The Andover Lions Club, long the proud caretaker of a classic Concord Stagecoach, is now planning to showcase this treasure permanently in a new storage building on the grounds of the Andover Historical Society in Potter Place.
For many decades, the Lions Club stagecoach has been a main feature of Andover’s Fourth of July Celebrations, driving down Main Street in the parade. Apart from July 4, however, the stagecoach has usually remained in storage. Now visitors to Potter Place will be able to view it at any time, and it will become a special year-round exhibition.
Potter Place is an ideal home for the stagecoach, as it was the junction station of the Northern Railroad, which passengers going to or coming from Andover and East Andover, New London, Elkins, Wilmot, and the Winslow House on Mt. Kearsarge would use. Their local travel to and from Potter Place would typically be by a Concord stagecoach (see photograph).
Regular train and stagecoach service gave a particular identity and rhythm to life in Potter Place. The stagecoaches and their teams were stabled on Depot Street near the station (see advertisement).
The Andover Lions Club plans to erect the new Potter Place stagecoach building in late August of this year. It will stand near the tracks, west of the freight house, and close to the Potter Place Depot, the very building and spot where Concord stagecoaches regularly picked up and delivered railroad passengers.
The new building will have a portico along its north side and large windows that will always put the coach on public display. It will make a fascinating and extremely appropriate addition to the displays of Andover and Potter Place history, already accessible at the Andover Historical Society site.
This is an Andover community project. Volunteer help will be needed! If you can give some time and effort to this important new undertaking, please contact Jim Danforth of the Andover Lions Club, at email@example.com. Additional details will be published in upcoming issues of The Andover Beacon.