Wood and her family have been benefactors for many local programs and causes, giving millions to the Andover-North Andover YMCA expansion, the new Andover Youth Center and Esperanza Academy in Lawrence over the years.
“We’re lucky to have had someone like that in Andover,” Herman said of Rosalyn Wood.
Susan Grabski, executive director of the Lawrence History Center who grew up in Andover, recalled learning about William Wood when she was in sixth grade at Shawsheen School. She said Poor’s Wagon Shop was “as important as the mill, the stories, the history of the people and part of the landscape.”
“Hearing the stories and looking at the house was fascinating,” she said. “That industrial legacy was still here, and he was the only mill owner still represented in the area.”
Grabski said her heart sank when she learned about the fire.
“It’s a significant loss because it was a living link to the past; it’s catastrophic,” she said.
— Staff writer Yadira Betances contributed to this report.