Frank A. Winn Farm on Lowell Road

Home of Frank A, and Effie May Winn

This week we visit the homestead of Frank Almon and Effie May (Wyeth) Winn on Lowell Road.  Frank moved to Hudson  from Pelham with his parents, Franklin A. and Lizzie Winn, about 1883 when he was 8 years old.  His family purchased  a farm of over 70 acres which stretched from Lowell Road to the river.  Across one part of the farm was a large brook which traveled through fields and woods, making it’s course through the rocky gorge to the river.  This is where Frank played, grew, and worked with his family.  By today’s landmarks, this farm includes most, if not all of , the land between Winn Avenue and Winnhaven Drive (between 35 and 49 Lowell Road)   and extending westward to the river.  Between these roads and adjacent to Lowell Road was a large tilled field  for growing  vegetables for market.  The family home with the large attached barn was located at what is now 1 Winn Avenue and faced this field.  On December 24, 1958 the barn was destroyed by a spectacular fire.  The fire fighters were able to save the house.
As a young man Frank made his way across the United States, but he soon returned to his home here in Hudson.  Along with his parents, he tilled the farm fields all his life.  In due time he came into possession of the farm.  In September 1915 he and Effie May Wyeth  were married; and it is here that they raised their family.  Frank was a tireless worker with both his hands and his head.  He not only knew about agriculture, he also knew about the wider world of business and economics.
 
Effie May was born in Nashua, May 1886, and educated in Nashua schools and Keene Normal School.  Prior to their marriage in 1915, she taught school in Nashua.  She later did substitute teaching in Hudson, Pelham, Merrimack, and Nashua.  Frank and Effie May raised a family of 3 girls; Lillian Emma (b: about 1918),  Effie May (b: about 1921) and Frances (b: about 1923).
Frank passed in September 1935, at the early age of 60; Effie May and her daughters continued to live at the homestead.  By the end of 1942 all three daughters were married.  Lilliam Emma was married to Walter Schindler; Effie May married Clayton Oban; and Frances Stebbins married Alton Drown.  Mrs. Winn, Effie May, was a resident of Hudson most of her 97 years.  She passed in 1983 at the home of her daughter Frances (Drown) Hosmer, with whom she had lived for a few years.  Many Hudson residents remember Effie May; particularly with her involvement with the Hudson Fortnightly Club for over 50 years.
 
As time advanced and the land usage changed, the Frank A. Winn farm was developed.  At first with the apartments and residential buildings in wooded area and adjacent to the river.  Later the farm field between Winn Avenue and Winnhaven Drive were developed.  The earliest development occurred in 1963 with the construction of LNL Bowl at what is now 8 Winn Avenue.  Named for the three owners:  Earl Libby, Leon Noel, and Adrien Labrie; LNL bowl offered candlepin bowling lanes, a sport unique to New England,    The lanes operated until 1978.  By 1979 this site became the home of Dessault Engineering Associates. It is now home to Opti-Sciences.
By 1964 construction began for the first of many restaurants to operate at 49 Lowell Road, likely owned by members of the Winn Family.  The Winstead Restaurant  began operation in 1965.  By 1969 this was the site of Hayward Farms Restaurant.  Over the succeeding years a number of restaurants were located here.  From what I can piece together the list is as follows:  1972 – Pizza by Giovanni; 1980 Straw Hat Restaurant; 1984 Primo’s.  Following Primo’s there were Ziggy’s, Stevie P’s, Yaght Club, Charman’s, and presently SOHO.
Construction for Nashua Federal Savings and Loan at 45 Lowell Road began in 1979.  A bank has remained at this site; becoming Bank of America and more recently Enterprise Bank.
More recently, two additional sites have been developed.  First the retail/office mall at 43 Lowell Road known as Bell Tower plaza.  The second is the two unit mall at 35 Lowell.  This later unit was actually constructed on the portion of the original parking area for LNL Bowl.
The Winn House at 1 Winn Avenue razed about 2006 and replaced with the current building.  The first occupant was European Deli with a speciality menu including European style ice cream, coffee, and sandwiches.  It has since been used as Tokyo Joe’s Karae Studio.  It is currently doing business as Dojo Sante; karate, kickboxing, and fitness.
Our photo is courtesy of the Winn Family and is a part of the Historical Society Collection.
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Cemetery of the Unknown

Peremiter fence cemetery of unknown

Perimeter Fence

The Cemetery of the Unknown was a part of the town poor farm  located in the north west section of Hudson on what is now Old Derry Road.  For this cemetery there are no monuments, no headstones, and no records to identify the individuals buried there.  The farm was purchased by the town in 1828 in the days when the resident poor were kept at the town farm.  Those who could worked the farm in an effort to produce food for all residents on the farm.  The town maintained this farm for some  40 years until 1868 .  At that time the farm was sold and the few paupers which did exist at the time were boarded out to private homes at the expense of the town. The  only known records of activity at the town farm was recorded by the Overseer of the Poor in the annual town reports.  It is estimated from these records that over the course of 40 years the  number of residents at this farm varied from 6 to 12 per year.   Any of them who spent their final months at the farm likely found their final resting place within the Cemetery of Unknown.  Some of these folks had been prosperous citizens of Hudson  but due to reversal of fortune  or conditions, spent their final times here and were laid to rest in the yard at the end of the farm.
The number of deaths which occurred here during these 40 plus years in not known; but it is estimated there was an average of at least 1 per year.  There are no records to indicate who they are, when they passed, and where within the cemetery each was laid to rest.
As time progressed  the land upon which the burial yard existed continued in private use.  Fewer and fewer residents of town retained any memory of this cemetery.  Perhaps the stage was set for the Cemetery of the Unknown to be lost to history forever.
100 years after the town poor farm and the site of the Cemetery of the Unknown was sold by the town of Hudson, Paul Gauvreau and his family purchased their homestead on Old Derry Road.  In talking with family of the previous owner, Paul was told about the Cemetery of the Unknown and that only a few people were still alive to remember that it existed; soon it would be grown over and all traces of the cemetery gone forever.
In 1982 plans were made to construct a new road, Twin Meadow Drive, and to build a number of duplex residences.   Aware of the existence of the cemetery but not sure of it’s exact location, Paul informed the Hudson Planning Board of the cemetery.  The developer agreed to stop excavation if burial sites were unearthed.  None were found and several duplexes were constructed along Twin Meadow Drive bordering the  field off Old Derry Road.
In 1990, Paul along with some of the  neighbors on Twin Meadow Drive did some local detective work  in the fields behind Twin Meadow Drive.  After removing brush and mowing the tall grass on a flatter section of the field, they discovered what appeared to be several sunken grave sites.  These depressions measured about 2 1/2 feet wide and about 6 feet in length and faced east and west; consistent with grave sites.  The depressions were likely caused by the collapse of the wooden enclosures over the years.  Paul contacted the town Executive Administrator, town Planner, and the Town Librarian .  Upon visiting the site, all agreed the site was worthy of further study; but, since the form of town government was about to change, all agreed to postpone the matter until the new government was in place.
Paul researched the Hudson town reports for the years 1845 through 1870; specifically the Reports of the Overseers of The Poor which lists the activities and financial transactions of the Poor Farm.  It should be noted that reports from 1828 through 1844 were not available.  He was able to compile a list of some 32 names of  individuals that died as paupers associated with the poor farm during these years, either living at the farm or being boarded in private homes at town expense.  Of these 32, 3 were buried in Nashua or Litchfield.  Most, if not all if the remaining 29 were buried on the farm. It is not possible to discover the exact number or identity of the individuals laid to rest in this cemetery during it’s 42 years of operation. The names we do have include individuals from well known Hudson families:  Barrett, Hamblet, Johnson, Marsh, Parker, Robinson to name a few.
In August 1994, as agreed with the town officials, Paul contacted Mr. Gary Hume, State Archaeologist, and asked him to conduct archaeological probings.  These probings and investigations took place during the fall months of 1994.  Present at each of these sessions were representatives from the state, officials from Town of Hudson, the Historical Society, various neighbors in the area, and Paul Gauvreau.  Paul had previously shared the results of his findings with both town and state representatives.  In March 1996, the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources issued a report of their findings to Hudson Cemetery Trustees.  In essence this report confirmed the location and existence of the Cemetery of the Unknown.  The report did not make specific recommendations as to how this cemetery should be preserved; but did direct the town of Hudson to proceed with the recognition and protection of the property. In the months to follow, the town of Hudson led by the Cemetery Trustees, purchased from the landowners the Cemetery of the Unknown (also known as Poor Farm Cemetery) along with an access easement from Twin Meadow Drive to the cemetery.  On September 1, 2007 the cemetery was dedicated and a single monument placed there in memory of the estimated 62 individuals buried there over the years.
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Single Monument for All 62 Nameless

The author and Paul Gauvreau visited the cemetery this past weekend and met with Susan Bauman whose home abuts the cemetery.  Both Paul and Susan have maintained chronology of events leading up to the confirmation and dedication of this cemetery.  Our thanks to them for sharing information with us.

Holy Cross Cemetery on Ledge Road

Holy Cross Cemetery S

Entry Sign and Flagpoles at Holy Cross Cemetery in Hudson

 

The Church of the Immaculate Conception at what is now 119 Temple Street, Nashua was consecrated in 1857 as an Irish Catholic Community. By the early 1900’s the Lithuanian Community was on the increase and a pastor was added to this church to minister to them. As both communities continued to grow it became evident that a new church was needed. By 1909 the Irish Community moved into the newly constructed Saint Patrick’s Church on Spring Street. Soon thereafter The Church of the Immaculate Conception was transferred to the Lithuanian Community and the name of the church changed to Saint Casimir’s in honor of the Lithuanian saint.

One of the first additions made by Saint Casimir’s church was the purchase of property on Ledge Road in Hudson for a cemetery; Holy Cross Cemetery. At the entrance to this cemetery from Ledge Road there are two flagpoles: one flies the US Flag the other the Lithuanian Flag.

Saint Casimer’s church was closed in 2003 and the congregation merged into Saint Patrick’s on Spring Street. The property at 119 is now Casimir’s Place, an affordable housing complex. Holy Cross cemetery retains it’s original name but the management and operations have been combined with Saint Patrick’s Cemetery. In a sense the congregations of Saint Patrick’s and Saint Casimir’s have gone full circle. Originally the Irish and Lithuanian congregations shared The Church of the Imaculate Conception on Temple Street. As congregations grew, the Saint Patrick’s Church was built on Spring Street and the Lithuanian community remained on Temple Street as Saint Casimir’s. Some 90 plus years later in 2003, Saint Casimir’s has merged with Saint Patrick’s.

Initially this cemetery offered burial space to members of the Lithuanian community. Until recently the policy of this cemetery was to offer burial space to members of the Catholic community. This has changed and space within Holy Cross, like Saint Patrick’s, is available to any member of the Christian community. The contact person is Elaine Poulin at 881-8131.

The photo of the entrance to Holy Cross was taken by the author and is part of the Historical Society collection.

The Catholic Cemetery (Saint Patrick’s) on Derry Road

St Patricks Cemetery Entry S

St Patricks Cemetery Derry Road

The availability of jobs resulting from industry and factories coming to Nashua resulted in an increase in the immigrant population of Nashua.  The Catholic Church quickly recognized the need to have pastors and congregations available for these communities.  In the 1850’s Nashua experienced a great influx of Irish families, pushing the construction of The Church of the Immaculate Conception on Temple Street.  At the time of it’s consecration in  1857,  2,000 communicants were added to the church rolls. 

By the early 1900’s the Lithuanian Community was likewise on the increase and a pastor was added to The Church of the Immaculate Conception  to minister to them.  As both communities continued to grow it became evident that a new church was needed.  In March 1891 the church purchased the Hosmer Estate on Spring Street and by 1909  services were being held for the Irish Catholic Community at Saint Patrick’s Church on Spring Street.    
 
Soon after 1909 The  Church of the Immaculate Conception  was turned over to the Lithuanian Community and the name of the church changed to Saint Casimir’s.
 
 On or about 1857 ten acres of land on Derry Road in Hudson was purchased  by The Church of the Immaculate Conception and consecrated for the purpose of a cemetery for the Irish community.   The original land was conveyed by the Pierce Family of, James L, John P, and Edgar B, residents of Nashua.  With the exception of about one acre on the east side which was swampy and unfit for use as a cemetery, lots were laid out. In 1907, a strip of land was purchased on the north side and an enlargement made to the cemetery. By 1912, at the time of the writing of Webster’s History of Hudson, nearly all the lots had been taken up.  The vast majority of the interments within this cemetery were for families residing outside of Hudson. Our first photo shows the hillside as you enter the cemetery.  After the archway with the name of the cemetery is the sacred cross followed by the War Memorial and the American Flag.
Celtic Cross St Patricks

Celtic Cross at St Patricks

 
Acting as a sentinel and gateway to the newer section of the cemetery behind Hannaford’s Super Market is this Celtic Cross, in memory of  R. T.  Rev. Monsignor Matthew J.B.Creamer, the Pastor of St. Patrick’s Church from 1906 – 1939.  
 
Initially this cemetery was to offer cemetery space to members of the Irish community.  By 1895, the Catholic cemetery contained about 4,000 graves sites; the vast majority were for the Irish Catholic community, but a few hundred French Catholics were also interred here.  After St. Patrick’s  Church on Spring Street was built the name of this cemetery was changed to Saint Patrick’s.  Until recently the policy of this cemetery was to offer burial space to members of the Catholic community.  This has changed and space within Saint Patrick’s is available to any member of the Christian community.  With the recent expansion there are lots available.  The contact person is Elaine Poulin at 881-8131.  

 

Westview Cemetery on Burnham Road

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Westview Cemetery Burnham Road

 

When the Old Hudson Center Cemetery, located on the Common, became nearly covered with graves, the need for additional  cemetery  space in that part of town became apparent.  The Hudson Center Cemetery Association published their intentions on the Oasis, a newspaper published in Nashua for three weeks in a row, in accordance with the laws of the State of New Hampshire.  An initial meeting was held at the town house in Hudson Center, now Wattannick Hall, on December 4, 1849.  At this meeting a set of by-laws and a slate of officers were elected.  Elected as Directors were Jefferson Smith, Joseph Dane, James Smith, 2nd, Dustin B. Smith, and Daniel W. Robinson,  Eli Hamblet was elected Clerk and Amory Burnham as Treasurer.

 

The initial acreage for the cemetery was donated by Reuben Greeley.  This parcel is located to the right as you enter the cemetery gate from Burnham Road.  The cemetery was laid out into large lots, most of which would allow for 12 burials so as to accommodate large families and multiple generations.  Between each lot space was allocated for walkways.  The layout also included streets wide enough so that  horse and wagons, and  later vehicles could enter the cemetery.  All of this was located less than one half mile from Hudson Center.

 

After the Nashua and Rochester Railroad was constructed, a substantial addition of land was made to the cemetery.  All the land between the initial parcel and the southerly line of the railroad land was acquired, making a total of nearly three acres.  After the railroad ceased to operate, the cemetery purchased  the right of way from the railroad.  This right of way is clearly visible today and is used as a short cut from Burnham Road to Hudson Center.

 

So as not to confuse this new cemetery with the Old Hudson Center Cemetery it was called Clement Cemetery.  I am not sure why this name was associated with this yard; but, it is often referred as such in the old records.  The name Westview has since been adopted and it is known by that name today.

 

 

Within this cemetery one will find the final resting place for many Hudson families of the last 167 years.  One will also find a number of lots with beautiful and expensive monuments; as well many of the more common markings.  Records of the cemetery also indicate burials in some of the lots where no visual monuments were placed by the surviving families.  But, thankfully, knowledge of their burials has been preserved by the written records.

 

I find the most elaborate monuments within Westview to be along the back wall of the old section.  These belong to the families of Dr. David O. Smith, Dr. Henry O. Smith, and the Haselton family from Bush Hill.  The oldest burial is that of Betsey Beard who died June 1850 at the age of 80.

 

The most  interesting burial site is the unmarked grave of Rev. Benjamin Dean, a minister serving the Baptist Church from April 1828 to June 1830; at which time he left the ministry but remained a resident of Hudson Center and continued to live in  his home on Hamblet Avenue.  When he passed in 1856 he was buried in the Potters Field section of the cemetery.  Many years later when additional lots were laid out, the Potters Field and his burial site was included within one of the new lots.  But, the location of Rev. Dean’s burial site has not been lost to history.  It remains unmarked; but, has been included within the written record of this newer lot.

 

The photo showing the entrance to Westview Cemetery at 20 Burnam Road was taken by the author and is a part of the Historical Society Collection.

Sunnyside Cemetery on Central Street

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Entrance to Sunnyside Cemetery on Central Street

As the town grew and burial space in the older cemeteries became limited, the need for Sunnyside Cemetery arose.  According to the incorporation papers the legal name of this yard is ‘The Hudson Cemetery”.  The Sunnyside cemetery as it is commonly refereed to is located on the north side of the highway at 98 Central Street.   According to records, the original yard purchased from William Hadley in June 1846 was slightly over 1/2 acre.  The land was purchased for $13.00 and an additional $257.00 to Ethan Willoughby for the construction of the stone wall which enclosed the yard with an entrance off Central Street.  There were two  additional land purchases, one in 1885 and the second in 1910.  After the first purchase the stone wall was moved to include the parcel within the bounds of the yard.  At the present time this small cemetery contains 2.817 acres shaded from the canopy of maple trees.
According to Kimball Webster in his History of Hudson,  the first meeting of the Hudson Cemetery Association was held at the home of Ethan Willoughby on Central Street  December 6, 1845.  At this meeting the cemetery was organized, and the articles of association were signed by Ethan willoughby, Paul Colburn, Cyrus Warren, Nathan Marshall, William Hadley, David Clement, David Burns, Abiather Winn, Mark Willoughby, Benjamin A. Merril, and William Blodgett,  It was also agreed to purchase the original 200 by 113 feet original parcel for the cemetery.  No record of any subsequent meeting for several years; however business was conducted and the land was purchased, lots laid out,  and stone wall built  by 1851.  
 
The very first lot, number 17, was sold to Alfred Cummings on April 8, 1851.  By 1885 all the lots in the cemetery had been sold and during that same year a second land purchase of 1 acre was added to the cemetery on the east side and the wall was moved so as to enclose it.  The new ground was laid out into lots and the size of the cemetery more than doubled.  By 1908 all the lots in this section had been sold.  Again in 1910, a 1/2 acre was purchased from George Marshall, allowing expansion to the rear of the cemetery.  this land was subsequently improved and laid out into lots, all of which have been sold.
Joseph Fuller Monument

Joseph Fuller Monument

Sunnyside  is an attractive cemetery with a convenient location.  It contains a number of expensive and interesting monuments.   To me, the most elaborate monument is that for the families of Kimball Webster and his Brother Nathan.  This monument greets you on the right as you enter the yard.  The most interesting monument is that for Joseph Fuller (1818-1896) and his wife Belinda Steele (1823- 1891).  This metal monument is shown in our second photograph and  resembles a fireplace.  It is on the right side of the yard about halfway to the rear.
Unfortunately, the surrounding area does not include any possibility for expansion.  It has become the final resting place for many of Hudson’s families such as Baker, Batchelder, Chase, Colburn, Cummings, Davis, Gould, Hadley, Holmes, Martin, Marshall, Pollard, Sanders, Sargent, Stearns, Steele, Willoughby, Winn, and Webster.  At the present time the management of Sunnyside Cemetery in handled by Fred Fuller.
The photo of the entrance to Sunnyside was taken by Lorna Granger, a neighbor to the cemetery.  The photo of the Joseph Fuller monument was by the author.  Both will be part of the Society’s collection.

.. Hudson Center Cemetery

Hudson Center Gate1

Hudson Center Cemetery Gate

Actually, the next Hudson cemetery in terms of age is the Senter cemetery which we visited a few weeks ago when we were exploring Old Derry Road,  Remember, interments at the Senter site occurred as early as 1759 while this part of Hudson was within the town of Londonderry.  It became a Hudson cemetery when annexed to Hudson in 1788.
The old burial ground at Hudson Center is a small site containing about 1/2 acre.   It was first used a s burial site about 1775.  This was a public burying ground, given for that purpose by Deacon Henry Hale from a small piece of his farm.  Following tradition, the burial ground was located near the North Meeting House.  Today, this ground is  on the lower, east corner of the Hudson Center Common, just above Kahil’s Sub Shop.  The North Meeting House was located opposite the common on Central Street, and very near the site of the current Wattannick Hall.
Kimball Webster in his Hudson History, printed in 1913, stated there was a verbal tradition among the old timers that the first internment made in this yard was a Mrs. Gibson.  There is not such stone in the yard, probably none was erected.  Other than this possibility, the oldest date found here is that of John Haselton Smith, son of Page and Lydia Smith,, who died September 5, 1778 at the age of two,  This yard became filled with graves as early as 1850; and few, if any, burials have been made there since that date. It is estimated the unmarked graves within this yard out number those with headstones by as much as 200-300%.
 Once burials ceased to be made, it became neglected and suffered from brush and trees so that it became a disgrace to the residents of Hudson,  A petition  suggesting the removal of the remains probably moving then to another cemetery.  In 1871 a special town meeting was called at which this petition was dismissed.  In 1886, Mr. John Foster of Boston, a native of Hudson, made a proposition to the town.  He would  pay the expenses of building a substantial and permanent granite wall enclosing the yard on the condition that the town would clean up the ground and to keep the site in a good condition.  His proposition was accepted  and in 1887 the current wall was erected.  It has ever since that time been maintained by the town of Hudson.
Center Sign

Foster Family Memorial Sign

A memorial plaque exists to the right of the game as a memorial for the wall to his parents. Today this is done by the Highway Dept. and the town cemetery trustees.  A few years after 1887 the fir trees were added to the Common beside the cemetery wall.
Today’s photos were taken in 2017 by Jonathan Rollins and are a part of the Society collection.

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