In 1763 Peter Robinson of Boxford, MA negotiated to purchase a 150 acre farm, including barn and dwelling, FROM Elisha and Mary Cummings of Londonderry, NH. Sometime between 1764 and 1767 Peter and his large family moved onto this farm. Members of the Robinson/Parker family have remained here for nine generations. This farm was located near Little Massabesic Pond, a name given by the native Americans. This part of Londonderry was annexed to Nottingham West (now Hudson) in 1788 and over time the name of the water has been changed to Robinson Pond.
Alphonso Robinson was the sixth generation of his family to live on the farm; he was the great-grandfather of the current generation. All his life was passed at the family homestead; born in 1837 he passed in 1918 at the age of 81. Alphonso and Louisa Ann Haselton, also of Hudson, were married in 1862. Her wedding dress of brown silk was saved and later made over for her daughter Hattie Louisa when she married Rev. Clarence C. Parker. During the Civil War, Alphonso as a farmer was responsible for the livelihood of his grandfather, David; his parents Marinda Caldwell and John Anderson; his wife Louisa Ann, and their young son; John Abner. As was accepted practice at the time, he paid a substitute to take his place in the Civil War. During this time the small farmhouse was enlarged and made into a two family dwelling to accommodate his large and multi-generational family. The main part of the present house was built and the existing house was split and a piece attached to each end as an ell.
In their later years Alphonso and Louisa provided a home for three of their grandchildren after the early passing of their mother, Hattie Louisa (Robinson) Parker. Thus it is that their grandson, Charles C. Parker (aka ‘Charlie’) came to live on this farm. At the time of his death, Alphonso was cited as one of Hudson’s most respected citizens and a man of high ideals and honest in all his dealings.
Hattie Louisa Robinson and her brother John Abner were of the seventh generation. John Abner remained on the farm and married Julia Ann Webster in 1890. They lived their entire married lives on the farm of his ancestors. John worked with his father Alphonso. He also served the Town of Hudson as a Selectman for 24 years and as a Representative to the General Court. By 1911 Charles, Helen, and Alice Parker had come to live with their Robinson grandparents. Soon thereafter Charles worked on the farm along with his grandfather and his uncle John. All three grandchildren attended the Number 7 school at Frog Corner, located at the corner of Robinson and Griffin Roads. Helen later attended Nashua High. While there she became good friends with Ruth E.Blood of Nashua; said friendship led to the introduction of Ruth E. and Charles. Ruth E. Blood and Charles Parker were married in 1933. They too spent their entire married life on the farm of Charles’ ancestors.
In the 1950’s as a way of helping to balance the family budget, Ruth and Charles joined forces with Farm Vacations and Holidays of New York. This provided city families an opportunity to spend their vacation “down on the farm”. This experience resulted in national publicity when an article about Butternut Hill Farm of Hudson appeared in the August 3, 1957 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Charles continued to work the farm until the mid-1960’s. By that time the pressures and cost of modern dairy equipment made it impossible to continue. His dairy cows were sold to The Emery Nadeau Farm of Hudson. Since that time it became necessary to divest part of the farm. The present Town Recreation Area at Robinson Pond and the Parker Wildlife Sanctuary were once a part of this farm. Some acres have been retained, along with this homestead for future generations.
In 1989, as a result of research on the part of Ruth E. Parker, Butternut Hill Farm was named as a Bicentenial Farm. The significance being that the farm has been actively farmed by members of the same family since 1789 or earlier. This is one of two such farms in Hudson so named. The second was that of Paul Hills on Barretts Hill Road.
This photo shows the family homestead in 1907. The home exterior remains the same today except for the extension of the front porch and the addition of a garage. This photo is a part of my private collection and I am pleased to share some of my family history with you today. Charles “Charlie” and Ruth E. Parker were my parents.