The Town of North Andover lies in the northwestern portion of Essex County, on the banks of the Merrimack River. Historically, North Andover is the parent town of the Andovers - the lands set aside by the Massachusetts General Court in 1634 to create an inland plantation. North Andover's development was varied, with much of the land along the Shawsheen and Merrimack Rivers being concerned with industry, and the lands southwest being more agricultural. From 1646 to her death in 1672, North Andover was the home of America's first published poet, Anne Dudley Bradstreet, and her family. Mistress Bradstreet, her husband Simon and six of their children helped found this original Andover Parish.