Stevens-Coolidge Place: Spectacular Colonial Revival Gardens and Mansion
The Stevens-Coolidge Place (formerly known as Ashdale Farm) is a historic home and gardens located in North Andover, Massachusetts. The extensive gardens are always free and open to the public. However, the house is available to tour only on open house days and special events. Check their website for details about their many special events throughout the year.
Even if the home is not open for tours, I highly recommend visiting just to see the extensive gardens. They include a perennial garden with geometric beds and countless varieties of plants, a French Garden and Serpentine Wall (modeled after one designed by Thomas Jefferson), a cutting garden (where you can pay a small fee to pick-your-own flower bouquet to take home), a rose garden, a vegetable and flower garden, and a greenhouse complex. Meander through the spectacular gardens, bring a picnic, choose a quaint spot, and settle in for a few hours of relaxation.
While the property belonged to the Stevens family since 1729, the most current residents were Helen Stevens Coolidge and her husband John Gardner Coolidge, who was a diplomat and a descendant of Thomas Jefferson and Isabella Stuart Gardner. Between 1914 and 1918, they hired an architect to remodel the two adjoined farmhouses and gardens into a Colonial Revival estate, which the couple used as a second home. When her husband died in 1936, Helen Steven Coolidge continued to live in the home until her death in 1962. She granted the entire estate, the home, and all of the contents to the Trustees of Reservations. The tour guide told me that all of the family’s belongings remain in the house, from the china in the cupboards, to the clothes in the closets, to every item that was in the all of the drawers in house (which are still in them!). As a historian, I know how rare it is for a home to remain intact just as if the owners had left, so the Stevens-Coolidge Place is really special. In addition, the Coolidges were world travelers, and many of the furniture and items that you will see in the home have been accumulated from all over the world. I strongly encourage you to check out their website to visit on a day when a house tour is available. Whether you’re interested in antiques and collectibles, fascinated by family histories, or just curious about how people lived in the past, you’ll be amazed by all that the Stevens–Coolidge Place has to offer.
For more information about other things to do in Massachusetts, check out our other blogs posts and head on over to this great list!
Location of the Stevens-Coolidge Place
The Stevens-Coolidge Place is located at 137 Andover St. in North Andover, Massachusetts. If you’re familiar with the area, the estate is located near the intersection of state routes 133 and 125 and very close to route 495. For driving directions, click on the map below.