Methuen History

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Historic Sites: H-K

 Hampshire Road

Name: Sands’ Bridge

Address: Hampshire Road

Date: 1835

History: This mortarless twin-arch sandstone bridge was constructed in 1835 to replace an earlier wooden bridge. It remained in use until 1963, when construction of Interstate 93 necessitated re-channeling of the Spicket River and realignment of Hampshire Road.

The bridge possesses integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship and association. It insignificant as the only local example of dry laid stone arch bridge construction and as a reminder of the pre-Rte.93 locations of the Spicket River and Hampshire Road. Thus, the bridge meets the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places.




Name: The Hampshire Road School

Address: 107-109 Hampshire Road

Date: 1911

History: The Hampshire Road School was built in 1911 to serve the growing school-age population in the northwestern part of Methuen. Designed by A.E. Lang, the school is very similar to the former Grosvenor and Tyler Street Schools in its use of wood framing, Colonial Revival detailing, and clapboard sheathing. The Hampshire Roads School is now a multi-family residential building. Most of the early 20th century schools built in Methuen are two story brick structures that are considerably larger. The building has been considerably altered from its original appearance. The entry porches had shallow hip roofs and rested on short paired columns with broad stone bases to match the foundation. Windows contained 6/1 sash and the siding was clapboard.




Name: Kimball House

Address: 255 Hampshire Road

Date: ca. 1850

History: Map research indicates that this farm house was built ca. 1850 for E. Kimball. It remained in the Kimball family through the 19th century and well into the 20th century. By 1885 the farm was occupied by Sylvanus G. Kimball. In 1914 both Thaddeus and Edward Kimball are listed in the town directory at this address. In 1938 Grace Kimball occupied the house, and it is still in the Kimball family.




Hampshire Street


Address: 3 Hampshire Street

Date: Built 1949/brick veneer added 1968

History: According to the assessor’s records this site was vacant in 1948. A small building valued at $2000 was constructed by the owner, Percy Nutton, in 1949. It was originally a lunch room known as Three Smith Brothers Luncheonette in 1950 and Wilson’s Brown Derby Lunch in 1954. In 1968, the building was sold and permits were issued to apply brick veneer, and convert the building to office space.




Name: Methuen Company Store

Address: 4-6 Hampshire Street

Date: Built 1885

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 the latter half of the 19th century. According to the Methuen Transcript, the small store at 4-6 Hampshire Street was built by the Methuen Company in 1885. It was described as being one story with a basement, 30′ x 35′, and the “handsomest store in Methuen.” It was constructed by W. J. Nichols and painted by D. C. Rollins. Its first occupant was Silas Holman who sold dry and fancy goods. Holman, who occupied both sides of the store, was still in business at that site in 1901/2. In 1932, it housed a First National Store, and a Tailor Shop.




Name: The Odd Fellow’s Building

Address: 7 Hampshire Street

Date: 1899

History: Construction of the Odd Fellows Building, designed by Lawrence architect George G. Adams and dedicated in September of 1899, was the culmination of a 20 year effort by the Hope Lodge of Methuen to build a permanent home. It was built on the site of a prominent early landmark, the so-called “Old Shoe Shop.” The contract for construction went to Albert E. Lang of Lawrence who began work in October of 1898 and completed the building in less than a year. The Post Office and two stores occupied the first floor. The second floor was divided into seven offices and a small lodge room. A large lodge room occupied the third floor, while a banquet hall, kitchen, and smoking room were located on the fourth floor. According to the Methuen Transcript, the ceiling of the lodge room was steel, and the finish of the interior was “elaborate.”

Hope Lodge 34, I.O.O.F. was instituted in Methuen in 1844 by a group of prominent citizens including John Low and George A. Waldo. Although, initially an active chapter, the group surrendered their charter in 1855. Interest was revived in 1868 and the charter returned the following year with Daniel T. Morrison (who lived at 11 Park Street) elected as first noble grand. In 1879, meeting rooms for the Lodge were located in the James Dodge Store ( 271 Broadway). At the time of construction of the new Odd Fellows Building on Hampshire Street, the organization was in a strong financial position and had a membership of more that 200 individuals.




Name: 1859 House

Address: 12 Hampshire Street

Date: c.1859

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 the latter half of the 19th century. This house is said to have been built in 1859 and according to William Barnes, it was a tanner and currier shop, with a hat shop owned by Bowen and Grosvenor in the basement. It may not have belonged to the Methuen Company at that time. However, D. Nevins, who purchased the Methuen Company in 1864, is shown as the owner on the 1872 map; on later maps the Methuen Company is shown as the owner. It was rented for a mix of commercial and residential uses.

This house is similar in detail to the old Waldo/Currier Block (300 Broadway), rebuilt after the 1849 fire which destroyed many buildings in the area . A photograph of the Edwin J. Castle Drug Store in the Currier Block can be found in the Christmas Supplement of the Methuen Transcript (1898) at the Methuen Historical Society.

A Chinese laundry was located in the building from about 1900 until the Methuen Company sold the building in 1922 to the Methuen Club, a group of local business and professional men. From the 1920s to 1975, the building was used as a clubhouse with bowling alleys, billiard tables and card tables. Since the mid-70s, the building has housed one of Methuen’s more popular restaurants.





Address: 18 Hampshire Street

Date: c. late 1860s

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 latter half of 19th century. The present building may include a Methuen Company building from the late 1860s or early 1870s, but recent renovations have obliterated the original facade and any exterior trace of the old buildings.

In the 1880s and 1890s, the Old Line Market, run by Kirk F. Brown was located at 18 Hampshire Street. Brown, a well-known figure in the town, lived in the double house at 245-247 Broadway. From 1901 to at least 1960, Brown Brothers Provisions or Market, perhaps still run by the same family, was located there. An addition, numbered 18 1/2, housing a shoe repair shop, was built in the twenties and is possibly incorporated behind the new facade.





Address: 20-24 Hampshire Street

Date: built or renovated between 1911 and 1919

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 latter half of 19th century. Although 20-24 Hampshire appears to by a turn-of-the-century building, it could be a renovation incorporating a fish store owned in 1866 by the Methuen Company.

Newell D. Leach, who was listed in the 1860 directory as a shoe maker, later became a fish dealer. Leach Brothers were listed at 20 Hampshire from 1885 to at least 1901/2. In 1885, this was a one store. By 1911, the store had been divided into two small sections and housed at tailor and barber shop. Renovation or new construction took place between 1911 and 1919 since the 1919 Sanborn map shows at larger two story building housing a jeweler and barber. Barber, Patrick Doran did business at 20 Hampshire Street for many years and before that in the Methuen Company store building at 42-46 Hampshire Street.





Address: 21 Hampshire Street


History: Number 21 Hampshire stands on the site of old Wilson Block, later known as Fulton Block, which was demolished in the late 1920s. The directories list several different service stations on the site in the 1930s. The Andrew’s Service Station was built in 1944.





Address:26-28 Hampshire Street

Date: built 1935-1938

History: This block of stores first appears on the Sanborn Insurance Map of 1927/1949. It was built between 1936 and 1938 on a lot of land which was identified in the 1932 Directory as a golf course. Numbering of this building altered the old numbering sequence on this side of Hampshire, from numbers 20 and 24, west to Lowell Street. New numbers 26 and 28 are not listed in the Directory until 1938. Barber, Carmello Cultura was at 26 Hampshire and the Beauty Craft Shop was at 28 Hampshire. Both were still there in 1950.





Address: 30 Hampshire Street

Date: c. 1930

History: This block of stores first appears on the Sanborn Insurance Map of 1927/1949. It was built between 1936 and 1938 on a lot of land which was identified in the 1932 Directory as a golf course. Numbering of this building altered the old numbering sequence on this side of Hampshire, from numbers 20 and 24, west to Lowell Street. New number 30 Hampshire was not listed in the Directory until 1938. It was then the office of the Methuen Co-operative Bank. In 1952, brick veneer was added and in 1964, the Methuen Co-operative Bank built at new office building at 243 Broadway.




Name: Methuen Mill #5, Cotton Spinning Mill

Address: 30 rear Hampshire Street

Date: c. 1840

History: Number 5 Mill is located on the site of the first textile mill in Methuen which was built in 1812-1814 by Stephen Minot of Haverhill. Minot’s mill reportedly burned in 1818. Number 5 Cotton Spinning Mill was built c. 1840 and may the second oldest building in the Methuen Company complex. It was built to replace an older wooden structure from the 1820s. The present building may actually rest on part of the same foundation from the earlier structure. The 1820s building can be seen in the lithograph (c. 1836/7) of the “View of the Falls and Mills on the Spigot River, Methuen, Mass.” which shows a four story gable roof building with monitor. The 1840s building can be seen in drawings which accompany the Barlow Insurance Survey (1877) which show a four story building with gable roof and three dormer windows, but no monitor. At some point, the gable roof was replace by a slightly pitched roof similar to those found on other Methuen Company structures from the 1870s and 80s. This building was connected to a napping room (gone) on Hampshire, hence the Hampshire Street address. The roof replacement may have resulted from a fire reported by William Barnes in his reminiscences as occurring when Jerome Lowrey was supervisor. It is also possible that the 1840s building burned as it is not shown on the generally accurate 1853 county map.





Address: 32-34 Hampshire Street

Date: built 1935-1938

History: This block of stores first appears on the Sanborn Insurance Map of 1927/1949. It was built between 1936 and 1938 on a lot of land which was identified in the 1932 Directory as a golf course. Numbering of this building altered the old numbering sequence on this side of Hampshire, from numbers 20 and 24, west to

Lowell Street. The Methuen Co-operative Bank, first listed at 30 Hampshire in 1938, may have used this part of the building as well since numbers 32 and 34 are not listed in the Directory until 1944. In 1944, the Methuen Board of Trade was listed at 32 and the Ben Franklin Store was listed at 32-34. 





Address: 36-38 Hampshire Street

Date: c. 1930

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 latter half of 19th century. In 1885, this site, next to the Methuen Company store, had 1 and 1/2 story building identified as a bakery. Between 1911 and 1919 a 2 story storehouse was added to the rear of the building. Between 1919 and 1927, the 1 and 1/2 story building was replaced by a 2 story building, either new construction or possibly the new store house building moved forward onto the site of the older building. Directories identify the building as Rhodes Bakery in 1932 and 1938. By 1938, the A. J. Richardson Agency and Rostron Package Store are also located in this building.





Address: 42-46 Hampshire Street

Date: built part 1950s/1860s??

History: The 1853 Essex County map shows three buildings on Hampshire Street, including the so-called bed-bug block (built in 1826, demolished 1891) at the corner of Hampshire and Lowell, a building next to it marked “store,” and one small unmarked building. In 1866, assessor’s records for the Methuen Company list the bed bug block, the store, a small shoe shop, and a large shoe shop. In 1879, the Methuen Transcript reported that the Methuen Company’s store had been painted red with brown trim.

The Methuen Company store housed various grocery, hardware, and grain businesses in its early years, perhaps even the John F. Tenney grocery store which advertised in the 1860 Directory. In the 1870s or 1880s, the Methuen Transcript, which began publishing in 1876, had offices for a time in this building. The 1901/2 Directory, which gives the first street list, shows John Shea’s Hay and Grain Company, the Hampshire Street Hall, Patrick Doran’s barber shop, and Muhilly Bros. shop, all located in this building at the turn-of-the-century. The street numbers on the south side of Hampshire Street change in the 1930s, but John Shea can still be found in this building in 1950. The second story hall was the meeting place for the Knights of Pythias, beginning in the early 1930s and perhaps before.





Address: 200 Hampshire Street

Date: c. 1870

History: Little is known about the earliest owners of this house but stylistically it appears to have been built about 1870. The house appears on the maps of 1872 and 1884 under the ownership of P. Huse. Huse is not listed in the 1885 directory. By 1900 the property was owned by Fannie Dodge. The 1901 town directory lists William H. Dodge, a mill operative, as the occupant. By 1922 the house was occupied by Fred Hoyle, an overseer. Dr. John Deacy lived here by 1931 (until at least 1938).




Hampstead Street


Address: 136 Hampstead Street

Date: c. 1840

History: 136 Hampstead Street is significant as a well preserved example of a Greek Revival style dwelling built in the agricultural areas of outlying Methuen. Farmes such as this provided produce for nearby markets including Lawrence and Lowell, and indicate that farms were still being developed in Methuen in early to mid 19th century, a period when the central industrial/ commercial area began its growth. This property possesses integrity of location, setting, design, materials and workmanship and meets the criterion of the National Register of Historic Places.




Name: Dr Ralph Harris House

Address: 139 Hampstead Street

Date: c. 1810

History: Deed records indicate that this house was built ca. 1810 for Dr Ralph Harris who had purchased land from the heirs of Dr. Samuel Haseltine in 1808. The property remained in the Harris family until 1866 when it was sold to Hazen Bodwell. Two years later it was purchased by Mary Young. The map of 1872 identifies the owner as J. Young. By 1885 the farm was owned by Bradford Richardson. The Richardson family retained the farm until 1958. Occupants of the house during that time included Varnum B., Morton W., Stephen W., and Doris L. (widow of Stephen) Richardson. 





Address: 140 Hampstead Street

Date: c. 1910

History: The map of 1906 shows a house on the site but it was probably an earlier house than the existing one given the very different plan and location of barn. The current 140 Hampstead Street was built about 1910. The earliest owner that has been identified is Milton G. Woodbury, a farmer, who lived here as early as 1914. It seems that the property changed hands a number of times in the early 20th century. Between 1924 and 1938 its occupants included, John Collins (plumber), Leo Traina (fruit dealer), and Gilbert Tallmadge (clerk). At the time the house was built there was already a cluster of about a dozen buildings, including a school, around this intersection.





Address: 163 Hampstead Street

Date: c. 1840

History: Deed research indicates that this was built ca. 1840 as a farm house for Jacob Tyler. Tyler had purchased two parcels (1837 and 1840) that make up the property. Tyler died about 1850, leaving the property to his heirs who sold to Frederick Howard in about 1851. Howard died about 1860 and in 1864 the farm was sold by his children Horatio and Emily Howard to Francis Kimball. By 1906 the owner was John B. Austin, who is listed in town directories as a farmer. The farm was acquired by George Feindel in 1926 who operated the farm until 1960. In 1960 it was purchased by Raymond and Claire Rischer who began a turkey farm. This is now a well-known attraction in Methuen.





Address: 232 Hampstead Street

Date: c.1840

History: This house was probably built for James Merrill around 1840. The map of 1806 shows a house in this approximate location (owned by Merrill) but the existing dwelling has the proportions and detailing of a later structure. The map of 1846 identifies James Merrill as the owner of this house. At the time, this was one of only three farm houses along Hampstead Street. James Merrill had acquired half of the farm of Samuel Merrill (108 acres) in 1815. James Merrill died in 1861, leaving his farm to his sons, Charles and James, and his wife Abby. Joseph E. Merrill received the property from Abby in 1886. He is listed in town directories as a farmer and poulterer. Between 1914 an 1919 the farm was acquired by Marlon C. Wason, a carpenter. In 1919 it was sold to Patrick Canning, then to Allen H. Reed in 1921. The property again changed hands in 1948 when it was purchased by Lewis C. Rokes. Reed and Rokes are listed in the town directories as farmers.




Haverhill Street

Name: Henry Ferland House

Address: 2 -4 Haverhill Street

Date: ca. 1910

History: This house was built about 1910 when Haverhill Street was known as Orchard Street. At the time it was constructed there were already a number of houses in the area, particularly around the nearby intersection of Elm and Haverhill Streets. The earliest owner that has been identified is Henry Ferland, a farmer, who lived here by 1914. By 1918 the house was occupied by several people, indicating that it may have been separated into a multi-family property by then. The 1918 occupants included Odelon, Landry (percher), Alfonse Noelet (dentist), and Wilfred Noelet (bookkeeper). By 1925 Landry still lived here, along with Peter Lanlois, a salesman. Landry occupied the house as late as the 1930s when he was listed in directories as an insurance agent living here with his wife, Lucia.




Name: St. Ann’s Orphanage

Address: 100a Haverhill Street

Date: 1923

History: St. Ann’s Orphanage was constructed in 1923 by St. Ann’s Church in Lawrence. It was designed by George Miville, an architect from Manchester, New Hampshire, to accommodate 300 children. From its inception until about 1955 the home was almost exclusively for children without one or both parents or those who could not be adequately cared for at home. During the Depression a few elderly women were accepted into the orphanage. In 1955 the number of elderly women was increased to 50 while the number of children was reduced from 130 to 60. In 1966 the population of the home was switched back to children, with the goal of providing care for emotionally disturbed children. In 1968 there were 48 children living at the home. The facility continues to serve as a treatment center but is no longer owned by the Archdiocese.

The adjacent former St. Theresa’s school was established shortly after the orphanage to provide parochial education for the nearby parish of St. Theresa’s, an offshoot of St. Ann’s in Lawrence. It functioned as such until fairly recently. The building is now associated with the treatment center.




Name: The Stephen Barker School

Address: 129 Haverhill Street

Date: 1921

History: The Stephen Barker School was begun in 1921 to accommodate the growing junior high school age population in the south/central part of town. It was designed by architects Ashton, Huntress & Alden who were also responsible for additions to the Pleasant Valley and Howe Schools, the Methuen East End Fire Station (Swan & East Streets), and the 1923 Currier School.




Name: Stephen Barker House

Address: 165 Haverhill Street

Date: 1839

History: 165 Haverhill Street is significant as a well conserved “country Residence”, one of several handsome houses built at the periphery of the Methuen settlement in the mid 19th century. Reportedly, surveyor Stephen Barker built “Woodland Cottage” in imitation of antebellum mansions he had seen in the South. This property possesses integrity of location, design, setting, materials, and workmanship, and meets the criterion of the National Register of Historic Places.





Address: 256 Haverhill Street

Date: c. 1870

History: Based on the style of the house, it appears that 256 Haverhill Street was built about 1870. At the time it was built there was very little else in the immediate area. The earliest documented owner is L. Herman who is identified on the map of 1872 but about whom little is known. The house is most closely associated with the Cox family who has owned the property since about 1880. Patrick Cox, a farmer and butcher, owned the house from about 1880 until about 1905. In addition to the house and barn, there was a slaughterhouse and ice house on the property. By 1914 the house was occupied by George (laborer), Charles (janitor), and Raymond (butcher) Cox. It appears that around 1915 a portion of the land was set off and another family house was constructed to the east of 256 for George who continued the butchering business there (at that time Haverhill Street was known as Orchard Street and #256 was numbered 182). By 1921 256 Haverhill was occupied by Charles, who was then a milkman. Charles is listed in town directories as a farmer in 1935. Today the house is occupied by Vincent T. Cox.




Hawthorne Avenue


Address: 32 -36 Hawthorne Avenue

Date: c. 1900

History: The three-family house at 32-36 Hawthorne Avenue was built ca. 1900. At the time it was built, there were very few houses near the intersection of Hawthorne and Oakland Avenues. By 1930 these streets were densely developed, primarily with single-family dwellings on Hawthorne and multi-family houses on Oakland. The map of 1906 identifies the owner as the Reed Estate. Most of the early 20th century occupants of the house were mill workers or tradesmen. Between 1901 and 1938 occupants included Ambrose Turner (carpenter), Fred Carver (painter), Samuel Smith (mill operative), William Thom (farmer/carpenter), Sumner Wheeler (clerk), Carroll Pinkham (wool sorter), Thomas Parker (clerk), Fred Abrams (painter), Richard Sterndale (piping), and Ray Cox (mill worker).




Highland Street

Name: The Gall cottage

Address: 2 Highland Street

Date: c. 1893

History: The house at now at 2 Highland Avenue does not appear on the present site on either the 1872 or the 1884 atlases. It does appear on the site on the 1896 atlas, and was at that time owned by Charles H. Tenney. The description of an 1893 photograph in the Methuen Transcript, showing water pipe being laid on Highland Avenue, states that there were two houses at the top of Highland Avenue which had been moved. These houses can be seen on the 1884 atlas, but not on the 1872 atlas. According to the commentary, the house belonging to T. H. Fernald was moved away and the other (no name attached) was moved half way down the hill at the left side of the road and was then (in 1893) occupied by Mr. Gall, the gardener at Greycourt. This could be the house now located at 2 Highland Avenue, but the original photograph is not available and the poor quality of the microfilm copy precludes a positive identification. One impediment to this theory is the presence of the two houses on their original lots on the 1896 atlas in contradiction of the Transcript article.

Archibald Gall, gardener, is listed in the 1885 Directory as living on Pleasant Street near Highland and in the 1896 Directory at 67 Pleasant Street. Highland was part of the drive to Greycourt, so it may have been a private road at that time.




Howe Street

Name: T. Benton Currier house

Address: 89 Howe Street

Date: c. 1900

History: 89 Howe Street was built ca. 1900 in the neighborhood known as the “Fare Limit ” on the street car line (after 1902). At the time, there were a number of houses in the immediate area and further north on Howe Street there were scattered farm houses along the street. The earliest known owner of 89 Howe is T. Benton Currier. Little in known about Currier except that he lived here for about ten years. By 1914 the house was occupied by Joseph Mello, a mill operative. Mellow resided here until at least 1938. Another mill worker, Philip Carpenito lived here after Mello (until at least 1948). This house is one of the more well-preserved in the area.





Address: 195 Howe Street

Date: 1913

History: This house was built in 1913 for Harry F. Locke. At the time it was constructed, this section of Howe Street was fairly well developed. Further north on Howe Street were scattered farm houses. It appears that this house was constructed on land former part of the Taylor farm. Harry Locke was a contractor and may have constructed this house himself. Locke was living here as late as 1950, and his daughters still personally maintain the property. This house is a well-preserved grand mansion, of which there are few in Methuen.





Address: 255 Howe Street

Date: c.1920

History: Directory research indicates that this house was built about 1920 for George Keighley. At the time it was constructed, there were a number of farm houses scattered along Howe Street. Land on which the house stands was formerly part of the Charles Tozier farm, and there is speculation that 255 Howe incorporates one of the farm’s outbuildings. Keighley was a grocer who had a store at 96 Howe Street (also his former residence). He lived at 255 Howe Street (then numbered 101) into the 1930s. By 1938 the house was occupied by William W. Colman. Renumbered in the 1940s, 255 Howe Street has been occupied by the Moynihan family for many years.




Name: Joseph Perkins House

Address: 297 Howe Street

Date: 1840

History: The Perkins House is significant as an example of the development of architectural styles and residential building types along the early network of roads which characterized Methuen during the first two centuries of settlement. The occupants of such dwellings were usually farmers, supplying produce to Salem, MA and Newburyport or Lowell and Lawrence, or shoe and hat makers. Joseph Perkins, a 19th century owner of this house, was a farmer. The Perkins house possesses integrity of location, design, setting, materials, and workmanship, and meets the criterion of the National Register of Historic Places.





Address: 310 Howe Street

Date: c.1870

History: According to map research, this farm house was built about 1870 for William H. Jewell who is listed in town directories as a milkman and farmer. By 1923 the house was occupied by Anastasia Clement. The Clement family remained here into the 1930s. By 1942 it was owned by Michael Bogosian. As late as 1978 it was still in the Bogosian family. This house is more highly ornamented than most of Methuen’s rural farm houses.


Copyright Dan Gagnon 2021