For years 87 Lowell Road was the home of Etienne J. and Rose Levesque. This couple raised a family of 2 boys (Leo Paul and Robert) and 3 girls (Marie Anne, Eva, and Cecil). He was employed at and later retired from John Mansville in Nashua. Mr. Levesque passed in November 1968 with a family of some 17 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. During these years the family saw many changes along Lowell Road. Prior to 1962 Birch Street did not exist; by 1962 Birch Street connected Lowell Road with Winnhaven Drive.
Soon after his passing this “fine commercial site” at the southern corner of Birch and Lowell was cleared for development. A stately willow tree was sectioned and hauled away. The former Levesque home was raised off its foundation and moved 1/4 mile down Birch Street by local contractor, John Lester. This home remains today at 13 Birch Street as a private residence and the home of Richard and Shirley Nason and their family.
By 1970 a 3-store front building was constructed on this corner and occupied by Cumberland Farms, Anton’s Cleaners, and Russel and Son’s Carpets. Within a few years Anton’s relocated and Cumberland expanded into their space. The carpet place was replaced by Cardinal Reality and later by Hudson House of Pizza. This week’s photo, from the collection of the Historical Society, was taken about 1977 for publication in the history update, Town In Transition. Cumberland Farms and Hudson House of Pizza remained at this location until just a few years ago. This location is now occupied by Veria Pizza and Hudson Mini Mart.
This US Navy Cannon at Library Park and an identical one at The Hudson Center Common, sat for years on their respective concrete moorings. Children would play on then, walk up the steps of the mooring and sit horse-back on the barrel of the cannon. Many family and group photos have been taken on or around them through the years. Occasionally on Halloween, teens would decorate the cannons by pouring random colors of paint over the barrel. The cannons were soon repainted in black by the wandering teens at the request of the Police Department or else by the Highway Department or some service organization.
It is my understanding that these two 3-ton cannons were brought from the New Hampshire Armory on Canal Street in Nashua to Hudson in May 1929 through the efforts of Harry Emerson. One of them was placed on Library Park and the other at the Hudson Center Common. These cannons were cast in 1848 in a foundry near Boston and their serial numbers are within 2 digits of each other. The Library Park Cannon was fired but we are not sure if it was actually used in battle and if so, which battle. Harry Emerson was a long time resident of Central Street and at the time a custodian at the armory. He served the town of Hudson for over 50 years as a member of the Fire Department. Serving as Chief from 1946 to 1952.
The Library Park cannon remained silently on the park until September 2, 2015 when it was involved in a collision with a school bus which was the victim of faulty brakes. Fortunately there were no students on the bus and the driver was not injured. Realizing the brakes were faulty the driver steered the bus onto the park, grazed a tree, hit the cannon and stopped! The cannon itself was not harmed but the concrete mooring was pulverized. The cannon and debris were removed by the Highway Department.
For several months the cannon was at the town garage being sand blasted, restored, repainted, and a new mooring constructed. Earlier, in May of this year it was returned to Library Park; thanks to the efforts of our award winning Highway department; the recipient of the First Annual Community and Cultural Heritage Excellence Award sponsored by the Hudson Historical Society. Photos from the Society’s collection.
The First World War began in Europe during July 1914 and for the first years the United States had a policy of non-involvement. After the sinking of the Lusitania and the killing of some 190 Americans and later attacks on US ships, the United Stated declared war on Germany April 1917. The Armistice which lead to the end of conflicts was signed November 11, 1918.
Between 1917 and 1919 some 71 young men from Hudson were engaged in the Armed Forces. A listing of these servicemen was maintained by historian Julia (Webster) Robinson. At the town meeting in March 1920 the town voted to raise a tablet to honor these men and by early 1922 this granite boulder and attached bronze tablet was placed on Library Park by the Town of Hudson at a cost of $977.65. Of these young men 3 of then lost their lives during the conflict. On June 25, 1921 members oft he local Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Chapter planted 3 maple trees nearby on Library Park near this monument as a memorial to Carlton Petry, Merrill Spaulding, and Leland Woods. Photos from the Historical Society Collection.
Taken from one of the glass negatives in our photo collection this is one of those amazing photos which tells its own story! The photo is from the photography of Walter Peavey who lived at 74 Central Street; later the home of Leon and Gerri Hammond.
The dirt road you see across the picture is Central Street near the beginning of Lowell Road. Of the two homes we see, the one on our left is currently 1 Lowell Road. The one on our right is 65 Central Street. Both Central Street and Lowell Road are dirt roadways. The steam railroad crossed the Merrimack River just below the Taylor Falls Bridge where the abutments can still be seem. On the Hudson side the tracks went north easterly and behind these homes and emerged at about the location of the former Hetzer’s Bike Shop. The train ran on the overpass you see in this photo and on to Hudson Center.
The trolley line crossed from Nashua on the Taylor Falls Bridge and ran on or along side Central Street and then down Lowell Road. The lower level of this overpass was used by the trolley line and vehicle/horse drawn traffic. Look closely and you can see the trolley tracks along Central Street.
Although both the train and trolley tracks had been removed by the 1940’s, the overpass and stone abutments remained into the 1950’s when they were also removed in order to improve what had become a dangerous intersection.