Four garrisons were built within the town of Nottingham, MA as a protection against the Indians at the start of or during the time of Lovewell’s War. A garrison consisted of a two-story dwelling surrounded by a stockade style fence with one opening. The second story of the dwelling extended out over the first story so the settlers could look down and fire upon any intruders below.
The earliest and most northerly of these garrisons was settled about 1710 on land then owned by Samuel Hills of Newbury, MA and settled by three of his sons, Nathaniel, Henry, and James. Kimball Webster, town historian, determined the location of the Hills garrison and placed a granite boulder to mark the location in 1901. This marker was originally placed 25 rods east (412 feet) of the Litchfield Road on a farm then owned by Joseph H. LeGalee. Often called Garrison Farm, this farm remained in the LeGalee family for three generations and became a large market garden; it was later operated by Colby Brothers. The stone marker was easily accessible and visible to those working in the fields. As progress occurred and the use of the fields changed to industrial there was concern over the safety of the marker and it’s interference with the development of the area.
In 2008 when Hills Garrison School was completed and so named, the marker was removed from the Garrison Farm location. The photo of the Hills Garrison Marker shown here was taken at its present location along the entry road to Hills Garrison School. There is a mystery about this marker for which I do not have an answer. Three brothers, Nathaniel, Henry, and James built and settled in the garrison about 1710; however, Kimball Webster when he erected the marker only mentions the older 2 brothers, Nathaniel and Henry. Why was James omitted? Could it be because at the time he was just a lad of about 13 years of age?
The Hills Garrison was built upon a 45 acre parcel which Samuel Hills had inherited from his father Joseph in 1688; a part of Joseph’s original 500 acre grant from the province of Massachusetts. Neither Joseph or Samuel settled on their land. But, the ensuing families of Nathaniel, Henry, and James became the foundation of all the Hills development and family in Hudson and many of the surrounding towns. Photo from the Historical Society collection.