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Odd Fellows Building

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Odd Fellows Hall C 1912

Before 1895 a good number of men from Hudson were members of one of two Odd Fellows Lodges in Nashua. The participation from Hudson grew as did interest in organizing a lodge in Hudson. In October 1895 decisive action was taken and Hudson Lodge No 94 was instituted in the newly constructed Andrews hall located near the bridge. Membership grew and so did interest in having their own building in Hudson. In 1902 the Odd Fellows Building Association of Hudson was organized for that purpose. Many members of the lodge as well as many townspeople who were not members became stockholders in this endeavor. A parcel of land on Central Street was purchased from the William Hutchinson and Charles M. Woodward. This parcel, located at what is now 37 Central Street, had been a portion of the estate left to Helen E. and H. Georgina Gillis from their father. At the time of purchase Fulton Street was in the planning stage.

The building contained a large ‘lodge room’ with anti-rooms and other accommodations for the lodge membership. The basement contained a spacious banquet room and adjacent kitchen. The first floor had another large hall, called Association Hall. It was a large assembly room complete with a stage.

The building was completed and occupied by the lodge in early 1903. This building not only provided meeting space for the Odd Fellows and the Echo Rebekah Lodge it also provided meeting and banquet space for other organization and private occasions. The lodge continued as a thriving organization or several years, helping their fellow man, assisting widow and orphans and generally offering a good influence in Hudson. By the early 1940’s membership was dwindling and by 1947 the remaining members transferred to Granite Lodge in Nashua.

American Legion C 2016

American Legion C 2016

In April 1944 after a vote by the residents at the previous Town Meeting the town purchased the building for $4,000. The intent of this purchase was to donate and dedicate the building to the American Legion in honor and memory of all veterans who have or will serve to defend our country. A condition of this purchase and transfer was that future maintenance and improvements were the responsibility of the American Legion Post 48. In 1954, in order to clean up any question of title, the property was again deeded to the American Legion Post #48 by the town. The earliest photo is of the Odd Fellow’s Building as shown in The History of Hudson C 1912. The later photo is the American Legion Building as shown in the town records.

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World War II Honor Roll and War Memorial

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WW II Honor Roll at Library Park

 

Soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 the registration of young men for the draft was begun by the Draft Board of Exeter, NH. Registration of Hudson men was held in February 1942 in the lower room of the Hills Memorial Library. Males between 18 and 45 were registered and classified. The total population of our town was then about 3,400.

Members of the American Legion Post No. 48 constructed an honor roll on the east side near Library Street) of Library Park in 1942. As individual men and women entered the service their name was added to the honor roll. As the number of service men increased the initial honor roll board became filled and was replaced by a larger one. The Post Commander, Webster W. White, and a committee of three members, Robert Pratt, Chairman, Paul Buxton, and Harold Farnum with cooperation of the Town Clerk were responsible for the posting of names.The earliest photo shown here is that of the World War II honor roll with some 368+/- names as listed in the Town Report for the year ending January 31, 1944. After the hostilities ended in 1945 this honor roll remained in place on Library Park. Just how long it remained, I am not sure. After it was removed there was no War Memorial for veterans of World War II or any subsequent wars or conflicts until August 1991 when the American Legion erected the present War Memorial.

War Memorial 2016

War Memorial 2016

The Hudson Veterans War Memorial is in honor all who have honorable served in our armed forced, both living and deceased, during all conflicts of our great nation. This project was started in 1989 and authorized by the veterans group in early 1990. Past Post Commander “Billy” Mitchel promoted the original concept, which was further refined by other post members. As with most projects of this magnitude, help from many sources were needed. Mr. James Arsenault designed the center of the monument, Hudson Monument Company was contracted for the stones and artwork. Employees of the Hudson Public Works Department volunteered services for the groundwork, concrete was provided by Brox Industrues, and Hudson Paving Company formed the foundation. The completed memorial was dedicated Sunday August 18, 1991 as part of Hudson’s Old Home Days. Both photos are from the collection of the Historical Society.

147 Derry Road

147 Derry Road 2015

The Home at 147 Derry Road C 2015

This house at 147 Derry Road was vacant for many years, boarded up for security and recently marked as a training site for the Hudson Fire Department. These past few weeks any visible evidence of it’s existence has been removed by the skillful operation of a back hoe. I visited the site a few times while the demolition was taking place and noticed the basement (cellar) of the house was a poured concrete foundation. I would expect stones or stones with a leveling layer of bricks. I was also able to see the center support beam under the main floor. Clearly one end had been rotted and repaired in order that it may be returned to service. As this 3.95 acre parcel gets ready for the next chapter in it’s existence, let us look back at previous chapters and some of the families who lived there.

Town records show this was a single family colonial style home consisting of 7 rooms including 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, built C 1790 on approximately 4.49 acres (the actual deed says 3.95 acres). The current owner is 147 Derry Road, LLC who purchased the property in 2008 from the estate of Gladys (Alukonis) Kosman. This home was owned by the family of Walter and Annie Alukonis from 1945 to 2008, a period of 63 years. Prior to that the home was owned by the family of Mary and Albert Kopitsko who purchased the property (land and buildings) from Joseph Cerier in July 1927.

At this point let’s step back in time to 1892. The heirs of Enoch S. Marsh sold a 125 acre parcel (land and buildings) of the Marsh farm to Kimball Webster. A few years later, in 1898, a 3.95 acre parcel of land was separated and sold to Sophrinia Smith. Smith owned this parcel until May 1927 when the land was sold to Joseph Cerier. By July 1927 the same 3.95 acre parcel with buildings were sold to Albert Kopitsko. In summary, the deeds for this parcel indicate there was no building on the 3.95 acre piece until July 1927.

At this point let me leave you, the readers, with a mystery. When was this house constructed? Was it constructed on some other location and moved to this spot in 1927? Are the deeds in error and the house constructed on this site in the early 1800’s and then given the benefit of major repairs to repair the support beam and improve the basement? If anyone has comments or insights, please share them!!

So, we know something of the history of the site; let’s now look at the families who lived there. The family of Marie and Albert Kopitsko from 1927 to 1945 and the family of Walter and Annie Alukonis from 1945 until the death of their daughter, Glayds (Alukonis) Kosman.

Family of Albert and Mary Kopitsko

Our story of the Albert and Mary Kopitsko family begins in September 1909. 18 year old Wojciech Kopicko arrived at Ellis Island on the Kaiser Wilhelm II from Germany. He had been a resident of Russia. It is not known when he changed his name to Albert Kopitsko. A short time later in June 1910, 17 year old Stanislawa Muckrowska arrived at Ellis Island on the Nieuw Amsterdam from the Netherlands. She decided to use the name Margerne (Mary). By October 1913 both Albert and Mary had been residing in Nashua. They were married in Nashua October 12, 1913 at St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church.

The 1930 US Census places Albert and Mary with their family of four children owning their home on Derry Road, Hudson. Albert was employed as a laborer in the Shoe Shop in Nashua. Their children were John (b:1915), Stephen (b:1916),Priscilla (b:1919) and Annie (b:1920). Annie was born in Hudson; most likely her older siblings were born in Nashua.

John and Stephen both served in World War II. Prior to entering the service John married Agnes Walkawicz in 1937 and was employed by he Granite State Tanning Co. John ended his service with a rank of Sergeant and was stationed at Fort Devens with the Military Police. Stephen was drafted into the service in 1941 and served in the infantry. He was wounded during the Battle of the Bulge towards the end of the conflict in Europe and was awarded the Purple Heart. He was discharged in 1945 after serving nearly 4 years. Prior to entering the service he was employed at the International Shoe Co. Stephen and Lois Straub were married in Hudson in 1961.

During the war years Albert along with John and Agnes, Stephen, and Priscilla and Raymond resided at the Derry Road home which he had purchased in 1927. After the war
the younger generation returned to their jobs and sought their own homes. Albert sold the Derry Road home in 1945 to Walter and Annie Aulkonis. It is not entirely clear, but I believe that Mary passed as early as 1937. In the years after selling the home, Albert resided with his daughter Priscilla and son-in-law Raymond Bouley. Albert passed in December 1957. Each of the families of John, Stephen, and Priscillia continued to live in Hudson. Agnes (Mrs. John) was employed for a number of years at The Meadows in Hudson Center.

. The youngest, Ann, attended schools in Hudson and later Nashua; graduating from Nashua High in 1939. She graduated Peter Bent Brigham Hospital School of Nursing as a registered nurse. Ann and her husband, George Christopher were married in 1942
and made their home on Melendy Road in Hudson. She served her town and the school district for 22 plus years as a school nurse. She was beloved and respected by both the students and their parents. Her activities extended beyond the school system. She was active in the Hudson community Church, Hudson Historical Society, a trustee for Hills Farm Cemetery to name a few.  She has been honored through the years for her humanitarian service to this town: Citizen of the Year in 1982, Appreciation awards by
Wattannick and Hudson Granges as well as the Kiwanis Club. The latter created a scholarship in her honor. Ann passed in 1989 leaving  with us many fond memories.

Family of Walter and Annie Alukonis

Annie (Tartalis) and Walter Alukonis were each natives of Lithuania, coming to this country and this area in their early 20’s. They purchased the home at 147 Derry Road from
Albert Kopitsko in 1945. Walter was a farmer and they previously lived on Barretts Hill Road. After Walter passed in 1950, Annie continued to live here until she passed in 1977; the last years she made her home with her daughter, Gladys (Alukonis) Kasman. Gladys or members of her family remained here until she passed in 2008.
This has been an interesting article to research and like most family history stories, they never finish. I am grateful to the family of Stephen and Lois Kopiski for the information and memories they provided me. The spelling used for the family surname has many variants: Kopiski/Kopisky etc. This has made the research for this article an interesting adventure. The photo shown here is of the house at 147 Derry Road C 2015. If you wish to comment on the history of this house, please send email to HudsonHistorical@live.com.

United Pentecostal Church (The Sanctuary)

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United Pentecostal Church C 1975

     The Hudson United Pentecostal Church was organized in 1961 with the first services being held at the home o Mr. and Mrs. Sam Lapan on the Boyd Road.  Sunday School classes were begun at the same time; using the family basement, garage, and re-purposed chicken house for classrooms.  The services were conducted by the Rev. Harvey H. Howe, then pastor of the Manchester United Pentecostal Church.
      Pastor and Mrs Howe along with the small parish began searching for a church site and were successful in purchasing land at the corner of Derry Road and Philips Drive in Hudson in 1963.  Work began on the church building and by September the foundation was completed.   On a few subsequent Saturdays, as many as 29 men from other churches in the district gathered for a “church-raising Bee”.  The first floor was completed followed by the sidewalls, and then the roof.  Within 11 days the building was made weather tight; all with volunteer labor.  Through the winter months others volunteered services to complete the interior.  Sam Lapan served as head carpenter with Pastor Howe overseeing the work.  The church was completed and dedicated in June 1964.
     In the spring of 1965 a seven-room garrison style house was built by the membership as a parsonage; thus providing a permanent residence for the Rev. and Mrs. Howe and their family.  Some funding for these buildings came from district and international headquarters of the Pentecostal Church.  The local church took out a mortgage from a New Hampshire bank for the balance.  A short time after the completion of the parsonage, the Rev. Harvey M. Howe resigned his pastorate in Manchester, moved to Hudson, and assumed full-time duties of the church here.  Beginning as a small handful of members the growth of this church has mirrored the growth of the Town of Hudson over the years.
     The present pastor is Rev David Howe; son of the founding pastor Harvey Howe.  Rev David worked as Associate Pastor with his dad prior to assuming the pastorate.  He and his wife June have shared 45 years of life together serving the church in Hudson.  In 2013 the church celebrated 50 years of organization in Hudson and changed their name from Pentecostal  to The Sanctuary United Pentecostal Church.  The new name provides more identification for a church in these times; offering a sanctuary in a troubling world.  As a church, Sanctuary United Pentecostal is not a mega-church.  It is a church that knows it’s individuals, provides an influence in the community, and in the world.
     The photo of the Pentecostal Church is from the Historical Society Collection; showing the church C 1975.  Much of this historical background is from “The Town in Transition” as published by the Society in 1977; as well as various newspaper articles.

St. Kathryn’s Church

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In July 1966 the Roman Catholic Diocese purchased approximately 4.9 acres  and the  former Blanchette  home  on the corner of Wason and Lowell Road from  Armand Blanchette.  Back through history this intersection was called Gowings’ Corner; in part because of this home, but also due to the large Gowing homestead located across from this house on Lowell Road.  Samuel Gowing (born 1842) built this home around 1885 and lived here until his death in 1933 after which it remained in the Gowing family until sold to the Blanchette’s in 1942.  In August 1966 the Catholic Diocese announced plans to establish a mission chapel in south Hudson as part of the parish of St. John Evangelist.  The  chapel was built on this site and the building blessed in June 1968.
The chapel was built by Caron Construction Co. of Manchester.  The result was a modern, unusual, and graceful building.  The roof reached to the ground at each of the 4 corners; known to be a favorite climbing spot for a number of unidentified young folks!  Inside the windows flanked the altar and reached from the floor to the domed wooden ceiling.  Beams stretched from the center of this dome to the middle of each side.  The overall affect was one of simplicity, augmented by natural materials used in construction. The free standing bell tower, which some may remember, was added in December 1993.
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St Kathryn’s Church C1977

     In June 1969 the Parish of St. Kathryn’s in Hudson was dedicated and Rev. Gerald Chalifour named as the first pastor.  The name St. Kathryn was chosen for St. Catherine of Siena (using the Gaelic spelling of her name) and in recognition of a gift of money made to the church by William Henry of Exeter in memory of his wife Kathryn.
     The white farmhouse shown in our first photo became the first rectory of the newly dedicated parish. This farmhouse was used as the rectory until early 1970’s at which time  the pastor moved to a house at 5 Wason Road just beyond the church.  The farmhouse was rented for various purposes and ultimately became home to the Christian Life Center.
In June 1973 the church purchased a 1.8 acre parcel of land  including a house from the estate of Brenton Morgan.  This parcel encircled the  existing property on the east and south.  This was a portion of what remained of his farm after a large part  had been taken by the State of New Hampshire for the circumferential highway. The house was soon used as the rectory.  Shortly afterwards a former chicken coop in Hookset was purchased and moved in sections to Hudson and reconstructed into St Kathryn’s Hall by October 1974.
        Father Gary J. Beliveau came to St Kathryn Parish in 1993.  At age 34 he was the youngest pastor in the Manchester Diocese.  When he arrived the plan was to build up the parish but also to realize the parish may merge with another or potentially be closed.  Under his leadership the parish grew from a small dedicated and enthusiastic parish to a vibrant, larger parish.
        Within two years of his arrival the parish embarked  upon Project 2000 – to become a growing and going church.  The congregation  outgrew it’s present site  by June 1999 and land was purchased on Dracut road  for a new church.  Approximately 1 year later the old buildings at the corner of Lowell and Wason were formally closed.  For a few months Sunday masses were held in the cafeteria of Presentation of Mary.  Weekday masses were held at the former Oblate Retreat house.  The new St Kathryn’s church on Dracut Road was constructed and dedicated by  August 12, 2000.
     Changes occur so quickly in Hudson that it may be difficult to remember the St Kathryn’s buildings at Lowell and Wason.  The property was sold to Manny Sousa in May 2000. The old farmhouse was used as a training site by the Hudson Fire Department.  The church building itself was dismantled.   The site was then developed into a retail center; the first tenant being Shop and Shop Supermarket.  Over the past few years Shop and Shop closed their  operation and the buildings have been re-purposed into a Goodwilll store and donation center.  Both photos are from the Historical Society Collection.