Andover Historic Preservation

56 CENTRAL ST56 central st (click to enlarge)


architectural description


Style: Georgian

Other features: modillioned cornice and good entry porch; hip roof; 4 fireplaces; exceptional doorway; Greek Revival touches

historical narrative

Present owner: Abbot, Anglesea & John (22 Nov 1952)

Original owner: George Abbot (known as George "the emigrant")

Themes: Aboriginal, Agricultural, Architectural, Community development, Exploration/Settlement, Military

Historical significance: Original Andover deed conveyed from Richard Sutton to George Abbot ("the emigrant"), written by Simon Bradstreet, March 18, 1663. "The Old Red House", built 1704, stood on site until razed 1862. George Abbot moved from North Parish before 1676 and built a garrison house at the South of the present building. It was between the garrison and 57-59 Central Street that Joseph Abbot was killed by the Indians and his 13 year old brother, Timothy Abbot, captured and kept some months in an Indian village and was later returned by a squaw, to his family. These were George's sons and it is believed the Indians were seeking revenge on Joseph, who had fought at Narragansett Battle. The attack occurred April 8, 167?. (Fuess, "Andover, Symbol of New England", pg. 70-71).

This house was built 1796, presumably by George's grandson (?) of the same name, on the original family homestead. It has been occupied by eight lineal descendents, i.e. 8 generations. Original garrison house stood in rear of house. There have been additions, notably in doorway details i.e. fluted pillars and Greek-style fret worked into the pediment.
In 1946, this house was owned by John R. and George E. Abbot and in 1968, Mrs. George E. Abbot.

1997 Pres. Award
Owners: Ila and Ted Cox

The Captain John Abbot homestead was owned by eleven generations of Abbots, one of Andover's founding families until 1982 when it was purchased by the present owner. This residential complex of house, granary, barn and carriage house represents a graceful vestige of the town's historical development. Central Street is a continuously used thoroughfare for over 300 years.


National Register of Historic Places

Andover Historical Society files.

Goldsmith, Bessie: "Historical Houses of Andover, Mass", 1946

Bailey, Sarah L. : "Historic Sketches of Andover", 1880

LeBoutellier, Addison: "Early Wooden Architecture in Andover, Mass.", 1917

Historic Andover, 325th Anniversary, 1646 - 1959

Fuess, Claude: "Andover, Symbol of New England", 1959

Abbot, Rev. Abiel and Rev. Ephraim: "Geneological
Register of the Descendents of George Abbot of Andover", Boston, 1847.

See also: Barn Survey

inventory data

Table: Inventory Data for 56 CENTRAL ST
Place: Andover Center
Historic District: Central Street NRH District
Address: 56 central st
Historic Name: George Abbot House
Present Use: residence
Original Use: farmhouse and Garrison House
Date of Construction: 1796
Source: B. Goldsmith, Historical Houses of Andover, 1946
Style/Form: Other
Foundation: stone/brick
Wall/Trim: clapboards
Outbuildings / Secondary Structures 2 barns - 1 shingled, I clapboarded
Major Alterations: additrions
Acreage: 2.32 acres; Lot size: 3.32 acres; approx. frontage: 243'
MHC inventory number: ANV.113
Recorded by: Stack/Mofford

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