Posts Tagged ‘andover’

Games Week 9

Monday, January 26th, 2015


This is an object that is truly unique to the town of Andover, the game of Andover, Massachusetts. This board game, along with others, was found on the third floor of the historical society. This game is essentially Monopoly, but “Andover-ized.” One can see the gazebo and the Phillips Academy bell tower on the cover of the game, showing locations that could have served as properties in the game. 2014-07-23 14.44.56As one could read from the rules, this game is, what I stated before, a spin-off of Monopoly. Each player starts with a certain amount of cash, then moves around the board using game pieces to buy properties and pay/collect cash to and from the bank. The game only ends when all but one player becomes bankrupt, which can often take hours. 2014-07-23 14.44.24This is the game board, with the “Go” square in the corner where one starts the game. The multiple properties are spread out on the board, as are the Andover version of “Go to Jail,” and various fees and “star” cards, or chance cards in regular Monopoly. The same image on the cover is on the middle of the board. 2014-07-23 14.46.10The game pieces, dice, star cards, cash, and property cards are all located within the game box. These objects are all similar to Monopoly, even though the game pieces are significantly less original in this game. In conclusion, this game is truly unique in that it incorporates the town into a simple board game everyone can play.


Old Sporting Equipment Week 11

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013


Yet another sled in the barn, this one is slightly different from its predecessor last week. The base of this sled is a flat, rectangular, board. The sled is mostly brown, but traces of worn down green paint are found at the edges. The runners are the hallmark of the sled, as they extend above the base and giving the sled a greater length. The runners are also flat at the top, and hole is drilled at the tip of each runner. Knotted through these holes is a thin rope used as the reins of the sled.

This sled was made in Boston in an unknown year. It was donated by Lucile White to the Andover Historical Society in 1968. Although the original date of creation is unknown, the sled was owned by Marcus M. Hill, who was born in 1862. He most probably used it as a child, which results in the sled existing in the 1860s-70s. Hill lived on High Street here in Andover, so this sled originated and still is in Andover.


Cash and Credit at the Kidder & Swift Store

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

During Andover at Work in the 1820s, the Andover Historical Society’s annual 3rd grade school program, students visit the Kidder & Swift General Store.   This store, once located in downtown Andover, was owned by Dr. Nathaniel Swift and his partner Francis Kidder.  As students are introduced to  life in the 1820s they visit several stations including the farm to gather eggs that they use to trade with the store owner.

Portrait of Dr. Nathaniel Swift

In the store children learn about cash and credit as it was in the 1820s.  In the 1700s, most people lived on farms and produced what they needed including food, clothing, and housewares.  When a family member needed to purchase something, they usually bought it on credit, trading goods or services.  Store owners would record transactions in ledgers or account books.   The system of credit and exchange was reliable for those who knew the store owner and were trustworthy to pay their debts.  Not enough coins were minted throughout the country at the time, so trading was a common practice.

As commerce and manufacturing expanded the use of paper money increased.  Credit and exchange was less reliable in certain situations, for instance if a stranger or newcomer came to the store looking for credit.  Banks were opening throughout the country, including the Andover Bank in 1826.  A group of business men including Dr. Nathaniel Swift and Amos Blanchard (owner of the Blanchard House at 97 Main Street) gathered pledges from community members to purchase stock in the bank.  When enough stock had been purchased, the group submitted a petition to the state legislature.  Once approved by the legislature and signed by the governor, the group of stockholders could determine the by-laws of the bank.  Dr. Nathaniel Swift was chosen as Director of the bank and Amos Blanchard the cashier.

The bank printed paper notes, like the one seen in this blog.  It was a basically a promise by the bank to pay the holder of a note in gold or silver specie or hard coin.

Andover Bank Note

During Andover at Work in the 1820s, students bring eggs to the store to trade, for a peppermint candy  after signing their name with a quill pen in the store account book.  They also take home a copy of a $3 bank note from the Andover bank.

Andover at Work in the 1820s  is one of the many programs available at the Andover Historical Society that looks into Andover’s history using artifacts and stories of those who lived here.  To learn more about Andover at Work in the 1820s or any other programs, call 978-475-2236.


Registration is Open for Can You Dig It? Andover Archaeology

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012
There is still space available for our Can You Dig It? Andover Archaeology program on April 19th so don’t forget to sign up! This program is a great chance to learn about the archaeological history of Andover including some of the findings from the Native Americans who once called the area around Andover “home.”

Color Image of a Pawtucket Village along the Merrimack River courtesy of the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. All Rights Reserved.

Arrowheads and handicrafts that have been found tell us that Native Americans lived along the Merrimack River for thousands of years.  Shattuck Farm in West Andover is believed to have been one of the largest Native American villages in the area.  Much of the site was damaged, making it difficult for archaeologists to interpret the history.  What they found helped them understand the settlement of the area.  Some of the items that were found included plant remains, bones, and ceramics.  The archaeology program will discuss what archaeologists can learn from these discoveries and how they are excavated from the ground.

Children ages 7-11 are invited to join us for this exciting look at archaeology and artifacts of Andover’s past from 9:30-11:30 on April 19th during school vacation week.  The program cost is $10 per child.  Space is limited and Reservations are required.  Register by phone at 978-457-2236 or at the Andover Historical Society website by April 18th.


A Colonial Williamsburg Christmas in Andover

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Colonial Inspired Wreath Created by Susan DeLarm-Sandman

Pineapples, oranges, apples, and boughs of holly?

While fruits and natural plant life adorn modern day Colonial Williamsburg wreaths, this was not always the case.  The tradition of decorating Colonial Williamsburg homes with wreaths, swags, and roping embellished with fruit, vegetables, flowers, and herbs was only recently started in the 20th century.  Although Williamsburg is well-known for its holiday decorations and events, the first year homes were decorated for Christmas in such a splendid fashion was not until 1936.

Holiday Wreath created by Susan DeLarm-Sandman

This year the Andover Historical Society will be celebrating the season with our own event based on the beautiful decorations of Colonial Williamsburg.  Join Susan DeLarm Sandman of Andover’s Spade and Trowel  Garden Club at the Andover Historical Society for a special wreath making workshop on December 15th, 2011 at 7:00-9:00 p.m.  All wreaths will be decorated with natural materials that would have been available to the colonists, a standard rule for the Williamsburg Wreath contest.  The Colonial Williamsburg Wreath Making Workshop will take place at the Andover Historical Society inside the new Christmas tree exhibit with warm drinks and treats as well!

Registrations are required in advance for this event, please call 978-475-2236 or sign-up online.


Happy Thanksgiving from the Andover Historical Society!

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Have you ever wondered about the first Thanksgiving or how our national Thanksgiving holiday started?  At the Andover Historical Society research folders flood the library with information about families, houses, events and more.  Included in those research files, is one specifically devoted to the history of Thanksgiving.   In 2008, Gail Ralston, a local historian put together a packet of information regarding Thanksgiving traditions and donated her work to the Historical Society.  Utilizing historic books and local articles from the Townsman, Gail’s research looks at how Thanksgiving has changed over time, including what the Pilgrims ate at Plimoth, to Thanksgiving meals as recent as 2007.

Gail’s research has been used to create programs for local schools and is an excellent resource for local and national Thanksgiving history.  Just this week, Museum Educator, Debbie DeSmet visited the Doherty Middle School 6th grade class to present the fascinating history of Thanksgiving in Andover.  Did you know that Andover was first called Cochichawicke?  The Merrimack Valley was once an Indian hunting ground and its name meant “Place of the Great Cascade.”  Just as the Pilgrims at Plimoth Plantation joined together with Natives in 1621 to give thanks for a bountiful harvest, settlers of Andover had friendly relations with Merrimack Valley natives for many years. To learn more about Thanksgiving in Andover, visit the Andover Historical Society research library Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Please join us this Holiday Season for our Gates and Gable House Tour December 3rd, and visit our website to learn about all of our December events.

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving from the

Andover Historical Society.


Treasures in the Attic: Winter Sports with Alan French

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Visit the Andover Historical Society this Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. for our special event Treasures in the Attic: Winter Sports with Alan French.

Treasures in the Attic programs  offer visitors a chance to view collections that are not regularly on display.  This Saturday, Alan French will explore the history of winter recreation in Andover.  Alan French, owner of Moor and Mountain, Chairman of the Bay Circuit Alliance, and former member of the AVIS Board of Trustees will present history and stories associated with objects all related to winter sports from Andover’s past.

Young Bessie Goldsmith

Included in the Andover Historical Society winter sport collection is a pair of ice skates and a child’s sled donated by former Andover resident Bessie Goldsmith.  An eccentric Andover character, Bessie left a large collection to the Andover Historical Society including personal items, diaries, and photos.  During Treasures in the Attic, Allan French will recount stories of

Bessie Goldsmith and how the Goldsmith Woodlands were saved.  Bessie, a strong and independent woman of Andover’s past, is said to have pointed her shotgun at trespassers caught picking blueberries on her land.  In 1974, Bessie Goldsmith, donated her woodlands and land to the Fund for Preservation of Wildlife and Natural Areas.  AVIS became the caretakers in 1977.

Alan French of Moor and Mountain Sports

Alan French is an expert in sporting equipment and an avid outdoorsman. With a total of  172 miles of multi-use, recreational trail, Andover conservationists have preserved the land and its history for future generations.  Come learn about how winter recreation in Andover and sporting equipment has changed and evolved Saturday, November 12th.  This event is free to members of the Andover Historical Society and $5 for non-members.  Please call to make reservations.

To learn more about the Treasures in the Attic program, call 978-475-2236 or visit the Andover Historical Society website at


Abbot House History at AHS

Friday, November 4th, 2011

This October the Andover Historical Society celebrated our first Bewitched in Andover: A Series of Eerie Events.  During our month of Halloween inspired events, the Benjamin Abbot House at 9 Andover Street was opened for a one-day special guided tour.   Over 100 visitors stopped in to take a tour of the house and learn about the family who once lived in it.  The Abbot house passed down through ten generations of Abbotts over a period of three centuries.  Originally, owned by Benjamin Abbot, an accuser of Martha Carrier during the infamous Salem Witch Trials, the house was finally sold and left Abbot hands during the Great Depression.

Fortunately, over the course of its ownership, the house at 9 Andover Street has come to be cared for by preservationists who have cared for this Andover treasure.

To learn more about the Benjamin Abbot House and other homes in Andover visit the Andover Historical Society and explore our extensive research files and photographs.

Join us this Christmas Season for more Andover Historical Society events.  Visit our online calendar to learn more.


A Series of Eerie Events in Andover

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

As the seasonal changes of fall appear in the falling leaves and the dropping temperatures, eerie events are taking place at the Andover Historical Society.

Throughout October, the Andover Historical Society is hosting Bewitched in Andover, a series of eerie events.  Starting October 1st with a session called GhostHunting 101 and a lecture on The Witches of Andover by Kimberly Whitworth, we are in the midst of this buffet of spooky local history.

Join us tomorrow night for An Evening with Kathleen Kent including a book reading and signing with well-known author of the The Heretics Daughter,  from 7:30-9:00.  The book reading will take place from 7:00-7:30, reservations are required.  Kathleen Kent has released in paperback her newest publication The Traitors Wife.   The Andover Bookstore will be selling copies of all of Kathleen Kent’s books.

Coming up next Tuesday, a new program for children, Tea with Sarah Carrier:  A 1692 Andover Girl.   Like the beloved American Girl Doll stories, the Andover Historical Society is sharing  stories of real Andover Girls of the past.  The first Andover Girl will be a 1692 girl, Sarah Carrier.  She was only 7 years old when her mother was imprisoned during the Witchcraft Hysteria.  Even Sarah was imprisoned and accused of being a witch.  During this special spooky tea party, girls will learn about what it was like to live in the Colonial era.  They will make special crafts, learn about the past, and try foods that the Carriers may have eater.  The Andover Girl Tea will take place Tuesday, October 18th, 3:30-5:00.  Reservations are required.

Next Saturday, Tour of the Witch’s House at 9 Andover Street the Benjamin Abbot house.  The home of witch trial accuser Benjamin Abbot will be open for tours during this one-time special event.  Benjamin Abbot accused Martha Carrier of witchcraft, along with others, after an argument with Martha regarding land.  A sore grew on Benjamin’s side and did not start to mend until she was taken away by the sheriff.  Tours will include history of the ten generations of Abbots who lived in the second oldest home in Andover, history of Andover and the witch trials.  Tours will take place on the hour and half hour from 1 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with the last tour taking place at 3:30 p.m.

The final event to end Bewitched in Andover is a lecture on the history of West Parish Cemetery by Jim Batchelder.  Make reservations to join us for Cocktails from the Crypt. Drinks will be served at 7:00 p.m. and an informative lecture will start at 7:30.

Call to make reservations at the Andover Historical Society 978-475-2236.


Farmers’ Market Season Finale!

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

This Saturday, October 8th is the last day of the 2012 Andover Farmers’ Market season.  Over the course of 16 weeks the Andover Farmers’ Market has taken place surrounding the Andover Historical Society in the heart of downtown Andover from 12:30-3:30 every Satuday.

This Saturday new and returning vendors will celebrate the last day of the season and look forward to another year of offering fresh fruits and vegetables, specialty foods, baked goods, and an array of crafts and body care products.

Don’t miss out on the last day of the Andover Farmers’ Market!

Alpaca from Big Red Acres Farm

Visit the newcourtyard, a newly landscaped portion of the Historical Society lawn with picnic tables designed and put together by Troop 76 and Eagle Scout Sam Pratt.   Jen Boshar of Big Red Acres farm is bringing alpaca yarn and fleece, socks, and scarves and beaded alpaca necklaces.  Jen is also bring Alpacas!!  Visit the courtyard to see these beautiful and unique animals.

Facepainters from the Andover High School will be on the porch offering free face painting to children.  And Merrimack Chiropractic, will be promoting healthy living near the barn.

Visit the Andover Farmers’ Market this Saturday, 12:30-3:30.

Thanks to all the vendors who participated in the Andover Farmers’ Market this Season!

AHS Sustainable Garden Project

Belvedere Body Co.

Big Red Acres Farm

Boston Hill Farm

Caroline’s Clips

Crafty Creations

Cristen Farrell Photography

Farmer Dave’s

Fior D’Italia Pasta and Cheese

Gaouette Farm

Globe Fish Company

Golden Girl Granola

Habitat Soaps

Honey Flour Bakery

Jess Jams

Kittredge Candles

Kristina Trott Photography

Long Hill Orchard

Maria LaTorre Creations

Nantucket Florals

Shady Oaks Organics

Soula’s Homemade Salsa

Still River Winery


Taza Chocolate

Quinn’s Canine Cafe