Andover Historic Preservation


73 DASCOMB RD73 dascomb rd (click to enlarge)

73 DASCOMB RD

architectural description

Elaborate cut shingles

historical narrative

Original owners: Charles and Catherine C. Davies

Themes: Architectural, Community Development

73 Dascomb Rd. “The Davies House” built Circa 1897-8
The site of the first Skeet shooting range in America and where the sport was invented.

This Queen Ann style cottage home was built for Charles & Catherine Davies circa 1897-8. It is one of the best examples of original decorative shingle embellishments on any home in Andover. Saw tooth banding defines the base of the second floor half story. The gable ends contain fish scale, circles, staggered patterns and the repeated saw tooth cedar shingle styles. The diamond shaped window in the gable end fronting the street is filled with stain glass work. The gable peak contains a half moon vent. Windows are the traditional two over one configuration for this period style. The large porch across the front, now enclosed with windows creates a passive solar heat in winter but in the summer screens would have replaced the storms to enjoy the cool breeze of the rural farming neighborhood of the first half of the 20th century in West Andover. What is also remarkable are the same carpenter’s exuberance with the former dog kennels to the rear of the property. The main kennel is high style indeed, displaying the same shingle treatment as the house. It contains stain glass windows, a cupola and has bead board paneling in the interior. The kennel is a unique, one of a kind, piece of architecture with a history all its own.

The Davies new neighbor to the east, John W. Hall, built a poultry farm (1912 – 1915) and voiced concerns about shot hitting his hens and the noise might reduce the hens laying production. Davies then adapted the game from a 25 yard full circle to a half circle.

William Foster, artist, writer and editor of National Sportsman magazine introduced the regional sport nationwide in 1926. The name “Skeet”, Scandinavian form of shoot, was chosen from a naming competition. Charles & Harry Davies had created the first Skeet Shooting range in America and the world. Foster created the second range in Freeport, Maine, his summer residence.

Charles Davies died on Feb. 25, 1924. Catherine C. transferred the property to her two daughters, Marjorie & Helen in 1938. Catherine died March 1, 1940.

The two sisters never married and were inseparable their entire life. Both attended Bridgewater Normal School and became teachers in Padanarun (So. Dartmouth) & Attleboro, MA. In 1918, during WW I, both were accepted into the first class of the newly created Army School of Nursing at Camp Devens, as the first “Bluebird” Corps. They also graduated from Walter Reed Hospital, Washington DC in 1921. They worked tirelessly through the influenza epidemic as civilian nurses and served on the floating ship. Returning to Andover after the death of their father in 1924, Helen continued nursing at Isham Infirmary Phillips Academy. Marjorie took over management of Glen Rock Kennels.

A neighbor recalls that there were several dog houses in the woods beyond the two kennel buildings. In later years they boarded dogs and had as many as 23 dogs at some times, including four of their own. There was also a kennel for cats on the right side of the house.

Marjorie died Sept. 18, 1978. Helen sold the family home on Dec.10, 1979 to Diane Pitochelli. Helen passed on at age 96 on October 17, 1986 in Andover, MA.

Son Harry Davies became an attorney, worked as life counsel and secretary of the Massachusetts Title Insurance Co. at the time of his wedding in Oct. 1912. He married Evelyn Mary Keith, of Brockton, MA, daughter of William L. & Mary E. (Wilcutt) Keith. They lived in Belmont & Watertown before settling in Reading in 1925. Harry died Sept. 14, 1965 and is interred in the Davies Family lot at Laurel Hill Cemetery, Reading, MA with his parents and sisters.

Owners:
Hartwell B. Abbott 1893
Charles E. Davies April 17, 1893 bk. 124 pg. 295 2 acres lot
Anna S. Davies Oct. 30, 1899 bk. 173 pg. 598
Catherine C. Davies Oct. 30, 1899 bk. 173 pg. 599
12, 1912 bk. 318 pg. 427-428 J. J. Abbott lot.
June 28, 1912 bk. 318 pg. 428-429 E. P. Hall lot.
Marjorie & Helen Davies jt. March 12, 1938 bk. 614 pg. 77 three lots.
Helen N. Davies Sept. 18, 1978 Estate of Marjorie.
Diane M. Pitochelli Dec. 10, 1979 bk. 1411 pg. 194
Heirs of Pitochelli Jan. 23, 2009
Terry & Aaron Williams Feb. 2010

Glen Rock Kennels – The building was used as an office, grooming and a four dog kennel. The kennel to the rear contains five dog bays and both once had adjoining fenced in runs for each English Setter. These breed dogs were trained and sold as birders and were not shy of shotgun fire.
References. Andover Historical Society archives, Andover Building Survey

Diane Marie Pitochelli bought the Davies house on December 10, 1979. Diane was born in Methuen, MA to William & Marie (Lanciani) Pitochelli. She was one of four children, brother William, and sisters, Frances Pitochelli McCormick and Kathleen Pitochelli Hamel. Diane graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Lawrence, Emanuel College in Boston & Smith College graduate school. Diane also did further study at the Tyler School of Art in Rome, Italy. She had a long career as a technical writer and editor at Houghton Mifflin and the Digital Corporation.
Diane was described as a real Renaissance woman, as she loved classical and chamber music, was an artist, poet, avid bird watcher, and received a certificate in Landscape Design from Radcliffe Seminars. In 2007 she was chosen Poet Laureate by the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement. Her seascape paintings of Maine hang in several private collections and three of her collages are in the collection of the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy Andover, MA. She passed away at 68 years of age on January 23, 2009 and is interred at the West Parish Garden Cemetery.

1910 tax list: 2a house and dog kennels
1906 atlas: C. Davies - square building and free standing outbuilding
1904 directory: printer
1900 tax list: 2a house and dog kennels

bibliography/references

Stained glass restoration in dog kennel - source from North Andover; see framed photos 1980.17.1 and 1980.17.2

Northern Essex Registry of Deeds-Lawrence, Andover Townsman

Researched by James S. Batchelder

Andover Preservation Commission 05/1/2010

inventory data

Table: Inventory Data for 73 DASCOMB RD
Place: Ballardvale
Historic District: Not Applicable
Address: 73 dascomb rd
Historic Name:
Present Use: residence
Original Use:
Date of Construction: 1890
Source: assessors' records/style-njs
Style/Form: Queen Anne
Architect/Builder:
Foundation: stone/brick
Wall/Trim: shingles
Roof:
Outbuildings / Secondary Structures carriage house at rear
Major Alterations:
Condition:
Moved:
Demolished:
Acreage: 1.05 acres; 45,760 sq. ft., over one acre w/approx. frontage of 220'
Setting:
MHC inventory number: ANV.166
Recorded by: Stack/Mofford
Organization: Andover Historical Society
Date: 1975-77/updated

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