Andover Historic Preservation

48 CENTRAL ST48 central st (click to enlarge)


architectural description


Style: Picturesque; Mid-Victorian Mansion

Other features: front entry porch added ca. 20th century
8 fireplaces; elaborate detailed trim, even at chimney-top, under eves and above windows.

historical narrative

Present owner: Lally, Richard & Patricia

Original owner: not definitely known

Subsequent uses: "President Pierce's Summer White House" ?

Themes: Aboriginal ?, Architectural, Community development, Education, Political, Transportation

Historical significance: Present owner claims that there was once an Indian settlement on grounds - archeology digs have been made recently.
Original builder - owner not ascertained, but house is earlier than 1859, when John Aiken, "Lowell manufaturer, moved to large house on Central Street". Judge Aiken was agent for Tremont Mills/Lowell (Appleton Manufacturing Co.) In 1840s he was agent for Bay State Woolen Mills, Lawrence, owned by Samuel Abbot & Amos Lawrence. Aiken was President of Phillips Academy and Andover Seminary Trustees, 1854 - 1857 and lived here until his death, 1867. His second wife, Mary Means? Appleton, was elder sister of Franklin Pierce's wife. It was after the president-elect spent Christmas holidays here that their only son, 11 year old Bennie, was tragically killed in a railroad accident near the Almshouse, Jan. 6, 1853. The body was brought back here and the funeral officiated by their minister from Concord, N.H., with Bennie's school chums as pall bearers, was held here Jan. 10. President Pierce made numerous later visits to this house and addressed Andoverites at the time of the Civil War Rally. Mrs. Jane Pierce, who never recovered mentally from her son's death, died here Dec. 22, 1863. During Pierce's visits, this was "the Summer white House" with his administrative staff accross the street at #47 (Samuel Abbot House).
It was later known as "The Ripley House" - for Col. George Ripley. He had green-house/barn on site. Also owned Atkinson House, 17 Abbot Street, 1900 and had large farm at end of Abbot Street.
Advertisement "Andover Townsman", May 9, 1890 - "excellent new milch cows, carefully bred, are offered for sale by Col. Ripley's Rock Farm on Abbot St. Near Spring Grove Cemetery".
It came into Barnard possession and in 1962, was owned by Mr. W. Shirley Barnard, whose daughters, Nance Soule and Particia Lally inherited 1964. Richard Lally and Patricia Barnard Lally have owned since 1965.


Andover Historical Society files: "Aiken"; also C. C. Carpenter's "Scrapbook" vol. 111

Directory of Andover, 1900

Andover Townsman, May 9, 1890

Fuess, Claude:" Andover, Symbol of New England", 1959, pg. 279-280 (1852 Andover map)

Lawrence Courier, Jan. 11, 1853

Andover Townsman, Sep. 9, 1976

Interview with Richard Lally, present owner.

Nichols, Roy: "Franklin Pierce", a bibliography

"Sermon of the Life and Character of the Honorable John Aiken", delivered in the South Church, Andover, Feb. 1867 by Rev. Chas. Smith, Boston: John D. Flagg, 1867.

Mofford, Julie: "Presidents Who Passed Our Ways", Lawrence Eagle Tribune, May 8, 1976.

inventory data

Table: Inventory Data for 48 CENTRAL ST
Place: Andover Center
Historic District: Not Applicable
Address: 48 central st
Historic Name: Aiken, John - Ripley, Col. George House
Present Use: residence
Original Use: residence
Date of Construction: by 1850
Source: 1852 map: "J. Aiken"; style - njs
Style/Form: Other
Foundation: stone
Wall/Trim: clapboards
Outbuildings / Secondary Structures modern garage
Major Alterations: pool (1968); renovated by present owner
Acreage: less than one acre; Lot size: 47,680 sq. ft.; approx. frontage: Central Street - 348', Central Lane - 120'
MHC inventory number: ANV.112
Recorded by: Stack/Mofford
Organization: Andover Historical Commission
Date: 1975 - 1977

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