Andover Historic Preservation

35 RIVER RD35 river rd (click to enlarge)


architectural description

Style: Federal

Architectural significance: The Abiel Stevens Farmstead is the earliest house on this section of River Road. The five-bay, two-story center-entry farmhouse with a kitchen ell and connected woodshed/tool room now converted to residential use. A large 1-1/2-story barn (1866) adjoins the northeast corner, forming a semi-enclosed barnyard area between the house and barn. One story bedroom additions have been added to the westside of the house and original kitchen ell, and the house is now sheathed in aluminum siding.

historical narrative

Present owner: Donahue, Francis & Carole Jean, 18 Aug 1972

Earlier owners:
1. Greenwood, John Jr. & Irene
2. Donahue, Frank W. & Ester V., 22 Jun 1948
3. Donahue Frank W. & Judith B., 13 Jun 1969

Themes: Agricultural, Architectural, Community development

Historical significance:
1906 pl. 21 Hardy Farm
1888 Donovan Brothers
1881 Nathan Shattuck's daughter Sarah Bailey & Augusta P.
Jenkins?? sells parcel to Mary Donovan.
1850 Valuation: Nathan Shattuck

Added in 1987: (ERROR in Stevens purchase)
Assessor's records indicate that the house was constructed in 1816. One deed (Bk 158 p 368) notes that the seven-acre property was conveyed to Stevens by James Chandler, Jr. in 1817, and to Stevens by Timothy Poor and Timothy Bailey, Jr. in 1825. Stevens died in 1856, leaving the property to his son Enoch O. Stevens. After his death in 1895, the property was sold out of the family. George Goldsmith (1840 - 1912) purchased the farm in 1901. His widow, who died in 1922, left it to Mary and Daniel Fitzpatrick. John Greenwood bought the property from Fitzpatrick's estate, and Frank W. Donahue (no relation to present Donahue) purchased the farm from Greenwood in 1848. The present owners purchased the property in 1972.

In 1890, the town published an assessment of all property in the town. Enoch O. Steven's house was valued at $850, the barn at $500, and 31.5 acres of land at $850.

The Abiel Stevens homestead is the oldest house in this section of River Road. River Road, however, is still relatively rural, and other sections contain a number of old farms.


See CHA re Donovan & Shattuck (West Parish)

Interview wioth Frank & Carole Jean Donahue (24 Oct 1987)

Essex County Registry of Deeds

inventory data

Table: Inventory Data for 35 RIVER RD
Historic District: Not Applicable
Address: 35 river rd
Historic Name: Abiel Stevens Farmstead
Present Use: Residence, 3 family
Original Use: Residence
Date of Construction: 1816
Source: Assessor's office
Style/Form: Other
Wall/Trim: Aluminum siding
Outbuildings / Secondary Structures attached barn (1866)
Major Alterations: one-story bedrooms added c. 1960, 1978
Condition: good
Acreage: 4.92 acres; Acreage: 7.3 acres; approx. frontage: 234'
Setting: 19th century farm complex set close to busy road
MHC inventory number:
Recorded by: N. J. Stack/Mofford; Peter H. Stott; Org: BU OPA
Organization: Andover Historical Commission
Date: 1975 - 1977; 25 Oct 1987

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