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History Hikes: A Deadly Duel in Andover

Stop by the Pole Hill Reservation this weekend to hear the story of a duel in historic Andover.

After a great history hike earlier this summer in the Skug River Reservation in Andover, the Andover Trails Committee and the Andover Historical Society are teaming up once again this year to deliver the second in their 2-part hike series called “Stories from the Trails.”

This hike series features both the natural beauty and unique geology of various Andover properties, as well as the colorful stories of the history related to each property and the surrounding area.

This second hike, which is free and open to the public, is on Sunday, Aug. 14 at 1 p.m. at on Pole Hill Drive in Andover. Jane Cairns from the Andover Historical Society will share colorful stories tied to the reservation and surrounding area.

This hike consists of relatively easy walking and will take about 2 hours.  Ample parking is available on Pole Hill Drive, which is off Tewksbury Street in Andover

Here's a sneak preview of what you'll see and hear about on the Aug. 14 Pole Hill hike:

Up river from the Ballardvale Dam was “the Shawsheen Grove” – a popular tourist destination in the later years of the 19th century, where visitors could picnic, dance under the stars, swim, or paddle rented boats and canoes on the river. The Boston and Maine Railroad promoted day excursions from Boston, but by 1893, the crowds began to be large and unruly. A deadly “duel” at the Grove in August 1900, and the sensational murder trial that followed, threatened to put an end to the merry-making, but the 20th century brought new attractions including the dance hall “Parker’s on the Shawsheen” and the Serio family’s “Miami Boathouse.”

For more information on this hike, or to learn about other events and volunteer opportunities, please visit www.andovertrails.org or email David Bunting, Andover Trails Committee at dbunting@andovertrails.org

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