TIMELINE

1630:  Europeans begin to arrive in the area, expanding in from the coast.

1634:  Cochichewick Plantation set out by the General Court.

1643:  Cochichewick Plantation is founded around the Great Pond, a favorite seasonal fishing and hunting area of the native population. First documented settler is Richard Barker.

1644:  Simon Bradstreet sets up 1st mill on Cochichewick River near Merrimack.

1645:  Church for Cochichewick is established with John Woodbridge as minister.

1646:  The town of Andover is incorporated, named for the market town in England near where John Osgood lived in Hampshire, England. Initial settlement had 23 men and their families.

  • General Court confirms that John Woodbridge & Edmond Faulkner had purchased tract from Cutshamache for the sum of 6 pounds & a coat.   

1647:  Francis Dane named 2nd minister when Woodbridge resigns to return to England.

  •  Woodbridge takes with him the poems of his sister-in-law Anne Bradstreet to publish in London.

1660:  Order prohibiting dwellings on distant farmlands with heavy fines imposed—20 shilling per month.

1661:  Joseph Parker owns Mill rights on the site of Mill Pond condos.

1664:  Population - 24 taxpayers on town rolls.

  • Incentives offered by town to anyone who builds a corn or a saw mill.

1669:  Larger 2nd meeting house near the First Burying Ground on Academy Road.

1675:  Twelve men from Andover joined the Massachusetts Regiment to fight against the Narragansett in King Philips War at the Great Swamp Fight. 12 garrison houses are built.

1676:  April 19—Andover attacked around Bodwell’s Ferry.

  • Timothy Abbot taken, brother Joseph killed.
  • Indians burn Edmond Faulkner’s house which contains the town records.

1682:  Thomas Barnard hired as assistant minister to assist Rev. Dane because some in parish think he is too old to fulfill his duties.

1692/3: Witch Trials in Salem: 

  • The Witchcraft Hysteria which began at Salem Village stretched across Essex County eventually 158 people were accused, 50 of them lived in Andover.

1698: Last Indian attack on Andover: The Abenaki people, led by Assacumbuit, launched the most severe of all the Indian attacks on Andover, burning buildings, scattering livestock and goods, destroying the town records, and killing several people including Penelope Johnson and Pascoe Chubb.

“Voted that a committee be chosen to receive anew the records of the town lands, according to what papers may be found that have been upon record before; our town records being taken away by the enemy Indians”.

1700:  50 taxpayers recorded on town rolls. Town has grown since 1664 when only 24 taxpayers were recorded.

1705:  Congregation votes to build 3rd church. Controversy over location begins.

1708:  General Court orders Andover divided into 2 parishes: North Parish and South Parish. Both congregations ask Rev. Barnard to be their minister. 

1710: Parson Barnard chooses to stay in North Parish. South Parish calls Samuel Phillips. Third Meeting House building begins in current location in old center.

1714: Rev Thomas Barnard purchases land from Dudley Bradstreet, son of Simon and Anne Bradstreet, to build new house, now known as the Parson Barnard House. This property is owned by the North Andover Historical Society.

1718: Rev. Thomas Barnard dies & is buried in 1st burying ground.  His son John Barnard inherits his house, subject to the right of his widow to live there.  

1744-57:  French & Indian Wars. 

 1765:  Population: 2,442.

1770:  Town Meeting minutes notes opposition to Parliament’s imposition of “… duties on tea, paper, glass &c made and passed for the express purpose of raising a revenue in the American Colonies without their consent, which act we apprehend is oppressive…”

1773: Colonists dump Tea in Boston Harbor in protest of taxes.

1775:  Private James Stevens of Andover wrote in his diary on April 19th that he awoke at around 7am to the alarm that soldiers were marching to Concord MA, so he gathered with his company at the meeting house to begin his journey on foot to Lexington passing through Tewksbury and Billerica.

July 4th,1776: Declaration of American Independence.

1776: Population: 2,953.

1788: George Washington elected 1st President.

1790:  Population: 2,863.

1800:  Population: 2,941.

1801:  The incorporation of the North Parish Free School, later called Franklin Academy. School was erected in 1799 after Jonathan Stevens donated the land to the town, the first incorporated academy in the Commonwealth to admit both sexes.

1802:  Schofield Mill opened, which still stands today on Sutton Street, the first textile related mill in town. It was water powered.

1810:  Population: 2,941.

War of 1812-1815

1813:  Nathaniel Stevens builds textile mill.

  • This mill was the beginning of a company that grew into an international textile company until it was acquired by a private equity consortium in 1988.

1820:  Population: 3,884.

1832: Law requiring all households to contribute to support of established church is repealed. 

1834:  Evangelical Church of North Andover (now Trinitarian Congregational) formed by members of North Parish. The first of many churches founded after the repeal.

  • Gilbert & Richardson, predecessor of Davis & Furber, moves to North Andover

1835:  Bailey Family buys Parson Barnard House.  Daughter Sarah Loring Bailey writes history of Andover still consulted today.

1836:  Gilbert & Richardson (later, Davis & Furber Machine Company) moved to the banks of Cochiciwick Brook because the water flow was more reliable. The firm grew on the present site until it was an international seller of textile equipment. When the firm closed in 1982, the mill complex was converted to a commercial area now known as East and West Mill.

1840: Population: 5,207.

1847:  Lawrence incorporated as Town.

  • Took 3 ½ sq. miles from Methuen and 2 ½ sq. miles from Andover.

1850:  Population: 6,945.

1855:  The town of Andover is split along the parish lines into present day North Andover (North Parish) and Andover (South & West Parishes). Act of Separation meeting held at North Parish Church.

1861-1865: Civil War

1864:  George Rea wrote his last letter home from the South telling his family he reckoned “…there will be some hard fighting soon.” He was captured by the Confederate Army and he died in Andersonville prison later that year.

1867:  Johnson High School and Stevens Hall erected on site of current school administration building. Funding provided primarily by Colonel Theron Johnson who wrote a check for $10,000 to the town. General Eben Sutton donated the clock tower.

1868:  Horse Railroad Trolley Service from Lawrence began in 1868.

  • Company stops building employee housing.

1880s:  North Andover becomes a summer resort for folks from Boston.

1884:  North Andover Improvement Society is founded.    

1896:  North water pumping station built on road behind Butcher Boy Plaza.

  • Water provided by the town rather than households relying on wells. The small lots downtown meant that wells and outhouses were often located near each other. (Sanitation report)

1900:  Town population: 4,243.

1910:  Town population: 5,529.

1912:  2nd Bradstreet School opened.

1913:   North Andover Historical Society founded.

1920:  Town population: 6,265.

1921:  The North Andover Fire Department becomes fully mechanized and the last team of horses is retired.

1930:  Town population: 6,961.

1931:  City of Lawrence acquires 312 acres of land for municipal airport.

1940:  Town population: 7,524.

I 943:  First zoning by-law adopted.

  • Resi­dential zoning: village, country, ru­ral.
  • Business zoning: neighborhood, village.
  • Industrial zoning: large, small.

1941-1945:  World War 2.

1945:  Marion Batchelder, Librarian of the Stevens Memorial Library, submitted a plea to the town to aid returning veterans of war who were requesting vocational training, college catalogs, technical books, house plans and other material to aid their transition back into civilian life.

1946:  M. T. Stevens merged into J. P. Stevens, headquartered in New York City, after the death of Nathaniel Stevens, who was a major shareholder.

1947:  Merrimack College founded with the mission of providing a college education for World War II servicemen.

1950:  Town population: 8,485.

  • Ken Rea’s childhood on Rea Farm. Farm life in 1950s. Childhood on the farm.

1950:  Manufacturing sector represents over 90% of all employment in North Andover.

1955:  North Andover celebrates its Centennial year with a parade and whole program of town wide events.

1956:  Manufacturing began at the Western Electric Merrimack Valley Plant on Osgood Street. At its height, the Merrimack Valley works employed over twelve thousand people., being the largest employer and taxpayer in town for decades.

1955:  North Andover Historical Society purchased Parson Barnard House thinking it was the Bradstreet House.

1956: New Pumping Station built South end of Lake Cochichewick.

1957:  North Andover employment:

  • Manufacturing (93%)
  • Wholesale & Retail Trade (4%)
  • Service Industry (2%)
  • Construction (I%)

1960:  Town population: 10,908.

1960:  Interstate 93 opens.

1962: Construction of Route 495: property was taken by the Commonwealth to make way for Route 495 on Beverly Street and Several neighboring houses were razed and burned; was taken by the Commonwealth to make way for Route 495. Jimmy Terret, who worked Brightwood Mills and Stevens Mill, took photos of the demolition of his house and others and subsequent erection of the double-decker bridge.

1964: Sam Rockwell retires from Davis & Furber, ending 150 years of Davis Family management.

1967:  Interstate 495 opens increasing demand for residential housing in North Andover.

1969:  Construction begins on a Sentinel ABM defense site at Sharpner’s Pond Road.

1970:  Town population: 16,284.

1972: J. P. Stevens closes Stevens Mills & Osgood Mill.

  • Stevens Mill is torn down in order to build Mill Pond Town Houses an example of the transition of the town from manufacturing to suburban commuting town.

1977:  Greater Lawrence Sanitary District plant opens.

1980:  Town population: 20,129.

1980:  Open Space Plan updated.

  • Town becomes proactive about preserving open space as farms continue to be transformed into housing developments.

1981: Davis & Furber stops manufacturing and closes down.

  • If you google Davis & Furber, you will see that Davis & Furber machinery continues to be used all over the country.

1982:  Davis & Furber buildings placed on National Historic register.  

1982:  Tracy Castiglione was hired as North Andover’s first female police officer. At her retirement in 2014, she held Badge Number 1. 

1982:  AT&T Consent Decree providing that company would divest itself of the Bell Operating Companies which provided local telephone service in the United States and Canada.

  • Western Electric loses its monopoly as the only provider of equipment to the Bell Operating Companies. Market forces and globalization would lead to decline in demand for its products and decline in its workforce. 

1988:  Mazurenko Farm purchased under Chapter 61A (right of first refusal)

1990:  Town population: 22,792.

1994:  Town purchases Osgood Hill from Boston University to preserve open space and protect the watershed of Lake Cochickawick.

1996:  Spin off of Western Electric becomes Lucent Technologies.

1996:  North Andover celebrates its 350th anniversary.

  • Edgewood Farm, a dairy farm, owned by the descendants of Captain Nathaniel is transformed into Edgewood Life Care Center. Several members of the Stevens family move in.

2000:  Town Population 27,202.

2001:  Employment at Lucent is 5,600.

  • At its height, the Merrimack Valley works employed over 12,000 people.
  • 2003 Lucent Technologies sells Merrimack Valley plant to Ozzy Properties.
  • Plant has over two million square feet of space.

2006:  Lucent merges with Alcatel SA, based in Paris.

2007:  Alcatel Lucent closes Merrimack Valley works laying off the last 450 employees.

2008:  The Messina Market, the last grocery store in downtown closes. Property is transformed into small shopping mall.

2010:  Town Population 28,352.