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Yearly Archives: 2015

Goodwin’s Fried Clams on Derry Road C1938

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By 1931 Fred T. Goodwin and his wife Annimae had moved to Hudson; and by May of that year Fred , a well known amateur actor, opened a place of business on Derry Road.  This was located at what was then the Abbott property and directly across from Saint Patrick’ s Cemetery.  He specialized in Ipswich fried clams which he obtained fresh from the flats.  Fred. and Annimae had the idea that if they served a good meal at a reasonable price, people would come.  And they did!  After the first week there were reports that business was so great, many were turned away, and more equipment was quickly added.  By 1935 free entertainment to the clam emporium was added in order to attract even more people.
 Thanks to the Goodwin/Marshall family we have these early photos of the stand.  The first, C1938, shows the cars packed into  the lot and along Derry Road.  You see the band stand for entertainment on the left and the clam stand on the right.  The cars to the right, opposite the stand, are backed up against the stone wall of Saint Patrick’s Cemetery in order to enjoy the entertainment.  The second photo of about the same time shows a close-up of the front of the stand.  Notice the prices!!
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Fred  was also very active in local theater and politics; serving as selectman and in the state legislature.  His approach to the fried clam business gave him great notoriety as people came from all over to the stand.  Over the years the front of the stand did not change except for addition of an ell on the right side which served as a soda and ice cream fountain.  Also by the 1950’s traffic on Derry Road was such that parking was not allowed in front of the stand.
 
Fred, Annimae, and later their family operated the stand for over 20 years.  After Fred  passed in 1952 Annimae ran the stand with her family.  Annimae (Grammy) worked the kitchen, Francis (Bud) worked the grill and fryers, Elsie Marshall was the cashier.  Fred, Jr had his own business in Nashua and would come to the stand when he could.  He routinely balanced the cash and made nightly deposits.
 
By the late 1950’s into the early 60’s Fred III (Butch)  oversaw much of the operation of the stand.  The stand employed about 15 people; some of these were high schoolers working a summer job  to save for college expenses.  In 1961 the stand had a bank of 11 fryers (perhaps the  largest in New England), a long mixing bench where all fried foods were prepared, a chef table for preparing salads, lobster, chicken, coleslaw, and tartar sauce.
By the mid 1960’s business slowed and ownership passed from the Goodwin family and soon after closed.  By 1969 this property and adjacent acreage  was sold by the Abbott family to Phil Lamoy for the 20th Century Shopping Center.
 

20TH Century Shopping Center Derry Road C 1977

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20th Century Shopping Center Derry Road 1977

During the decades of the 1940 and 50’s a business center developed in Hudson along Central and Ferry Streets as you approached the bridge into Nashua.  This center evolved, for the most part, in pre-existing wooden buildings many dating back to 1900 or earlier.    With the planning of the twin span bridges, new access routes were necessary on both sides of the Merrimack.  As a result a large number of buildings in the Hudson bridge area were demolished.
Phil Lamoy, owner of the 20th Century Stores, announced his plans to build a shopping center on the Derry Road.  Ground breaking on the 25 acre parcel, which included the site of the  former Goodwin’s Fried Clam Stand, took place July 1969.  As the buildings in the bridge area were scheduled for destruction, Lamoy moved his 20th Century Market into this center in 1970.  The shopping center expanded to include a drug store, beauty salon, barber ship, restaurant, department store, and parking for up to 700 cars.  Businesses  at the time of this photo included:  Bargain outlet, China Village, Clean and Handy Laundromat, Dion Cleaners, Haps Donut and Coffee Shop, Hudson Barber Shop, Hudson News and Card Shop, One-stop auto parts, Photo Island, and Continental Academie of Hair Design. This shopping center continued as the 20th Century Shopping Center, but by 1977 the 20th Century Store itself was no longer doing business in Hudson.
This shopping center has evolved over time.  Today it is knows as 102 Plaza.  Photo from the Hudson Historical Society collection.

The Ice Break

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Ice Break 1834 to C1965

How many of our readers remember the ice break in the Merrimack River?  Not many years after the wooden bridge was built at Taylor Falls, an ice jam and high water pressed so hard against the Hudson pier that there were fears for the safety of the bridge. To avoid this danger in the future this ice break was erected in 1834.  Placed in the river on the Hudson side just north of the bridge this ice break  has protected three bridges against surging ice flows: the wooden bridge, the iron bridge, and the concrete bridge.    It was removed during the construction of the Veterans Memorial Bridge, the northern span of our current twin bridges.  Photo from the Historical Society Collection.

Library Park C 1920 and 1975

Library Park, that beautifully maintained, triangular park bounded by Ferry, Derry, and Library streets was a gift to the Town of Hudson by Mary Field Creutzborg and the efforts of her son-in-law Dr. Alfred Hills.  There is a granite boulder with a tablet at the park near the intersection of Ferry and Derry Streets   The tablet reads:  LIBRARY PARK – The gift of Mary Field Creutzborg 1911.
Library Park C 1920

Library Park C 1920

Just prior to 1911, this parcel of land was owned by parties living in Nashua.  They had sub-divided it into eleven house lots and offered then for sale.  Two had been sold and a house was being erected on one of them.  The residents of Hudson were beginning to realize that a potential of eleven houses in that area would be  of no real value.  There had been earlier discussion about acquiring the land for a public park; but, no action had been taken.
A special town meeting was called May 15, 1911 to see if the town would authorize the Selectmen to acquire this land by eminent domain for the purpose of a public park.  Dr Hills offered a resolution:  that the Selectmen be authorized to acquire the property for a public park, to be known as Library Park, at no expense to the town.  The resolution passed unanimously.  The owner of the house under construction was compensated with a much larger lot in a more desirable site.
The selection of the name Library Park was deliberately  chosen by the Hills/Creutzborg family.  Mrs. Ida Virginia Hills had passed away and the nearby library had been presented to the town in her memory.
Our first photo of Library Park was taken C 1920 from the corner of what is  now Ferry and Library Street.  This photo is courtesy of Gerald Winslow and a part of the Historical Society Collection.  The second photo is Library Park from Ferry Street looking toward Library Street C 1976 and is also a part of our collection.
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Library Park 1975

Library Park is greatly appreciated by the citizens of Hudson.  We are grateful to the donors for their foresight and generosity.

Derby’s Dairy Barn C 1950

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Derby’s Derry Barn C 1950

George and Marion Derby opened their dairy bar at the end of  Ferry Street in March 1950; advertising the best food cooked and served the way you like it!!  A few years back I talked with my cousin Ray Parker about Derby’s.  Ray and some of his high school friends had a small band.  One day this group stopped into Derby’s, got talking, and as a result Mr. Derby offered them a place to practice.  After all, it might help his business!  For the next few months this group practiced and played at Derby’s.  Ray found some old derby hats in his attic; thence their name became “The Derby Hatters”.  This group contained 5 guys:  Ray Parker on the drums, Dave Thompson at the piano, Wilford Boucher on the base fiddle, Lewis Carter with his sax, and a friend from Nashua on the trumpet.  According to Ray,  they did not play very long, nor did the dairy bar remain in business for long.
According to Manning’s  Hudson Directory, Derby’s Dairy Bar and Trailer Court remained in business until 1954.  That location became Moore’s Trailer Park and more recently Merrifield Park.  It was located at the end of Ferry Street just before the name changes to Burnham Road.  Photo courtesy of Gerry Winslow and now a part of the Historical Society Collection.

Life Extension of Taylor Falls Concrete Bridge

Extending Life of Concrete Bridge

Extending Life of Concrete Bridge

In 1960 the State of New Hampshire commissioned an engineering firm to conduct studies and make recommendations relative to the ever increasing east-west traffic flowing between Hudson and Nashua on the bridge.  The resulting Campbell Report, issued in late 1960, stimulated discussion and controversy which required some 7 years to resolve.  During that time traffic problems continued.  Traffic continued to increase placing more and more stress on the existing, inadequate, and deteriorating concrete bridge.  Almost unnoticed the bridge had slowly deteriorated to a point of real danger.  Load limits were placed on vehicles crossing the bridge and emergency repairs  were planned.
 While these repairs were underway the bridge was closed to all but pedestrian traffic!   Those commuting to/from Nashua would park one vehicle on the Hudson side, walk across the bridge, and continue to their job using a second vehicle on the other side.
This week’s photo, taken from the Nashua side of the river, showns the results of the emergancy repairs made to stabilize and shore up the bridge in an effort to prolong its use until the Veterans Memorial Bridge could be completed. Photo by Tom Muller and a part of the Historical Society Collection.

Steam Railroad Bridge Across Merrimack River

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Steam Railroad Bridge Across The Merrimack

  As you cross from Nashua into Hudson on the Taylor Falls Replacement Bridge you can see the abutments for this bridge down river on your right.  This was the bridge used by the steam railroad as it crossed the river in to Hudson.   The original wooden railroad bridge, built about 1874,  burned in 1910 after being set afire from a locomotive.  It was replaced by this iron bridge which stood until the metal was salvaged in 1944 during World War II.
The abutments  can also be seen from the shoreline of Merrill Park, located at the end of Maple Avenue.  The park entrance is built on a part of the old railroad bed.
After crossing the river, the steam railroad continued northeasterly, crossing over Lowell Road and the street railroad  on a trestle just south of the junction with Central Street (near Hammond Park).  The  train continued on to the station at Hudson Center, off Greeley Street and behind Wattannick Hall.  It then continued easterly to West Windham.  In this C 1910 photo we are looking upriver at the railroad bridge and the newly constructed cement Taylor Falls Bridge which is visible under the bridge.  Photo from the Historical Society Collection.

Concrete Taylor Falls Bridge

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Concrete Taylor Falls Bridge

In 1909, after the iron bridge was found to be unsafe, a committee involving knowledgeable people from Hudson, Nashua, and managers of the street railroad company began plans for a replacement bridge.  At first the plan was to replace the bridge with either an iron or a steel bridge.  After consideration, this plan was tabled in favor of far more substantial structure of reinforced concrete.  By June 1910 there was a contract to erect a reinforced concrete bridge with sufficient strength for a 50 ton electric train.  This bridge was to have five arches, four piers in the river, and an abutment on each end.  The roadway was to be 30 feet with a 6 foot sidewalk on the north side. There were problems during construction, especially with one of the piers on the Nashua side.  A final inspection was made and the bridge accepted in November 1912.
During it’s lifetime the traffic from the eletric cars dimished and ended. The old concete bridge survived the flood of 1936.  Over the years, travel  from autos increased in both weight and volume.  That increased usage, plus the demands from the trucking industry took its toll on the bridge.  Discussions regarding a new bridge began in the early 1960’s and  reached a milestone  in 1970 when the Veterans Memoial Bridge was opened to the public.  Emergency repairs were made to the concrete bridge in order to ‘shore it up’ for use during the construction period.  Once the north span of the new bridge was opened the old concrete bridge was permanently closed and within a few years was replaced with the new Taylor Falls Bridge (southern span).  Photo from the collection of the Hudson Historical Society.

Taylor Falls Iron Bridge

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Taylor Falls Iron Bridge

Once the decision was made to replace the wooden bridge  a  contract in the amount of  $19,500 was awarded in 1881 for the construction of this Taylor Falls Iron Bridge between Hudson and Nashua. The iron bridge was built in the same location as and using the same abutments as the old wooden bridge but with an increased  grade of 2 feet.  In addition to the new bridge this contract  included  raising the grade,  removal of the old wooden structure, and the  stone work under the bridge.  The contractor kept the materials from the old bridge.  This bridge was open for public travel in November 1881.  In the end, after Hudson received money from Nashua, Litchfield, and Londonderry, the actual cost of this iron bridge to the town was about $7,300.
For 14 years this bridge needed little maintenance except for new planking, painting, and tightening of the rods.  In 1895 the bridge was strengthened  and provided with new floor beams so as to allow for electric cars (trolleys) between Nashua and Hudson.  These improvements were paid for by the electric car company.
By 1909 safety issues again developed.  This time the issue was related to the increased weight and frequency of the electric cars; more than doubled when first allowed on the bridge.  Engineering experts were called in to review the bridge and found it to be unsafe.  Only 28 years after completion plans were underway to replace this bridge. This photo from the collection of the Hudson Historical Society was taken from the Hudson side pf the river.

Taylor Falls Wooden Bridge

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Taylor Falls Wooden Bridge

Up until 1826 there was no bridge across the Merrimack River from as far south as Lowell and north as Manchester.  Reacting to this need some of the more prominent men of Hudson and Nashua petitioned the State Legislation for a charter to build a bridge.  The wooden bridge shown in this picture was built by the Proprietors of the Taylor Falls Bridge and opened as a bridge in 1827.  The characteristics of this bridge are quite interesting.  It was 509 feet long with a 16 foot roadway and no sidewalks.  The abutments had one tier of faced stone on the outside, filled with loose stone, all laid dry with no cement.  A few years after completion ice jams and water pressed so hard against the abutments that an ice break was erected in 1834 to buffer the bridge from this danger.  This ice break remained in use until it was removed during construction of the Veterans Memorial Bridge.  It continued as a toll bridge until about 1855 when the county laid out a public highway over the bridge and it became a toll free bridge.
At a town meeting in 1881 a committee was chosen to examine the bridge and consider what was best:  repair or replace.  The committee recommended replacement as soon as practical.  After conferring with a similar committee from Nashua the decision was made to replace this wooden bridge.  Photo from the Hudson Historical Society collection.