Railroad Overpass at Hudson Center
After crossing from Nashua into Hudson on the Taylor Falls Bridge, the street railway (trolley) branched in 3 directions. The first made a sharp turn down Webster Street and north to Litchfield and Manchester. The second proceeded up Central Street and on to and then down Lowell Road. The third, and the route of interest to us today, came up Ferry Street past Library Park. The trolley tracks remained on or alongside Ferry Street until the street ended at Burnham Road (near what is now Merrifield Park). At this point the trolley continued in a more or less straight line through the wooded and marsh area around Tarnic Pond. A relic of these tracks can be seen to the right of C.J. Chasers. The trolley line ultimately made a sharp right turn toward Central Street (route 111) emerging onto Central Street between Burger King and 7-11. It then crossed Central, onto the Benson’s property, and towards Bush Hill Road and the Haselton Barn.
The steam railroad crossed from Nashua into Hudson just a few rods south of the Taylor Falls Bridge, proceeded on a NorthEast path converging with Central Street near it’s intersection with Lowell Road ( site of Hammond Park). The railroad proceeded eastward towards Hudson Center crossing Burnham Road (called Betsey Cutter Crossing) on to part of Westview Cemetery and to the Station at Hudson Center at Greeley Street.
These 2 lines met behind what is now Burger King and to the right of The White Birch. At this junction the railroad went on the overpass and the trolley on the lower level. The overpass itself and the tracks for both the railroad and the trolley have been removed; leaving the huge granite blocks or abutments. This photo was taken C 1980 and is part of the Historical Society collection.
Town Seal and Flag
We see the town seal prominently displayed on various town vehicles, in town literature, on the web site, and even used (with permission) by some town organizations. The seal, as show here, was first displayed on the back cover of The Hudson Annual Report for 1960. At the town meeting in March 1961 the voters adopted this seal as the official seal.Just prior to this Henry A. Fraser, a Hudson resident designed this seal at the request of Ned Spaulding, long time moderator of Hudson. He used a sketch of a typical garrison house from Webster’s History of Hudson as a basis for the center. The letters encircling identifies the incorporation date of 1746; when the town of Nottingham West (now Hudson) was chartered by New Hampshire. The original charter signed by then governor Benning Wentworth is preserved in the archives of Rodgers Memorial Library.
Mr. Fraser and his wife Gloria built their home and raised a family after he purchased land from the Merrill family on Maple Avenue. Professionally he was a wood worker and artist; employed by various companies in NH and Mass.
After adoption as the official seal a full color rendition was converted to a decal/print for use by and by permission of the Town of Hudson.
The official town flag shown here was created as part of Hudson’s celebration of the US Bicentennial which began in 1975. A contest was held by the art department of Alvirne High School and a number of entries resulted. This particular design was selected as the winner and later adopted for the official town flag at the Town meeting of March 1975. The winning entry was by Terry Battey, then a senior at Alvirne. The design is simple but nice: the center being the same garrison house used in the town seal, surrounded by 9 stars signifying that New Hampshire was the 9th state to ratify the US Constitution. These were then placed in the center of a light blue flag. After the winner was chosen, some number of flags were made and displayed at commemorative events during the US bicentennial celebration, one is now on display in the corridor of the main floor in the Hudson Town Building. After graduating from Alvirne Terry attended Keene State College. She now lives in Auburn,NH and is busy with a full time job,and as a mother, and grandmother.
The rendition of the town seal shown here is from the 1960 Town Report; the photo of the flag is from 1975 Town Report
Minuteman Marker at Hudson Center Common 1975
Shortly before midnight on April 18, 1775 a detachment of 800 British troops began their march from Boston to Lexington and Concord. The word of the impending battle was immediately sent by mounted messengers throughout the country; including the Merrimack Valley and Nottingham West, a distance of about 40 miles. Tradition says the news reached Nottingham West before noon of April 19 and mounted messengers again sent the word out to the various sections of our town. The message and the response was so quick that by that very same afternoon, 65 men equipped for war with muskets and ammunition had gathered at the Hudson Center Common ready to march to Lexington. These men were organized under the command of Captain Samuel Greeley and awaited his orders. The old military records are lost or destroyed but we do have the muster roll of this company of 65 men – all from Nottingham West. These men left for Lexington on the evening of April 19.
Before reaching their destination they were met by a courier who informed them of the retreat of the enemy. The command returned to Nottingham West. After this, many of these men enlisted in the army at Cambridge and at least 16 of them later fought at Bunker Hill in June of the same year.
Samuel Greeley was the oldest son of Samuel and Rachel Greeley. In 1740, at the age of 19, he came to Nottingham West from Haverhill and settled with his father on the Greeley Farm. This was a 200 acre farm just north of the Joseph Blodgett Garrison place on Lowell Road. Samuel married Abigail Blodgett, daughter of Joseph and Dorothy (Perham) Blodgett of the Blodgett Garrison in May 1744. He lived here until 1777, when at the age of 56, he and Abigail moved to Wilton; leaving the farm to his sons Joseph and Samuel. He died in Wilton. After his passing, his wife Abigail returned to town where she lived until the age of 95. While in Nottingham West Samuel was Town Clerk for about 28 years and on the Board of Selectmen for 14 years. He is remembered in our history as the Captain of the company of militia from Nottingham West who turned out 65 men as volunteers at the time of the Battle of Lexington April 19, 1775.
The Town Common at Hudson Center, originally about 2 acres of land, was used for many events including training for the town militia, Old Home Day activities, Chautauqua Programs, and recreation. In the early 1960’s the State of New Hampshire built the present route 111 through the center of the Common and eastward to West Windham. In 1962, the Board of Selectmen received a letter from the Hudson Fortnightly Club recommending that an historic marker commemorating the town’s minutemen be placed on that part of the Common which was not taken by the state for the highway. This was done by the town in 1963.
On April 19, 1975, some 200 years after the Battle of Lexington and as part of the United States bi-centennial activities a wreath was placed at this monument. For this event the carillon bells of the Baptist Church were played, and a floral wreath was placed by Phyllis Keeney, Selectman and a Past President of Fortnightly. The floral wreath was made by club member Mrs. Florence Bogan. Following the raising of the American Flag with color guards from Veteran’s Auxiliary and Girl Scouts and the singing of the National Anthem by Mrs. Bruce Cole, the Muster Roll of the 65 men was read by John Beaumont. A benediction and playing of God Bless America on the carillon bells closed the activities. This marker is located at the point of land on the common near Kimball Hill Road at the intersection with Central Street. Photo from the Historical Society collection.
Blodgett Garrison Marker
Of the four garrisons constructed for the protection of early settlers in Nottingham, Mass, we have discussed the Hills Garrison. Moving south from the Hills garrison was the Taylor Garrison built on land which was originally part of the Joseph Hills grant, passed to a family member and then sold to John Taylor. Very little is known about John Taylor except that the Taylor Falls and thus the Taylor Falls Bridge bear his name. The location of his garrison was not marked by Kimball Webster but was identified by him as behind the Spaulding Farm on Derry Road (now Continental Beauty School) and along side Grand Avenue in the direction of the river.
Moving south the next garrison is the Blodgett Garrison. Kimball Webster placed the site 2.5 miles south of the mouth of the Nashua River and 1/2 the distance between Lowell Road and the river. The marker was placed on the Philip J. Connell Farm in 1905. The Connell Farm was a part of the original 200 acre farm of Joseph Blodgett. Today this is the general area around Fairview Health Care on Hampshire Drive. The granite boulder with a bronze tablet now resides on the lawn of 14-16 Hampshire Drive just east of Fairview.
After Joseph and Dorothy Blodgett settled here their oldest son Joseph was born in Feb 1718; he was the first white child (as opposed to Native American) child born in our town. Both Joseph and Dorothy were born in Chelmsford. Most likely the family traveled up the Merrimack River by canoe to settle their farm. Their descendants became very numerous and includes many distinguished men and women in NH, Mass, and other states.
The last garrison, was located on Fletcher land and was in that part of Nottingham which remained in Massachusetts when the provincial boundary was established. The location is a short distance south of the state in Tyngsborough. The photo of the Blodgett marker is from the Historical Society Collection.