The following passages were taken from past editions of the Townsman.
100 years ago — Dec. 26, 1919
The old Smith mansion on North Main Street, which was purchased by William M. Wood some years ago, is to be remodeled into a hospital in connection with Wood's plan for the development of Shawsheen Village. In addition to a community store, the village will gain a community laundry, community ice house and a gymnasium, adding to the conveniences which residents of the new village will enjoy.
An alarm from Box 4 Monday afternoon at 1:58 sent members of the Fire Department to a grass fire on the Flint land on High Street. About five acres burned, but little damage beyond burned grass resulted.
On Tuesday, Dec. 30, John Ferguson will open a business for fine watch and clock repairing in the store in the Musgrove block formerly occupied by the Lawrence Gas Company.
75 years ago — Dec. 28, 1944
A matter of concern to Shawsheen residents is the report this week of three more house breaks over the weekend. Frederick McKay, 5 Arundel St., told police that his home had been entered and cigarettes taken. A number of war bonds were left untouched, though a search had obviously been made for money. More serious losses were suffered by Francis R. Rody, 28 Enmore St., and Raymond Howe, 9 Arundel St. The former lost $35, and the latter approximately $100, while an even larger sum of money at that home was overlooked by the thieves.
An anticipated shake-up in the Andover Fire Department came this week when Deputy Fire Chief Lester Hilton resigned and Alexander MacKenzie was given a 30-day suspension as a result of the recent drowning tragedy in Ballardvale.
Sgt. Philip Wormwood, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Wormwood of Ballardvale, was a member of a unit that cut off an entire Japanese army group during the Hollandia campaign. He and his companions received citations from the president and are now resting on an island in the Netherlands East Indies.
50 years ago — Dec. 31, 1969
Drainage problems in Andover were evidenced by the storm of the past weekend — so much so that official attention was focused on the matter this week. A photo shows the grandstand and little league baseball field at the Andover Playstead, where Rogers Brook overflowed following the storm. The overflow was above the area which has been piped underground to the Shawsheen River.
The Hill Hardware warehouse on Buxton Court was extensively damaged in a fire early Friday afternoon. The fire was believed caused by defective wiring, according to fire officials. The blaze brought in all off-duty Andover firefighters, and North Andover, Tewksbury and Lawrence crews filled in at Andover stations. The fire was at the height of a storm and firefighters were assisted by Mother Nature, as heavy rainfall contained the blaze.
25 years ago — Dec. 22, 1969
The Ballardvale Historic District Study Committee is ready to go public with plans for establishing a historic district in Ballardvale, and members hope to present their proposal to voters in the spring. "We're at a point now where we would like to get it on the Town Meeting warrant in April,'' said Tim Barash, chairman of the committee.
So many senior citizens are interested in the new tax voucher program that the town may seek to expand its scope at April Town Meeting. Although the town approved only enough money for 30 people to receive the maximum $500 voucher for the program, 60 people have returned applications and more than 100 have taken out the necessary papers, according to Sharon Souza, Council on Aging Director.
In the name of political correctness, some schools in the community are choosing to ignore this season's religious celebrations. However, most Andover schools are acknowledging both Hanukkah and Christmas, while choosing to focus on the educational rather than the religious aspects of these holidays.