Name: St Monica's School

Address: 200 Lawrence Street

Date: 1957

History: In the mid-nineteenth century, a Bishop Fitzpatrick purchased land for a church on Broadway at the corner of Park Street. In 1876, Catholics began holding Mass in the town hall, but they did not have their own place of worship in Methuen until construction of Saint Monica's church, begun in 1896 (231 Broadway).


Saint Monica's school was built nearby in 1957. Before completion of the convent in 1960, the teaching resided on the top floor of the school building. Establishment of the school and convent bears witness to the strength of the Catholic community in Methuen.


The school was built on the site of Washington Park, laid out at the turn-of-the- century by Edward F. Searles whose estate Pine Lodge lay across the street (209 Lawrence St). A statue of George Washington by the noted sculptor Thomas Ball, the centerpiece of the park, was unveiled on Washington's birthday in 1900. Miscommunication between Searles' heir, Mr. B. Allen Rowland and the town selectmen caused the property to be sold to Saint Monica's. The monument was sold to Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles in 1958.






Name: Lawrence St. Cemetery

Address: Lawrence Street

Date: 1832-E 20th

History: In 1828, land on East Street was bought by selectman Joseph W. Carleton for a village burying ground, which now lies at the intersection of Lawrence and East Streets. Colonel Osgood's wife was the first to be buried there on March 15, 1831. Location of a burying ground on this site was part of a significant shift in the town center from the Meeting House Hill area toward the industrial and commercial sites near the Spicket River Falls and along the Medford-Andover Turnpike (Broadway). This shift was confirmed by the relocation of the First Congregational Church to near-by Pleasant Street in 1832 (30 Pleasant St).


When the new Walnut Grove cemetery was laid out in 1853 the village burying ground, or the Lawrence Street cemetery as it is now called, fell into disuse. However, when Mrs. Edward F. Searles died she was buried in the old burying ground across the street from the Searles estate. Her mausoleum was designed by Searles architect Henry Vaughan. Searles cleaned up and restored the site and erected walls and a gate house in 1896/7.






Name: Searles Estate

Address: 209 Lawrence Street

Date: 1880s-1920

History: Edward F. Searles was born in Methuen in 1841 and died in 1920. He was the son of Jesse G. and Sarah Littlefield Searles, whose homestead sat on an 8 and 1/2 acre site on East Street bought by Jesse in 1840. Although Edward's first job was in the Methuen Company mill, he went on to become an interior and architectural designer in New York. Through influential clients, he met and eventually married Mary Hopkins, widow of railroad magnate Mark Hopkins, and upon her death in 1891, inherited a multi-million dollar fortune. Searles began to acquire additional land and to develop his estate on East Street in the 1880s, renovating the Searles homestead, which was known as "Appleside" and the adjacent Howell house, which he purchased in 1880. These two houses were eventually joined together with a series of porches and colonnades to become an elaborate mansion house which was called Pine Lodge. (The "mansion" stood about where the St. Claire Residence (#24) is now and was demolished in 1930.)

After his wife's death, Searles indulged his penchant for architecture, building extensively and eventually connecting the old mansion house to a new Jacobethan residence (#19; built in 1911) with a series of connected hallways (#22) and wings in Classical, Renaissance, and Jacobethan styles. He also built or renovated a carriage house (#9), a new barn (#4), and various other outbuildings. Under construction for many years, were the granite chime tower (#29) and magnificent brownstone Gothic Revival style Searles Chapel (#33), designed by Henry Vaughan. The estate also encompassed several old farm houses (#5, 6, 7), which once stood on East Street. In 1912, he gave land to the town and paid to re-route East Street so that these properties, which were part of Oakside Farm, lay with in the bound of his estate. The entire estate was surrounded be an elaborate series of granite walls, embellished with crenellations and towers, which remain a landmark today.


Searles also owned the adjacent Waldo House (233 Lawrence St), which he developed as a Historical Museum. Across the street, he laid out Washington Park which had a famous Thomas Ball sculpture of George Washington as its centerpiece. He was interested in organ manufacture and supported the Methuen Organ Company and built the Serlo Organ Hall (192 Broadway). His philanthropic endeavors included construction of St. Andrews Episcopal Church (82 Broadway), the Searles High School (41 Pleasant) St, the Central School (10 Ditson Pl), the B. & M. Railroad Station (55 Union St), and renovation of the Exchange Hotel, first as a YMCA and later as a Masonic Temple (275 Broadway). He also made many public works contributions to the town, such as the bridge and towers near the Organ Hall (see form). He undertook the care and restoration of the Village Burying Ground on Lawrence Street (see form), where his wife was buried, and the Meeting House Hill Cemetery, where he built a memorial to his aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Artemus W. Stearns. Searles owned extensive properties in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and Salem and Windham, New Hampshire as well and also gave generously to those communities.


In 1957 the 74 room " Searles castle" was sold to the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary for $160,000. The Presentation of Mary Academy and convent now occupies this site and the Searles Chapel is known as Our Lady of Sacred Heart. The St. Claire Residence, named for Mother Claire D'Assise, was built in 1958, the new Academy wing in 1962, and the new Provincial House in 1985.


The Pine Lodge estate possesses integrity of location, design, setting, materials and workmanship. It is significant as a well-conserved collection of high-styled, elaborately constructed buildings built by a single owner of considerable wealth and architectural taste, and an important figure in Methuen's development. Pine Lodge meets the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places.






Name: Searles Estate: Wood Shed/Ice House/Seed Shed

Address: 209 Lawrence Street

Date:

History: These are among the many outbuildings that Searles added to his estate at the turn-of-the-century.






Name: Searles Estate: Butters/Searles Barn

Address: 209 Lawrence Street

Date: 1842

History: In 1842 George W. Butters owned a house and 20 acres of land in Methuen. His farm, located on the north side of of the original course of East Street, can be found on the 1846 map of the town. By 1861 he owned a house, barn and shoe shop and in the 1860 Directory, sons Albert and Henry, both listed as shoemakers, boarded with George W. Butters.


Although he owned a barn in 1861, a barn is not shown on the atlas maps until 1884. This is one of the several houses and barns acquired and elaborated on by Searles as part of his estate at the turn-of-the-century.






Name: Searles Estate: Butters Homestead/P.M. Nursery

Address: 209 Lawrence Street

Date: c.1870

History: In 1842 George W. Butters owned a house and 20 acres of land in Methuen. His farm, located on the north side of the original course of East Street, can be found on the 1846 map of the town. By 1861 he owned a house, barn and shoe shop and in the 1860 Directory, sons (George) Albert and (William) Henry, both listed as shoemakers, boarded with George W. Butters.


William Barnes in his reminiscences of the town c 1845 states that Butters house burned, but he does not give a specific date. The rebuilt house, c.1870, will be referred to as the Butters Homestead. In 1868, the original house was valued at $300 and in 1872, $1400. The fire, and/or general reconstruction must have taken place at this time. Although located with in the bound of the Searles estate, this house was not actually owned by Searles until after the turn-of-the-century.

In 1867 the Butters family built a second house, originally taxed to the sons, but according to the 1872 atlas, lived in by the father George W. Butters. After the death of George in 1882, the house was owned by his son-in-law John C. Webster who lived else where. This house was bought by Edward F. Searles in 1895 and became part of what was known as Oakside Farm. This is one of the several houses and barns acquired and elaborated on by Searles as part of his estate at the turn-of-the-century.






Name: Searles Estate: Butters House/Kindergarten

Address: 209 Lawrence Street

Date: c.1870

History: In 1867 the Butters family (see Butters Homestead) built a second house, originally taxed to the sons, but according to the 1872 atlas map, lived in by the father George W. Butters. After the death of George in 1882, the house was owned by his son-in-law John C. Webster who lived else where. This house was bought by Edward F. Searles in 1895 and became part of what was known as Oakside Farm. This is one of the several houses and barns acquired and elaborated on by Searles as part of his estate at the turn-of-the-century.






Name: Searles Estate: Rivier Nursery/ not Cutler House- demolished 1889

Address: 209 Lawrence Street

Date:

History: Searles bought and sold many, many houses. This house was moved to the site and its original location is unknown.


The atlases of 1872, 1884, 1896, show several house in the triangle at the intersection of East and Lawrence Streets. All were acquired by Searles. The Cutler house was demolished in 1889. The Rev. L. L. Eastman house, seen on the 1896 map, was still shown on the assessor's records for Searles in 1911, but only appears on the atlas in 1884. Thus, it is not old enough to be this house.






Name: Searles Estate: Gardeners Cottage/Chaplain's House

Address: 209 Lawrence Street

Date: c. 1899

History: Sketch maps drawn by Stephen Barbin in his biography of Searles indicate that the Chaplain's house was once the gardener's cottage, built between 1895 and 1915. According to the assessor's records, a cottage was built 1899.






Name: Searles Estate: Brick Tower

Address: 209 Lawrence Street

Date: c. 1900

History:This building is not mentioned by either Morgan or Barbin. It is one of several structures constructed to beautify the Searles Estate at the-turn-of-the-century.






Name: Searles Estate: New Searles House/Old Provincial House (and office)

Address: 209 Lawrence Street

Date: c. 1880

History: Searles constructed this elaborate estate house to replace the Searles/Howells Houses which he had combined as a single residence in 1880. According to the assessor's records for 1911, Searles was taxed for a "cement house and office" valued at $5,000. Barbin's sketch map of the estate between 1895 and 1915 shows this mansion house and the "office" (#20) although it is not identified as such. Henry Vaughan's biographer does not list Vaughan as the architect for this building, although it seems likely that he was, as he was designing other buildings in a similar style for Searles at the same time.






Name: Searles Estate: Provincial Hallways

Address: 209 Lawrence Street

Date: 1912

History: According to Barbin, the Hallways include a Tapestry Hall and Jacobethan Hall, built in 1912. These sections of the Hallways bracket the Renaissance tower, built in the mid-1880s, which once stood alone as the encasement for a wind mill. In 1890/91 the wind mill mechanism was removed and a set of harmonic bells installed. These bells were probably manufactured by the Tubular Bell Company, run under the aegis of Searles, in the Organ Company factory on Broadway. In 1894, this tower was valued at $1500. It was supplanted as a chime tower in 1895 by a new granite tower with a larger set of chimes. The Hallways were constructed to connect the old (demolished 1930) and new (#19) estate houses.






Name: Searles Estate: Chapel

Address: 209 Lawrence Street

Date: 1915

History: This building was constructed in 1915, adjacent to the original estate house, but no other information is available in the standard sources.






Name: Searles Estate: #25/26 Gate House etc. Searles Estate: Administration

Address: 209 Lawrence Street

Date: 1900

History: In 1900, the assessor's records show an entry for "gate house and other stone buildings" valued at $5,000. The "other stone buildings" may be what what are presently called the administration and music buildings, and other towers in the wall. The bridge connected Searles' properties on either side of East Street which was still a town way, before he paid to reroute the street in 1912.






Name: Searles Estate: #29 Granite Chime Tower with "Angle of the Resurrection"

Address:209 Lawrence Street

Date: 1896

History: William Morgan, biographer of Henry Vaughan states that the Granite Chime Tower was a Vaughan commission of 1896. The tower is first mentioned in the tax records in 1900 where it was valued at $10,000. The chimes were probably manufactured by the Tubular Bell Company, run under the aegis of Searles, in the Organ Company factory on Broadway.


The sculptor of the bronze "Angle of the Resurrection" remains unidentified.

According to In. Am. Art this work is called Attending Angel by Willaim Couper constructed in 1900.






Name: The Chapel

Address: 209 Lawrence Street

Date: 1918

History:According to Henry Vaughan's biographer the Searles Chapel, designed by Vaughan, was completed in 1918 at a cost of $600,000. Searles, who died in 1920, was entombed in the crypt, "Egypt," beneath the chapel. The chapel, which now belongs to the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, is known as Our Lady of Sacred Heart.






Name: Walls

Address: 209 Lawrence Street

Date: 1880-1920

History: One of the most prominent and visible elements of the Edward F. Searles estate are the elaborate walls that surround it. The first documented mention of these walls was on August 7, 1880 when it was reported in the Methuen Transcript that Mrs. Searles (mother of Edward) had built at wall in front of her house on East Street. This probably accounts for the visible difference in stone work with the lower portion constructed of varied uncoursed stone with simple coping, and the upper constructed of a uniform random-coursed gray granite headed by crenelations. The only other specific mention occured on September 20, 1889, when the Methuen Transcript reported that Searles had taken delivery of 12 large granite blocks, each weighing 20 tons which may have been used to enlarge and elaborate the walls.






Name: Bank of America Columns

Address: 233 Lawrence Street

Date: c1838/1888

History: In 1888, Mrs. Mary Low sold the George Waldo House (233 Lawrence St) to Edward F. Searles, retaining a lifetime lease. Searles removed the adjacent Welch House, tore down the old barn, and made improvements to the house. He laid out a small park along Lawrence Street to the corner of Park Street. There, according to the Methuen Transcript, he installed the two Corinthian columns from the Bank of America in New York, each weighing 20 tons, which were delivered to Methuen in 1888. It is uncertain when the columns were erected, but it may have been as late as 1897.






Name: George A. Waldo House

Address: 233 Lawrence Street

Date: 1825

History: According to an original deed, George A. Waldo bought land on Lawrence Street in 1812 or 13. The house was built in 1825, two years after the marriage of George A. Waldo and Almira Bodwell. In a reminiscence in the Methuen Transcript written in 1883, Rev. Henry Jewell said that Waldo came from Vermont, was engaged in the shoe business in the early 1830s, and did much to build up the village. William Barnes in his reminiscences written in 1905 mentions the Waldo Block of c. 1845, which was burned to the first floor in the late 1840s and then sold to Daniel Currier (300 Broadway). George Waldo was not listed in the 1860 Directory and by 1872 the Waldo house belonged to John Low. In 1888, Mrs. Mary Low sold the house to Edward F. Searles, retaining a lifetime lease. Searles removed the adjacent Welch House, tore down the old barn, and made improvements to the house. He laid out a small park along Lawrence Street to the corner of Park Street. There, according to the Methuen Transcript, he installed the two Corinthian columns from the Bank of America in New York, each weighing 20 tons, which were delivered to Methuen in 1888.

In 1960, the property was bought by Kenneth Pollard from the Old Colony Trust. Pollard established a funeral home which remains in business today.


The George Waldo House possesses integrity of location, design, setting, materials, and workmanship, and meets the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places.






Name: house/garage

Address: 241 Lawrence Street

Date: 1964

History: Kenneth Pollard, owner of the adjacent Waldo House/Pollard Funeral Home (233 Lawrence St), deeded this property to Claire Pollard and Jacqueline Pollard in 1963. The house was built in 1964. This site was once a park created in the late 19th-century by Edward F. Searles, and is still partially surrounded by fine stone walls. Moved in Dec 1997 across the street to St Monica's Property.






Name: First Baptist Church

Address: 253 Lawrence Street

Date: 1869

History: The First Baptist Church was organized in 1815. Baptists in Methuen prior to this time attended the Baptist Church in Haverhill. In 1815, the first services were held in the Daniel Frye house. The current church structure replaced an earlier building constructed in 1816. The construction of the First Baptist Church coincided with the development of a significant residential and commercial center in the vicinity of Lawrence Street and Broadway.

The First Baptist Church possesses integrity of location, design, setting, materials, and workmanship, and meets the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places.






Name: Park Lodge

Address: 257 Lawrence Street

Date: 1910

History: According to the Town of Methuen Assessor's records, in 1910 Edward F. Searles was taxed for one house next to the Baptist Church and the 16,596 sq. ft. Taylor-Clark lot. In 1911, the house was named Park Lodge House. It was valued at $6000 and set on a 16,596 sq. ft. lot. The Taylor-Clark lot, including the Taylor house and Clark bakery, can be seen on the 1884 map and the Sanborn Insurance map 1885. The Clark bakery was moved to Hampshire Street before 1892, and that site was vacant on the 1896 and 1906 maps. The newly constructed Park Lodge can be seen on the 1911 Sanborn map.


It is possible that an old house was incorporated into this building since Searles bought and sold and moved many buildings. But, if an old house is included, it is not the 19th-century farm house of Jesse Searles, Edward's father. The Jesse Searles house was located on the Searles estate and was embellished by Edward. It is seen in the print found in the Essex County Atlas of 1884 and referred to on the previous survey form. That house, identified as Pine Lodge, the Edward Searles Estate, bears no resemblance to the Park Lodge house.


After Searle's death in 1920, Park Lodge was sold by his heir Mr. B. Allan Rowland to S. William Colson.


Park Lodge possesses integrity of location, design, setting, materials, and workmanship, and meets the criteria of the Natioanal Register of Historic Places.






Name: Corliss Bldg

Address: 270 Lawrence Street also 1 Osgood St.

Date: 1886

History: Varnum Corliss (sometimes spelled Corless) built two buildings behind the James S. Dodge Store, one in 1882 and one in 1886. The first one, a wood frame building, was built for Corliss by Aaron Gilcreast and became the Pearson and Page Store, selling furniture and household goods. This building may be incorporated in the structure now covered in brick veneer. The second structure, begun in March of 1886, was described in the Methuen Transcript as being brick, with three stories on Osgood, St. and two on Lawrence Street. This building first appears on the 1892 Sanborn Insurance map.


Varnum Corliss was born in Haverhill West Parish in 1810. He came to Methuen as a young man and went into business as a harness maker in Wilson's block, formerly on Hampshire St. In 1835 he bought a building and land from Major Osgood's heirs on Broadway and fitted out a harness shop which he shared with Dearborn and Clark, early shoe manufacturers. He was also a carriage-maker and in the early days drove his carriages to Boston for shipment by packet to Maine where he sold to farmers there. Corliss later bought the so-called Bowen and Emerson tract of land at the corner of Broadway and Osgood St, where the bank building and post office is now located. His livery stable was located behind the Broadway buildings off Osgood Street. The buildings on the Lawrence St./Osgood St. site mentioned above appear to have been real estate investments. At one time, Corliss owned more than two acres in the heart of the village as well as more than 80 acres of farm land in Methuen and Salem.






Name:

Address: 1 Locust Road

Date: 1951

History: From the late 1880s onward, Edward F. Searles systematically acquired all available property on East and Lawrence Streets in the vicinity his estate "Pine Lodge," to provide privacy and resources for "Pine Lodge" and later for investment (see 209 Lawrence St). He even rerouted East Street to enlarge his estate. In 1896 and 1906, the property on East Street by Locust Road was owned by Searles and called "Oakside Farm." After Searles' death, a plan for the subdivision of "Oakside" was drawn by the Searles Real Estate Trust. (Assessor's Plan #380, May 20, 1992) "Oakside" was bounded by East and Lawrence Streets and Beedle Terrace and had 455 lots, averaging 5000 sq. ft. Development restrictions stated that there could be only one house per lot, costing not less than $5000. Houses should be 15 ft. from the lot lines and could have only one garage with no more than two stalls. These restrictions were to be in force until 1972 unless Pine Lodge was discontinued. By 1950, the size of the lots between East Street and Locust Street had been redrawn. In that section, there were five lots, averaging between 26,000 and 40,000 sq. ft.


The house at 1 Locust Road was built in 1951 by Florence Robertson.






Name:

Address: 31 Locust Road

Date: c1951

History: From the late 1880s onward, Edward F. Searles systematically acquired all available property on East and Lawrence Streets in the vicinity his estate "Pine Lodge," to provide privacy and resources for "Pine Lodge" and later for investment (see 209 Lawrence St). He even rerouted East Street to enlarge his estate. In 1896 and 1906, the property on East Street by Locust Road was owned by Searles and called "Oakside Farm." After Searles' death, a plan for the subdivision of "Oakside" was drawn by the Searles Real Estate Trust. (Assessor's Plan #380, May 20, 1992) "Oakside" was bounded by East and Lawrence Streets and Beedle Terrace and had 455 lots, averaging 5000 sq. ft. Development restrictions stated that there could be only one house per lot, costing not less than $5000. Houses should be 15 ft. from the lot lines and could have only one garage with no more than two stalls. These restrictions were to be in force until 1972 unless Pine Lodge was discontinued. By 1950, the size of the lots between East Street and Locust Street had been redrawn. In that section, there were five lots, averaging between 26,000 and 40,000 sq. ft.


The house at 31 Locust Road was built c. 1951 by William A. Berhan who acquired adjacent lot 5b in 1966.






Name: gas station

Address: 2 Lowell Street

Date: 1963

History: The land and most of the buildings along the south side of Hampshire Street between Broadway and Lowell Street were owned by the Methuen Company during most of the 19th-century. A building, identified (even in the assessor's records) as the "Old Bed Bug Block" stood on this site from 1826 until it was demolished in 1891. Tenements which had been attached to this block remained on the site until the early 1920s when they too were demolished. After 1927 a gas station was built and in 1936, this station was listed in the Methuen directory as the Methuen ESSO Station. In 1963 a new ESSO station, cinder block construction, was built by Frances E. Reusch.






Name: Red Arrow Garage

Address: 6 Lowell Street

Date: Built after 1919 and before 1927

Razed Circa 2000

History: Methuen's first fire house was located on this site, on the island on the east side of Lowell Street. It was built about 1847/48 to house the hand tub "Spigot." Long obsolete, the building was torn down when the Lowell Street bridge (see form) was widened in 1909/10. According to the Sanborn Insurance maps, the site remained vacant until after 1911 when the Red Arrow Garage was located on the site. After 1927, the footprint of the building is different, although the use, auto repair remains the same. In 1935, Charles Lyons bought the Red Arrow Garage through the Methuen Co-operative Bank. Assessor's field cards from 1941 identify the building as the Jenny Service Station.






Name:

Address: Lowell Street

Date: 1880s

History: The Methuen Company was bought in 1864 by David Nevins, a prominent Boston investor who subsequently settled in Methuen. It quadrupled in size in the years between 1870 and 1881. Housing was needed for mill operatives and by the 1870s, double houses, which can be seen on the 1884 map, lined Pine Street on both sides. Individual house, such as 23 Lowell Street, built sometime before 1872, were also part of the mill housing stock. This house was owned by David Nevins in 1872 and by the Methuen Company in 1884 and 1896. A permit was issued in 1972 to add a Beauty Parlor and make offices on the second floor. The street front addition appears to predate this. See 1 Pine Street, 10-12 Lowell Street, 14-16 Lowell Street, 18-20 Lowell Street, 96-98 Railroad Street, 100-102 Railroad Street, and 104-106 Railroad Street for other examples of Methuen Mill's housing in the district.






Name: The Lowell Street Bridge

Address: Lowell Street

Date: 1832

Rebuilt: 2000

History: The town of Methuen began planning the widening of Lowell Street in 1909. The old stone bridge was reconstructed and the old fire house of 1846/47, located on the island on the east side of Lowell Street, was demolished. Work on the the road and the new bridge was completed in October of 1910. The electric car tracks were relaid and improvements included new iron fences along the bridge and safe sidewalks. An 1836 lithograph shows a wooden bridge. Most of the early wooden bridges over the Spicket were replaced in the 1830s by stone arch bridges. On Lowell Street, the bridge at the island, built in 1832, was first widened and rebuilt in 1869.






Name: Spicket River Dam

Address: Lowell Street

Date: 1880s

History: According to an account published in the Transcript in October 1905 the first known reference to use of the falls was found in a deed belonging to David Nevins. The deed, from the widow of John Morrill, dated December 1709, conveyed to Robert Swan, for the sum of thirty pounds, one-forth of a saw mill and land "on Spicket river falls, the mill that was built by and belonged to and amongst Robert Swan, John Morrill and Elisha Davis." Afterwards, a grist mill was built on each side of the river, and as there was not enough business to keep them both busy, they agreed to run on alternate weeks. This arrangement kept up until the first cotton mill was built by Stephen Minot in 1814. It burned in 1818, and in 1821 the land and water privilege were purchased by the Methuen Company, which built a new mill in 1826-1827 (47 Osgood St). The Methuen Company was acquired by David Nevins in 1864. The company quadrupled in size between 1870 and 1881 and it was during this time that the new dam was built.


An account of construction of the dam in the Transcript in October 1898 stated that the center portion of the present dam was built in 1880 by David Crockett. It took the place of the old dam, constructed principally of wood, which was about 12 feet up stream. (The front of the old dam was wood, with stone in the rear to prevent the wood from being forced out.) The stone for the new dam came from a Salem, N.H. quarry owned by David Nevins. Holes half the size of a cannonball were carved from the tops and bottoms of each stone so that a cannonball could be fitted in between each layer for reinforcement. The dam is said to be about 140 feet long with the highest fall of water being about 23 feet. On the right end, the fall is not as high. This section was constructed about 10 years before by Mr. Simmons, a Lawrence contractor. A contemporary photograph shows the dam with a wooden walk way across it, which was completed in November 1880.






Name:

Address: 10-12 Lowell Street

Date: 1870s

History: The Methuen Company (see 47 Osgood St.) was purchased in 1864 by David Nevins, a prominent Boston investor who subsequently settled in Methuen. Under his leadership, it quadrupled in size in the years between 1870 and 1881, creating a need for mill operatives' housing. By the 1870s, double houses, which can be seen on the 1884 map, lined Pine Street on both side. The earliest ones, which appear before 1872, remain on the left side, outside of the historic district. With the exception of the house at 1 Pine Street, houses from the right side have all been demolished or moved. However, houses owned by the Methuen Company which are shown at 96-98, 100-102, 104-106 Railroad Street by 1892 (and not before), and at 10-12, 14-16, 18-20 Lowell Street by 1911 (and not before), match the remaining Pine Street houses in form and detail and are presumed to be the Pine Street houses.






Name:

Address: 14-16 Lowell Street

Date: 1870s

History: The Methuen Company (see 47 Osgood St.) was purchased in 1864 by David Nevins, a prominent Boston investor who subsequently settled in Methuen. Under his leadership, it quadrupled in size in the years between 1870 and 1881, creating a need for mill operatives' housing. By the 1870s, double houses, which can be seen on the 1884 map, lined Pine Street on both side. The earliest ones, which appear before 1872, remain on the left side, outside of the historic district. With the exception of the house at 1 Pine Street, houses from the right side have all been demolished or moved. However, houses owned by the Methuen Company which are shown at 96-98, 100-102, 104-106 Railroad Street by 1892 (and not before), and at 10-12, 14-16, 18-20 Lowell Street by 1911 (and not before), match the remaining Pine Street houses in form and detail and are presumed to be the Pine Street houses.






Name: Stearns/Webster House

Address: 15 Lowell and Pine Streets

Date: pre- 1854

History: In William Barnes' reminiscences of Methuen in 1845, he states that this house on Lowell at the corner of Pine street was the home of A. W. Stearns who had a grocery store there. Methuen's Vital Records show the marriage of an Artemas W. Stearns and Lydia Searles in 1843.


The town assessor's records show the Samuel Webster owned the house beginning in 1854 and the 1860 Directory lists Samuel Webster, grocer (Merrill & Webster), house Lowell. An advertisement in the same directory states that Merrill and Webster dealt in Dry and West Indies Goods, Paint, Oil, Hardware and Cutlery. In 1875, Webster moved closer to the center of town, building a new house at 7 Charles Street. In 1882, he took over the livery stable behind the Exchange Hotel and ran carriages to the depot. He died in the late 80s. In 1896 the heirs of Samuel Webster still owned the Charles Street house and the house at 15 Lowell Street.






Name: Platt House

Address: 17-19 Lowell Street

Date:

History: The present house at 17-19 Lowell Street replaces an earlier house which was owned by Lorenzo Dow. Mr. Dow was listed in 1860 Directory as being an overseer at the cotton mill and was shown at this address in 1872. He died in the early 1880s and Mrs. Dow later moved to Dracut. She sold the property to Rylance Platt, who in 1898 was assessed for one house, valued at $900 at the rear of 17 Lowell Street, and one new house valued at $3000. In 1901/2, Platt an absentee landlord, rented to Peter Graham, blacksmith, and William Hyde at 17 Lowell Street, and John Ridley, bookkeeper, house rear. The old house at the rear is gone.





Name:

Address: 18 -20 Lowell Street

Date: 1870s

History: The Methuen Company (see 47 Osgood St.) was purchased in 1864 by David Nevins, a prominent Boston investor who subsequently settled in Methuen. Under his leadership, it quadrupled in size in the years between 1870 and 1881, creating a need for mill operatives' housing. By the 1870s, double houses, which can be seen on the 1884 map, lined Pine Street on both side. The earliest ones, which appear before 1872, remain on the left side, outside of the historic district. With the exception of the house at 1 Pine Street, houses from the right side have all been demolished or moved. However, houses owned by the Methuen Company which are shown at 96-98, 100-102, 104-106 Railroad Street by 1892 (and not before), and at 10-12, 14-16, 18-20 Lowell Street by 1911 (and not before), match the remaining Pine Street houses in form and detail and are presumed to be the Pine Street houses.






Name: Central Fire Station

Address: 24 Lowell Street

Date: 1899/ c.1930

History: Discussion regarding the need for the town to purchase fire apparatus took place as early as 1836, but it was not until 1847 that the first hand tub was bought and the Spiggott (sic) Engine Company created. A steam engine, purchased in 1870, lead to organization of the E. A. Straw Company in 1871 and the Mystic Hose Company was organized to man a hose carriage purchased in 1878. In 1887 the town voted to purchase a hook and ladder truck, which was manned by the C. H. Tenney H. & L. Company. A system of alarm boxes began in 1888. Edward F. Searles donated a new hose wagon to the town in 1891 and the Mystic Hose Company was renamed the Paul Methuen Hose Company.

Fire apparatus was first kept in an engine house built about 1847/48 to house the hand tub "Spigot" (sic); it was located on the island on the south side of Lowell Street. That building was unable to accommodate the newer equipment purchased after 1870, so the hose wagon and hook and ladder were kept in the basement of the town house (290 Broadway). Construction of the long needed Central Fire Station did not come until 1899. The new station housed three pieces of apparatus, the steamer, hook and ladder, and hose wagon. Stalls for eight horses, (connected with the sewer), hose tower, engineers room, sleeping quarters, recreational rooms, work shops, feed loft and three brass polls were all included in the new building. Although the building was lit by gas, the lights were operated electrically. The sounding of the alarm activated the lights, and also opened the stall doors so that the horses could take their places under harnesses which were suspended from the ceiling.


The station was designed by Lawrence architect John Ashton, and provided a facility which according to the Methuen Transcript was "up-to-date in every respect and a credit to the town." A 1905 article by the Transcript gives additional information on the department and describes major fires which occurred in the town, including the 1849 fire which destroyed the hotel and hotel stable, two other livery stables, five house and and part of the Currier Building in Exchange Square (now Gaunt Square).






Name:

Address: 103 Lowell Street

Date: c. 1903

History: The house at 103 Lowell Street was built around 1903, according to town directory research. The earliest known occupant was Alice R. Wheeler, a principal, who lived here by 1904. By 1914 it was occupied by Ernest Munroe, about whom little is known. Mill workers, Henry and Leon Hamilton lived here in 1918. By 1921 Dr. Edward H. Ganley was living here. In the mid-1930s Elsa T. Hefner, a teacher, was the occupant. At the time it was built, there were just a few houses scattered along Lowell Street along this stretch. Quite a few houses had been built just to the east, closer to the town center by 1900.






Name:

Address: 387 Lowell Street

Date: c. 1875.

History: Based on the style of the house, it appears that 387 Lowell Street was built about 1875. The earliest occupant to be identified is Moses G. Smith, a mason and contractor who occupied the house by 1885. Smith remained in the house until about 1910. By 1914 it was occupied by Frank Doble, a grocer in North Andover, who lived here until after his retirement until at least 1925. By 1929 Embert Polter lived here; Polter is listed in town directories as a clerk. This house remains a single-family dwelling.






Name:

Address: 521 Lowell Street

Date: c. 1800

History: The house at 521 Lowell Street was constructed as a single-family farm house around 1800 (1799 according to previous form but no reference given). It appears that it was built for Aaron Sawyer, a local farmer. The house remained in the Sawyer family for many year and was part of a larger farm parcel until the 1890s. It appears that for a time the house was occupied as a two-family dwelling. At the time, it was owned and occupied by Francis Sawyer who lived here as early as 1884 and as late as 1904; the town directories do not list an occupation for Sawyer. Among the earliest tenants in the house were George P. Bancroft and Lewis E. Edwards, a farmer. In 1914 the house was occupied by merchant Neal Webster. By 1920 the house was occupied by mill workers, Edgar and Joseph Leach. For over 10 years, from 1923 onward, the occupants were George Newhill (mill overseer) and John J. MacKinnon (second hand).


More research from Erick Olsen, the current owners (2008)

The house has been a single family dwelling since the Cyr family purchased it, in the 1940’s I believe. A few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Mrs. Mary Dodson of Methuen (who unfortunately passed away in 2007). Mrs. Dodson was John J. MacKinnon and Elizabeth Newhill’s daughter. From my brief discussion with her and her son, it is my understanding that she lived there until 1938. While she was there, the house was divided into two halves. One half for Mrs. Dodson’s immediate family. In the other half lived, Mrs. Dodson’s grandparents, who I believe, but can’t confirm, were on the Newhill side of the family. This may have led to the initial set-up and appearance that this was a two-family dwelling. I’m uncertain what happened after Mrs. Dodson left, but it’s possible that non-family members may have lived there. However, I’m fairly certain that once the Cyr’s purchased the home, it was once occupied as a single family. Mrs. Cyr sold the property to Sean and Kathleen Murphy in the early 1990’s, and I purchased it in 1995.





Name:

Address: 523 Lowell Street

Date: c. 1925

History: Map research into the early history of the site shows the block vacant in 1906. In 1884 and 1872 a house existed near the center of these lots; in 1884 that house was owned by Mrs. I. Sawyer. It appears that the Sawyer house stood until about 1890. The similarity of 523-527 Lowell suggests that they were built on speculation at about the same time (c. 1925). By 1929, all of the houses were occupied. Arnold Cassin (overseer) lived at 523, Harrison Bartholomew (overseer) lived at 525 and Gustave Cloutler (insurance) lived at 527. By 1938, two families were living in each house. Raoul Nadeau and Robert R. Boardman (mill worker) lived at 523. Frank Wuest lived at 525 and the second apartment was vacant. Edwin Boardman (WPA) and George McAllister (employed at Pacific Mill in Lawrence) lived at 527.






Name:

Address: 525 Lowell Street

Date: c. 1925

History: Map research into the early history of the site shows the block vacant in 1906. In 1884 and 1872 a house existed near the center of these lots; in 1884 that house was owned by Mrs. I. Sawyer. It appears that the Sawyer house stood until about 1890. The similarity of 523-527 Lowell suggests that they were built on speculation at about the same time (c. 1925). By 1929, all of the houses were occupied. Arnold Cassin (overseer) lived at 523, Harrison Bartholomew (overseer) lived at 525 and Gustave Cloutler (insurance) lived at 527. By 1938, two families were living in each house. Raoul Nadeau and Robert R. Boardman (mill worker) lived at 523. Frank Wuest lived at 525 and the second apartment was vacant. Edwin Boardman (WPA) and George McAllister (employed at Pacific Mill in Lawrence) lived at 527.






Name:

Address: 527 Lowell Street

Date: c. 1925

History: Map research into the early history of the site shows the block vacant in 1906. In 1884 and 1872 a house existed near the center of these lots; in 1884 that house was owned by Mrs. I. Sawyer. It appears that the Sawyer house stood until about 1890. The similarity of 523-527 Lowell suggests that they were built on speculation at about the same time (c. 1925). By 1929, all of the houses were occupied. Arnold Cassin (overseer) lived at 523, Harrison Bartholomew (overseer) lived at 525 and Gustave Cloutler (insurance) lived at 527. By 1938, two families were living in each house. Raoul Nadeau and Robert R. Boardman (mill worker) lived at 523. Frank Wuest lived at 525 and the second apartment was vacant. Edwin Boardman (WPA) and George McAllister (employed at Pacific Mill in Lawrence) lived at 527.






Name:

Address: 615 Lowell Street

Date: c. 1838

History: 615 Lowell Street was built about 1838 as the farm house for Asa Sawyer. Sawyer acquired the land on which the house stands in 1838 from Aaron Sawyer. The property was sold by Asa Sawyer's heirs in 1852 and went through several owners until it was purchased by James N. Dowding in 1868. Since then the house has been passed to Samuel Dowding and his heirs, Harry Dowding and Doris Cox, and remains in the family. The town directory of 1885 lists James N. Dowding as a farmer and indicates that there were several other Dowdings living nearby on Lowell Street. In 1900 the house was occupied by Lucy Dowding. By 1904 it was occupied by Samuel Dowding, a motorman for the street railway who lived here until about 1940.






Name: The Armory building

Address: 619 Lowell Street

Date: 1913

History: Built in 1913 as an armory, this brick masonry pier and panel structure is a National Guard headquarters. The building includes an assembly hall, classrooms, a library, rifle range, administrative offices, kitchen and locker room.






Name:

Address: 625 Lowell Street

Date: c. 1885

History: This was the farm of Phineas M. Griffin as early as 1885. Prior to that there were several farm houses scattered along Lowell Street, most in this area owned by the Griffin family. Stylistically, it appears that the house was built about that time. That year it was occupied by Henry R. Griffin (farmer), James E. Griffin (farmer), and Leslie A. Griffin (carpenter). By 1925 the house was also occupied by Rufus Griffin. The house remained in the Griffin family as late as 1940 when it was occupied by Charlotte R. Griffin (widow of James) and Susan B. Thurlow. By 1944 it was occupied by William Blanchette, a mill worker.






Name: Asa Griffin House

Address: 709 Lowell Street

Date: c. 1750

History: According to research conducted by Methuen Historical Commission, 709 Lowell Street was built by 1750 for Asa Griffin. At the time this house was constructed, there were only a few scattered farm houses in western Methuen. By 1846 the house was owned by Nathaniel Dowding, who still lived here in 1885 at the age of 88. The house remained in the Dowding family into the 20th century. The 1906 map lists Mrs. D. Dowding as the owner. In the 1960s the farm was sold to Colombo & Sons Creamery. Today it is occupied as a single-family home.



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