Andover Historic Preservation


54 MORTON ST54 morton st (click to enlarge)

54 MORTON ST

architectural description

Hip roof; added lean-to; right 1/2 of house may be earlier

historical narrative

Themes: Agricultural, architectural, commerce, community development, education

Known as "Chocolate Hall" and "The Commons" (dormitory for theological students)

Originally stood corner of Main & Phillips Street - moved 1880 1/2 mile to present location by Francis Williamson to make way for erection of Tucker House. Built before 1791 by Judge Phillips as a store, managed by Jacob Abbot, 1791-1897. In 1818, after second academy burned, Phillips Academy classes held here several months. It was known as "Chocolate Hall"- also "The Commons" and theologues lived here - called "old farmhouse" in Records.

Line of barns, sheds & stables stretched along Phillips Street; 20 cows were kept to supply students - area called "Sunset Garden". Issac Farley, boarding house steward, occupied it before and to 1844; followed by son J.A. Farley.

Deacon Holbrook Chandler [1820-1886] had been overseer at Amoskeeg Mills 15 years. 1869, returned to Andover, appointed "execution officer" of Treasurer of Phillips Academy and for 7 years, "school farmer" was superintendent of grounds & bldgs. Francis Williamson was resident when house moved to Morton Street.

Nellie Williamson [owner in 1913] sold to Harold Rutter Jr. 1953 and Rutter restored. Dr. Mary Harris and writer Elizabeth Stuart Phelps occupied rented rooms in house - 1843. Miss Phelps put iron spike in oak beams to hang her favorite pink oxalis. Pull-door bell now in use at Andover Historical Society's entrance came from front door of this house.

Williamson taxed with house, barn and shed [Real estate valuation 1900].

Owners:
Finberg Supply Co.
Harold & Dorothea Rutter (1972)


May 3, 1995, awarded Certificate of Appreciation at Historic Preservation Awards for faithful restoration to the main house.

bibliography/references

Andover Historical society files
Phillips Bulletin, July 1915, p. 9,14
Fuess, Claude. An Old New England School - History of Phillips Academy
Carter, Emily. "Main Street in 1850" - Andover Townsman, Jan. 23, 1934
Fuess, Claude. Andover: Symbol of New England, 1959, p. 341-342

inventory data

Table: Inventory Data for 54 MORTON ST
Place: Andover Center
Historic District: Not Applicable
Address: 54 morton st
Historic Name: Phillips, Judge Samuel Store
Present Use: residence & apartments
Original Use: store, residence, schoolrooms
Date of Construction: before 1791
Source: AHS/Style/njs and P.A. records
Style/Form: Georgian
Architect/Builder:
Foundation: flagstone
Wall/Trim: clapboards
Roof:
Outbuildings / Secondary Structures modern garage
Major Alterations: into restored apartments 1940's, 1953/54
Condition:
Moved: 1880
Demolished:
Acreage: 23,362 sq. ft.; approximate frontage 85'
Setting:
MHC inventory number: ANV.381
Recorded by: Stack/Mofford
Organization: Andover Historical Commission
Date: 1975-77

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