Andover Historic Preservation

54 MORTON ST54 morton st (click to enlarge)


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].

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.


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
Foundation: flagstone
Wall/Trim: clapboards
Outbuildings / Secondary Structures modern garage
Major Alterations: into restored apartments 1940's, 1953/54
Moved: 1880
Acreage: 23,362 sq. ft.; approximate frontage 85'
MHC inventory number: ANV.381
Recorded by: Stack/Mofford
Organization: Andover Historical Commission
Date: 1975-77

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