Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


December 27, 2012

Dalton column: Faux pas and other bits of history


As it turned out, the mayor had made a wise choice as the mayoress was the best speaker at the tercentennial banquet.

Ballardvale is named for Timothy Ballard, who acquired land and water rights on the Shawsheen River in the later 18th Century at the current site of the mill building that exist in the ‘Vale. In 1836, his land and rights were purchased by John Marland and others, who created the Ballardvale Manufacturing Company and constructed the first of the mill buildings.

Marcus Morton Jr. (1819-1891), for whom Morton Street was named, was the most important judge in Mass. He was one of the 10 original judges of the Massachusetts Superior Court, appointed in 1859, and 10 years later he was appointed to the state’s highest court, the Supreme Judicial Court. Finally, he became chief justice in 1882 and held that post until he retired in 1890. He lived on the corner of Morton and School streets.

There has never been a commons in what is now Andover. Andover’s Commons has been located in North Andover since the towns legally split up in 1855. The Park has always been a park and was birthed in the late 19th Century, long after commons were being created. However, Andover had a small village green in front of the Elm House, a hotel with a livery stable that was replaced by the Musgrove Building in 1894. Historian Bessie Goldsmith wrote that, as a 5-year-old in 1887, she walked unaided across Elm Square to school and back. Now, during rush hour, it takes a lot longer to drive a car across the square than it took little Bessie to walk it.

Bill Dalton writes a weekly column for the Andover Townsman. He welcomes emails at

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