Department History

Historic Overview of Andover

According to tradition, the land comprising both the North and South Parishes of Andover was purchased from Cutshamachie, the Sagamore (a subordinate chief among Algonquin Indians) of Massachusetts. The price was six English pounds and a coat, and permission for Roger, a local Indian, to plant his corn and take Alewives from the brook.

This settlement was incorporated as a town on May 6, 1646 and named Andover, probably after Andover England, which was near the original home of some of the first residents. This historic event is commemorated in the town seal which was officially adopted at an annual meeting held March 5, 1900.

The establishment of manufacturing within the boarders of this town was encouraged early. The first powder mill in Massachusetts was established in Andover by Samuel Phillips in 1775. Due to frequent explosions, operations at this mill were discontinued after 20 years. The manufacturing of paper was started in 1789 and this industry remained prosperous until 1821. Abraham Marland started the manufacture of woolen yarns in 1821 and in 1879 the mills were sold to M.T. Stevens who added them to others started as early as 1813 by Nathaniel Stevens. These mills were managed by the Stevens family for generations. Other products made by manufacturing firms in Andover were products made from flax fibers by John Smith and company in 1834; white flannel by the Ballard Vale Manufacturing Company, in 1836; and rubber goods by the Tyer Rubber Company in 1856. Andover is noted for the educational institutions located within its bounds, Phillips Academy and Abbot Academy. Phillips Academy was founded in 1770 by Samuel Phillips and its growth to fame has been aided by the Phillips family. Abbot Academy was the first school exclusively for girls in this section of the country, and was opened in 1829 through the efforts and bequest of Sarah Abbot. The schools have now merged under the name of Phillips Academy.

The town currently has a population of 31,000 and covers 32 square miles. Located 20 miles north of Boston and just south of the New Hampshire border, Andover offers its residents a wide diversity of cultural and economic opportunities.

Out With the Old Police Station

The old Andover police station being demolished.

In With the New Public Safety Center

The current Andover Public Safety Center.