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53 Old Derry Road


53 Old Derry c1909

53 Old Derry C 1909

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.

53 Old Derry 2012 (640x480)

53 Old Derry C 2012

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.




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