The Englishman’s House – A New Beginning in Andover, MA, Part 2

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in some of LandVest’s properties? We invite our owners to tell us a bit about their experiences, what they love about their homes and a bit of their history. A family from Connecticut purchased and renovated Captain Abbott’s House, a beautiful and historic home, in Andover, MA as their two sons would be attending Phillips Academy for four years. This is a continuing story of history of that experience:

LV:  Please provide us with any history that may be of interest to a prospective buyer.

KS:  Following the Great Swamp Fight during King Philip’s War in December 1675 which involved “the Englishman” George and Hanna’s fourth son Joseph, the Native Americans conducted raids on more than half of the towns and settlements throughout New England. During one of those raids, Joseph and younger brother Timothy were overwhelmed before they could reach their garrison house. Joseph became the first settler killed in Andover by the Native Americans in retaliation for the Great Swamp Fight.

LV: Are there any notable architects, landscape designers, interior decorators?

KS: We were fortunate in finding the right construction team at the outset when we hired S & H Construction of Cambridge MA. (S & H was for five years voted Best of Boston Contractor). We also hired consultants from Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (SPNEA)to undertake certain sensitive restoration projects. We needed to look past the knob and tube wiring, the 1930’s kitchen stove, the pull chain toilets and the stained and peeling 40’s wallpaper. Our objective was to restore and enhance the historical integrity of main house, the 1660 granary or corn barn and the 1850’s Dutch Barn while seamlessly integrating state-of the-art mechanical and technological systems and conveniences.

MA1643_5LV:  Have you made any significant improvements?

KS:  The morning we closed on the purchase of 56 Central Street, we stood with the sellers contemplating the old carpet in the original dining room hiding the wide board pine flooring. We slowly pulled back a corner of the carpet to reveal the “compass rose” floor painting. SPNEA was able to bring the compass rose as well as the original wide-pine flooring and the hand painted “faux bois” paneled walls back to their original glory. We completed the original dining room by stripping off the 40’s wallpaper, re-plastered the walls and repainted them in a warm color to match the beautiful glow of the faux bois and the original floors. We found reproduction lights and replica furniture in Newburyport which, along with antique portraits, ship models and andirons making it a wonderful place for drinks and hors d’oeuvres before moving to the present dining room, the former winter kitchen.

LandVest: John Abbot House, Andover MA from Sonnar Studios on Vimeo.

Stay tuned for Part III of our three part interview with owners of The John Abbott House.

For more information on this property or other North Shore listings
please contact Richard Church (