Andover Historic Preservation

29 RIVER RD29 river rd (click to enlarge)


architectural description

Architectural Significance: This complex of three 20th-century structures originally consisted of a residence, printing shop, and a two-story "mansard" roofed barn to the rear, all built on the site of an earlier farm project. The shop and barn have been converted to residences within the last 30 years. The original residence, closest to the road, is a simple single-story gabled-roofed frame structure with a center entry. The shop, slightly to the rear, is a smaller one-story structure, a single room deep, set with its end to the road. An enclosed frame porch was added in its conversion to a residence. The former barn is two stories in height, of square plan, with a distinctive bell-cast mansard roof, suggesting that it may have been moved to this location from somewhere. In its conversion to a residence, one story wings were added to the east and west sides. Both the barn and residence sit on large rubble stone foundations, suggesting that the present buildings may have utilized portions of the original Nathan Shattuck farm complex.

historical narrative

Historical significance: This was the site of the Nathan Shattuck homestead which was completely destroyed by fire in October 1906. Nathan Shattuck (1797 - 1866?) was a West Andover farmer. He represented the town in the state legislature in 1834, and the same year married Mary Fiske Abbott. They had eight children, six of whom were daughters. The two youngest, Sarah and Augusta, inherited the family homestead, which they sold to Mary Donovan in 1881. Born in Ireland, she was the widow of Timothy Donovan (1828 - ), who had come to Boston in 1848, and to Lawrence just before the great dam was finished. About 1862 they had come to the West Parish and lived on Hagget's Pond. It must have been after Timothy's death , that the widow purchased the old Shattuck farm.
In 1889, Albert A. Hardy (1860 - 1942) purchased the farm, then an estate of 68 acres. The entire complex burned October 26, 1906. As a tract of land, without buildings, Hardy sold it to Frances Craig, who presumably constructed the present buildings on the site. Frances Craig (1870 - 1952), a spinster, ran a small printing business from River Road, and constructed the smallest of the three buildings on the site as a printing shop. The present owners acquired the property after her death in 1952.
Charlotte Helen Abbott reported that what had been known as the Shattuck homestead had in fact been constructed by Lieut. Jonathan Abbott, who occupied it until he died in 1830. "There was at one time a large hall in the house, where dances were held on Election nights and Thanksgiving Days".


"Fire Destroys Historic Homestead", newspaper clipping 26 Oct 1906, Shattuck file, Andover Historical Society.

Charlotte Helen Abbott, "Settlers and Old Home sites in West Parish", typescript in the Andover Historical Society.

Lemuel Shattuck, "Memorials of the Descendents of William Shattuck" (Boston 1955), pg. 354.

"Albert A. Hardy", Andover Townsman, 10 Dec 1942, pg. 17

"Frances Craig", Andover Townsman 12 Jun 1952, pg. 14.

inventory data

Table: Inventory Data for 29 RIVER RD
Historic District: Not Applicable
Address: 29 river rd
Historic Name:
Present Use: Residence
Original Use: Residence, shop & barn
Date of Construction: c. 1910
Source: visual estimate and local history
Style/Form: Other
Wall/Trim: Asphalt shingles & c??
Outbuildings / Secondary Structures
Major Alterations:
Condition: fair
Acreage: less than one acre; acreage 3.2 acres
Setting: 19th century farm site close to main road, now returning to woods
MHC inventory number:
Recorded by: Peter H. Stott; Org.: BU OPA
Date: 25 Oct 1987

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