Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


October 31, 2013

AVIS, Historical Society make ferry stop on hike

Thirty hearty history buffs hit the trail two weeks ago as part of a guided hike of the Deer Jump and Merrimack River reservations.

The hike, which was co-sponsored by the Andover Historical Society and the Andover Village Improvement Society, or AVIS, lasted two hours. It was led by John Hess, vice president of AVIS, and Jane Dietzel Cairns, president of the Historical Society.

Cairns provided the narration during the hike based on her research of the area.

At the first stop along the river, Cairns showed the participants a large stone with a plaque honoring Harold Rafton, a former AVIS member, who spearheaded the purchase of the riverfront for AVIS beginning in the 1950s.

Cairns discussed the history of the ownership of the land along the river, noting that in the mid-19th century, the Essex Company purchased the land from local farmers to protect the watershed from development and eventually to build the Great Stone Dam in Lawrence, which provided water power to the mills.

At another stop, hikers learned that archaeological digs as well as the daily work of many farmers along the river over the years have helped uncover artifacts from the Penacook Indians. The tribe used the river banks for fishing and hunting, with evidence suggesting that these Native Americans lived here only part of the year. Some experts, however, believe they may have lived along the river year-round.

Finally, the group stopped at a scenic point of land that included one of many ferry stops located along the river during the 18th century. The ferries were used by sightseers and partygoers who would come to the river to picnic, in this case at Laurel Grove, a locally owned venue that catered to those who sought a day along the river.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

    U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES/Courtesy photo Dr. Howard Koh will step down as U.S. assistant secretary for health after five years to rejoin Harvard School of Public Health this fall in a new position in its Department of Health Policy and Management.

    Koh to rejoin Harvard School of Public Health Posted 12 days ago 1 Photo
  • 48 locals to pedal in Pan-Mass Challenge Posted 12 days ago

    Courtesy photo Hannah Currie is spending 10 days this summer becoming immersed in the music industry at GRAMMY Camp in Los Angeles.

    Currie hits note at LA's GRAMMY Camp Posted 12 days ago 1 Photo
  • South Church names new senior pastor Posted 19 days ago

    COURTESY PHOTO Andover residents Patrick James, left, Adam Geaslen, Ryan Byrd and Dan Bryant claimed first place at the 35th annual Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence Golf Tournament at Indian Ridge Country Club in town.

    Local foursome aces Boys & Girls Club tourney Posted 19 days ago 2 Photos

    COURTESY PHOTO The Marble sisters --Anna, 8, left, and Isabel, 11 -- post-donatin to Locks of Love.

    Sisters pair up to donate pony tails to Locks of Love Posted 19 days ago 4 Photos
  • AT HOST1

    DESI SMITH/Staff photo Former Andover residents Dana Cohen and his wife, Ginny, back, left, have regularly hosted foreign exchange students since 1989. Farrah Moussa, back right, from Egypt, and Paula Valverde, front right, from Spain, are the latest students to spend a year with the Cohens, who now live in Gloucester.

    Former Andover couple welcomes exchange students for quarter-century Posted 19 days ago 4 Photos
  • Thursday, July 3, 2014
  • LENO1

    FILE PHOTO Jay Leno, who honed his comedy skills growing up in Andover, will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor this fall during a performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

    In good comedy company Posted 26 days ago 2 Photos

    ACT 3.jpg Susan Stott, third from left, accepts the Opening Doors to Affordable Housing in Andover Award from Andover Community Trust directors, from left, Don Schroeder, treasurer; John Pearson, president; and Joan Johnson, clerk.

    Affordable housing advocates honored Posted 26 days ago 2 Photos

    Salim Tabit

    Townspeople in the News Posted 26 days ago 1 Photo

Pictures of the Week