Annual Town Meeting will have a chance to vote on a new Town Seal selected by a review committee earlier this month.
The town seal review committee unanimously recommended on Feb. 1 that Town Meeting approve a new seal which depicts Old Town Hall as seen head on with pine trees in the background as a nod to Andover’s ample conservation land.
“It tells a story and has different points in our history, and our…present and our future,” review committee member Melissa Litton said.
The committee plans to fine-tune the design before presenting it for final consideration by Andover’s legislative body in April.
Last fall, Andover joined several other Massachusetts towns that have reconsidered Native American imagery on their town seals when the select board appointed a Town Seal Review Committee to reevaluate the seal Andover has used since 1951, collect public input and, if warranted, propose a new seal for town meeting approval. A survey conducted in 2022 drew 1,818 responses that showed people were almost evenly split on whether the town needed to update its seal, which it is required to have under state law.
Andover’s seal depicts Cutshamache, a Pennacook leader who appeared in court in Boston on May 16, 1646, to acknowledge he had sold the land that became Andover to John Woodbridge for six pounds, a coat and the right for Pennacook people to continue fishing in the area. The image of Cutshamache was adopted when Andover updated its seal in 1899 was based on the design in a pin (above photo) a local jeweler sold for the town’s 250th anniversary in 1896. That first seal was designed by William Foster, who was 13 at the time and went on to become an artist.
Massachusetts has required towns to have a seal since 1899 and the Andover town seal has been changed four times since the first one was adopted in 1855. The town adopted its current seal, which is based on artwork from Andover’s 250th anniversary in 1896, in 1951, according to a history of the seal on the town