Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


February 13, 2014

Recognizing the value of history


We would have bore witness to the topical discussions of the time during one of the League of Women Voters’ galas on the property or snuck a peek at the American Woolen Company managers who Wood treated to an outing on his estate.

Andover can be thankful that much of the original Wood estate will be forever preserved, with more than 50 of the 60-plus acres having been bequeathed to the Trustees of Reservations with a restriction that it never be developed.

Whether we knew it existed or not, the Poor Wagon Shop played an integral part in Andover’s past. Structures like the wagon shop and properties like the Wood estate provide a sense of place for a community and its people. They allow for an appreciation of those who came before and shaped the fabric of what was to come.

In that same vein, this week we introduce what we intend to be a recurring feature in The Townsman honoring townspeople who leave a lasting imprint on their community. Simply called In Tribute, it’s our way of honoring their legacies.

We begin the new series with Albert Richard “Al” Retelle, a noted conservationist, arborist and birder who gave to Andover in countless ways. As the patriarch behind his local family business, Retelle Tree Corp., he led by example, not only for his own children and grandchildren, but for the countless young people he taught to ski and the many he introduced to birding and the great outdoors. Walk any of the Andover Village Improvement Society properties and you can bet Retelle traveled the same path countless times before.

It is the people and places who come before who nurture a community for the next generation. And Andover has much to be thankful for when it comes to the lasting influence of both the Poor Wagon Shop and Al Retelle.

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