Posts Tagged ‘History’

Student’s have fun at the Historical Society!

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

The reviews are in and Andover at Work in the 1820’s is a success!  Students from24 visiting 3rd grade classes from Andover schools have told us how much fun they had while visiting the Andover Historical Society.  With more students visiting this year than ever before, it took a large team of dedicated and talented volunteers to run this 30 year old program.


Thanks to all the volunteers, students, parents, and teachers that participated in this season of Andover at Work in the 1820s. 



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 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.


“The Good Lord Sent The Rain”

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Farmer John Rasmussen of Lowell Road

Have you seen this picture before?  This iconic image of John Rasmussen, an Andover Farmer can be seen in the Andover Historical Society’s current exhibit, The Dirt on Argilla Road.  This exhibition explores Andover’s agricultural past telling the stories of several West Parish farms.

In the July 16, 1953 edition of The Andover Townsman the following description explains the story of the photo, “Farmer John Rasmussen, Lowell rd., donned his boots on Monday, the first time he had worn them since last May, and like a little boy at play on the ocean beach knelt down by one of several puddles of water which had formed on his several acre farm and let the water trickle through his fingers while a smile creased his weather-beaten face.  Monday’s storm brought nearly an inch of rainfall, the first appreciable rain since May 28.  And to Farmer Rasmussen, who has been tilling Andover soil since 1912, it brought new hopes for his four acres of corn, his six acres of lettuce, his seven acres of spinach, as well as lesser amounts of cabbage and cauliflower.  Said John Rasmussen: “The GoodLord Sent The Rain.””

The Dirt on Argilla Road will be on exhibit until October 31st, 2011.  Visit the Andover Historical Society Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. to see our vast collection of historic farming tools and learn about Andover’s farming past.  The Andover Farmers’ Market takes place at 97 Main Street every Satruday from June 25th-October 8th from 12:30-3:30.


Tick Tock, Come and Learn about our Clocks!

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

In Britain, since the reign of King Edward I, hallmarking has been used as a method to identify an item made from genuine metal that has passed a test or assay.  An assay ensured that the metal in an item contained a certain percentage of pure silver.

Some objects at the Andover Historical Society contain silver hallmarks such as the small pocket watch seen in the photo below.  These small silver marks not only denote the purity of the metal,  but also exhibit makers mark or provide information about where or when it was assayed.

If you are interested in history and enjoy learning about interesting traditions, come to Treasures in the Attic: Antique Clocks with Bob Frishman this Thursday, April 28th from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Bob, a clock expert and owner of Bell-Time Clocks in Andover, will lead a tour throughout the Blanchard House to discuss the fascinating history of our tall clocks and conclude his presentation in the exhibit hall where many of our treasured clocks and pocket watches will be on display.   Guests are invited to bring their own treasured clock to this event for Bob to view.

This event is free to members of the Andover Historical Society and $5 for non-members.  Join us for a fun and entertaining evening!

If you have any questions please call 978-475-2236.


Postponed due to Snow–William Wood Presentation next Week!

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Don’t worry you didn’t miss it!  Mark your Calendars and come to the Andover Historical Society next week.

The Andover Historical Society’s much anticipated Andover Stories presentation, William Wood, Father of Shawsheen Village by Don Robb has been rescheduled for February 8th, 2 -3 p.m.

Have you ever wondered why there are so few garages in Shawsheen Village?  Or why the area is divided into “Brick Shawsheen” and “White Shawsheen”?  And what ever happened to the dream of William Wood.

Don’t miss this Andover Story!

Andover Historical Society

97 Main St.

Andover, MA 01810



Andover Stories Celebrates Our Stitching Past

Saturday, January 16th, 2010


Join us on Tuesday January 19th at 10:00 at the Historical Society for the year’s first Andover Stories.


An antique sampler from the Society's collection

Discover Andover’s needleworking past as Office Manager and costume historian, Carrie Midura, explores the world of school girl needlework. Enjoy a sampling of Andover stitchery as examples of 18th and 19th century cross stitch and embroidery from the collection of the Society are displayed and discussed.


Free to the public. 97 Main St Andover, MA 01810. (978) 475-2236



Andover Stories

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Join us on Tuesday December 8th as actress and story-teller Susan Lenoe portrays Harriet Beecher Stowe. One of Andover’s most famous residents, Harriet will share her joy for the Christmas season including family traditions and fascinating facts about her holidays here in Andover.


The presentation is part of a monthly educational series, Andover Stories: Presentations on interesting and obscure Andover history.  Talks by local historians, writers, authors presenting the people, traditions and events that make Andover a unique town.


NEW DATE: December 8th 10:00 am- 11:00 am at 97 Main St.  Free and open to the public.



Turkey Day Facts

Friday, November 20th, 2009
Andover Townsman Nov. 22, 1945

Andover Townsman Nov. 22, 1945

Andover Townsman Nov. 18, 1943
Andover Townsman Nov. 18, 1943

In 2009 Pilgrims, turkey, and pie equal Thanksgiving, but is this how the holiday really started? While it is true that the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoags did hold a harvest feast, this was not the beginning of the annual holiday we now celebrate, but just a one time harvest feast. In early colonial America thanksgivings were days of solemn prayer and worship much like the Sabbath. These thanksgivings could happen throughout the year and could be held for many reasons. Fall was a time of great harvest and it was not uncommon for thanksgivings to be held in autumn as a way to be thankful for the bounties of the harvest.


As time went on autumnal harvest feasts grew and began to be combined with religious days of thanksgiving. By the mid-18th century a singular day of Thanksgiving was becoming more popular and was predominantly held in the autumn months from October to the end of December. These Thanksgiving days were often proclaimed a week prior to the actual day of Thanksgiving by the church, town, or local government. Thanksgiving by the mid-18th century was a day of prayer and church services as well as a day of feast and fun.



Trick or Treat

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Andover Townsman Oct. 30, 1931


Andover Townsman Oct. 30, 1931

The origin of Halloween dates back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain which took place on the night of October 31st. Celts believed that on that night the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. To commemorate the event, they built huge bonfires, where people gathered and wore costumes, typically of animal heads and skins, and told fortunes.

Later under Romans rule, Roman festivals were combined with traditional Celtic celebrations. Again, celebrations were combined under the influence of Christianity. The church designated November 1st All Saints’ Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs and November 2nd All Souls’ Day, a day to honor the dead. All Souls’ Day was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the celebrations were called Hallowmas.

As European immigrants came to America, they brought their varied Halloween customs with them. However celebration of Halloween in colonial times was extremely limited.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with a new wave of immigrants. They helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally. Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today’s “trick-or-treat”. Trick-or-treating probably dates back to the early All Souls’ Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called “soul cakes” in return for their promise to pray for the family’s dead relatives.

The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The practice, which was referred to as “going a-souling” was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food, and money.

At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a secular holiday, with parades and town-wide parties. By the 1950s Trick-or-treating was a major part of the holiday.

 Today Halloween is now the second largest commercial Holiday in the united States with Americans spending a near $6.9 million annually on the holiday!

Article taken from the History Channel,