Andover, Massachusetts is a town on the outskirts of Boston, only about a half hour away from the major metropolitan area. It spans around 32.1 square miles of land and 1.1 square miles of water. Currently there is a population of 36,500 people, that number used to be a lot smaller in the 1600’s to 1800’s but grew largely in the 20th century. While it gives a small-town feel, it has plenty of different areas within it.
Two Parishes and Division of Town
Back in 1705, Andover’s population had begun moving southward, that’s when an idea of a new meeting house in the southern end of town was proposed. However, that idea wasn’t favored by people over on the north end of town. Eventually the dispute was settled in 1709 when it was decided to break it into two parishes, North and South.
Although it was split, the town did remain a one unit for politics. After this for many years Andover was known geographically as one of the largest towns in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Then, in 1826 a third parish was established. It was in 1955 when Andover divided into two separate political units. The West and South parishes took the name Andover, while the North parish decided to be named North Andover. Fun fact, the name decision for North Andover is still debated to this day. Some reasons for it being kept nearly the same was the cost of switching or a controversy over a fire truck affecting the name change.
Significant Water Areas
There are many different areas of water in and surrounding Andover. A few quite significant ones including the Shawsheen River. It’s a 26.7-mile-long river that played an important role in the development of Andover like industrial development, mills built around it for the river’s power. Today, in a preservation effort there are many trails and parks located along it. Haggetts Pond is the reservoir in Andover. Located on the western side of town it connects with the Merrimack River. The river helps add volume to the reservoir that helps supplement the growing needs of the town.
Parks & Reservations
Andover is surrounded by a lot of nature as well. It is home to the Harold Parker State Forest, this state park spans more than 3,300 acres it has 35 miles of trails, 11 different ponds, and more than dozens of campsites. The Trustees of Reservations’ Charles W. Ward Reservation is another area. It is the oldest land conservation nonprofit organization of its kind in the world. Other nature areas include Lawrence’s Den Rock Park, Harold R. Rafton Reservation, the Deer Jump Reservation, Pomps Pond, and Bay Circuit Trail and Greenway.
Although Andover, MA is said to be a ‘small town’ there are many different areas within its borders surrounded by history. It also has many different organizations that help preserve its historical sites and parks. When living here or visiting you’ll find much to do.
Directions from Haggett’s Pond Andover to 128 Plumbing: