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North Andover, Massachusetts
Lake Cochichewick from the north
Lake Cochichewick from the north
Official seal of North Andover, Massachusetts
A Town for All Seasons
Location in Essex County and the state of Massachusetts.
Location in Essex County and the state of Massachusetts.
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Essex
Settled 1634
Incorporated 1646
Current geography 1855
 • Total 27.76 sq mi (71.9 km2)
 • Land 26.29 sq mi (68.1 km2)
 • Water 1.43 sq mi (3.7 km2)
75 ft (23 m)
 • Total 30,915
 • Density 1,113.65/sq mi (429.97/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 978
FIPS code 25-46365
GNIS feature ID 0618306

North Andover is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. At the 2020 census the population was 30,915.


North Andover is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts. The lands south of the Merrimack River around Lake Cochichewick and the Shawsheen River were set aside by the Massachusetts General Court in 1634 for the purpose of creating an inland plantation. The Cochichewick Plantation, as it was called, was purchased on May 6, 1646 when Reverend John Woodbridge, who had settled the land for the English, paid Pennacook chief Cutshmache six pounds and a coat for the lands. The plantation was then incorporated as Andover, most likely in honor of the hometown of many early residents, Andover, Hampshire, England. The town was centered in what is now North Andover, but the spread of settlement south and west of the old town center created much conflict in the early years about the location of the parish church. In 1709, the matter was brought to the General Court, which set aside two parish churches, north and south. The parishes grew apart as the years went on and on April 7, 1855, the North parish separated from the south and was incorporated as North Andover.

There are several first period (pre-1720) houses still standing in town. The oldest house is probably the Bridges House, relocated from Marbleridge Road to Court Street in 2001; the original portion of this house probably dates to about 1690. Other first period houses include the Stevens House on Great Pond Road; the Faulkner House on Appleton Street; the Abiel Stevens House on Salem Street; the Parson Barnard House, which is a museum; a house on Andover Street near the intersection with Chickering Road; and the Carlton-Frie-Tucker House at 140 Mill Road. No house in North Andover has been scientifically dated by dendrochronology, so dates are based solely on stylistic elements, original deeds, and tradition. The Barnard House is most unusual and might prove to be one of the few examples of a house dating to an earlier year than established by architectural historians.

The North Parish Church on the North Andover Green is a historic church building built in 1836. It was the 5th meetinghouse of the Puritan church congregation founded in 1645 in North Andover. In about 1836 the congregation chose to become a Unitarian church and commissioned this Gothic building.

North Andover's development was varied, with much of the land along the Shawsheen and Merrimack being concerned with industry, and the lands southwest being more agricultural. Several mills were located in the town, as well as the Western Electric Company, AT&T's manufacturing division, which supplied telephone machinery for many years before it was split up by AT&T into the new company, Lucent Technologies. Today North Andover is considered a bedroom community of the greater Boston area.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 27.8 square miles (71.9 km2), of which 26.3 square miles (68.1 km2) is land and 1.4 square miles (3.7 km2), or 5.18%, is water. The town lies to the south of the Merrimack River, which makes up part of its northwest boundary, along with the Shawsheen River. The northeast quadrant of town is dominated by Lake Cochichewick, which is also bordered by the Osgood Hill Reservation, Weir Hill Reservation and the Reas Pond Conservation Area. The town also is home to portions of Harold Parker State Forest, Boxford State Forest and the Charles W. Ward Reservation. There are many brooks, streams and ponds dotting the town.

North Andover lies in the northwestern portion of Essex County, with a small corner of the town bordering Middlesex County. It is bordered by Andover to the west, Lawrence to the north, Haverhill to the northeast, Boxford to the east, Middleton to the southeast, and North Reading to the southwest. North Andover's Old Center, which is closer to the geographic center of town than its newer town center, is located 3.5 miles (5.6 km) southeast of Lawrence's city center, and is 25 miles (40 km) north of Boston and 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Manchester, New Hampshire.

A small portion of Interstate 495 crosses through town along the Lawrence border, with one exit within town and two more providing access to the highway. The town lies along Massachusetts Route 114, known as the "Salem Turnpike," and is also served by Route 125 and Route 133, which are concurrent for much of their routes within town. The town is partially served by the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority bus line. The nearest train station is located in Lawrence, where the Lawrence stop along the Haverhill/Reading Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail lies. (The line actually passes through the town along the Merrimack, but there is no stop.) North Andover is also home to the Lawrence Municipal Airport, providing small aircraft service to the region. The nearest national service, at Logan International Airport and Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, is within a thirty-mile ride of the town.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1860 2,343 —    
1870 2,549 +8.8%
1880 3,217 +26.2%
1890 3,742 +16.3%
1900 4,243 +13.4%
1910 5,529 +30.3%
1920 6,265 +13.3%
1930 6,961 +11.1%
1940 7,524 +8.1%
1950 8,485 +12.8%
1960 10,908 +28.6%
1970 16,284 +49.3%
1980 20,129 +23.6%
1990 22,792 +13.2%
2000 27,202 +19.3%
2010 28,352 +4.2%
2020 30,915 +9.0%
* = population estimate. Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.

As of the census of 2010, there were 28,352 people, 10,516 households, and 7,324 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,078.0 inhabitants per square mile (416.2/km2). There were 10,964 housing units at an average density of 416.9 per square mile (161.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 88.7% White, 1.78% African American, 0.09% Native American, 6.31% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.62% from other races, and 1.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.93% of the population.

There were 10,516 households, out of which 36.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.0% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 30.4% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 26.2% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 23.9% from 25 to 44, 28.9% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.8 males.

As of the 2017 American Community Survey, the median income for a household in the town was $105,661, and the median income for a family was $132,674. Males had a median income of $68,411 versus $42,270 for females. The per capita income for the town was $51,658. 5.1% of the population and 2.9% of families were below the poverty line. 5.2% of those under the age of 18 and 4.0% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.


Residents can purchase a discounted summer pass to Steven's Pond where they can go swimming for the day. Nearby Weir Hill offers trails for hiking, walking, biking, and views of the surrounding area.

Many events are held at the old common, including the sheep shearing festival in late spring and various summer activities for children and adults.

Harold Parker State Forest offers 25 miles (40 km) of trails, a campground, and a freshwater swimming beach. Other activities include horseback riding, camping, fishing, hunting, mountain biking, and hiking. In September there is also an annual fishing tournament.

Boxford State Forest is also located in town, and is home to the Sharpner's Pond Anti-Ballistic Missile Site.

The Col. John Osgood House, a historic house, is also in North Andover.


Barker's Farm, which started in 1643 is the oldest continually operated business in Massachusetts and among the oldest in the United States.

Converse, the popular sneaker company, was headquartered in North Andover from 2002 to 2015.


North Andover is home to its own school system. It has an early childhood center, five elementary schools (Atkinson Elementary, Franklin Elementary, Kittredge Elementary, Annie L. Sargent Elementary, Thomson Elementary), North Andover Middle School and North Andover High School. On May 16, 2017, the citizens of North Andover approved the expansion of the early childhood center, which opened for the 2018–2019 school year. The primary reason behind this expansion was to reduce elementary class size.

In 2004, a brand new high school and complete sporting complex including a football field, a soccer field, field hockey greens, and a lacrosse field was added. There is a complete track and field area and numerous tennis courts. North Andover's mascot is the Scarlet Knight, its colors are scarlet and black and it competes in the Merrimack Valley Conference and Division II of the MIAA. Its main rival is Masconomet Regional High School, although it plays Andover High School in the annual Thanksgiving Day football game. High school students from North Andover are also allowed to attend Greater Lawrence Technical School in Andover. There are several private schools in North Andover, including the Brooks School, Meritor Academy (an early learning school) and Saint Michael's Elementary School. The nearest Catholic high schools, Austin Preparatory School (6–12), Central Catholic High School (9–12), and Presentation of Mary Academy (9–12), are located in the nearby towns of Reading, Lawrence and Methuen, respectively. North Andover is also home to Merrimack College, a Catholic Augustinian four-year college. The nearest public community college, based in Haverhill, is Northern Essex Community College, which also has a campus in Lawrence and a Corporate & Community Education Center in North Andover. The nearest public university is University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell).

Notable people

  • Colin Blackwell, ice hockey forward for the Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Cliff Bleszinski, game designer (Gears of War)
  • Anne Bradstreet, poet
  • Simon Bradstreet, Anne's husband, minister and co-founder of Massachusetts Bay Colony
  • Phillips Brooks, minister of Trinity Church, Boston and great-grandson of the founder of Phillips Academy
  • Jake Burton Carpenter, founder of Burton Snowboards
  • Mike Cavanaugh, head ice hockey coach at University of Connecticut
  • Jace Clayton, DJ, writer, interdisciplinary artist
  • Daniel Dennett, philosopher
  • Zak DeOssie, Former long snapper for New York Giants, NFL linebacker
  • Bobby Farnham, professional ice hockey player
  • Dorothy Farnum, silent film-era screenwriter
  • Jamie Hagerman, Olympic ice hockey player
  • Steve Heinze, former NHL player
  • Charles Jencks, architect and philanthropist
  • George B. Loring, member of US House of Representatives and career politician
  • John U. Monro, dean of Harvard College
  • Samuel Osgood, first Postmaster General of the United States
  • Samuel Phillips Jr., founder of Phillips Academy
  • Richard D. Smith, renowned chemist in the area of proteomics
  • James Spader, screen and TV actor (Boston Legal and The Blacklist)
  • Issac Stevens, first governor of Washington Territory
  • Moses Stevens, textile manufacturer
  • Oliver Stevens, Suffolk County district attorney
  • Sidney J. Watson , former NFL player, former college ice hockey coach, and US Hockey Hall of Fame inductee

See also

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