Methuen History

Close this search box.

Historic Sites: Lost Methuen

The properties listed below are historic sites that have been destroyed since this list was created in 1976.


Name: St. Monica’s Church

Address: 231 Broadway

Date: 1896 Razed August 10, 2000

Historic Building Survey Form

History: In the mid 19th-century, a Bishop Fitzpatrick purchased land for a church on Broadway at the corner of Park Street. In 1876, Reverend Father Marsden began holding Mass in the Town Hall (290 Broadway), presumably as a result of the community’s growing numbers of Irish Catholic factory workers. By 1865, Methuen’s foreign-born population, consisting mainly of Irish, had reached 320, or 12.4% of the total. The percentage of foreign-born residents grew to 38.8% by 1915, but by that time the largest group were English. Catholics did not have their own place of worship in Methuen until construction of Saint Monica’s church on the Broadway site began in 1896. First services were held in the new church on Easter Sunday of that year by Reverend Father Mc Cleanon.

Community benefactor, Edward F. Searles promised to build a stone church and rectory for Saint Monica’s but died before it could be done. Arthur Walker, trustee for Searles estate, later deeded land to the church for construction of the rectory which was begun in 1922. Saint Monica’s school built in 1957 and a convent for the teaching sisters completed in 1960, bear witness to the strength of of the Catholic community in Methuen.

This building was destroyed om August 10, 2000 despite the objection of local preservationists to make way for a modern office building.


Name: Methuen Co-Op Bank

Address: 243 Broadway

Date: 1964, addition 1979 Razed 1997

History: Deeds on file in the Methuen assessor’s office indicate that the Methuen Co-operative Bank voted to by this site in 1963. A 1964 building permit indicates that the bank was built that year at a cost of $60,000. A night deposit vault and drive-up window was added in 1972 and in 1979 an addition was built. Two buildings owned by C.H. Harvey occupied this corner lot from at least 1872 until 1896.


Name: E.M. & E. A. Clark House (site of the Methuen Co-Op Bank expansion)

Address: 245-247 Broadway

Date: c. 1860, Razed 1997

History: This double-house was built c. 1860 by Elbridge M. Clark (1810-82) who owned the E. M. Clark & Co. Shoe Factory (no longer extant) across the street. From 1861 until his death in 1882, E.M. Clark was assessed for a half-house; it is possible that the house was built in two stages. The 1872 atlas, and assessors’ records indicate that Clark lived there with his son and business partner, Elbridge A. Clark (b. 1833). Elbridge A. built his own house at the rear of the lot (10 Park Street) in 1875. The 1884 atlas divides the house down the center, with the northern half owned by the E. M. Clark Estate, and the southern half owned by Kirk F. Brown who operated a provision store on Hampshire Street. An 1885 Sanborn Atlas shows a long narrow Roller-Skating Rink on Brown’s half of the property. The 1896 atlas shows the property owned by Brown and the heirs of M. S. Clark.


Name: Benjamin Osgood House

Address: 248 Broadway

Date: c. 1835 Razed 2007

History: Benjamin Osgood, for whom Osgood Street was named, was born in Methuen in 1764, married Polly Wilson in 1796, and died in 1837. His son, Ben, was born in 1796. Ben was first married in 1819 to Hannah Merrill and second to Clarissa Collier of Boston in 1831. Benjamin, a blacksmith, also known as Major Osgood, made purchases of land in Methuen as early as 1802/1806 and at one time owned, among other sites, a significant portion of land and water rights along the Spicket River from Osgood Street to the bridge south of the Organ Hall (192 Broadway). Various deeds up to 1835 describe the mill pond, access to the mill pond, grist, corn, and saw mills, and ownership of water rights.

The first clear record of the house at 248 Broadway is found in the deed of Benjamin to Ben (279/301) in 1835, two years before the death of Benjamin, in which he transfers to his son Ben, a dwelling house, wheelwright shop, blacksmith shop and 1/3 rights to the grist mill and saw mill. The property is not identified as Benjamin’s homestead. It may have been the son’s home, perhaps built at the time of his first marriage in 1819. A few years later, in 1839, Ben Osgood sold 2 acres with the dwelling house, barns and sheds to Jewett Jones, a teamster (313/244). At that time, he reserved the right of access to the mill pond, and made the restriction that no building could be erected nearer to the turnpike than the present house. Jewett’s daughter Elizabeth, who married Cyrus Snell in 1881, eventually inherited the house and probably made the Stick Style additions. In the early 1900s, this was one of the many properties bought up by Edward F. Searles. Thomas Redmond acquired the property from the Searles estate, Arthur Walker trustee, in 1930


Name: Service Station

Address: 254 Broadway

Date: 1938 Razed: March 2002

History: This property began to be used for industrial purposes in the mid 19th-century. The factory which dominated the site for more than 60 years was built about 1860. It was first known as the E. M. Clark & Co. Shoe Factory and later Clark, Kent & Co. In 1884 it was taken over by the Knitted Fabrics Co. which came from Laconia, N.H., and for a short time at the turn-of-the-century it was the Methuen Hat Works. Sometime after 1911 it became the International Worsted Mills. The mill site, and adjacent house at 252 Broadway, built c. 1885 by Charles F. Swain, superintendent of the Knitted Fabrics Co., was bought in 1935 by J. Arthur Wessell. A laundry was located behind the Swain house. Wessell had previously operated a laundry at 48 Osgood Street. He continued in the laundry business at the Broadway address, and later occupied the building at 4 Gleason Street. By 1938 the old factory and the house had been torn down and Wessell’s filling station was under construction. It was one of several auto related facilities constructed in the area in the mid 20th-century.


Name: Friendly’s Restaurant

Address: 255 Broadway

Date: 1967 Razed: July 2007

History: According to computerized assessors’ records, Friendly’s was constructed in 1967, and remodeled in 1970. The lot was originally occupied by the Johnson House of c. 1811, moved to 8 Ditson Place in the mid 19th-century. Another building owned by K. C. Gleason had appeared by 1872; in 1884 it was owned by his widow. The heirs of Mary Gleason owned the lot in 1896. By that time, it included two main buildings and one outbuilding. The Gleason family owned land across the street that was developed as Gleason Street in 1890.


Name: Methuen Museum

Address: 299 Broadway

Date: 1917 Razed 1999

History: According to the assessor’s records, the house at 299 Broadway that fronted directly on Broadway, was valued at $500 in 1917. That year it was sold to Harriet F. Nevins, who transferred the house and land to the Nevins Memorial Library the following year. This was the same house, valued at $500, which belonged to Robert Moffat in 1901. The present building, which does not appear on the 1911 or 1919 Sanborn Insurance map, but does appear on the 1927 Sanborn map connected to the original house by an angled hall, was added after 1919. The original house which fronted directly on Broadway has since been removed. The present house became the Methuen Historical Society in 1982. A photo of a one-story cottage that closely resembles the present house, states that the house at the corner of Broadway and High Street was moved next to the house at 299 Broadway, that the old house was taken down, and that it is now the museum. In 1872, the house at High and Broadway was owned by T. Emerson. This appears to be one of the many houses in central Methuen that have been moved.


Gleason Street


Address: 4 Gleason Street

Date: c. 1919 Razed: March 2002

History: This property began to be used for industrial purposes in the mid 19th-century. The factory which dominated the site for more than 60 years was built about 1860. It was first known as the E. M. Clark & Co. Shoe Factory and later Clark, Kent & Co. In 1884 it was taken over by the Knitted Fabrics Co. which came from Laconia, N.H. and for a short time around the turn of the century it was the Methuen Hat Works. Sometime after 1911 and before 1919, it became the International Worsted Mills, at which time the old building was enlarged and the building now called 4 Gleason Street was constructed as a weaving room.


The mill site, including the Gleason Street building and adjacent house at 252 Broadway, was bought in 1935 by J. Arthur Wessell. A small laundry was located behind the house on Broadway. Wessell had previously operated a laundry at 48 Osgood Street. He continued in the laundry business at the Broadway address, and later operated the laundry at 4 Gleason Street. By 1938 the old factory and the house had been torn down and Wessell’s filling station at 256 Broadway was under construction. Wessell’s Laundry continued at least until 1949. Later tenants included Rex Potato Chips, Semiconductor Industries, and an electronics firm.


Lowell Street

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: 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 road and the new bridge was completed in October of 1910. The electric car tracks were re-laid 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: Boat House

Address: 13 Lowell Street

Date: c. 1911 (Razed 1992?)

History: The 1906 atlas does not show the island on north side of Lowell Street although it is shown on previous maps. The 1911 Sanborn Insurance map, which is the first to show any structures on the north side island, shows two boat houses as does the 1926 atlas.


A post card in the city’s historical collection shows the Spicket River and Boat House with dock along the side of the island. One boat house, a much smaller dock, and a few canoes can also be seen in the aerial view of Methuen taken in 1949.



Address: 647 Lowell Street

Date: 1850

History: The barn and two other outbuildings on this site were part of the Griffin farm. The house is no longer extant but map research indicates that the house and barn were built about 1850 for Rufus Griffin. By 1885 the farm was owned by Henry Griffin and included a house and six outbuildings. Henry Griffin lived here until about 1930. By 1935 it was occupied by Eugene P. Beaton who is listed in the town directory of 1938 as a WPA worker. For a time in the 1940s the house was vacant and apparently was converted to a two-family home by 1950. Beginning about 1954 John and William Hovanasian operated a poultry farm here. The house was removed in the 1980s after the property was purchased (1982) by Alpha Industries who erected a large office building where the house once stood.


Osgood Street

Name: Methuen Company storehouse

Address: 62 rear Osgood Street

Date: 1879, Razed 1998

Description; The former storehouse consisted of a one by six bay brick head-house and a wood frame ell extending from the west elevation. Both rose one story to flat or low-pitched roofs. The brick section was divided into three parts by firewalls that rose through the roof. Large window openings with stilted segmental arches on the more formal south elevation were blocked in. The north elevation contained several irregularly placed windows and loading bays. The east elevation was blank. The ell contained a loading bay on the north elevation.


History: According to a report in the Methuen Transcript, the Methuen Company constructed a new storehouse near the Manchester and Lawrence Railroad station in 1879. Peabody and Russell of Lawrence were the contractors. This building can be seen on the 1884 map and is marked storehouse #4 on the 1896 map. This storehouse was built during a period of expansion from 1870 to 1881, when the Methuen Company quadrupled in size. This building was razed in 1998.


Pelham Street

Name: The Marsh Corner School

Address: 311 Pelham Street

Date: 1917, razed 1998 to make way for the New Marsh School Expansion

History: The Marsh Corner School was built in 1917 to accommodate the growing school age population of the Marsh Corner area. The school is nearly identical to the Christopher Sargent School. They were designed by James E. Allen of Lawrence who designed most of Methuen’s schools, including the Sargent (1916), Marsh Corner (1917), Arlington (1910), Ashford (1913), Oakland Avenue (1910), Pleasant Valley (1914), Howe (1914), and Grosvenors (1917) Schools. Most of Allen’s schools (Sargent, Marsh Corner, Oakland Avenue, Arlington, and Ashford Street) are brick structures with stone trim. They are similar in design, incorporating elements of the Colonial Revival and Craftsman styles. Grosvenor School is a single-story wood-frame structure, while the Howe and Pleasant Valley Schools are two and one-half story cement brick structures with more stylized detailing.


Copyright Dan Gagnon 2021