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Aerial View – Luther Pollard Farm Lowell Rd C 1939

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Aerial View Luther Pollard Farm Lowell Rd C 1939

This week we look at more of the changes along Lowell Road with this 1939 aerial view.   The farm buildings in the center of the photo are those of the Luther Pollard Farm.   Owned by members of the Pollard/Parker family of Lowell, MA and Hudson; Robert Hardy was the farm manager.  Robert and Bertha Hardy along with their large family lived in this farmhouse and worked the farm for the owners.    Robert raised turkeys, chickens, cows for milk, as well as a large garden and fruit trees.  Besides managing the farm resources, he was able to produce ample food for his family. John Hardy, Robert’s son, purchased the farm in 1946.  Behind the farmhouse, but not visible because of the trees, was a large home with spacious porches.  This was the Pollard/Parker family’s summer home.
Along side and to right of the farmhouse is Lowell Road.  Barely visible because it is hidden under a row of trees.  Looking north, towards the top of the photo, pieces of the road are visible.  On the opposite side of Lowell Road, to our right, is the farmhouse and farm of Raymond Pollard.  Ray, his father  and grandfather before him owned and operated this particular farm.
By sharp contrast, today both farm houses are gone.  Where the Pollard/Parker farmhouse stood we now have the recently built Inn at Fairview, a part of the Fairview Nursing facility.  Likewise the home of Ray Pollard has been removed; now the location of the north end of the parking lot of Market Basket at the corner of Lowell and Wason Roads.   The garden seen in the forefront of the photo is now the location of Haffners.  Lowell Road is no longer a narrow two lane roadway; now a four plus lane highway with plenty of traffic and traffic lights!!  The open fields for market produce have given way to houses and industrial parks.
Enjoy this step back in time!   We will explore more of these early landmarks in  the weeks ahead.  Photo from the Historical Society collection.  The society can be reached for comment by calling 880-2020 or sending email to HudsonHistorical@live.com.

The Sanders/Smith House Derry Street

This fine Victorian home was built by Hudson native George O. Sanders between 1873 and 1875.  He was born in 1850 and at the age of 17  began an apprenticeship with his father, Abi Sanders, a respected carpenter and contractor in this area.  This young man designed and built his own house; as such the dwelling represents the exuberance of youth and is an example of New Hampshire’s finest French Empire style of the Victorian Period.

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Sanders/Smith House 1897

The main house is a two-and-a-half story dwelling on a granite foundation and covered by a Mansard roof with strongly flaring eaves.  Today  the exterior walls are sheathed with grey aluminum siding; applied over the original rusticated wood exterior. This work was done in the 1970’s by Leonard Smith.  Mr. Smith worked diligently to retain as much of the original detail as possible. The front corner, facing Derry Street, has an elaborate three story tower capped with wrought iron railings and canopy  terminated with scroll work and a weather vane bearing the letter “S”.

The L-shaped one-story wing extending from the main house originally had a hayloft door for access to the stable.   This has been modified over the years.  Above this hayloft door was a dormer, and on the roof stood a tall shingled spire rising from a cupola.  The cupola remains today, but the spire has been replaced by a hipped roof.

10 Derry 1985 comp

Sanders/Smith House 1985

The lot on which the house stands has been enclosed by several varieties of fencing over the years.  When the house was first built, it was supplied by water from a deep well which was pumped up by a tall windmill in the front yard.  Later, probably by 1893, when Mr. Sanders became principal stockholder of Hudson Water Works, the well and windmill were replaced by town water mains.  The tower and weather vane over the main entry, the hayloft door and shingled spire on the wing, the windmill, and fencing can be seen in the 1887 photo of the George O. Sanders house.

The life of George O. Sanders is also of interest.  He was an accomplished builder by his early 20’s.  He left Hudson in 1878 to work as an engineer in Kansas, returning four years later to begin a business which would grow to become NH’s largest wooden box factory, employing nearly 190 men in three separate mills. In later years he also engaged in a number of civic interests.  This included establishing, surveying, and construction of the Hudson Water Works Company: the construction of  the multi-unit housing block and a row of single family houses around what is now Library Park; and the initiation of the Nashua Street railway Company.

In its 142 years, this fine Victorian has had just three owners. In 1904 Harry Kendrick. an employee for Sanders, acquired this home.  It was owned by the Kendrick’s until purchased from Mrs. Kendrick in 1943 by Leonard Smith.  From 1943 to the present, the home remains in the Smith Family. While the G. O. Sanders house retains its original configuration, certain details have been altered or lost over the years.  This is particularly true in the 1940’s when the house was changed from a single-family to a seven-apartment complex by Leonard Smith.    In 1986 the George O. Sanders house was proudly entered onto The National Register of Historic Places by Leonard Smith. Our thanks to the imagination of George O. Sanders and to Leonard Smith’s avid interest in maintaining the character and beauty of this house.  Photos from the Smith family and the Hudson Historical Society Collection.


Bank of NH C1976


Bank of New Hampshire Derry Road C 1976

In August 1970 the Bank of New Hampshire president, Davis P. Thurber, announced the purchase of land at the northern part of the 20th Century Shopping Center on the Derry Road and their plans to build a branch office as a free-standing unit.  This bank celebrated its opening in January 1971 under the management of Edward Kerouac.  The Hudson Board of Selectmen; Frank Nutting, Stanley Alukonis, and James Hetzer; Chamber of Commerce President, Don MacIntyre; and officials of the Bank were present at the ribbon cutting ceremony.  The bank offered longer hours, more services, and drive-up banking.  The Bank of New Hampshire was the former Second National Bank of Nashua.

In  2005, by vote of the shareholders, the bank became a division of the Toronto-Dominion Bank.Still doing business at the Derry Street location the name is now TD Bank.  Photo from the Historical Society collection.

Clover Farm Store C 1935

Clover Farm Store C1935 Cop

Clover Farm Store C 1935

By 1930 Alphonse and Eleanor Steckevicz with their family of 3 boys (Edwin, Alfred, and Chester) and 1 girl (Emma) had moved into their house on Riverside Avenue in Hudson.  Alphonse established the Clover Farms Store, a neighborhood grocery, attached to the family home and facing Lowell Road.  This C 1935 photo shows the Clover Farm Store and the Shell gasoline pumps taken from  Lowell Road. Members of the Steckevicz family who were working at the store are in front.  The 1935 Pontiac sedan on the left most likely belongs to one of the customers; if it belonged to the family it would not be parked so as to block customer access to the gas pump!
Alphonse owned and operated this store for about 25 years at which time  ho sold  to his son, Edwin.  Edwin was a 1935 graduate of Nashua High School, a WWII veteran serving in the Army Air Corps.  The Clover Farm Store remained under his management until he sold to Ray Lefebvre about 1961.  Edwin also served his town as selectman for many years.  His store on Lowell Road became a community gathering place.  He knew his customers by name.  Edwin was often known to open his store at all hours to help a customer in need.  Edwin married Josephine Wolen with whom he had 60 plus years of marriage before passing in 2007.
This store continued under the ownership of Ray Lefebvre for many years.  This building at the corner of Lowell and Riverside remains to this day; it is currently not used.  Most recently it was Cheemas Supermarket. Photo from the Hudson Historical Society collection.

57 Lowell Road C 1947

57 Lowell C1947 COMP

57 Lowell Road C 1947

By 1935 Nicolae and Cornelia Simo with their young family of Victoria and John moved from Nashua to this house at 57 Lowell Road in Hudson.  The trolly and later bus services made it possible for Nicolae to comute to his job as a shoe worker at J. F. McElwain Shoe Company in Nashua.  Cornelia  held a position at Fort Devens in Mass. Daughter Victoria attended Hudson schools and graduated from Nashua High.  She was active in 4-H, Scouts, and the youth activities of the Hudson Community Church.  After High School she attended the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence.  She later married and lived in Conn.  John was able to complete his high school in Hudson; being a member of the first class to graduate from Alvirne in 1951.  He was also active in 4-H and the youth activities of the Community Church.
This weeks photo  shows the Simo home about 1947; the woman seated on the front steps has been identified as Cornelia.
John was one of many Hudson teenagers who worked at Bensons Animal Farm during the summer months.  Upon graduation from Alvirne, John and a high school friend of his traveled to Seatle, Wash. for summer work at The Jolly Green Giant Factory.  His friend returned to Hudson to  attend college.  John remained on the west coast, traveling and working in various states for several years.  When he did return return to New Hampshire he married Glenda Pratt of Milford and made his home in his current town of Milford.
Cornelia passed in 1965; Nicolae continued to live in this house until about 1984 when he moved to Milford with his son John.  Nicolae passed in 1989.  John remembers his mother as an intelligent woman who was fluent in many languages.  His dad had musical abilities with the violin; being able to repeat a tune after hearing it a single time.
By 1984 Lowell Road was becoming a busy commercial road; no longer the rural and residential road of the previous decades.  As with many homes along Lowell Road this one at number 57 would transition into commercial use.  Many of our readers may recall Dunkin Dogs, a self service dog shampoo parlor and grooming establishment.  Today this site is the location of Stellar Motors, a used automobile mart.  Thanks to John Simo of Milford for the memories; photo from the Hudson Historical Society collection.

Central Street Looking West C 1935

This week we go back to about 1935 and look west on Central Street across from what is now 74 Central (near Hammond Park).  In fact, the first mailbox on the right side of Central Street is for that home; the home of Gerri and Leon Hammond for many years.
In the forefront Central Street is a dirt roadway and remains dirt until just before the intersection with Lowell.  To help locate this intersection follow the utility poles which veer to the left behind the row of maple trees.  When we compare the C 1935 photo with the current photo, we realize the Lowell and Central intersection was more of a sharp  angle; not the 90 degree one it is today.
On the right side of Central is what is now 72 Central, for many years the home of Hazel (Jewell)  Austin.  On the left and at the beginning of Lowell Road is what is now 1 Lowell Road.  In the center of the picture, barely visible is 59 Central, the former home of Maude Priest.
The morning sunlight casts a square shadow across the left side of the picture.  This is the image of the old tenement called ‘The Beehive’ located on Central and long since removed.   The early photo,from the Historical Society Collection, has been difficult to date.  If any of our readers can provide input please contact the HLN or the  Historical Society by email at HudsonHistorical@live.com or  by phone at 880-2020.

George Steele Farm

George Steele Store Com 1899

George Steele Store C1899

This week’s memories extend to the George Steele farm at Stewerts Corner; the intersection of Lowell, Dracut, and River Roads.  In the early 1900’s Hudson was serviced by three trolley routes.  One of these routes went from the Taylor Falls Bridge, down Central Street, then down Lowell Road to Stewerts Corner.  The fare from Taylor Falls Bridge to Stewerts Corner was five cents!!  Thus, Stewerts Corner was also called ‘the five cent limit’ or ‘the limit’.  During warm months open-bench trolley cars were used.  Many children and adults would pack a picnic lunch and ride the trolley to the ‘limit’.  Once there they could buy ice cream and soda at George Steele’s farm store. The first photo shows his store C1899 with two ladies and children waiting outside; perhaps for the trolley.   If the season  was right they could also pick strawberries for Mr. Steele for two cents a box!  For additional fare, families could extend their trip down River Road to Lakeview Park, an entertainment area just over the state line, or go all the way to Lowell and spend time shopping.
George and his brother Fred were native to Hudson; growing up and working with their father, Silas, on the family farm on what is now the Steele Road.  As a young man of 24, George purchased his own acreage from William Chase in 1887.  By 1893 he  married Edith Colburn and built their home on River Road.  For most of their adult lives, George and Fred continued to operate large vegetable/market gardens near Stewerts Corner.  The George Steele farm remained in his family until surviving son, Ralph, sold the property to the Friel family in 1977.  The land and buildings are now a part of Green Meadows Country Club.
Steele Farm Comp  1942

George Steele Farm C 1942

The second photo is an aerial view of the George Steele Farm C1942.  We see  gardens along both sides of River Road.  Photos courtesy of the Steele Family and now a part of the Historical Society Collection.

The Jette Farm Lowell Road C1950

117 Lowell Road Jette Farm 1950

117 Lowell Road Jette Farm 1950

Edmond L. Jette and Rose M. Boissoneault  married in August of 1933 and lived on the Litchfield Road in Hudson.  By 1944 their family had grown to include five children and they needed more space.  They then purchased a farm house as well as 30+ acres of farmland.  Edmond was a machinist as well as a great father and farmer.  Rose took great pride in her family and was always pleasant and friendly to everyone she met.
In 1944, the farm at what is now 117 Lowell Road was owned by the Pelletier family.  It would soon be known to all as The Jette’s  Garden  Farm.  Fresh vegetables were harvested and sold daily by a large and loving family.  Edmond, Rose, and ultimately, all ten children worked hard together.  Cows were milked for cream, milk, and butter.  These items for the family were also swapped for chickens and eggs from their neighbors, the Maynard family.
Jette Field

Jette Field

In 1971, 59 year old Edmond passed away.  Rose was left to care for her family and continue the farm stand as well as operating her weekend garage sale.  Rose, in memory of her husband and the children in memory of their father, donated some of the farmland off County Road to The Town of Hudson.  Today, close to a fenced in baseball diamond, there is a granite memorial identifying Jette Field; a great gesture and memory for all to enjoy.  The plow on the marker symbolizes Edmond’s love of the land.   In the spring of 2013, 102 year old Fernand, brother of Edmond, threw out the first pitch to begin the baseball season.
Over the years family members tapped from the trees seen in front of the house.  Sap was boiled down maple syrup was made by and for family members.
You can still drive by 117 Lowell Road and look upon the old homestead as it stands today.  The farmland was sold when Rose downsized.  Rose passed away in 1996.  Although you are driving by the old farm land for memories, much of it has evolved into Fox Hollow as well as Teledyne, the memories are never to be forgotten.  Thanks to Angela Rose (Jette) Dickman, grandaughter of Rose and Edmond, for the memories and photo of 117 Lowell Road.

Robinson Road Near Pond C 1930

Robinson Road Near Pond C 1930 comp
In this C 1930 photo we see a horse  drawn wagon  traveling west on Robinson Road just west of Robinson Pond near the present  intersection with Parker Drive.  On the wagon seat are Charles “Charlie” Parker, Whitney Westneat,  and Alice (Mrs. Arthur) Westneat.  In the wagon is the Rev. Arthur Westneat.  Their oldest son, Arthur is riding horseback.  Rev. Westneat, a former pastor of the Baptist Church of Hudson, and his family, were spending their  summer vacation time visiting with John Abner and Julia Robinson.  Photo complements of the Parker/Robinson Family and now a part of the Historical Society Collection.

HudsonMall C1977


Hudson Mall C1977

 For many years this Derry Road location was  the site of the Abbott home, milk business, and farms.  Abbott’s Dairy was operated by George Abbott for many years.  After his sudden death in 1929. his son’s Roland and Kenneth ran the milk room.  Local dairy farmers would deliver their milk for processing after which milk and cream were delivered by Abbott’s Dairy to homes and businesses in the Nashua and Hudson area.  After Roland’s death in 1964, “Kenny” carried on until the property was sold for the new Hudson Mall.
In 1973 Vickerry Realty, owner and developer, publicized their plans to build Hudson Shopping Mall on the east side of Derry Road, just north of St. Patrick’s Cemetery. Estimated to be a 3 million dollar complex of a climate controlled, enclosed sidewalk mall with a large Alexander’s Super Market on the north end.  Alexander’s opened for business in 1974; other smaller stores and First Federal Bank soon followed along the indoor mall.  This new supermarket created significant competition for other markets in town.   By May 1977 McDonald’s Restaurant was added as a stand alone business.
This photo shows Hudson Mall C 1977 at the time of the publication of “Town in Transition” by The Hudson Historical Society.  At that time, in addition to the large Alexanders supermarket, the mall included:  Books and Cards Unlimited, CVS and CVS Pharmacy, Flower World, Norms Hardware, and First Federal Savings and Loan.
Significant changes have occurred over the years.  In 1988 the Post Office was relocated to this mall from 15 Derry Street.  In 1990 Alexander’s supermarket moved up in size and out of its original location as a  large superstore was added onto the south end of the mall, and  Alexander’s, now Hannaford’s, moved into their new quarters.  At about this same time, the mall itself was modified to eliminate the interior sidewalk mall.  Each retail business had direct exterior access.  Photo from the Historical Society collection.