North Andover – A Town for All Seasons
The Town of North Andover is located in Essex County in the northeastern part of Massachusetts on the banks of the Merrimack River and approximately 24 miles from Boston. North Andover is bordered by the towns of Andover, North Reading, Boxford, and Middleton and the cities of Methuen, Haverhill, and Lawrence - covering almost 27 square miles.
Reverend John Woodbridge paid to Indian Chief Cutshmache six pounds and a coat for Cochichewick Plantation in 1646. The Great Seal of the Town of North Andover depicts Lake Cochichewick meaning “place of great cascades”. This was soon changed to Andover in honor of Andover, England, the birthplace of the original freeholders. The dispute over location of church sites came before the General Court in 1709 and the North Parish and South Parish were established. The growth of the two different communities of interest led finally to the separation of the two parishes on April 7, 1855, into two distinct townships. North Andover has always cherished its North Parish roots. Anne Bradstreet became America’s first published woman poet in the 1650. This
remarkable woman of frail health raised eight children in the wilderness and died in North Andover in 1672. The Stevens Memorial Library houses this comprehensive collection. The North Parish Church was the Town’s original meeting place and is the focal point of our “Old Center”.
The Parson Barnard House, North Andover Historical Society, Stevens Coolidge House, The Stevens Estate at Osgood Hill, our Brick Store in the historic center, and the Phillips Brooks Statue on the North Andover Common are other historic destinations.
Water power provided the resource needed to establish the Scholfield Mill, located at the corner of Sutton and Main Streets, in 1802 and now occupied by the North Andover Thrift Shop. Nathaniel Stevens began operation of the Stevens Mill in 1813 and prospered until 1960. The North Andover Mills were in operation from 1820 to 1899. The Davis & Furber Machine Company provided the machinery that kept the textile mills industry here and abroad thriving. The founding fathers saw the need for industrial enterprises for the economic health of the community. The Western Electric Company chose North Andover for its Merrimack Valley Works in 1956 and provided the backbone for the industrial and engineering industry for telephone communication, finally as Lucent
Technologies into the 1990’s. This commitment to attracting and retaining a strong business base is alive and well in North Andover today.
The Town of North Andover’s government is committed to providing innovative, responsive, and efficient government to all our citizens. Our Town Charter, enacted in 1986, provides for an Open Town Meeting – Board of Selectmen - Town Manager form of government. An elected five-member Board of Selectmen oversees the governance of the Town. An appointed professional Town Manager supervises Town departments and divisions. The public school system receives policy direction from a five-member elected School Committee and is administered by an appointed Superintendent. North Andover’s legislative body, our Open Town Meeting, is a rich New England tradition. This forum allows all registered voters the ability to bring forward and vote on all matters brought
before it. The facilitator of the meeting is the elected Town Moderator who conducts the meeting according to established rules and procedures. The Moderator appoints a nine-member Finance Committee who advises Town Meeting on the matters brought before it. Appointed boards and committees have specific responsibilities for administering state and local procedures.
The Town of North Andover is home to almost 30,000 people. The Town is proud to provide excellent full-time police and fire service. Street maintenance, curbside solid waste and recycling services, hazardous waste and drop-off recycling, and snow removal are administered by our Department of Public Works. The Stevens Memorial Library provides a full range of services to its patrons. The Department of Youth Services operates recreational opportunities at Stevens Pond and extensive programs from our Youth Center located in the Old Center. A vibrant Senior Center, located behind Town Hall on Main Street, provides services, programs, and assistance to over 6,000 seniors. Our Community Development Division oversees public health, natural resource protection, building
services, zoning and planning issues, and business development. Our award-winning Water Treatment Plant and operation provides residents and businesses with an outstanding product. Our renovated Town Hall, located at 120 Main Street, houses our administrative offices. The Town Manager, Selectmen’s Office, Town Accountant, Assessor’s Office, Tax Collector, Veterans’ Services, and Town Clerk’s Office are there to provide the efficient, professional service you need.
North Andover takes great pride in providing excellent education for all our students. All five elementary schools, our Middle School, North Andover High School, and the Greater Lawrence Technical School, reflect our rich tradition and accomplishments. Community growth necessitated school building projects to meet its expanding needs. These projects included the new Annie Sargent Elementary School, the new Thomson School, a complete renovation of our Middle School, and the new North Andover High School and stadium. The “North Andover High School Scarlet Knights” of today carry on a rich tradition of competition and sportsmanship through all its athletic endeavors. The North Andover High School Marching Band, Chorus, Drama, Arts Programs, and other
extra-curricular activities provide excellent learning opportunities and experiences.
Merrimack College, a private college, opened in 1947 and now has over 2000 students. Brooks School, opened in 1926 and located on the shores of Lake Cochichewick, is a co-educational boarding and day school with over 340 students.
North Andover offers opportunity for all ages to participate and volunteer. Visit the links section of our website for a complete list of recreational groups, fraternal organizations, committees and boards, and what’s happening in Town.
North Andover was selected by Money Magazine in 2003 as the “Fifth Best Community to live in on the East Coast”.
North Andover is one of the first communities in Massachusetts to take advantage of the Community Preservation Act (CPA). CPA provides a funding source which can be used to address the following community concerns: acquisition and preservation of open space, creation and support of affordable housing, acquisition and preservation of historic buildings and landscapes, and creation and support of recreational opportunities.
The CPA is an innovative tool for communities to address important community needs. Once adopted locally, the Act would require at least 10% of the monies raised to be distributed to each of three categories: historic preservation, open space protection and low- and moderate-income housing, allowing the community flexibility in distributing the majority of the money for any of the three categories as determined by the community.
CPA Projects have included the acquisition of Carter Hill (27 acres on Lake Cochichewick) and Half Mile Hill and Summit (over 30 acres between Osgood Street and Weir Hill) for watershed and open space protection. Historic preservation of the Town-owned Stevens Estate for copper gutters and rainspouts, a fire protection system, and restoration of the plant house and gatehouse were funded projects. The Stevens Memorial Library restorations included repairs to the facade and brickwork. The Town Hall Renovation Project enhanced the historic renovation of the building built in 1923. The Town Common Project provides for monument restoration, walkways, and granite posts. Restoration of the Old Burying Ground on Academy Road repaired and reset historic gravestones. The Machine Shop Village Project
was funded to upgrade and preserve the historic nature of the district. Steeple and foundation restoration for the North Parish Church, which served as the Town’s Meetinghouse in 1836 and houses Paul Revere cast bells. The Scholfield Mill site, which contains the Thrift Store, contains remnants of the original mill stone and historic foundation elements. The CPA funding was used to assist volunteer labor in clearing the site of overgrown brush, make the site more accessible, and restore the field. The Historic Preservation Project is a multi-year proposal which has restored the Town’s original documents and will provide for scanning and cataloguing all the Town’s records for generations to come. The Affordable Housing Program will include consulting services for a Planned Production Plan and a First-Time Homebuyers Program. Land for recreation use includes Sharpner’s Pond Recreational Area Rehabilitation, Drummond Field Rehabilitation,
and Grogan Playground repairs.
The Town of North Andover is committed to attracting new businesses - small and large. The excellent geographic location, endless source of talented workers, citizens and volunteers dedicated to their community, and the natural beauty of our Town make it a great place to live and work. Businesses that are interested in locating in North Andover are encouraged to contact the Community Development Division at 978-688-9533 or visit the award-winning website Merrimack Valley Means Business at merrimackvalleymeansbusiness.com.
The Town of North Andover is dedicated to serving residents and to creating a community in which residents may join together for the common good. The Town’s purpose is to offer services and a government that provide for the general welfare, education, and public safety of its residents. ~The administration of the Town fosters this commitment to community by delivering municipal services in a professional, cost-effective manner through prompt, courteous, and equitable service and by insuring that the public’s business is conducted with the highest level of integrity.
The Town of North Andover looks forward to a rich and prosperous future in the spirit of our historic past. Come visit and see that we are truly a “Town for All Seasons”.