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Published: 07/28/2006    print this story   email this story  

Surprise awaits with North Andover history

By Mary Hart

Step back in time in the steps of the Parson Barnard House located on Academy Road in the historic Old Center of North Andover. The home of Andover's third minister, Thomas Barnard, it has been kept up through the years and now serves as an example of styles from 1715 to the 1830s.

When the Historical Society bought the house in 1955, they bought it thinking that it was the home of Anne Bradstreet, the first published female poet in the United States, says Marty Larson, past president of the North Andover Historical Society. After research and title searches the society found out the house couldn't have been built before 1715, and Bradstreet had died years before then. So, that plan was nipped in the bud and research found that it was Thomas Barnard's house instead.

Tour the house Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. until noon and 2 to 4 p.m. for a trip through time. Each room represents a different period of time when someone lived there, with furnishings reflecting the inventory of its residents.

First enter the Thomas Barnard room, which represents 1715. Cross the hall to the John Barnard room, named after Thomas's son. This room shows the advances made in architecture in the 1730s and 1740s and the furniture of that time. Head downstairs to the William Sims room. Sims had money, so this room is very fancy and showcases the best of 1760 fashion and furnishings. The last room represents the 1830s and the time when Headmaster Putnam of Franklin Academy resided there. The contents of this room will remain a surprise because this room always amazes people who take the tour. To take a tour, call 978-686-4035.

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