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Monthly Archives: February 2015

French Home on Derry Street 1956

Harold French c1956 comp

After Hudson adopted a unified school district  in 1896, a number of local school houses were purchased and converted into private dwellings houses.  Such was the case with the house shown in this 1956 photo.  The #6 (Farms District)  school house  was built in 1852 on what is now the vacant lot just north of 107 Derry Street and almost opposite Hudson Hardware.  By 1898 the school house was converted  into a dwelling by Menzell French.  It remained in the French family until destroyed by fire in January 1980.  For years this was the home of Harold and Maude French and family.   Harold began The French Insurance Agency in the front room of this home; notice the sign along Derry Street.  Maude is fondly remembered for her work with the 4-H clubs,  Fortnightly Club, and her prominent role in securing funds for and the beginning of Alvirne High School.  The insurance agency was continued by their son, Gordon, and now by grandson Rick and family at 12 Derry Street.  Photo compliments of the French family and now a part of the Historical Society Collection.

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The Paul Tenny/Henry Brown House c1895

A1987005017 comp

This house was a landmark in Hudson Center for many years; standing at  Kimball Hill Road opposite the Hudson Center Common and directly across from the front steps of the Baptist Church.    The first occupant was Dr. Paul Tenny who moved to town about 1791 and later settled here.  The property was sold to Dr James Emery in 1849.  When Dr. Emery retired it was purchased by Henry C. Brown; in 1935 it was purchased by John T. Benson and became part of the Benson’s Wild Animal Farm property.  Vera Lovejoy and her family lived here while she was managing the Benson Farm.  This c1895 photo shows, left to right, Henry C. Brown; Ina Louise Brown, daughter;  Clara Bryant Brown, his wife; and John and Eliza Brown the adoptive parents of Henry.  Photo from the Historical Society Collection.

Post Offices at Hudson Center

R Greeley Barn c1960 comp

The first established post office in Hudson was at Hudson Center.  The Postmaster, Reuben  Greeley, used this ell  attached  to the west side of his house for the Post Office.  This 1960 photo shows the back side of the ell from the field located  at what is now 230 Central Street; the  7-11 Convenience Store.  Reuben served as postmaster from 1818 until 1829 and then again from 1849 until 1853 after which the  Hudson Post Office was moved to the bridge area.  This ell was a part of the Greeley/Wentworth property when purchased by the Baptist Church in 1962.  A few years later the large section was removed for safety reasons and the  remainder  configured into a garage.  This garage has since been removed also.  From 1876 until 1910 the  Hudson Center Post Office was located in the Railroad Depot.  So, for a period of 34 years the town of Hudson had two post offices; one at the bridge ad one at the center.  This photograph is used here by permission of Hastings House Publisher the publisher of “The New England Image” by Samuel Chamberlain.

The Parsonage at 234 Central Street c1980

Parsonage c1980 comp
Historians date this house to about 1790 when it, and much of Hudson Center,  was a part of the farm of Henry Hale. This became the home of Reuben Greeley about the time of his marriage to Joanna Merrill in 1817.  From that time  until 1962 this home was occupied by Reuben or a member of his family.  After Reuben’s death in 1863 his son Daniel continued to live here with his wife, Joanna, and daughter Edwina.  Edwina married John Wentworth and in time ownership was passed to their son Nathaniel.  Nathaniel married Jesse Gilbert of Windham who resided here until her death in 1962; after which the Baptist Church purchased and remodeled the home  to be used as a parsonage for their pastor and family.  The parsonage has been located here at 234 Central Street some 53 years.  In this c1980 photo church members are washing windows and cleaning exterior of the parsonage.  Photo courtesy of Hudson Baptist Church.