The Potter Place Railroad Station in Andover dates from 1874. It replaced an earlier depot that was built in 1847 when the Northern Railroad was under construction from Concord, NH to White River Junction in Vermont.
It has been identified by the New Hampshire Division of Historic Resources as the best preserved and the most architecturally important railroad station still standing in Merrimack County, NH, and perhaps the best 19th century wooden railroad station surviving in New Hampshire. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The architecture of this station is more dramatic than the modest designs of other surviving stations. It is an adaptation of the late 19th century Victorian Stick Style to railroad station design, with its stickwork, brackets, and bargeboards. The broad hip roof with slate covering, the wide overhanging eaves with large elaborate brackets, and the projecting bay window for the station manager’s office all add to the striking appearance of the station.
The interior of the station reveals much of its original function and appearance. The station master’s office retains total historic authenticity. There is the main waiting room, with its access to the ticket window. Also, there are the separate gents’ and lady’s waiting rooms, each with their adjoining rest rooms. The baggage room at the end of the station was later converted to a milk room where cans of milk were stored waiting for shipment on the early morning train to Boston.
The station now functions as a museum, displaying many of the artifacts in the Andover Historical Society’s collection. Annually a special exhibit is mounted featuring a particular aspect of the history of the Town of Andover. Previous exhibits have featured Andover’s summer camps, Andover sports, and Andover’s special people and places.