Osgood Farm holds a significant place in Andover’s farming history. The oldest part of the Osgood House was built in 1699 for Stephen Osgood and Hannah Blanchard, but it was not until 1739 that their son Isaac expanded it. In later years, Isaac’s son Jacob, who fought in the battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill during the Revolutionary War, became a reputable farmer in Andover.
After inheriting the land from his father, Jacob became quite the agricultural entrepreneur and philanthropist. He frequently went into to town and gave milk away to the poor. However, Joseph’s specialty was in apples, specifically cider.
He built a cider mill, which he used to make cider from freshly picked apples. The cider was stored in barrels in Joseph’s cellar, ready to be sampled by visitors. Jacob, very social and open, often invited people to visit the farm and help themselves to his product.
One of the more well-known visitors of Osgood Farm was famed Revolutionary War veteran James Otis, a close friend of Jacob’s brother David. Otis lived at Osgood Farm during the last days of his life, when he was killed after being struck by lightning. The account of his death is a popular topic in Andover history, as the Osgood house eventually became known as “The House Where James Otis was Killed.” Ironically enough, Jacob Osgood always maintained that if Otis had not wanted a drink of cider, he would not have been struck by lightning while exiting the house to go to the cider mill.