Andover is a town of 33,000 residents in the heart of the Merrimack Valley in eastern Essex County, about 25 miles north of downtown Boston. It’s bordered by Dracut, Lawrence, Methuen, North Andover, North Reading, Tewksbury and Wilmington and is a part of the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Massachusetts-New Hampshire metropolitan area. The town was settled in 1642, incorporated in 1646 and played a prominent war in the Salem witch trials (more than 40 residents were accused), the American Revolutionary War and the American Civil War. For decades the town was described as, “the Hill, the Mill and the Till,” summing up its resident’s three main occupations. The Hill refers to the community’s intelligentsia, the Mill is the commercial district along the Shawsheen and the Till stands for the town’s prominent farming community, which once included about 75 farms. Although many residents commute into Boston and other major cities, Andover has quite a few powerful employers, including Hewlett-Packard, Gillette, Raytheon and Digital Equipment Corp.