#98 174-6 Andover Street, Ballardvale, Andover
This home was once half of the depot for Ballardvale train stop
At 174-6 Andover St., Ballardvale, is a two story house with fancy double Italianate windows facing the street. The hood over the windows on the first floor is flat with brackets on each side. The second floor windows are arched within an elaborate arch with springing blocks at its beginning and a key stone at its top.The roof overhang extends so far to the sides and front that it needs brackets for support.
Why was this house built here amidst mill housing?
It wasn't. This house was once half of the depot for the Ballardvale stop on the Boston and Maine Railroad.
The photograph shows the station as it sat on the west side of the tracks. This end, probably the right end, was moved to Andover Street in the 1870's. The remaining half served as the depot until the 1950's when it was torn down.
The first railroad line through Andover was built in 1836 to the east of Ballardvale. Its railroad bed is still visible running through Rec Park and Spring Grove Cemetery on Abbot Street.
When the Shawsheen River was dammed at Ballardvale for water power, and the mills built, the tracks were relocated to their present location to the west of the river.
The station was built in 1848 in the style of the day, Italianate. The shape and details of provincial farm houses built of stone were adapted for an American railroad station built of wood.
The elaborate windows announce that this is an important building. The overhang originally meant to protect farmers and crops, here is extended so that it shelters passengers and baggage.