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Andover, Massachusetts
Andover's Town Hall, located in downtown Andover
Andover's Town Hall, located in downtown Andover
Official seal of
"Home of America"
Location in Essex County and the state of Massachusetts
Location in Essex County and the state of Massachusetts
Andover, Massachusetts is located in Massachusetts
Andover, Massachusetts
Andover, Massachusetts
Location in Massachusetts
Andover, Massachusetts is located in the United States
Andover, Massachusetts
Andover, Massachusetts
Location in the United States
Andover, Massachusetts is located in North America
Andover, Massachusetts
Andover, Massachusetts
Location in North America
Country  United States
State  Massachusetts
County Essex
Region New England
Settled 1634
Incorporated 1646
Current geography 1855
 • Type Open town meeting
 • Total 83.2 km2 (32.1 sq mi)
 • Land 80.3 km2 (31.0 sq mi)
 • Water 2.9 km2 (1.1 sq mi)
55 m (180 ft)
 • Total 36,569
 • Density 455.4/km2 (1,179.6/sq mi)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 351/978
FIPS code 25-01465
GNIS feature ID 0619444
Website The Official Website of Andover, Massachusetts:

Andover is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. It was settled in 1642 and incorporated in 1646. As of the 2020 census, the population was 36,569. It is located 20 miles (32 km) north of Boston and 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Lawrence. Part of the town comprises the census-designated place of Andover. It is twinned with its namesake: Andover, Hampshire, England.


Establishment and incorporation

In 1642, the Great and General Court of Massachusetts set aside a portion of land in what is now Essex County for an inland plantation, including parts of what is now Andover, North Andover and South Lawrence. In order to encourage settlement, early colonists were offered three years' immunity from taxes, levies and services (except military service). The first permanent settlement in the Andover area was established in 1642 by John Woodbridge and a group of settlers from Newbury and Ipswich.

Shortly after they arrived, they purchased a piece of land from the local Pennacook tribal chief Cutshamache for the price of "six pounds of currency and a coat" and on the condition that Roger, a local Pennacook man, would still be allowed to plant his corn and take alewives from a local water source. Roger's Brook, a small stream which cuts through the eastern part of town, is named in his honor. In May 1646 the settlement was incorporated as a town and was named Andover. This name was likely chosen in honor of the town of Andover in England, which was near the original home of some of the first residents. The first recorded town meeting was held in 1656 in the home of settler John Osgood in what is now the town of North Andover.

The old burying ground in what is now North Andover marks the center of the early town. Contrary to popular belief, the towns split due to the location of the Old North Church, also located in what is now North Andover. The villagers from the southwestern part of the town were tired of walking all the way to the extreme north of what was then Andover, and decided to build their own church central to what is now Andover. Early on the general populace was concentrated together around the Old Center (North Andover) for protection from feared Indian attacks, but the Indians were fairly peaceful until the outbreak of King Philip's War in 1675. King Philip was an Indian who organized a revolt against the white settlers throughout most of New England. Six Indian raids occurred between 1676 and 1698 (the last led by Chief Escumbuit) until ever-increasing numbers of white settlers established control of the land.

In November 1798, David Brown led a group in Dedham, Massachusetts in setting up a liberty pole with the words, "No Stamp Act, No Sedition Act, No Alien Bills, No Land Tax, downfall to the Tyrants of America; peace and retirement to the President; Love Live the Vice President," referring to then-President John Adams and Vice President Thomas Jefferson. Brown was arrested in Andover, Massachusetts but because he could not afford the $4,000 bail, he was taken to Salem for trial. Brown was tried in June 1799. Brown wanted to plead guilty but Justice Samuel Chase wanted him to name everybody who had helped him or who subscribed to his writings. Brown refused, was fined $480, and sentenced to eighteen months in prison, the most severe sentence then imposed under the Alien and Sedition Acts.

Benjamin Abbott Farmhouse
Benjamin Abbott farmhouse, Andover, 1934


During the Salem witch trials in 1692, Andover resident Joseph Ballard asked for help for his wife from several girls in the neighboring Salem Village who were already identifying witches there. After visiting Elizabeth Ballard, the girls claimed that several people in Andover had bewitched her: Ann Foster, her daughter Mary Lacey Sr. and her granddaughter Mary Lacey Jr. During the course of the legal proceedings, more than 40 Andover citizens, mostly women and their children, were formally accused of having made a covenant with the Devil. Three Andover residents, Martha Carrier, Mary Parker, and Samuel Wardwell, were convicted and executed. Five others either pleaded guilty at arraignment or were convicted at trial: Ann Foster, Mary Lacey Sr., and Abigail Faulkner Sr. (daughter of Andover's minister, Francis Dane) in 1692 and Wardwell's wife Sarah and Rev. Dane's granddaughter, Elizabeth Johnson Jr. in 1693. Those who were not executed were granted reprieves by Gov. William Phips, but the convictions remained on their records. In 1713, in response to petitions initiated in 1703 by Abigail Faulkner Sr. and Sarah Wardwell, Massachusetts Governor Joseph Dudley reversed the attainder on the names of those who were convicted in the episode.

The two parishes and the division of the town

By 1705, Andover's population had begun to move southward and the idea of a new meeting house in the south end of town was proposed. This was strongly opposed by the people living near the original meeting house in the north, but the dispute was finally settled in 1709 when the Great and General Court divided Andover into two parishes, North and South. After the division of the two parishes, South Andover established the South Parish "Burying-Yard," as it was called, with early Andover settler Robert Russell the first to be interred at age 80 in December, 1710. But despite this split, the town remained politically one unit.

For many years Andover was geographically one of the largest towns in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; in 1826 a third parish was established and West Parish Church was constructed on Reservation Road. In 1854, a measure was passed to divide the town into two separate political units according to the old parish boundaries. The name Andover was assumed by the more populous and wealthy West and South parishes, while the name North Andover was given to the North Parish.

Andover in the American Revolutionary War

Records show that on the morning of April 19, 1775, approximately 350 Andover men marched toward Lexington. Although they did not arrive in time for the battle that day, they did go on to participate in the battle of Bunker Hill two months later and fought in subsequent skirmishes with the Redcoats during the war.

Among the Andover men who were representatives to the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention were Colonel Samuel Osgood, Zebadiah Abbot, John Farnum and Samuel Phillips, Jr. Phillips – who would later go on to found Phillips Academy – was later appointed by John Adams to help draft the Massachusetts state constitution.

During the burning of Charlestown (June 17, 1775) Andover townspeople hiked to the top of Holt Hill to witness it. Holt Hill is the highest most geographical point in Essex County and is currently part of the Charles W. Ward Reservation.

American Civil War

Memorial hall library
Memorial Hall Library, which was constructed in 1873 in memory of the 53 Andover men who lost their lives during the Civil War, was financed through private donations.

The anti-slavery movement had many supporters in Andover long before the American Civil War began. William Jenkins - an ardent abolitionist and friend of William Lloyd Garrison - and several others provided stops on the Underground Railroad for runaway slaves. Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, was a longtime resident. Her home, known as Stowe House, is now owned by Phillips Academy Andover. Her body is buried in Phillips Academy's cemetery. When the Confederate Army shelled Fort Sumter in 1861, a company of 79 volunteers formed. By the time the war ended in 1865, 600 Andover men had served in the Union Army.

Shawsheen Village

In 1919, the American Woolen Company announced plans to build a million dollar mill in the already-existing mill community of Frye Village and rename the region "Shawsheen." The village was completely rebuilt as a "model industrial community" and became the site of the company's headquarters. The mill began operating in 1922 and within two years the village contained more than 200 houses, several community buildings, a few tennis courts, a swimming area, a bowling green, an athletic field and a golf course. The employees rented their homes from the company; the brick structures were reserved for upper management and the wooden buildings for those of lesser position. This industrial utopia, however, was short-lived - by the early 1940s almost all of the houses and administration buildings were in private hands. The mills became a victim of changing technology as synthetic fibers became more popular than wool. The American Woolen Company closed its mills in 1953, and the buildings today house a variety of businesses, homes, and apartments. The village left its mark nationally, however, when its soccer team, the Shawsheen Indians won the national soccer championship in 1925.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 32.1 square miles (83.2 km2), of which 31.0 square miles (80.3 km2) is land and 1.1 square miles (2.9 km2) (3.49%) is water. Significant water areas include the Shawsheen River and Haggetts Pond, located in west Andover, which serves as the town's reservoir. Haggetts Pond was originally set apart from other waters, but since the late 1990s has had waters added from the Merrimack River, which constitutes half of the town's northern border, to supplement the growing needs of the town. Andover is also home to the Harold Parker State Forest, the Charles W. Ward Reservation, the Harold R. Rafton Reservation, the Deer Jump Reservation (along the banks of the Merrimack), as well as a very small portion of Lawrence's Den Rock Park. The town also has several golf courses.

Andover's town center is located approximately four miles south of the center of Lawrence, and is 22 miles (35 km) north of Boston and 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Manchester, New Hampshire. Andover contains the westernmost point of Essex County, along the Merrimack River. It is bordered by Lawrence to the north, North Andover to the northeast, North Reading and Wilmington to the south, Tewksbury to the southwest. Andover also borders Dracut to the northeast; however, the boundary is within the Merrimack River, and as there are no crossings of the Merrimack within the boundaries of Dracut, one must go through Methuen or nearby Lowell to enter Dracut, as is the case with Dracut's border with Tewksbury.


Andover is the location of the intersection of Interstate 93 and Interstate 495. The town is also served by Route 28, which serves as the main road from north to south through town, as well as Route 133 and Route 125, a bypass road going through the woods of eastern Andover.

Andover has two stops, Ballardvale and Andover along the Haverhill/Reading Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail, providing rail service from Haverhill to Boston's North Station. Andover Station is also near the Third Railroad Station, a former Boston and Maine Railroad station which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The nearest small plane service is at Lawrence Municipal Airport in North Andover, and national service can be found at both Logan International Airport and Manchester–Boston Regional Airport, both within thirty miles of the town. Several routes of the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority and Route 10 on Lowell Regional Transit Authority also service the town. These include both service to Lawrence as well as a weekday commuter bus to Boston.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1790 2,863 —    
1800 2,941 +2.7%
1810 3,164 +7.6%
1820 3,889 +22.9%
1830 4,530 +16.5%
1840 5,207 +14.9%
1850 6,945 +33.4%
1860 4,765 −31.4%
1870 4,873 +2.3%
1880 5,169 +6.1%
1890 6,142 +18.8%
1900 6,813 +10.9%
1910 7,301 +7.2%
1920 8,268 +13.2%
1930 9,969 +20.6%
1940 11,122 +11.6%
1950 12,437 +11.8%
1960 17,134 +37.8%
1970 23,695 +38.3%
1980 26,370 +11.3%
1990 29,151 +10.5%
2000 31,247 +7.2%
2010 33,201 +6.3%
2020 36,569 +10.1%

Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data. 1790–1840

As of the census of 2000, there were 31,247 people, 11,305 households, and 8,490 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,007.8 people per square mile (389.1/km2). There were 11,590 housing units at an average density of 144.3 persons/km2 (373.8 persons/sq mi). The racial makeup of the town was 91.60% White, 0.75% African American, 0.06% Native American, 5.73% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.84% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. 1.81% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 11,305 households, out of which 40.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.6% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a woman whose husband does not live with her, and 24.9% were non-families. 21.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.24.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 28.8% under the age of 18, 4.7% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 26.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.9 males.

According to a 2012 estimate, the median income for a household in the town was $118,324, the median family income was $144,685. Males with full-time year-round jobs had a median income higher than $100,000; for females, the median was $62,532. The per capita income for the town was $53,378. 2.6% of families and 4.2% of the population, including 3.7% of people aged under 18 years and 5.8% of people aged 65 and over, were below the poverty line.

Andover had 217 residents who filed as making at least $1 million in 2011, accounting for one millionaire per every 157 people. The average income for millionaires in Andover was $2,441,000. Using income and other demographic data, Andover ranked 37 out of 490 in a ranking of wealthiest zipcodes in Massachusetts.

Arts and culture

Points of interest

  • Phillips Academy, a prep school founded in 1778 with many famous alumni.
  • The Addison Gallery of American Art on the Phillips campus is open to the public.
  • The Andover Inn, a New England country inn on the Phillips campus
  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Andover Campus service center, which for many years accepted tax forms from several neighboring states. With increasing rates of e-filing, that function was threatened with phase-out in 2009. The federal employee's union, National Treasury Employees Union, in mid-2009 pushed for special consideration under the Troubled Asset Relief Program for employees threatened with losing jobs. In late 2009, the U.S. General Services Administration received money through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to fund the $85 million green modernization of the 1967 building complex.
  • Andover is the site of a large factory owned by Raytheon, the builder of the Patriot Missile
  • Chandler-Bigsby-Abbot House, built in 1673, is the oldest house in Andover
  • Andover is home to the second oldest land preservation society in the country, the Andover Village Improvement Society (AVIS), which controls over 1,100 acres (4.5 km2).
  • Lebanon maintains an honorary consulate on North Main Street, near the Lawrence line


There are several companies headquartered in Andover. One of many companies, Mercury Systems, is included in the S&P 400 Index. Another, Vicor Corporation, is a part of the S&P 600 Index. Andover also hosts regional offices for many multinational corporations such as Schneider Electric, Pfizer, Raytheon Technologies, and Philips.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has the Andover Campus service center, which for many years accepted tax forms from several neighboring states. With increasing rates of e-filing, that function was threatened with phase-out in 2009. The federal employee's union, National Treasury Employees Union, in mid-2009 pushed for special consideration under the Troubled Asset Relief Program for employees threatened with losing jobs. In late 2009, the U.S. General Services Administration received money through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to fund the $85 million green modernization of the 1967 building complex.


Samuel Phillips Hall, the social science and language building of Phillips Academy

Public schools

  • Preschools – Shawsheen Preschool Program
  • Elementary Schools (K–5): Bancroft, West Elementary, South, Sanborn, High Plain
  • Middle Schools (6–8): Doherty, West Middle, Wood Hill
  • High Schools (9–12): Andover High School
  • Greater Lawrence Technical School, serves grades 9–12

Private schools

  • Saint Augustine's Catholic School, serves grades K–8
  • The Pike School, serves grades Pre-K–9
  • Phillips Academy, serves grades 9–12 (Post-Grad)
  • Andover School of Montessori

Higher education

  • Massachusetts School of Law

Notable people

  • Abiel Abbot, (1770–1828), Massachusetts clergyman and author
  • Robert Abisi, DJ Lost Kings
  • Benjamin Abbot, teacher at Phillips Academy
  • Amos Abbott, United States Congressman from Massachusetts
  • John Adams, teacher at Phillips Academy from 1810 through 1832
  • Ed Anuff, entrepreneur and author
  • Harriette Newell Woods Baker, author, over 200 short stories
  • Bill Belichick, New England Patriots head coach and general manager
  • Anne Bradstreet, 17th-century poet
  • Lorraine Broderick, Emmy-award winning writer
  • Bill Buckner, former Red Sox player
  • Steven T. Byington, American individualist anarchist
  • Sumner Carruth, Civil War officer
  • Michael Casey, poet
  • Michael Chiklis, actor, The Shield
  • Andrew Coburn, author
  • Bill Cunliffe, Grammy Award winning composer, arranger, jazz pianist
  • S.E. Cupp, television host, political commentator, and writer
  • Ed Doherty, football coach
  • Annalisa Drew, freestyle skier and Olympic athlete at the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics
  • Barry Finegold, member of the Mass. House of Representatives (served 1996–2007)
  • Dudley Fitts, educator, critic, poet and translator
  • Abiel Foster, clergyman and United States Congressman from New Hampshire
  • Joseph Frye, brigadier general in the Continental Army
  • Ryan Hanigan, current Colorado Rockies catcher
  • Kara Hayward, teen actress best known for the movie Moonrise Kingdom
  • Jon B. Higgins, Carnatic and Jazz musician
  • Jeremiah Ingalls, early American folk composer
  • Martin Johnson, lead vocalist and guitarist for band Boys Like Girls
  • Howard Koh, former United States Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Priscilla Lane, actress, Arsenic and Old Lace
  • Jonathan Leavitt, founder, early New York City publishing house
  • Jay Leno, entertainer, The Tonight Show
  • Jim Loscutoff, former Boston Celtics player
  • Raphe Malik, American jazz trumpeter
  • Martha Carrier, Accused Salem Witch.
  • Michael Maren, film director and former journalist
  • Mary McGarry Morris, prize-winning author
  • Jimmy McLane, Olympic swimmer
  • Paul Monette, prize-winning author
  • Marcus Morton (jurist), Chief Justice (1882–1890) of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
  • Mike Mullen, United States Navy Admiral
  • Bill O'Brien (American football), NFL football coach
  • Samuel Osgood, United States Postmaster General under President George Washington
  • Betty Ong, American Airlines Flight 11 flight attendant killed on September 11, 2001
  • Samuel Phillips (1690–1771), first pastor of the South Church in Andover
  • Salem Poor, freed slave of Andover and Revolutionary War soldier
  • Jenny Powers, actress on Broadway
  • Jim Rice, former left fielder for the Boston Red Sox
  • Blanchard Ryan, actress, Open Water
  • John Smith, mill owner and abolitionist
  • Samuel Francis Smith, wrote America while a student at Andover Theological Seminary
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, buried in Andover
  • George L. Street, III, World War II Medal of Honor recipient
  • Dan Sullivan, former NFL lineman
  • Susan Tucker, recent member of the Mass. House of Representatives the Mass. Senate
  • Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward, nineteenth-century author
  • Mike Yastrzemski, professional baseball player
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