The availability of jobs resulting from industry and factories coming to Nashua resulted in an increase in the immigrant population of Nashua. The Catholic Church quickly recognized the need to have pastors and congregations available for these communities. In the 1850’s Nashua experienced a great influx of Irish families, pushing the construction of The Church of the Immaculate Conception on Temple Street. At the time of it’s consecration in 1857, 2,000 communicants were added to the church rolls.
By the early 1900’s the Lithuanian Community was likewise on the increase and a pastor was added to The Church of the Immaculate Conception to minister to them. As both communities continued to grow it became evident that a new church was needed. In March 1891 the church purchased the Hosmer Estate on Spring Street and by 1909 services were being held for the Irish Catholic Community at Saint Patrick’s Church on Spring Street.
Soon after 1909 The Church of the Immaculate Conception was turned over to the Lithuanian Community and the name of the church changed to Saint Casimir’s.
On or about 1857 ten acres of land on Derry Road in Hudson was purchased by The Church of the Immaculate Conception and consecrated for the purpose of a cemetery for the Irish community. The original land was conveyed by the Pierce Family of, James L, John P, and Edgar B, residents of Nashua. With the exception of about one acre on the east side which was swampy and unfit for use as a cemetery, lots were laid out. In 1907, a strip of land was purchased on the north side and an enlargement made to the cemetery. By 1912, at the time of the writing of Webster’s History of Hudson, nearly all the lots had been taken up. The vast majority of the interments within this cemetery were for families residing outside of Hudson. Our first photo shows the hillside as you enter the cemetery. After the archway with the name of the cemetery is the sacred cross followed by the War Memorial and the American Flag.
Acting as a sentinel and gateway to the newer section of the cemetery behind Hannaford’s Super Market is this Celtic Cross, in memory of R. T. Rev. Monsignor Matthew J.B.Creamer, the Pastor of St. Patrick’s Church from 1906 – 1939.
Initially this cemetery was to offer cemetery space to members of the Irish community. By 1895, the Catholic cemetery contained about 4,000 graves sites; the vast majority were for the Irish Catholic community, but a few hundred French Catholics were also interred here. After St. Patrick’s Church on Spring Street was built the name of this cemetery was changed to Saint Patrick’s. Until recently the policy of this cemetery was to offer burial space to members of the Catholic community. This has changed and space within Saint Patrick’s is available to any member of the Christian community. With the recent expansion there are lots available. The contact person is Elaine Poulin at 881-8131.
Thanks for the History.