North Andover

by TJ Kelly

North Andover is located in Essex County, Massachusetts. It sits on about 28 square miles, south of the Merrimack River, and around Lake Cochichewick and the Shawsheen River. At the 2010 census, NA’s population was 28,352.


This land was set aside by the Massachusetts General Court in 1634. At the time it was called The Cochichewick Plantation. The land was purchased on May 6, 1646 when Reverend John Woodbridge paid Penacook chief Cutshmache six pounds and a coat for the lands.

The plantation was then incorporated as Andover, most likely in honor of the hometown of many early residents, Andover, Hampshire, England. The General Court set aside two parish churches, north and south.

On April 7, 1855, the north parish separated from the south and was incorporated as North Andover.

Town Government

North Andover employs the open town meeting form of government, and is led by a five-member board of selectmen and a town manager. NA has its own police and fire departments, EMS, public works, and a senior center. It does not, however, have its own hospital. The nearest is Lawrence General Hospital, only a mile or two from the NA border.


North Andover is home to its own school system. It has an early childhood center, and 8 schools:

  • Atkinson Elementary
  • Franklin Elementary
  • Kittredge Elementary
  • Annie L. Sargent Elementary
  • Thomson Elementary
  • Saint Michael Parish (private)
  • North Andover Middle School
  • North Andover High School

As of 2004 a brand new high school and complete sporting complex, including a football, soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse field. There is a complete track and field area and numerous tennis courts.

North Andover’s mascot is the Scarlet Knight, its colors are scarlet and black and it competes in the Merrimack Valley Conference and Division II of the MIAA.

Its main rival is Masconomet Regional High School, although it plays Andover High School in the annual Thanksgiving Day football game.

High school students from North Andover are also allowed to attend Greater Lawrence Technical School in Andover.

Private Schools

There are several private schools in North Andover, including the Brooks School, Meritor Academy (an early learning school) and Saint Michael’s Elementary School.

The nearest Catholic high schools, Austin Preparatory School (6-12), Central Catholic High School (9-12), and Presentation of Mary Academy (9-12), are located in the nearby towns of Reading, Lawrence and Methuen, respectively.


North Andover is also home to Merrimack College, a Catholic Augustinian four-year college. The nearest public community college, based in Haverhill, is Northern Essex Community College, which also has a campus in Lawrence and a Corporate & Community Education Center in North Andover.

The nearest public university is UMass Lowell.