By 1913 a business center was developing near the Taylor Falls Bridge at the intersection of Central and Main Streets, called Post Office Square. The Martin Block, as shown in today’s photo, was at the center of the activity. As one came across the bridge from Nashua the roadway branched: right took you up Central Street and past the Methodist/Episcopal Church (now The Community Church). If you kept to the left you were on Main Street; the Martin Block was at 1 Main Street. In 1913 Main Street was a short street extending from the bridge to the intersection with Derry Road where it’s name changed to Ferry Street.
The Martin Block and the building shown here dates to 1877. Mr. Elisha Z. Martin purchased the property and building about 1876. Shortly after the building was destroyed by fire and rebuilt by Mr. Martin the following year. After Mr. Martin’s passing in 1879, Mrs Martin married a Mr Sherman from Connecticut. Together they continued to make changes and improvements to the building.This site has a long history of being occupied by a grocery or general store. At the time of the fire it was the location of Nathan Webster’s store, and following reconstruction his business returned and continued until about 1892. George Andrews succeeded Mr. Webster and continued the business until his death in 1903. Mr Elijah Reed ran the business for about 1 year after which Mr Charles Daniels in partnership with Charles B. Gilbert took it over and continued until about 1925.
From the information on the reverse of this photo we know the following: In the left el was a barber shop along with Daniels and Gilbert Flour, Grain, and Grocery. Charles Daniels was the Postmaster at that time so the Post Office occupied a corner of the local grocery. On the extreme right was a blacksmith shop and horse barn, or livery. In the main building there were apartments. In 1913 property taxes were $98 and it cost $50 for insurance!
In the foreground we see the tracks for the street railway and overhead the electric wires which provided t power to the cars. On the right is an early street lamp.
This building remained until it was demolished in the 1960’s to make way for the Veterans Memorial Bridge and the access route onto that bridge. Changes occurred through the years. By 1928 it was owned by a Mrs. Jennie Connell and known as the Connell Block. The left side was washed away during the 1936 flood. The double dormers on the third floor were replaced with a single dormer. The livery and barn were removed from the right side and remodeled into a grocery store. As early as 1926 this side of the Connell Block was home to Sal’s Cash Market; with Harry Salvail as proprietor. By 1940 this was the location of the every popular 20th Century Store and owned by Phil Lamoy of Nashua. Business continued here until demolition when Mr. Lamoy moved his grocery in Hudson to the 20th Century Shopping Center on Derry Road.
My best guess for a present location of this site would be on Ferry Street just as you entered the northern span (Veterans Memorial Bridge) and part of the green space which lied between the access to that and the southern span (Taylor Falls Replacement Bridge). This photo is a recent addition to our collection at the Historical Society.