Andover Historic Preservation

6 ESSEX ST6 essex st (click to enlarge)


architectural description

NRDIS NRMRA, unusual spire, decorative touches typical of Chickering's style.

historical narrative

Subsequent uses - Timothy A. Holt Grocers in basement - facing Central Street. Themes - Architectural, Commerce, Community development, religion, and Social/humanitarian.
The Baptists were the first denomination in Andover to assert their rights of freedom of conscience and worship, when during the ministery of South Parish's first person, a citizen tried to secure tax exemption to attend a Baptist meeting nearby. Although he was refused permission, it was through the persistence of the Baptists that freedom of worship was won and the Bill of Rights eventually amended. The Andover Baptists were organized at the home of Orlando Lovejoy (376 Main St. ) Sept. 21, 1832, and 30 members began meeting the next week in Masonic Hall.
Aug. 28, 1834, the present church was dedicated, the second oldest church edifice in Andover. Rev. James Huckins served as first pastor, 1834-1835. The denomination was not strong and was served by ministers intermittently. The dominance of Andover Theological Seminary's Congregationalism was too powerful. From the building of the present church, the basement rooms had been rented out to business firms, most notably, T.A. Holt & Co., pioneer grocery firm of Andover, founded 1838 by Solomon Higgins and Thompson Abbott and suceeded Sept. 1859 by J. Thompson Abbot and T. Augustus Holt. It was not until 1924 that the Baptist Church voted to use their entire building for church property, and at this time renovations were made on the edifice. The porch foundation was relaid, steeple repaired. Improvements had also been made in 1892, adding electricity and installing the pipe organ. The church was again renovated in 1963. Jacob Chickering, who lived down the street, was master carpenter/builder and he also won the bid to the Baptist Parsonage, also on Essex Street.


Andover Historical Society files
Bailey, Sarah Loring, Historical Sketches of Andover., Boston:Houghton Mifflin, 1880
"Anover Baptist Church to Observe 100th Anniversary of It's Founding"- Lawrence Tribune, Oct. 8, 1932
Business History of Andover, Anniversary Souvenir No. fo the Andover Townsman. 250th Anniversary Souvenir..1896, p. 29

inventory data

Table: Inventory Data for 6 ESSEX ST
Place: Andover Center
Historic District: Not Applicable
Address: 6 essex st
Historic Name: Andover Baptist Church
Present Use: church
Original Use: church and store - rentals
Date of Construction: 1834-1836
Source: AHS files
Style/Form: Greek Revival
Architect/Builder: Jacob Chickering builder
Wall/Trim: brick, wood trim
Outbuildings / Secondary Structures
Major Alterations: Basement store changed into Vestry at $5,000. 1924;1963
Acreage: less than one acre, 11,167 sq. ft.
MHC inventory number: ANV.187
Recorded by: Stack/Mofford
Organization: Andover Historical Commission
Date: 1975-77

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