Andover is situated midway of the length of Oxford
County, and is bounded on the east by Roxbury and Byron, on the north by Andover North Surplus, west by Newry and
Andover West Surplus, and south by Rumford and Newry. The town is surrounded by mountains and is a region of grand
and beautiful scenery. It has within its own borders Gregg Mountain in the northern part, the extended ridge of
Long Mountain in the western, and Lone Mountain near the middle of the town. Wyman Hill, in the North Surplus,
sends a considerable section down over the border. In the south-eastern corner of the town are Farmer’s Hill, and
a lesser neighbor. Yet the surface of the town in the broad valleys between these mountains is quite smooth, consisting
of elevated pine plains and extensive intervales; and there is a. large quantity of good land in the town. Ellis
River, the outlet of Ellis Pond, in Roxbury on the east, receives its branches near the centre of the town, then
runs in a southerly course through this town and Rumford adjoining, to the Androscoggin River. Its tributaries
here are West Branch, Sawyer’s and Black Brooks, and the outlet of Horseshoe Pond, situated in the south-east corner
of the town. The villages are Andover Corner and South Andover,—the first a little north, and the last a short
distance to the south of the centre of the town. Bryant’s Pond Station, 20 miles south, is the railroad connection.
A line of stages runs between the two places.
Andover Corner is a favorite resort for city people, and is the headquarters of fishermen, who, in the season,
resort to the Rangeley Lakes, a short distance northward. The general plane of the town is 500 feet above the sea,
and much resembles North Conway, N. H. The village has an excellent hotel, a town-hall capable of seating 300 persons,
a trotting park, an apothecary store, etc. There are very attractive drives in the neighborhood—as Black Brook
Notch, White Cap Mountain,—which has a good carriage road to near its top; Farmer’s Hill, Bald Pate Mountain, Sawyer’s
Notch, Ellis River Falls, the Devil’s Den, Hermit Falls, Silver Ripple Cascade, the Cataracts, etc.
The manufactures of the town are lumber, doors, sash and blinds, starch, cheese (factory) boots and shoes, edge-tools,
carriages and har nesses.
This township was purchased in 1791 of Massachusetts, by Samuel Johnson and others of Old Andover. It was incorporated
in 1804 under the name of East Andover, but in 1821 became Andover, simply. The first settler was Ezekiel Merrill,
who in 1789, came with his wife and six children from Andover, Mass., to this place,—having stopped by the way
at Fryeburgh. He and his three sons drew their effects on hand-sleds through the woods, the only guide being the
spotted trail of the Indians. Mrs. Merrill lived here for three years without seeing the face of any white female
save her own three daughters. The next settlers were Jonathan Abbott, Samuel and Sylvanus Poor, Theodore Brickett,
Francis Swan, Josiah Wright, John Abbott, Jeremiah Burnham, and others from Andover, Mass. These were of the most
respectable families of Old Andover; and this namesake on the borders of civilization has ever been noted for its
good society and high standard of morals.
The first mills were erected in 1791 by Colonel Thomas Poor. The first church was formed in 1804. The first minister
settled was Rev. John Strickland, in 1806. There are now a Congregational and a Methodist church in the town. Andover
has six public schoolhouses, and the school property is valued at $3,000. The valuation of the estates in 1870
was $114,712. In 1880, it was $122,252. The population in 1870 was 757. In 1880 it was 781.