North Andover is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, home to Merrimack College. North Andover was the home of America’s first published poet, Anne Dudley Bradstreet, from 1646 until her death in 1672. North Andover is the parent town of the Andovers. The lands south of the Merrimack River around Lake Cochichewick and the Shawsheen River were set aside by the Massachusetts General Court in 1634 for the purpose of creating an inland plantation, which was eventually incorporated as Andover, most likely in honor of the hometown of many early residents, who hailed from Andover, in Hampshire, England.
Several first period (pre-1720) houses still stand in town, the oldest of which is probably the Bridges House, the original portion of which probably dates to about 1690. No house in North Andover has been scientifically dated by dendrochronology, so dates are based on stylistic elements and original deeds.
North Andover’s development has been varied, with much of the land along the Shawsheen and Merrimack being largely industrial, while the lands southwest being more agricultural. Companies located in the town have included the Western Electric Company, AT&T’s manufacturing division, which supplied telephone machinery for many years before it was split up by AT&T into the new company, Lucent Technologies. Today North Andover is considered a bedroom community of the greater Boston area.