Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

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October 17, 2013

Revisiting Andover's Tea Lots: A brewing deal

(Continued)

Many have some memory of a promotion offering land if you bought a product. In Middleton, it is said that land around Emerson Pond was given away as a promotion for Oak Nut cereal. Each lot was 1 square foot. This swampy land had no market value and eventually was traded to Danvers around 1920.

Quaker Oats, meanwhile, offered 1 square inch of land in the Yukon in each box of its Puffed Rice and Puffed Wheat. In 1955, the company printed more than 21,000,000 deeds. This promotion sponsored Sgt. Preston and his trusty dog, King, as the program moved from radio to television.

The land outlined in the Andover plan today consists of approximately 27 acres covered by three streets appropriately named Bayberry, Tea Berry and Blackberry lanes. There are now 37 homes on the land that, if it had remained as indicated on the 1906 plan, would have meant 399 sites on seven streets. Each site was approximately 25 feet by 100 feet. Either Andover land was much cheaper in the old days or you had to buy a heck of a lot of tea. Was there another purpose to the plan?

What happened to the owners of the Tea Lots? That and other questions will be answered in part two of the Tea Lots later this month.

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