Do you have memories of the Nadeau Dairy Farm at 98 Old Derry Road? Perhaps you stopped by and visited the cows; taking pictures while they grazed in the field or lay resting while they chewed their cud to take digestion to the next level!! Perhaps you drove past and saw the tractor and hay baler getting the crop ready for winter storage. One of my memories is intentionally driving past the farm near Halloween to see the numerous Jack-O-Lanterns positioned along the side of the road, gazing out of a barn window, or perched and lighted from the top of the blue silo. This was a local tradition prepared for us by the Nadeau family with help from friends and neighbors.
This four generation dairy farm had it’s beginning in 1902 when Joseph Lambert and his wife Mary were living in Nashua but looking to move to a dairy farm. In July of that year they purchased this home and farm from the heirs of Jackson Greeley. Joseph ran a milk route into Nashua. He later added chickens and pigs with the remainder of the farm was used for grazing and growing feed for the cows.
Joseph and Mary raised a family of six. Their daughter, Marion, married Emery Henry Nadeau in 1935. They lived on and worked the farm with her parents; purchasing from them in 1941. For another two generations and most of 70 years the farm continued; first with Marion’s son Emery E. and later with her grandson, Emery E.,Jr. The senior Emery E. was responsible for the day to day operations of the farm since the age of 14 when his dad, Emery Henry, took a job in Nashua. By 1961 Emery E. and Shirley (Craig) were married. They raised a family of 3 children; Lori, Emery E. Jr, and Elizabeth. The younger Emery joined the family business upon graduation from Alvirne High School in 1982.
By 1995 Emery E. then age 50 was working a herd of 75 milkers which produced about 205 gallons a day!! The electronic milking machines delivered the milk directly into a storage tank where it was cooled and kept at temperature until drained by a milk hauling truck in the small hours of the following morning. At that time this farm was the last commercial dairy farm in Hudson with the exception of the farm in operation at Alvirne High School. Working the farm was hard work which was done by the entire family with help from neighbors during haying and harvest time.
The Lambert/Nadeau farm operated for nearly 100 years; from 1902 until 2000. Within a short time machinery, livestock, and property were sold. The homestead and farm buildings on the south side of the road were purchased by Keven Slattery. Using much of the old farm buildings it is the location of Nadeau Industrial Park. The farmhouse has had many improvements and is now a 2-unit rental. The acreage on the north side of the road is under development as Senter Estates.
In 2009, following his avocation for the dairy farm, the younger Emery was hired as the Alvirne Farm Manager. His mother, Shirley remains active; working at Checkers Restaurant within the culinary department of Alvirne. This past month, as part of the Second Annual Historical Society Gala, Emery Nadeau, his mother Shirley, sisters Lori and Elizabeth and their families were awarded the Community Service Award for their work to make the Alvirne School Farm a valued resource in Hudson.
The house at 98 Old Derry dates to 1793. Jackson Greeley, the youngest son of Moses and Mary (Darby) Greeley was born in Hudson November 1815. Moses Greeley was born in Haverhill, MA in 1787. By 1793 he had moved to Nottingham West and was a single father with two young daughters. His first wife, Mary Greeley, had recently passed, and he was (or soon would be) married to Mary Darby. It was Moses Greeley who was responsible for building this farmhouse. He and his wife Mary had 10 children of their own; plus Moses’ daughters from his first marriage. Moses lived in this farmhouse until his death in 1848 at the age of 83. Ownership of the farm passed to Jackson Greeley who likewise resided here until his passing in 1894. It has been said that this home was used as a tavern because of the location on the roadway between Nashua and Derry. This may have been the case but, based upon what I have read to date, I cannot state it as a fact .
The earliest known residents of this farmhouse were Gilman Andrews and his family. Gilman was born in Hudson (then Nottingham West) in December 1806. In September 1834, at the age of 28, he married Sophia Senter. Sophia was a local girl; the daughter of nearby Charles Senter and the grand daughter of Moses Greeley. A few years after their marriage, in December 1836, he purchased this site from Abijah Hills. Gilman was a farmer. The agricultural census shows his farm consisted of one horse, 5 milking cows, one pig, and produce of corn, oats, peas, beans, potatoes, hay, butter, and cheese. There is evidence of an earlier house, located east and north of the present one; but it is not clear if this was an initial residence for Gilman or for some older half sibling of his. Gilman remained on his farm and in this house until his death in 1886 at the age of 79.
This was the childhood home of Gilman and Sophia’s three children: Charles (born 1837), Mary Jane (born 1839) and George Gilman (born 1847). As adults each lead very different lives. Charles moved to Nashua and worked as a as a station agent for the railroad.
As a young lady Mary Jane taught school at the nearby Number 9 school which was then located on Old Derry Road near the intersection with Greeley Street, She was also a talented musician. She played the organ at the Baptist Church and was a member of the Hudson Singing Society. In fact, the Mason and Hamlin Organ she played at the church has been restored and is at the Hills House. Mary Jane married Hudson native Harvard Payson Smith in January 1864. In 1857, at the age of 19, he left Hudson for Red Wing, MN. While there he was a school teacher and involved in the laying out of roads. In 1861 he returned to Hudson and began the study of medicine until the outbreak of the Civil War. He enlisted and served as a sharpshooter serving a little over 3 years. After their marriage he returned to Red Wing with Mary Jane. They later moved to Lake County, Dakota. In 2013 a number of memorabilia and documents pertaining to the Andrews Family and life in Hudson were returned to the Hudson Historical Society from a museum in Madison, SD. From these we have glimpses into her life here in Hudson.
George Gilman (born 1847) remained with the farm and took it over after Gilman’s death. He also became a successful business man and purchased a general store at Post Office Square in Hudson, serving as postmaster. He also held many offices in the Town of Hudson. He build a fine Victorian style home for his family on Main Street (now Ferry Street) – located about where the current Gulf station is. George maintained the farm and operated his business interests until September 6. 1908 when he was tragically killed during an electric car accident on the Pelham line as he and his wife Anabel were returning home. She was severely injured and lived the remainder of her life in Hudson. Their daughter, Maude, a well known Hudson resident resided with her mother on Ferry Street.
After George’s death Anabel sold the farm to Rachel Ober in April 1904. The Ober family was living at the farmhouse in 1933 when fire destroyed the upper stories of the C 1830 21/2 story home. Our first photo is that of the original home of Gilman Andrews and Rachel Ober prior to the 1933 fire. The place was inactive until purchased by the Jasper Family in 1941.
The home was then remodeled to the 1 1/2 story building with a front porch which we see today. It became the home of Robert and Reita Jasper and their young family. After the Jasper properties ceased to operate as a poultry farm, Robert and Reita established and operated a camping area known as “Tuck A Way” in the area behind the farmhouse. In 1985 the property was transferred to The Nash Family. Since that time some acreage was transferred to the State of New Hampshire for the proposed circumferential highway. Our second photo shows the 1 1/2 story house from town records C 2012.
Thanks to the Jasper Family for the early photo of the Andrews/Ober Home.