at the request of Richard Cushing, the archbishop of Boston. It was granted a charter by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and was originally known as The Augustinian College of Merrimack Valley. The college was initially led by Reverend McQuade. At the time of its creation, the college was a one story structure containing seven classrooms, two labs, a library, and office facilities.
Today, Merrimack College contains nearly 40 buildings including a massive library, science and technology centers, the Rogers Center for Arts, the athletic center, and Austin Hall, which holds several administrative offices. The Rogers Center was named after Irving Rogers, the owner of the Eagle Tribune and Andover Townsman. It is a stunning theater that can seat 600 people. Merrimack College currently has several undergraduate programs and has been ranked in the Best Regional Colleges. It also hosts the Merrimack Warriors Hockey Team, and several alumni played for the National Hockey League.
January 16th, 2013 by Janak Shah
Last week I wrote about the Eagle Tribune, North Andover’s daily newspaper. This week, I am writing about our very own Andover Townsman, which provides local information to the inhabitants of Andover and nearby towns. Pictured on the left are townsman photographers Donald Surrette and Joe Hanson, who worked for the paper in 1941. This photograph was found in the Andover Historical Society collection.
The Andover Townsman was formed in 1887 as a weekly paper, with the first issue appearing on October 14th. The first editor of the townsman was Charles C. Carpenter. The idea of a paper for only Andover came from John N. Cole, who used the paper to support his career in the House of Representatives. The paper flourished under Cole’s ownership until his death in 1922.
The paper had some bad years after Cole’s death, and was bought in 1949 by Irving Rogers Senior, who was the at the time the owner of the Eagle Tribune. In 1887, the Andover Townsman celebrated its centennial under Irving Rogers III, who sold the Townsman along with the Tribune to Community Newspaper Holdings in 2005. Today, the Andover Townsman is delievered every Thursday, and provides wonderful weekly information for many town residents.
January 9th, 2013 by Janak Shah
Andover Historical Society Photograph
The old fashioned car above was a delivery car for The Eagle-Tribune, a daily newspaper that covers Merrimack Valley, Essex Country, and southern New Hampshire.
As shown on the car, the newspaper was not always called the Eagle Tribune, but started as the Lawrence Daily Eagle. It was founded as a morning paper in 1868, and was bought by reporter Alexander Rogers in 1898. Rogers bought a separate paper called the Evening Tribune in 1898 as well. These two papers later merged as the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune in 1959.
The tribune was owned by the Rogers family for over 100 years ending with owner Irving Rogers III, who was responsible for moving the paper’s headquarters to North Andover. After the move, the paper changed its name to The Eagle-Tribune. In 2005, the Rogers family sold the tribune to Community Newspapers Inc. Irving stayed as the publisher, but was replaced after a year. The Eagle Tribune became the largest paper in circulation by the Community Newspapers Inc, and provides fascinating news everyday.
January 2nd, 2013 by Janak Shah
The Andover Hockey Shop is a family run business that has been serving Andover and the Merrimack Valley since 1968. This store might be called the Andover Hockey Shop, but it actually has equipment for a variety of sports including soccer, football, baseball, and basketball to name a few.
The Andover Hockey shop not only provides equipment, but advice to any customer who needs it, whether beginner or expert. The hockey shop also provides team uniforms and customized jerseys. The Andover Hockey Shop is currently under ownership of Chris Gravell. This is a great place to visit if you need sports gear for the upcoming school year.
December 26th, 2012 by Janak Shah
This picture shows the entrance to the Cochran Wildlife Sanctuary located on the grounds of Phillips Academy. This one and a half mile long trail has also been called Bird Sanctuary and provides an excellent space for outdoor enthusiasts.
Despite going to Andover High School, I have visited this trail as part of the Andover Cross Country team. Officially known as Moncrieff Cochran Sanctuary, trails here can be used for running, walking, and cross country skiing.
The 125 acres of land within the wildlife sanctuary were given to Phillips Academy in 1929 by Thomas Cochran, a graduate of the class of 1890. Thomas stated that he wished to make this land a natural piece of ground intersected by trails and adorned by ponds, trees, birds, and wild flowers. He named the sanctuary after his brother Moncrieff, and today, it is exactly what Cochran wanted. The gate of the sanctuary is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and is located between the Nathan Hale and Fuess houses, at the end of Chapel Avenue. If you are looking for a place where you can walk or run, the Cochran Wildlife Sanctuary is an excellent choice. Make sure to wear sturdy shoes because the trail is covered in rocks.
December 19th, 2012 by Janak Shah
At a first glance, the photograph above seems to look like a comfortable living room interior, however, it is actually the Andover Bookstore, located next door to the Andover Historical Society.
The Andover Bookstore, founded in 1809, over two centurties ago, has been a gathering place in Andover for storytelling, events, and book groups. Before it became a bookstore, it was part of a large 19th century house that was renovated as part of Andover Village Square. Several notable people from Andover, including comedian Jay Leno, have visited and purchased books from the Andover bookstore. Jerome and Ethel Cross owned the bookstore for three decades before selling it to Bill and Carolyn Dalton in 1989. It is currently owned by the Hugo family of Hugo Bookstores.
The bookstore is a peaceful place despite being right in the middle of the always busy downtown Andover. One boy likened it to a combination of a library and a living room, and indeed it resembles a living room, with its dark wooden shelves, fireplace, and comfortable chairs for reading. An employee of the bookstore called it an “oasis of calm compared to the modern world of multitasking and cell phones.” The bo0kstore is a convenient place for students to buy summer reading books, textbooks, or just regular books for enjoyment. If you haven’t checked it out before, it is an interesting and unique place to explore.
December 12th, 2012 by Janak Shah
The structure shown above was the Andover Theological Seminary, which shared its campus with Phillips Academy in Andover for 100 years.
The Andover Theological Seminary was founded in 1807 when Orthodox Calvinists fled Harvard College after it appointed a figure that was against their religious views to the Professorship of Divinity. As a result of this appointment, Eliphalet Pearson, the first principal of the Andover Theological Seminary, gathered enough funding to build a seminary.
The seminary’s primary goal was to counter the rising force of Unitarianism and stick to traditional views that the Calvinists supported. The students studied for three years learning about the bible, church history, and doctrinal theology. The Andover Theological Seminary had alumni from all over the world, including countries such as China, India, and Japan. Eventually, the seminary became known worldwide, but was moved back to Cambridge in 1908, after 100 years at the Phillips Academy campus. It eventually merged with the Newton Theological Institution and became known as the Andover Newton Theological School. It is still known by that name today.