History Mystery: Where is the Body?

By Kent Hackmann

The body is that of Mary N. Chase (1863-1959), the subject of my essay that highlights her place as a distinguished resident of Andover, 1899-1948. When she died, December 30, 1959, aged 96, she lived in a comfortable retirement home for indigent women in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Boston.  Boston newspapers on December 31 […]

An Ode to Highland Lake

Summer memories

By Nancy Clayman
An Ode to Highland Lake

Summers as a kid in Andover begin and end with memories made at Highland Lake. There are so many, but the snippets that follow rise up and gather as bubbles do where the water meets the sand.  Memories of puttering around the lake in our family’s 10 foot “power” boat, designed and constructed totally by […]

Tucker Mountain Schoolhouse Opens for the 2024 Season

Open House Sunday, June 9, 1–3 PM

By Donna Baker-Hartwell
Tucker Mountain Schoolhouse Opens for the 2024 Season

A handrail has been installed 187 years after the Tucker Mountain School opened to provide education for the children of District # 9. Thanks to the expertise of Jay Aubertin of Wilmot, the new-old railing looks authentic for the period. He noted that farmers in the 19th century would have reused material found around the […]

Record Snowfall Blankets New Hampshire

All-time record snowstorm in 1956

By Nancy Heden Clayman

The lights flicker wearily, and sleety snow raps on the kitchen window. Mom and I are eating  dinner together in silence, lost in our own thoughts. I’m guessing she’s worried about my dad, driving home tonight in this yucky weather.  For me, our big house feels empty and lonely with my brother, newly married now, […]

Pleasant Places to Visit in Andover in 1893

Folks escaped the city heat

By Rita Norander
Pleasant Places to Visit in Andover in 1893

Around the turn of the 20th century, many city dwellers escaped the summer heat by vacationing in the country. Some even spent the whole summer, staying with local farmers, where they became known as “summer boarders.” Andover was one of these destination towns.  This article (edited and condensed) appeared in the July 28, 1893, in Merrimack Journal. It was saved by W. A. Bachelder, […]

An 8 Year Old’s Adventures with Bessie

Next in a series of a family's Andover history

By Nancy Heden Clayman
An 8 Year Old’s Adventures with Bessie

Every animal living on our tiny farm on Route 11 has a job to do – the cat, the dog, cow, pig, goat, chicken, but, as an eight year old, they’re pets to me. What I want more than anything is a pony, but my Dad does not believe a pony could be “helpful.” So, […]

Finally, Andover Becomes Home to the Hedén Family

Next in a series of a family's Andover history

By Nancy Hedén Clayman
Finally, Andover Becomes Home to the Hedén Family

It is 1946; the deed was officially transferred. David and Ellen, my parents, were the proud owners of the property, now known as Pine View Haven on 85 Franklin Highway, with a few acres along Morrill Hill Road, where now several lovely homes comprise a neighborhood. Our address, back in the day, was simply “Route […]

Writer Elaborates on Moral Capital, Mary N. Chase, and Andover

Previous Beacon articles described Mary N. Chase

By Kent Hackmann

I frame my remarks below in the context of an opinion piece by David Brooks, the conservative writer for The New York Times. Writing in 2016, he defined moral capital as the “shared habits, norms, institutions and values that make common life possible.” Two weeks ago, when I came across Brooks’s essay, I realized that […]

The Whole Story

A new beginning in Andover

By Nancy Heden Clayman

“The house is big – four bedrooms – one for each kid or maybe the girls in one, so we might even have a guest room.” David smiles to himself, “How American.” He wonders if Ellen, sitting in the passenger seat beside him, is thinking the same. How fun it would be if Lotta and […]

“Ellen’s Journey”: An Andover Memory by Her Daughter

Ellen's path took her to perfect home in Andover

By Nancy Hedén Clayman
“Ellen’s Journey”: An Andover Memory by Her Daughter

Ellen Ström sits at the family kitchen table, a neatly packed trunk at her feet, reviewing her travel documents for the umpteenth time. She gazes at her passport photo – the American-style shorter hair, suggested by David Hedén (her future husband), looks somehow wavier and darker brown, a new look of herself. Though her eyes […]

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