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Site of First Town Meeting

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Site of First Town Meeting of Nottingham in 1733

In this week’s photo we travel to the south end of Hudson and visit the historic marker for the home of Ensign John Snow and the first town meeting for the town of Nottingham, Mass held May 1, 1733.  This marker was placed  in 1934 by the town Bi-centennial Committee using funds remaining in their accounts after the celebration was completed.  The committee searched the area for a suitable boulder and one was found close to the highway on land then owned by Charles Shunaman near 103 Musquash Road, not far from the site of the Snow homestead.  The original marker consisted of a bronze tablet attached to the boulder.  Later, after vandals removed the tablet, the inscription was made directly into the stone.
On April 4, 1733 some 3 months after the charter of Nottingham, Mass was issued, an order was directed to Mr Robert Fletcher, a principal inhabitant, giving him the authority to assemble and convene the town for the purpose of choosing town officers to hold until the following March.  Mr. Fletcher issues the call for the  meeting to be held May 1, 1733 at 10:00 am at the home of Ensign John Snow.  At this meeting the inhabitants chose a moderator, clerk, treasurer, 5 selectmen, surveyors, fence viewers (in charge of boundaries and disputes), and hog reeves (warden in charge of wandering swine and appraisal of damages they cause).  The 1733 tax list contained 55 men. This may seem like a large population but we must remember, many residents of Nottingham lived outside the area which later became Nottingham West and Hudson.  Of these 55, only 18 resided within the boundaries of the present day Hudson.
Ensign John Snow, born about 1667 in Woburn,  married Sarah Stevens in 1693.  They had 3 children; Elizabeth who died young, Joseph who also resided in Nottingham, and Mary. Little else is known about Ensign John except he was elected the first town treasurer, and a few years after this first town meeting he passed at he age of 68.  He is buried in Ford Cemetery not far from his home.
The cellar where his house stood was pointed our to Kimball Webster by Timothy S. Ford many years prior to 1912 and the publication by Webster of the town history. Today this marker can be found on Musquash Road just south of its intersection with Gowing Road and on your left.  Look for it along the side of the road near a stone wall.  Photo from the Historical Society Collection.
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